EL Happenings

Volume 3 Issue 5

Teacher Feature

Students in Mrs. Kompara's EL class are working in groups to submit ideas for a school mural. The mural is a representation of the diversity of the student body at Southport High School. The daily objective is tied to past knowledge the students have acquired through the course of this project, so that the skills and theme build on one another. The SIOP component, Building Background is prevalent in this lesson as students are constantly making connections to new concepts with their previous skills. For example, today they are revising their paragraphs that justify their mural proposal.

The students are also given a lot of opportunities for choice when designing their murals. Choice in writing and drawing can bring an array of experiences from our students who are from other countries. Educators that can connect to students' experiences within the context of the classroom/content are setting those students up for achievement and success!

Teacher Takeaway

One of the features for the SIOP component, Building Background is that key vocabulary is emphasized in lessons. According to the SIOP Model book many of you received in training - Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners, there are four things to remember when planning vocabulary lessons regardless of the age or content we teach:

1. Involve students in actively developing their understanding of words and ways to learn them.

Marzano Academic Vocabulary Resources and Graphic Organizers

Concept Map 1, Concept Map 2, Concept Map 3

Tic-Tac-Toe with Vocabulary Words Idea/Example

2. Encourage students to personalize their word learning.

Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS)

Personal Dictionaries

Mnemonic strategies

3. Immerse students in rich language environments that draw their attention to learning words.

Word Wall Examples/Ideas on how to use: Math, LA, Science, Social Studies, Secondary

Comparing/Contrasting Words

Morphemes, Suffixes, Prefixes, Roots

Cornell Notes

4. Provide students with multiple sources of information to learn words through repeated exposures.

Word Clouds, WordItOut, Word Art (you just need to create an account)


Compliance Corner

We know many of you are hard at work identifying English Learners with the Kindergarten WAPT and WIDA Screener, as well as preparing for WIDA ACCESS. Below are helpful reminders and resources to assist with this process:

  • Incoming new students who need to take K-WAPT or the Online Screener will need to be screened prior to taking WIDA ACCESS. Remember that second semester means Kindergarten students will take all parts of K-WAPT and all other grades will be tested with the screener for the grade level in which they are enrolled. (For example, 1st grade will take the Grade 1 online screener, 2nd-Grade 2-3 screener, 4th-Grade 4-5 screener, 6th-Grade 6-8 screener, 9th-Grade 9-12 screener)
  • The ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist for Indiana is a comprehensive resource to keep you on track for ACCESS testing. Included within are step-by-step directions to ensure smooth testing, links to testing manuals and guides, contact info, and more.
  • WIDA-AMS has now been updated with students included in the Test Label (TL) submission in October. You are now able to edit and add additional students who were not submitted through the TL. Please contact Kim Jovic or the EL Department with questions regarding AMS.
  • Testing materials arrived at your school during winter break. You are now able to order additional materials via WIDA-AMS.
  • ILP accommodations do not apply for WIDA ACCESS testing.
  • Testing accommodations for WIDA ACCESS should be determined and documented by the IEP committee (including the EL teacher or designee).
  • See the 2018-2019 Accessibility & Accommodations Guidance

District EL Coaches

Georgina Schneider

Email: gmayorga@perryschools.org

Twitter: @gschneidercoach

JJ Tidd

Email: jtidd@perryschools.org

Twitter: @JJTidd