Please Don’t Let This “News” Pass, Our Children’s Lives Depend on It

I woke up this morning to the barrage of media covering yet another unimaginable mass shooting. The families and extended communities of 17 high school children must now grapple with the loss of the lives that were and the lives that would have been. As I sit here writing this post with tears in my eyes, I am struggling with the overwhelming need to will away the inner voice that is asking, “What if it had been my student?  What if it had been my child?”

A Dedication to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Today is a day dedicated to honoring the legacy and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  And while many simply enjoy the extra day at home, it is vital to reflect on what this day truly means.  His life’s legacy is one of equity, access, equality and the ability of each person to realize […]

How Modeling Translates to Outcomes for Struggling Students & ELLs:

Modeling is one research-based strategy that allows students to hear a teacher’s thought process.  By making their thinking or process visible and clear, teachers are able to help students to mirror or parallel that thinking process or level of performance.  This is nothing new and it is mostly human nature.  When we want to learn […]

What Makes a Text Complex?

So the easy answer is short sentences and easy vocabulary makes sentences and texts easier to understand. Right? Well, not exactly. Some leveled texts that English language learners and struggling readers get, end up having really choppy sentences that communicate nowhere near the quality or quantity of material than their high achieving and mono-lingual peers […]

Improving Fluency with Partner Reading:

What is partner reading? Partner reading is a cooperative learning approach where a student works with a partner to read a text. While there many different approaches to text selection, partnerships should be carefully considered and both partners should be able to access the text. Why use partner reading? Partner reading allows both readers to […]

5 Easy Ways to Build Your Students’ Academic Language

Last week we discussed the need to intentionally frame the social language of schools.  Social language of school is the language that follows the rules of academic conversations and is flexibly used for a variety of purposes.  This week, we look at academic language.  Academic language is the language students need to access textbooks, assignments, […]

3 Big Reasons We are All LanguageTeachers:

When we introduce ourselves in education, it is commonplace to identify with the content area or grade level we teach. I am a Science teacher, a Math teacher, a 3rd grade teacher, etc. But one thing is for certain; we are all language teachers, and we are all teachers of students. This means that there […]

1 Research-based Strategy Truly Great Teachers Use

In the world of high stakes testing, we often worry about how we are going to “cover” all the standards in our curriculum, especially when we serve EL’s (English Learners) and struggling students that need greater amounts of support.  It is a real concern with no easy answers.  So what is one part of the […]

5 Reasons Why Expectations Change Results for all Students, especially ELLs

It seems simple, that as educators, we have the same high learning expectations for all students in given classroom, grade level, or school. After all, we wouldn’t want to knowingly deny the access and benefits of a high-quality educations to any child. And the reality is that the vast majority of educators do not approach […]

Essential Language for Reaching the Common Core:

Aligning the CCSS with Language Development Standards

Over the last few weeks, we have talked at length about a number of ways to increase your students’ vocabulary so that they are able to access increasingly more complex text and grow as readers and intellectual beings. In fact, with the arrival of the Common Core State Standards, we’ve all become more mindful of […]