I sometimes use sound effects with my English Language Learner classes as a game (playing sounds, let’s say, of animals and having groups having to identify its name) or as story-writing prompts (play some sounds in sequence and have students write parts of a related story).
Several studies have been published over the past month related to the idea of how individual members of a group (co-workers, students) can do better cooperating in a supportive atmosphere than if everybody is working on their own.
I’ve published several posts about them and, as I’ve said in those posts, they go along with a push I made late in the last school year on “Everybody Is A Teacher.”
Here are links to those posts, along with some other related resources (I’ll be putting them all together into a lesson that I’ll share at a later date):
Here is an article I wrote for Education Week (which was later reprinted in The Washington Post) that includes an activity I do at the beginning of each school year to help students decide if they want to be a “classroom of students” or a “community of learners.”
I’ve also shared a few posts on the idea of looking at teacher “input” instead of student “output” when considering what strategies to look at for teacher evaluations, and I thought it would be worth bringing them together in a “Best” list.
The idea is that we teachers may very well have less control over student outcomes that is believed.
Here are the resources worth reviewing on the idea:
Can We Evaluate Teachers Based on Factors Teachers Completely Control? is the title of one of my BAM! Radio Shows. It’s a ten-minute conversation I had with Ben Spielberg and Ted Appel, the principal of the school where I teach. Our talk focuses on the idea of measuring inputs — in other words, identifying what practices we know make up good teaching and evaluating educators on whether they are implementing those practices.
I’ve only included sites where students can type in what they hear and have their responses automatically assessed.
Here are my choices:
Listen and Write is a great free site. After a quick registration and log-on, A user first chooses a text he/she wants to hear read to him/her. There are lots of different choices and features – in fact, so many that you probably want to review the site with students before they try it. Many of the choices are from the Voice of America, and are both high-interest and accessible. Their levels of difficulty are also indicated. Then the story is dictated to you, and you have to type it correctly. You can choose the speed of the reading and how often it’s repeated. When you type, only the correct letters actually show-up on the screen, and you can ask for hints.
I’ve got to start with this great one from Valentina Gonzalez:
Next up is this one from Carol Salva. It’s designed for volunteers in an ESL classroom, but they’re good ideas for all teachers with ELLs to keep in mind:
There are so many good things to say about it and how it provides a glimpse into the challenges facing our English Language Learners. It’s a little longer than most other videos on this list, but it’s well worth the extra few minutes:
Here are some words of wisdom from Dr. Jim Cummins on scaffolding for ELLs:
Lastly, here’s a short excerpt from a longer interview the the Time of Remembrance Project did with me:
Here’s a video suggested by Carol Salva where a science teacher is offering her thoughts and examples:
Here’s another one from Carol where one of her students shares what has helped him in the classroom:
Again, I hope readers will suggest more short videos, especially ones that show scaffolding in action…
The only time I’ve co-taught a class was an ELL Beginners/Intermediate combo that my co-author and colleague Katie Hull and I did several years ago.
I do know, however, that many ELL teachers are in situations where they either go in to a class to support students when the content teacher is teaching, or pull ELLs out to support content instruction.
I thought it would be useful to start a list with related resources and invite readers to suggest more:
In the past, I’ve shared some interesting (at least, to me!) tidbits about Ben Franklin, and I thought I’d bring them all together. This “Best” list isn’t like many of others – you won’t find a lot of the basic info about him (however, you can find all that info at our U.S. History class blog). But you might find some resources you wouldn’t typically find in other places:
This copy of Ben Franklin’s Daily Schedule has been floating around the blogosphere and Twitterverse for awhile. Ben’s morning and evening questions are a pretty good framework for anybody’s day.
The Ben Franklin Timeline is an interactive exhibition on Franklin’s life. It includes images, text, and some very good animations. It’s certainly accessible to English Language Learners, but not all parts of it would be good for Beginners.