Category Archives: Coach’s Corner

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...

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...

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...

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...

Bilingual teachers as warriors of the human spirit

Last week, our superintendent introduced me to Margaret Wheatley, who describes what it means to be a warrior of the human spirit: “A Warrior is simply a decent human being who aspires to be of service in an indecent, inhumane time. We want to be of service without adding to the confusion, aggression and fear now so prevalent, so we train ourselves well and form as a strong, supportive community.”  Regardless of our political stances, we bilingual teachers recognize Read More...

Language & Literacy in Math

Language and literacy need not live in isolation.  Last year, teachers at my school worked on building academic conversations among our students.  We were excited to learn about how math presented many opportunities to do just that, and in the target language!  In this post, I will share some strategies for encouraging the target language in math through discussion and collaboration. Throughout, I’ll share how explicit attention to language and language supports set students up for success. 1) Create Read More...

-¡Español, por favor!-

Do you find yourself saying the phrase -¡Español, por favor!- more often than you'd like?  Fall is a perfect time to set expectations for students to honor the language of instruction. In order to teach for biliteracy, teachers need to set parameters around language use. We encourage English output in English time and Spanish output in Spanish time.  Without guidelines, students will not necessarily strive to use the target language to the extent possible because they may use their Read More...

Feliz verano

I won't be writing this summer - check back at the start of the school year for more from coach's corner! Read More...

Using a multilingual perspective to design small group and individualized instruction

Teaching for Biliteracy encourages teachers to take on a multilingual perspective when working with bilingual students. We seek to understand all a student knows, in all domains and in all languages. We honor approximations. We capitalize on resources. We use these as strengths upon which we can build transfer.  This blog entry is an overview of how we can apply a multilingual perspective to designing small group and individualized instruction.  I will use a fourth grade student Valeria (who Read More...