ESL Notes from Mike Bowden
Weeks of February 22nd to March 11th
Spring Break's Impact on Your ELL Students
Many of your ELL students do not choose to read at home. That may not be surprising.
How sluggish will it be to get started again in 9 days without any practice with English?
Safe, Caring, Trusting Environment
Your English Language Learner may not share much about their plans for the upcoming Spring Break. They have to feel comfortable in their environment, with their teacher, to really express what their plans are.
Do you ask your students what they are reading for fun at home? Do you tell them about the books you are reading? When students talk with you about reading outside of school for the enjoyment of reading, they will begin to understand that reading is not just about assignments.
They Don't Have Books
Quick, while their is still time, you can fix it. We can't always fix things for our students, but we can ensure they have reading material for Spring Break.
Bag 'Em Up
If you get started today, you have opportunity to put together a bag of reading material and a log to keep up with the dates and times the student read.
You might need to put a pen in the bag. Pencils break. Who has a sharpener at home?
Pre-Teach the Reading Bag
Some of your students will read to siblings or others in the house. Some need help deciding who to read aloud with. You can always say, "I have known kids who read to their pet, or a stuffed animal, a pillow and I even had a kid who read to his shoe!"
Take the pressure off them. Help them find a way to be okay with reading out loud to no one in particular. Even a snail with shoes on.
The Reading Log or Journal
At the very minimum you want the student to record the date and the book or books read. Of course you will praise results and merely note lack of reading as a conversation point for later.
If your student will write down some words from the reading that challenged them, won't that be a great way to get into gear after returning to school? Relevant and connected.
Those of you fortunate to have a highly motivated student can provide several extensions that the student can respond to after reading. Bonus for you.
Build It and They Will, You Know...
Careful with copyright and such, if you follow.
We can be upset with student excuses and barriers and lack of initiative. They won't read, they don't read, etc.
If we pre-plan and take the excuses and barriers out of the equation, we have done our best. We have sent them off with the option and ability to engage. Just a little.
Maybe that first Monday back, and that first couple of weeks back, will be a little smoother, with a little more progress, than it might have been if we didn't prepare.
Other than the Hokey-Pokey, isn't that what it's all about?
Schedule & Availability
Monday Feb 22 - Flower Mound
Tuesday Feb 23 - Forest Vista
Wednesday Feb 24 - Forest Vista
Thursday Feb 25 - Flower Mound
Friday Feb 26 - Forest Vista afternoon only
Spring STAAR Training, Mill St Annex
Monday Feb 29 - Flower Mound
Tuesday Mar 1 - Forest Vista
Wednesday Mar 2 - Forest Vista
Thursday Mar 3 - Flower Mound
Friday Mar 4 - Forest Vista
Monday Mar 7 - Spring Break HOLIDAY
Tuesday Mar 8 -
Wednesday Mar 9 -
Thursday Mar 10 -
Friday Mar 11 - TELPAS Online Reading Test Window Opens