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Volume 3 Number 4

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us, "Leaders lead and they lead by caring enough about the success of their teachers that they will roll up their sleeves and model instructional leadership."...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Visual Impairments by Dave Melanson
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Reflecting Upon Read Across America
Earth Day Compilation
The World in Lights
Take a Seat at the Bottom of the Class
Starting Children on Science
Tips for teachers being bullied!
Mr. Choose-A-Chart
Teaching Perseverance Through Adversity-A History Lesson
It's An Early Spring!
Memo to Staff: Our Computer System Crashed-We Have No 'Backups'-You're Not Getting Paid for a Month!
Keep Your Online Community Alive!
Curricular Science the 'Curry' way!
Geography Awareness
Principal of the Year Ray Mellberg
eBook Technology
Respect Means...
Creative Uses for Digital Cameras in the Classroom
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 4)
Young Lawyers Ementoring Magnet Students
The Welcome Mat of a High School On-Line Community
Plato Lives...
The Asphalt Classroom
26 Teaching Tips for the Dog Days
Using Storytelling in the Classroom
Recapturing the Courage to Teach
To Leave No Child Behind
If you say you CAN'T, it means you WON'T
Something Nice a Student Did Yesterday...
When Your Child Comes Home Messy
Praise vs. Encouragement
People Don't Play...
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Song of a Second April
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Culprit Management
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    "Why Do We Have Night" from the Lesson Bank
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    The School Web Page: A Vehicle for Innovation
    Eighth Emerson Prizes Awarded in Boston
    Student Nanoexperiments Will Help Future Astronauts on Mars
    The 11th Annual National Institute for Early Childhood Professional
    International Conference on Computers in Education
    SESSIONS ANNOUNCED: Congress in the Classroom 2002
    Teacher Network United States Mint
    DEADLINE: Civic Education Grants
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    Ask the Literacy Teacher
    by Leigh Hall
    English Language Learners

    Please submit your questions to:

    Dear Literacy Teacher,

    I am a bilingual teacher who needs desperately to help my monolingual colleagues who are having a hard time working with bilingual children. These children come to their classroom to begin the transition into monolingual classrooms. They will be either in these classrooms for part of the day or the whole day. Modifying instruction becomes crucial, but please give me ideas to bring back to my colleagues.
    Thank you.

    Some quick tips that can be easily applied with English Language Learners:

    1. Assign them a classroom buddy. A good candidate would be a student who is fluent in both English and the child’s native language. This way, the student in transition will have someone to rely on if they find they don’t understand what’s going on around them. The buddy can also act as a translator for the teacher if needed.
    2. Communicate with the child’s bilingual teacher(s). This is true even if the child is in an English only class all day every day. Communicating with the child’s former/present bilingual teachers will provide the English-only teacher with a more accurate view of this student’s abilities and will also help to set realistic expectations. It can also be a great way for a teacher to learn about their new student’s family.
    3. Set specific and realistic goals. English-only teachers are most likely familiar with IEPs. Why not try something similar with a student who is learning English? The teacher should assess the student’s abilities in reading, writing, math, etc… and then design a plan of action based on this assessment. Then make your modifications based on this plan. Adjust as needed.
    4. Communicate with the child’s family. Try to do this as soon as possible. Make sure that the family is aware of the new situation and what the teacher’s role will be. Make all expectations clear. If the family does not speak English the teacher should seek out a translator to help them make this connection (such as the former bilingual teacher or another adult in the building who is fluent in the family’s native language).

    In addition to the book suggestions for this month, take a look at the ones I made for the month of March. They will also be helpful.

    Book Suggestions:

    Bilingual Education: History, Politics, Theory, and Practice; By James: Crawford

    Authentic Assessment for English Language Learners; By O’Malley et. al

    Beyond Culture; By Edward Hall

    Myths and Realities: Best Practices for Language Minority Students; By Katharine Davies Samway & Denise McKeon

    Past Gazette Articles by Leigh Hall

    About Leigh Hall...
    Leigh Hall is a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the Department of Teacher Education where she specializes in Literacy. Before coming to Michigan, Leigh was a middle school language arts and social studies teacher in Houston, Texas. It was this experience that introduced her to working with students who had a variety of abilities and needs in the areas of reading and writing. Leigh has experience in working with children who have learning disabilities and who perform below grade level. She is also certified to work with students who do not speak English as their native language.

    Upon completing her degree from Michigan State, Leigh hopes to start a career as an Assistant Professor and to do research that addresses students who struggle with reading. She hopes that what she learns both now and in the future can be passed on to teachers in a way that is useful to both them and their students.

    Questions for this column that pertain to the teaching of reading and writing are welcomed. Questions in this area that deal with students performing below grade level, are not native speakers of English or who have learning disabilities are strongly encouraged. In addition, teachers from all subject areas and grade levels should feel free to submit their questions. This column is meant to help us all think about how we use reading and writing in our classrooms and is not meant to be exclusive to elementary teachers or to reading and language arts teachers.

    Please submit your questions to: