ELL ExcELLence

January 2016

Accommodations for Testing

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WCPS Offers Two MSDE Courses with an ELL Focus (Registration deadline: 1/11/16)

MSDE Spring Course: Teaching English Language Learners across the Content Areas (online)

Registration link: Course # 13-21-BB, 3 Credits

This online course will provide classroom teachers with a variety of strategies and resources to use with ELL students in their classroom. Participants will become more culturally competent and will better understand the process of language acquisition and its effects on literacy.

Date/Time: Classes begin the week of January 25 and end the week of May 16, 2016 Online

Location: Mandatory face-to-face meeting (Wednesday, January 27, 2016) (4:30 PM – 6:30 PM) Hickory Elementary School

Instructor: Leann Buchanan buchalea@wcps.k12.md.us, WCPS ELL Teacher

Other Information: Participants must buy the book, Teaching English Language Learners across the Content Areas by Judy Haynes and Debbie Zacarian.

Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (Feb. 15, 2010)

ISBN-10: 1416609121

ISBN-13: 978-1416609124

MSDE Course: Spanish for Educators Part 1

Registration link: Course # 13-21-CC, 1 Credit

Spanish for Educators Part I will help teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school employees communicate with students who have Spanish as their first language and speak little or no English. The course introduces the fundamentals of Spanish conversational speech and word order. Participants will learn often-used phrases that relate to everyday school situations. Also emphasized are Spanish words and phrases that are most useful for dealing with preschool and elementary-grades students, and then for middle school and high school students. Depending on the role of enrolled educators, participants may also learn words and phrases pertaining to guidance counseling, health issues, career guidance, college assistance, and extracurricular activities. For teachers who have no Spanish but need to pick up Spanish communication skills in a hurry, this course is an ideal way to start.

Date: Tuesdays, February 2, 2016 (10 sessions)

Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Location: Salem Avenue Elementary School – Media Center

Instructor: Nitza Rivera rivernit@wcps.k12.md.us, WCPS ELL Teacher and native Spanish speaker

Other Information: Participants will need to purchase the text, Spanish for Educators, authored by William C. Harvey

Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 3 edition (September 1, 2015)

ISBN-10: 1438075227

ISBN-13: 978-1438075228

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Using Transcription Fluency with Kindergartners

Elementary teachers have long known about reading fluency, but what is transcription fluency? I asked myself the same question as I was reading an article by D. Ray Reutzel in the Reading Teacher. According to the article, "students who lack transcription fluency struggle to get their ideas written down quickly enough."

Getting back to those awesome kindergarten ELLs I have been working with at Pangborn, they have shown me how to go from beginner transcription fluency to at least pre-intermediate in four months. One may wonder how they have achieved that success. By what is called the own-name effect.

By practicing writing their own names on a daily basis, these 5-year-olds are now able to refer to the letters in their names and tell me about the same letters they see in what they read and write. I love hearing it when they say, "Mrs. Newman, this letter is in my name," and I am amazed at seeing the speed during which they form those letters with perfect accuracy.

Yes, it has been a great opportunity to see the incredible growth my kindergarten ELLs have made in their transcription fluency. I highly recommend reading the article entitled “Early Literacy Research- Findings Primary-Grade Teachers Will Want to Know” to broaden your horizons in terms of teaching kids how to gain fluency in writing. See below for the link.

Submitted by Tilsim Newman- ELL Teacher Pangborn ES

FREE: ELL and Family Literacy Class for Parents of WCPS ELLs

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 9am to Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 11am

221 McRand Court

Hagerstown, MD


Any WCPS parent interested in learning English as a second language


Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2/9/16-4/14/16
9:00 am-11:00am
Register by contacting Jenna K. Freeman


Washington County Family Center, McRand Court, Hagerstown, MD



Jenna K. Freeman

Intake and Assessment Specialist

Developmental Education and Adult Literacy Services

Hagerstown Community College

11400 Robinwood Drive

Hagerstown, MD 21742


Inquire about the possibility of free child care on site while parents are happily learning English and family literacy strategies.

***This opportunity is offered through a special partnership between WCPS and HCC.

All materials are provided by WCPS and the course is taught by a certified Adult ESL Instructor from Hagerstown Community College.***

Scholarships for Undocumented Students

3rd National Round, Remains Open! - Apply by February 15, 2016

For More Info: http://www.thedream.us/

20 seconds- English PSA- Don Graham

30 seconds- English PSA- Don Graham

19 Seconds- Spanish PSA- Gaby Pacheco

30 seconds-Spanish PSA- Gaby Pacheco


*for First Time College Students & Community College Graduates who Attend Partner Colleges

Latino Education & Advocacy Days (LEAD) Organization has again partnered with TheDream.US to help spread the word about college scholarships that are available to highly motivated DREAMers who want to get a college education but cannot afford it. Our scholarships will help cover your tuition and fees for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges. If you are chosen as a DREAM Scholar, you must be accepted to and eligible for in-state tuition (if applicable) at one of our Partner Colleges in order to receive the Scholarship. The in-state tuition requirement does not apply to DREAM Scholars who attend one of our private Partner Colleges or Kaplan University, as there are no residency restrictions for these colleges. Scholars who wish to attend ASU Online must live in Arizona.

For a list of the partner colleges and descriptions please click here: Partner College List and Descriptions


This scholarship is available to high school seniors or high school graduates with demonstrated financial need who are first time college students and seek to earn a career-ready associate’s or bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges. Students who are currently enrolled in college are not eligible. Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants. To be eligible to apply, you must:

· Either graduate from high school or earn your GED diploma by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year or have already graduated or earned your GED diploma;

· Have earned a high school un-weighted GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or an equivalent GED score);

· Not have enrolled in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program or have earned college credits (excluding credits earned while in a high school pre-college, dual enrollment program, advanced placement testing, or through the College Level Examination Program CLEP);

· Intend to enroll full-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at one of TheDream.US Partner Colleges within one year of receiving the Scholarship;

· Be eligible for in-state tuition if seeking to attend a Partner College that is a public institution;

· Have come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

· Be DACA or TPS eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval; and

· Demonstrate significant unmet financial need.

WCPS ELL Deparment

The English Language Learner program offers eligible students academic language support to achieve Maryland College and Career-Readiness standards and develop high levels of academic language proficiency in English using WIDA standards. The intent of this newsletter is provide information and instructional strategies to all WCPS staff.