Talk of grade retention revs up each spring. But it’s seldom a good answer for English learners. EL expert Valentina Gonzalez shares research that debunks the idea that retention helps ELs and suggests ways to boost their academic progress all year long.
Category: The Unstoppable EL Teacher
Valentina Gonzalez’s blog
To help our English learners leave our classes and schools not only with greater language command but with more emotional control and awareness of others’ perspectives, Tan Huynh suggests storifying SEL, building social-emotional skills into lesson planning, and more.
Cultural constructs and limited school resources can impact our ability to discover gifted and talented English learners. Despite these barriers, determined teachers can help close the EL representation gap in gifted programs. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez offers her ideas.
Wondering how to differentiate the format of the standard paper-and-pencil summative assessment to meet the needs of English learners? Tan Huynh shows how word banks, visuals, single-task questions, sentence starters, and synonyms can help ELs convey what they know.
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.
ELs are capable of doing the same kind of thinking that non-ELs can do. They might just have to temporarily show their understanding differently than their peers do. EL teacher Tan Huyhn shows how teachers can focus on the ELs’ thinking and differentiate everything else.
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.
Instead of peppering English learners around a large network of schools, districts can benefit those students and their EL support teachers by strategically clustering them, writes Tan Huynh. Included: Ideas to help achieve buy-in from content teachers.
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!