Blog

Literacy Improvement Series: Phonics – Dictado

Welcome to part three of my Literacy Improvement Mini-Series, with examples from the English side of my kindergarten and first grade TWI classes (In our 50/50 model, I teach first grade in the morning while kindergarten is in Spanish, then we switch. Read more about the program in which I teach and who I am here.). If you'd like to see the previous posts in this series, check out the Oracy Development blog as well as the Vocabulary: When and How blog. This contribution: Phonics: Dictado Me: Read More...

Flexible Grouping, a Promising Practice

This blog post was written by my colleague Valerie Klessig-Palm, a Kindergarten teacher at Nuestro Mundo Community School. Even at the very beginning of their biliteracy trajectory, students in kindergarten display a range of academic and linguistic needs and abilities! At Nuestro Mundo Community School, we have found a way to meet students’ diverse needs while capitalizing on their strengths, and grow ourselves in the process. What is flexible grouping? Flexible grouping refers to the process of mixing all students from across Read More...

-Si sigo el escope los niños no aprenden a leer-

Bilingual teachers are united in our commitment to social justice, and our belief that education is a vehicle to achieve it.  Educational leaders can impact a teacher’s ability to act on this belief. I frequently observe the diverse perspectives and expertise of bilingual teachers. (Visit blog posts Olga Karwoski’s The Beginning of My Bilingualism, Susan Prior’s The Long Way Home… to Teaching for Biliteracy and Dana Hardt’s How I Fit In.) I see teachers with unique entry points to Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series~ Vocabulary: When and How

  Welcome back! Or just welcome! This is the second installment of my Literacy Improvement Blog Mini-series. (That sounds so official, like it will be airing on Netflix or something. I’m just hoping it is helpful.) Today’s topic: Vocabulary: When and How   Remember a few years ago when frontloading was the buzzword? We would talk about important vocabulary words before reading a book. Or we would have our EL teacher pull students before beginning a unit and have her work with the kids Read More...

Literacy Improvement Series: Oracy Development

LITERACY. It doesn’t mean just reading. Or writing. It also includes listening and speaking. Did I mention that it is an essential piece to ALL content areas? And human interaction in general? Plus it is what separates us from other life forms! The capacity for literacy is what makes humans unique, and – quite frankly – naturally brilliant.     So what about BILITERACY? Is it different? Is it even more special? Does it encompass more? It is. It does. And as Read More...

Tiers without tears (making intervention decisions within a biliteracy framework)

How can we use a systematic approach to select students for intervention?  How do we go about matching students with an intervention?  Using data to make decisions about a multi-tiered system of supports can be complicated, especially within a biliteracy framework.  Too often, we interpret data to mean that many of our language learners need to receive a literacy intervention in order to progress.  Or, we rely on data from just one language to guide us.   In this Read More...

The Shift

The Shift – How I Went from Teaching English to Teaching for Biliteracy   I have a tendency to be pretty passionate about most things I get into. As I began my teaching career, I developed into a teacher who loved teaching English and literacy to children, helping them gain independence and giving them tools to be successful citizens down the road. Maybe your story is similar? I remember counting seven different home languages other than English among the students in my first Read More...

Learning Labs: Teachers learning from teachers

Maestra Maya waited eagerly while her three colleagues began writing on post-it notes. We were about to debrief a classroom observation the group had just carried out in Maestra Maya’s room. Each participant reviewed their collection of notes and chose a few pieces of specific feedback to transfer over to a post it note for the conversation. Maestra Maya anxiously spoke up, “My mini-lesson went way overtime, I’m so embarrassed! And Carlos and Brian will not let go of that Read More...

How I Fit In

How I Fit In… Hola.  I feel like singing, “One of these things is not like the other!  One of these things just doesn’t belong….”  See, I am a non-bilingual (is that a word??) contributor to an organization focusing on and educating about bilingual education.  So, really, what do I have to offer? Well, I’m hoping a lot.    Full disclosure.  I’m not completely monolingual.  I have a couple of years of exposure to Spanish through my high school and college education, Read More...

El dictado interactivo

El dictado interactivo Una estrategia efectiva de la enseñanza de la lectoescritura en dos idiomas es el dictado.  Beeman y Urow describen el razonamiento, el propósito, y los pasos del dictado en las páginas 126-128 de Teaching for Biliteracy y también en este  artículo Aunque muchos maestros han visto los resultados positivos en la escritura de sus alumnos, siguen con la pregunta, “¿Cómo lo puedo adaptar para ser aún más efectivo para mis escritores emergentes?”  En esta publicación, describiré la práctica Read More...