Teachers need to learn what our students know and understand, but assessment can be difficult if language is a barrier for English learners. EL specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers tips to recognize unconscious bias, support learning with formative assessment, and more.
Author: Valentina Gonzalez
Middle graders, especially ELs and newcomers eager to blend in, may not want to involve families at school. Yet partnering with families leads to greater achievement, lower absenteeism, and better behavior. EL expert Valentina Gonzalez shares her favorite strategies.
It’s important to recognize how the skills we use to learn different subjects are related, says Valentina Gonzalez. Show your students who are good in math how to leverage their success and apply it to reading. And vice versa. It’s all about carrying over our strengths!
End of year is an optimal time for educators to step out of our comfort zones and try innovative techniques with our students. Don’t fall into “countdown mode.” Think of this time as a gift, without the pressure of state testing. Give Valentina Gonzalez’s strategies a try!
Simply making content available to students is not enough. We have to make it accessible to each and every one, including English learners. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers ways to identify obstacles to accessibility and create paths to learning in every subject.
Wanting to fit in is not a new phenomena in the middle grades, writes Valentina Gonzalez. Most adolescents experience the urge to be more like their peers. The sooner kids realize how valuable their identity is – how it’s their special power – the better off they will be.
English learners and their classmates can both benefit from efficient and effective instructional opportunities. Valentina Gonzalez points out three practices to leave behind, allowing time to incorporate three others that will advance language and academic performance.
For English learners, academic language is much more challenging to master than social language. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez says EL students need “massive opportunities” on a daily basis to practice using content-specific words and phrases. She shares 10 techniques.
Whether a student is an English learners or native English speaker, the strategies EL specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers will provide support for middle graders who are struggling to read text on grade level. Insight: Often we must help unlock the new language.
Short animated videos are excellent for supporting literacy skills while making learning fun. For English learners they can serve as a scaffold when studying story elements. Valentina Gonzalez shares a multi-day video plan and lots of films, including some award winners.