Professional Learning Pathway fall sessions are open for enrollment!

Beginning English speakers in the time of distance learning.....

On Saturday morning, a group of us from the Membership Portal met via Zoom.  I was so excited to see people!  The group of us, from various parts of the country, first just took some time to check in and see how everyone is doing after the first week of distance teaching for most of us.  Three themes arose from that conversation. 

1.  We are all still trying to track down all of our students and figure out what distance learning means for students without internet and with a very different kind of ESL support.

2.  We are all valuing relationships and communication with students, families, and each other over everything else.

3.  We are proud of our schools and how quickly everyone came together to make the most of a very difficult situation.  Forced innovation is HARD and our schools are rising to the occasion.

With that being said, we then shared ideas for how we are trying to engage our beginning English learners in this process.  While...

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Wandering into the unknown of a school without walls.....

Years ago (1993-2001), I taught in an innovative school that was K-3 and multi-age with 80% of the students in the ESL program and 100% within the school system's designation of poverty level.  I loved my school and I especially loved my teaching team (many of whom are still my friends today).  Our principal encouraged us to think outside the box.  We had so much freedom and the students thrived.  One of the creative solutions from that school was the creation of a teacher position called the "Teacher Without Walls".  See, we had funding for more teachers, but no space to create more classrooms.  The Teachers Without Walls joined forces with the large ESL team and we traveled from classroom to classroom, pushing in, setting up small group rotations, coordinating efforts. 

Our current times reminded me of this experience.  We always said, there's opportunity in chaos.  We are all now teachers without walls.  So, how do we make the...

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Improving MATH comprehension with anchor charts

Have you ever used anchor charts in your your math lessons? 

Visuals are a fabulous strategy to help English learners access content instruction.  You can quickly tweak your anchor chart to allow for language development during your math lesson.

Anchors charts used in a math lesson are a phenomenal way to help your English Learners:

  • know exactly what you are saying
  • what the vocabulary looks like (helping their reading and writing skills develop)
  • how they are expected to use the new vocabulary in the lesson and conversation

Beyond the benefit math anchor charts provide to your English learners, this trick will benefit all students to more fully engage in your math lesson and be a part of the group – knowing what to say and do.


When you are planning your language enhanced math anchor charts consider the following:

What vocabulary will students need to be successful?

  • When listening to you as the teacher?
  • When engaging in conversation with each...
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