English Learners Monthly Update

March 2019

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Reminders: KELPA2 Dates

***Updates!!**

The KELPA2 testing window is being extended to March 22. All testing must be completed by 5:00 pm on March 22.

The scoring window IS NOT CHANGING! Scoring must be completed by 5:00 pm on March 29.


KELPA2 Scoring Update for Grades 4-5 Writing:

KELPA2 Test Administration and Scoring Directions for Writing Teacher Directions, Student Assessment, and Scoring Information Question Rubric Revised - Feb. 12, 2019 - Questions 5, 12 and 16 The rubric for these questions was mislabeled. The rubric that should be used to score these items is correct in the paper document provided on the HELP tab.



KELPA2 Scoring of "Clustered Tasks or Question Grouping" for Speaking Reminder:

In speaking, some questions are scored individually and others are scored holistically across a series of questions or a group of questions. When scoring these grouped questions, you will only enter one score or rating, but you must consider all of the questions in the grouping and determine the overall score.

* If one or more responses in the grouping is an "I don't know" or "because," it should not preclude the response from receiving a higher score. The more responses available, the more there is to apply the rubric to and to deem scorable.

* Significant grammatical errors in student responses in the grouping of questions could reduce the overall score based on the degree to which it interferes with scorer understanding.

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St. Patrick's Day with ELs

ESL Holiday Lessons.com and FluentU offer some ways that you can engage your ELs in this holiday, if you choose too!

Spotlight: Using Technology with ELs

Teachers of English Learners (ELs) can use technology to promote growth in their students. Please know that these are merely suggestions and are not required or sponsored by KSDE.


Here are few for you to consider:

Spotlight: Strategies for ELs



Guess Who- This is a great for answering and asking questions. It's mostly for facial features and accessories, but I stress asking and answering in complete sentences.


10 Finger Sentences- This is an activity that you can do with your students to get them talking and working on the speaking domain! You can have your students hold up all ten of their fingers and for each word they come up with, they will put up (or down) a finger. Students will ultimately be creating one sentence, with ten words. This serves as a great visual aid for students. This can also turn into a writing activity for students as well!


Anchoring Questions-These can be quick questions that you create for your students that can serve as great warm-ups, closures, entrance questions, social group discussions, etc. Questions can be related to holidays, current events, school subjects, basically anything!

(Would you rather.., What is.. Do you think..)


Talking Chips- Talking chips are manipulatives given to students during small group discussions. Each time a student wants to speak, they will place a chip in the center of the group's table. When a student no longer has chips, they must wait to speak until all of the other students have used theirs, then chips can be redistributed or refilled by teacher/group. This strategy is a great way to promote speaking from your ELs as well as a visual for you as the teacher as to how the discussion is going.

Professional Development: EL Book Club

I invite you to join our first, statewide, English Learners Book Club! This month, we will begin reading Tonya Ward Singer's book, EL Excellence Every Day. This book has received remarkable reviews and I think you will enjoy it too! With this book, there are tons of teaching strategies right at your fingertips! This reading opportunity is extended to everyone who is in education. This book is much more than a resource for EL specialists, EL Excellence Every Day is written for every teacher, with a singular focus on improving the ways we all differentiate literacy instruction.



*Materials are purchased at participant's expense, but this will be a resource I am sure you will use over and over again!

*Title III funds may used for books geared toward professional development.



If you will be joining us in reading EL Excellence Every Day, please introduce yourself on our Flipgrid!

Discussions will be on Padlet


Password: elexcellence to join!

Professional Development: Online for Free!

English Learner Portal

This platform provides professional development, curriculum and program management in a variety of collaborative, face-to-face and online options! Some of the items do have fees associated with them, but there are also some FREE online PD resources as well.

Accessibility: Effective, Equitable Learning Environments for All Students

Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Presented by Matthew J. Miller, Superintendent, Lakota Local Schools, OH; Dr. Tom Muzzey, Superintendent, Orchard Farm R-V School District, MO; and Dr. Donna Wright, Director of Schools, Wilson County Schools, TN Register here

Speaking is the Solution: Effective Ways to Support EL Students

Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT



Presented by Maya Goodall, Senior Director, EL Curriculum, Lexia Learning and Rosetta Stone; Anita R. Bowles, Ph.D., Head of Academic Research and Learner Studies, Rosetta Stone; and David Harper, Ph.D., Researcher, Academic Research and Learner Studies, Rosetta Stone

Register here

SPOTLIGHT: Shawnee Mission School District

Thank you for allowing me to visit Apache Elementary, Comanche Elementary, Hocker Grover Middle School and Shawnee Mission West High School to observe the great things that you all have going on with your ELs! Keep up the great work!

SPOTLIGHT: Manhattan-Ogden USD383

Manhattan-Ogden USD383 is the recipient of a Striving Readers / LiNK Grant.

With this grant comes a strong focus and emphasis on family engagement.

Part of this initiative is our DUAL LANGUAGE - Tech Talks Family Engagement Program.

This initiative came from a couple broad observations:

1). Many curricular resources are available online – and less and less in the hands of students (student textbooks online)

2). Students are learning technology at a much faster pace than parents/guardians

3). There becomes a disconnect as students learn more English and families don’t feel connected to the school or teachers – increase in disengagement at upper grades

4). Many of our EL families are also low SES and don’t have tech resources, internet, etc.… to keep up with demands / requirements schools impose (homework completion, projects, online curriculum, etc.…)


This program selected 10 Spanish-speaking families to participate in weekly meetings. All meetings are delivered in Spanish / English. This group will impact 30+ students birth – 12+.

Goals of Tech Talks Family Engagement Nights

  1. Communicate Effectively
    1. Families and staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about children’s learning.
  2. Support Children’s Learning
    1. Children and families regularly access district tools and curriculum to support children’s learning.
  3. Create Family Connectedness
    1. Create opportunities and provide the tools for families to make connections with other families and people who can support strengthening their child’s learning and development.
  4. Collaborate with the Community
    1. Be able to locate and use community resources to support child and family learning/enrichment activities.

Expectations of Tech Talk Family Engagement Nights

  1. Families will do their best to arrive on time and be ready to learn.
  2. Families will attend 5 or more meetings to receive one free ipad on March 25th.
  3. Families will practice the skills taught outside of class.

Here is a video, from our meeting on 2/25/2019, created by our Director of elementary Education, Dr. Lucas Shivers:

https://youtu.be/ZcU3lrbrmG8

Current Happenings/ Upcoming Events

Title III/ESOL Webinar

When: March 26th at 9 am

Where: Online via Zoom

Spotlight YOUR school/district!

If your school or district is doing something awesome that you want to share with others in Kansas, please send your pictures (with descriptions) to nprimm@ksde.org and I will spotlight your happenings in the next month's newsletter.


*In addition, if you would like to see something added to the newsletter, please send your suggestions to nprimm@ksde.org as well!

Upcoming Conferences

TESOL Convention

Tuesday, March 12th, 12am to Friday, March 15th, 12am

Atlanta, GA, USA

Atlanta, GA

The TESOL Convention offers professional development opportunities to English language educators at all levels from around the world. With 6,500 attendees and nearly 1,000 sessions, the convention has something for everyone.


For more information, click here.

KSDE 2nd Annual Civic Engagement Conference

Thursday, April 4th, 8am-4pm

1717 Southwest Topeka Boulevard

Topeka, KS

KSDE is sponsoring the 2nd annual Civic Engagement Conference on April 4th, 2019. The conference which will focus on providing educators and students grades 6 through 12 with resources, ideas, and experiences that will improve the civic engagement culture of their schools. Presenters from across the state and region will present sessions on a variety of programs and practices.

Presentations will be made by the 2018 Civic Advocacy Network Award winning schools:

  • Complete High School USD #266 Maize

  • Derby Hills Elementary USD #260 Derby

  • Enders Community Service Magnet USD #259 Wichita

  • Garden City High School USD #457 Garden City

  • McPherson Middle School USD #418 McPherson

  • Park Hill Elementary USD #260 Derby

  • Starside Elementary USD #232 De Soto

  • Susan B. Anthony Middle School USD #383 Manhattan

Registration includes: Continental breakfast, all day beverage service, lunch, and door prizes.

Cost is $140 group rate which includes one adult and two students

Individual Registration Rate is $60 per person ( adult or student)


Online registration deadline is March 28th, 2019. There will be no walk-up registration. Click here to Register

The SIOP® National Conference

Tuesday, July 16th, 12am to Wednesday, July 17th, 12am

Portland, OR, USA

Portland, OR

The SIOP® National Conference focuses on best practices and research-proven strategies to further your SIOP® implementation results.


For more information, click here.

MidTESOL Conference

Friday, Sep. 27th, 12am to Sunday, Sep. 29th, 12am

Omaha, NE, USA

Omaha, NE

Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages is an organization that aims to strengthen the effective teaching of English in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska to people whose native language is a language other than English while respecting their individual language rights. This is a regional affiliate of TESOL and a professional organization.


Theme: “Bridges to Success”

*Pre-conference workshops begin, July 15.

For more information, click here.

Approved Kansas Colleges and Universities Offering ESOL Endorsement Courses

Kansas is ALWAYS looking for more ESOL Endorsed teachers! If you know of anyone interested in obtaining their ESOL Endorsement, here are a list of partnering universities and colleges:


Emporia State University

Newman University

Fort Hays State University

Ottawa University

Kansas State University

Pittsburg State University

McPherson College

University of Kansas

Mid-America Nazarene University

Wichita State University