Evaluation for 5.3
Materials include supports for English Learners (EL) to meet grade-level learning expectations.
The materials include supports for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations through lesson features provided for all students, as well as scaffolds labeled specifically for ELs. Accommodations are commensurate with various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS (“Beginning,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High”), and vocabulary is developed in the context of connected discourse. Scaffolds such as pictures, realia, gestures, and cognates are included. Strategic use of students’ first language as a means to improve students’ development in English is also present.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Tabletop Minilessons: English Language Development” resource is suggested for daily use with ELs in small groups to connect to the module topic and/or a specific text. At the beginning of this resource, vocabulary strategies, including using cognates, are recommended to help children bridge their two languages. Setting up a cognate wall, comparing cognates, sorting cognates, and identifying false cognates are specific activities mentioned. The main lessons in this resource are designed to introduce, practice, and reinforce key academic language functions. Each lesson includes a vivid student-facing image to support background knowledge, word and phrase banks to expose students to important academic language, graphic organizers, and accommodations for four levels of English language proficiency. Cognates are identified through color-coding within the lessons when they appear.
Other resources to build language while supporting grade-level learning expectations include “Vocabulary Cards”, “Anchor Charts”, and “Picture Cards”, which are part of the “Teacher’s Guide” lesson design for all students, but are especially helpful for ELs. Vocabulary Cards are used weekly to introduce vocabulary from the literature. The front of each card displays the word and a photo that depicts the word. The back of the card includes various instructional strategies such as “Use a Prop”, “Act It Out”, and “Use the Image” to further support word meaning. Visual Anchor Charts for reading and writing instruction are used daily and support understanding of genre features, comprehension skills and strategies, and writing forms. Picture Cards are used daily with Phonological Awareness lessons, which include a variety of English Learner Support scaffolds to support word meaning.
In Module 3, Lesson 9, students learn about and identify words that name time and position. Several examples are listed, and students read and discuss them, such as “My cat sleeps on my bed. Bill had a soccer game yesterday.” The lesson includes a visual of two students sitting back to back in a chair; the teacher can refer to this during the lesson as students find and use words that name time and position. Students at the Beginning level use physical objects such as a block and calendar to demonstrate position words (next to, below, between) and concepts of time (today, tomorrow, this week). Students at the Intermediate level use provided sentence frames to create sentences about position and time (for example, “In the morning, I…. My backpack is….”) Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels respond to open-ended questions about position and time, such as “When do you read books? When do you eat breakfast? Where is your backpack?”
In Module 4, in the “Phonological Awareness Section,” students view picture cards of real objects and answer questions to reinforce word meaning. At the Beginning level, students answer yes/no questions, such as “Does a hawk fly? Can you push a cart?” Students at the Intermediate level use sentence frames to create sentences about the objects on the picture cards (for example, “A…is a bird. I can use a…to….”) Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels use clues to guess the objects on the picture cards.
Also in Module 4, students read and discuss the text Baseball Hour. Students at the Beginning level respond in a few words to the following prompt: “The author thinks good teamwork is important. What details support, or tell about, that idea?” Students at the Intermediate level use the following sentence frame to guide their discussion: “Team members must…because….” Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels discuss what the children in the book do that shows they are good team members, answering the following questions: “How does the author show that she thinks practicing as a team when you are learning to play baseball is important?”
In Module 6, Lesson 14, students apply their knowledge of the elements of poetry and how poets use “different techniques to make their poems interesting to read and nice to hear” to their independent reading poems. Students at the Beginning level identify describing words and repeat rhyming words after the teacher says them aloud. Students at the Intermediate level identify describing words and rhyming words. Students at the Advanced and Advanced High levels explain what describing words mean and think of additional words that fit the poem’s rhyming pattern.
In Module 10, students read the text Kids Are Inventors, Too! and respond to questions based on the text. At the Beginning level, students respond in short phrases or in their home language to tell the problem in the story. At the Intermediate level, students use the following sentence frames to tell about the problem and solution: “Chester’s problem is…. To solve the problem, Chester…. The new problem is….” At the Advanced level, students use the following sentence frames: “The first problem is…. Chester tries to solve the problem by…. The new problem is…. To solve that problem….” Students at the Advanced High level use the following sentence frames: “Chester’s first problem is…. To solve this problem,…. But…. He figures out….”
In the “Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide”, grammar lessons include regular suggestions to use English learners’ primary language as a resource to support understanding of the lesson topic. For example, in the lesson titled “Capitalizing Months, Days, and Holidays”, the “English Learner Support” note suggests having children share what they know about writing the names of months days, and holidays in their primary language and then compare and contrast how they are written in English. In another lesson, “Adjectives for Size and Shape”, the English Learner Support note suggests having first-language partners work on exercises together and tells the teacher to point out that in Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Haitian Creole, adjectives follow a noun, while in English they come before the noun.
In the “Guiding Principles and Strategies” resource, the “Assessment and Differentiation” section provides several teacher resources to assist in supporting ELs. A “Stages of Second Language Acquisition” chart gives details about the five stages that learners go through as they learn English (pre-production, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency, advanced fluency) to assist teachers in identifying where their students fall within these developmental stages so that instruction can be adjusted. Information is provided about research-supported strategies to build language, including building background knowledge, using visuals, explicitly teaching vocabulary, reading repeatedly, and using sentence frames. Best practices for ELs are also detailed, including, but not limited to, demonstrating respect for children’s first languages, acting out procedures and vocabulary, taking advantage of teachable moments to point out differences in words (such as homophones or multiple-meaning words) when they arise, and teaching children that their efforts to communicate are most important and that making mistakes is acceptable.
The Guiding Principles and Strategies resource also provides support in building cross-linguistic connections. Different ways of comparing and contrasting two languages are presented, including exploring similarities (such as the shared letter-sound correspondence of /d/ in both Spanish and English), contrasting differences (such as false cognates like exit/éxito), and non-correlated elements (such as the absence of articles like the in Vietnamese). It also includes the “Language Differences” resource, which gives specific examples to show how different languages compare to English in their alphabets, phonological features, and grammar. Articulation videos are also provided to support ELs in making English sounds correctly. Specific examples of the strategies outlined in Guiding Principles and Strategies are shown in specific lessons.