Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m taking a break from blogging today since it’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S.

Vintage postcard with Thanksgiving greetings | The ESL Connection
Vintage postcard from the early 1900s; source: Old Photo Archive
I wish everyone a very happy holiday!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tools for Teaching Tolerance, Promoting Cultural Awareness, and Countering Bullying: November #ELLEdTech Topic

The next #ELLEdTech Twitter chat will be this Sunday, November 20th.  Laurah and I changed the topic from what we originally planned and will now be talking about Tools for Teaching Tolerance, Promoting Cultural Awareness, and Countering Bullying.  Given the many incidents of intolerance that have recently been reported around the U.S. and the concern many ELLs have about the incoming president's policies towards immigrants, we thought it would be helpful if we could offer some resources to help students handle such situations if they encountered them.
Join the November #ELLEdTech Twitter chat to discuss Tools for Teaching Tolerance, Promoting Cultural Awareness, and Countering Bullying | The ESL Connection
Join us Sunday, 11/20/16!
Schedule and Questions
7:00 = Introductions: Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #ELLEdTech
7:05 = Q1: What resources/tools do you recommend for preventing bullying or dealing with discrimination? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2: How do these resources help ELLs? Schools with diverse populations? #ELLEdTech
7:21 = Q3: What should teachers know before using these resources? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4: Are there any challenges Ts might encounter when using these resources? #ELLEdTech
7:37 = Q5: What advice do you have for teachers who are trying to support ELLs who've been bullied or faced discrimination? #ELLEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.

2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”

3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.

4. Starting at 7:05 @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.

5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.

6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.

7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, goo.gl or ow.ly to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet. If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.



Is this your first Twitter chat?  Here are our rules:

1. Please stay on topic.

2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked. 

3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.

4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!

5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.

6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, administrators--may see what you tweet.) 



You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us as well know about it. We look forward to chatting with you on Sunday evening!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Overcome Bigotry with Respect and Kindness: A New Resource

"We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic
and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens
this community - and this nation."
-- Cesar Chavez

In the aftermath of the most divisive presidential election in U.S. history, news reports of racist and religious intolerance and of people being told to “go back to your own country” are truly shocking.  As an educator of English Language Learners, as a member of a religious minority, as a woman, and as an American, I find it unacceptable.

Students, both those who are ELLs and those who are not, should not be fearful in school or in their community.  They should not be afraid that if they dress a certain way or if they speak another language or if they look and behave differently, they will be verbally attacked or physically threatened.  All adults, and especially teachers, regardless of their political preferences, need to reassure children that they are valued for who they are.  That the people engaging in these acts of prejudice are only a small minority of the people living in America and that most of us treat strangers as well as friends and family with kindness and respect.

To that end, I’ve created a new resource, Quotation Posters about Respect & Kindness: Writing and Discussion Prompts. This resource contains 10 mini-posters with 5 quotations about Respect and 5 about Kindness.  Each quotation is overlaid on a photograph that can also stimulate conversation about kindness and respect.  Besides the mini-posters, the resource includes a list of 10 questions that serve as prompts for writing or discussion.  There are also 6 suggested ways to use the posters.  Students can write answers to the prompts on the included student answer page.

Use these 10 quotation posters about respect and kindness to help students overcome bigotry | The ESL Connection
Click HERE or on the image to download this resource
I hope that in some small way, these quotation posters will help teachers give their students ideas for responding positively to difficult situations or people that students may encounter. I also hope these quotation posters will help teachers maintain classroom communities that are oases of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding.

As another U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, said: "This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect."

Monday, November 7, 2016

How To Easily Teach About Thanksgiving When You Teach Math

My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: the turkey and stuffing; the sweet potatoes and rice, which come from my mother's Southern heritage; the mashed potatoes, which come from my wife's Midwestern roots; the Campbell's green-bean casserole; and of course, pumpkin pie.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/turkey.html?vm=l
"My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving.
I love the food: the turkey and stuffing; the sweet potatoes and rice,
which come from my mother's Southern heritage; the mashed potatoes,
which come from my wife's Midwestern roots; the Campbell's
green-bean casserole; and of course, pumpkin pie."
-- Douglas Conant, 1952 - Present
former president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company

Teaching about Thanksgiving in math class is easy when you use these task cards in printable and Google Drive versions. | The ESL Connection
Wild turkey; source: Pixabay
If you're a regular ed teacher and you have one or more English Language Learners in your class, you've probably already noticed that they have a range of educational experience, language proficiency, and academic competence.  Finding the time to create lessons that meet all their needs, along with the needs of the mainstream and special ed students you also have in your class can be overwhelming.  Or at least very time-consuming.

As we head into the Thanksgiving and winter holiday season, you may want to incorporate some Thanksgiving or holiday themes in your lessons.  But ELLs who are new to the United States may not be familiar with how these holidays are typically celebrated in America.  If you're a content teacher of, say, math, can you really take time out of a lesson to explain to a few students what Thanksgiving is all about?  Probably not.  Wouldn't it be great, though, if you had a math resource that also included a cultural component?  That would let you simultaneously teach the math concept and inform your students about the holiday.
Teaching about Thanksgiving in math class is easy when you use these task cards in printable and Google Drive versions. | The ESL Connection
Find the Thanksgiving Math: Fraction Task Cards for ELLs & Mainstream Students HERE
Well, I have just the thing for you for Thanksgiving!  I've created two sets of task cards for teaching fractions that have a Thanksgiving theme.  To be specific, all the task cards are about foods that are typically eaten at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  There are sets of printable task cards and also a version that can be used in Google Drive if you have a paperless classroom.  Click here for more information about this product.

To help ELLs, and other students, who are not so strong in math, one set in this resource offers three multiple-choice answers for students to choose from.  The other set just asks students to figure out the answer.  Both sets, though, ask students to draw their answer as a way of demonstrating their understanding.  Giving choices like this -- by providing possible answers or offering a word bank -- helps students who are not proficient in reading because they know one of the answers given must be correct.  That lets them focus more on trying to figure out how to get one of those answers and not spend so much time trying to just figure out what the question is asking.
Teaching about Thanksgiving in math class is easy when you use these task cards in printable and Google Drive versions. | The ESL Connection
Sample Google Drive versions of the task cards; read more about this resource HERE
The cultural aspect comes into play because each word problem offers information about a Thanksgiving meal so when ELLs read the task cards, they will learn what a traditional meal consists of.  In addition, once the class has finished the problems, you can do a math activity that asks students who eats which foods for their holiday meal and then write the class responses as fractions.  You can also graph the results, or calculate the percentages for the results, depending on what skills you are focusing on in your class.

If you have any questions about this resource, please ask them in the Comments section below or in the Q&A section of my TpT store.