The SI Shout Out!

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 28, 2016

What is this all about?

To keep us all up-to-date, share some tips & ideas, and to highlight the successes of SI teachers and ELL students, we will publish a monthly newsletter with pictures, tips, & stories from secondary classrooms across Alvin ISD.

If you have a Tale of Success or some Strategies in Action, please let Lauren or Ashley know so that we can include it in our next newsletter and encourage other SI teachers. We would love to visit your classroom and take some pictures or even a video (if you're willing)!

Strategies in Action

A Tale of Success

Making a Word Wall Useful

Tyler Cleland at AHS has perfected his word wall over the past couple of years. He uses one of the magnetic white boards as his word wall. This year he is putting all of the words with pictorial representations on the white board with magnets. When he needs to, he can take a word off the board and take it to a student's desk to help struggling students. "So far this has been my most successful year with SI students!"

SI Teacher FAQs

Grading Concerns? We can help!

Many teachers have expressed concerns about how to grade an SI student.

The article Grading Exceptional Learners from ASCD's February 2010 issue of Educational Leadership magazine gives great pointers and info on grading students with special needs including ELLs. See the flow chart on the right and/or read the full article at this link.

***For ELLs, we stop at step 2 in the flow chart. All teachers are to accommodate instruction for ELLs but not modify instruction for ELLs.

Something to Try

Guide to Answering Questions

The Guide to Answering Questions is a large bookmark that students can keep in the binders/notebooks/journals/textbooks, etc. These bookmarks can be used to help ELLs (and other struggling learners) look for key words in questions and documents. The students should be the ones filling them out and adding to them as they encounter new vocabulary in a unit/novel/etc.

You can find the bookmark in the SI Secondary Teacher Resources Folder that was shared with you in your Google Drive or you may click here.


  • print a new bookmark on cardstock for each unit
  • have students add the unit's vocabulary at the bottom
  • have students write the translation of the question words under each word
  • have students use examples directly from questions/materials you are using in class with that unit

* Note: The examples below include random ELA, SS, math, and science vocab. The unit vocabulary at the bottom may not align with the words in the examples.

Ashley Gomez

Secondary ELL Instructional Specialist

West Side Secondary Campuses: MHS, SCHS, RPJH, NRJH, MJH

Lauren Skeen

Secondary ELL Instructional Specialist

East Side Secondary Campuses: AHS, AJH, HJH, FJH