2011-2012 Inquiry Project

Finding Your Voice:

Supporting ELL’s with Communication

Mario Palma Class B2-218/2011-2012

Rationale: Over the past five years I have been afforded the unique opportunity to teach second grade English Language Learners (ELL) in New York City. Through my work I have noticed my students consistently struggling with how they communicate their ideas, thoughts and perspectives about issues they face every day as ELLs. These issues include but are not limited to poverty, immigration, language, healthcare, housing, drugs, education and racism. This seemed like a natural choice to focus on in my classroom because of the Common Core Standards’ emphasis on evidence based claims.

          Students are expected to be able to state their idea and support it with evidence. I rationalized the idea of creating opportunities in the classroom through the use of technology with the notion that we could tackle ELL issues while concurrently mastering the use of blogging and videos. Students would be able to find their voices through the use of blogging and videos. In efforts to expose students to as many modes of technology as possible as per the 21st century skills Common Core Standards, students would be able to develop the necessary skills to take in information, reflect on it, ask questions to clarify, respond appropriately (on task) and build on this to continue the conversation with peers and family. My students already came to school with strong feelings about issues that affected their lives. They would then expand their conversations on content in class and on issues they face as ELLs in New York City with other classrooms. 

        We chose to use the student friendly website Kidblog.org. Students would be able to utilize blogging as a medium to read about and respond to topics related to the struggles and accomplishments of English Language Learners in New York City. 

Vision: Students will be able to be critical thinkers and express themselves effectively orally and written through the use of technology.

Smart Goal: 90% of target group will improve their oral and written communication abilities in English through the use of technology Kidblog and Videos by the end of 2011-2012 school year.

Smart goal (attitudes)

Students will develop an appreciation, respect and understanding of computer technology and how it can enhance their ability to communicate effectively.

Smart goal (personal)

Teacher will demonstrate increased comfort navigating and infusing technology modalities into lessons and assessments.

Students will be able to:

Establish support with fellow immigrant students through videos (PSA)

Have access to internet ready laptops via computer lab and cart

Handle computer hardware

Navigate websites independently

Communicate their thoughts through writing

Acquire sufficient typing skills (project starts after level of mastery has been demonstrated by 90% of target group)

Respond critically to their blog posts through an ongoing/developing conversation

Use accountable talk during their Kidblog sessions

Establish social and cross cultural understanding and empathy

Measures:

Teacher observation notes

Observable Technology/Writing Behaviors Checklist

Students’ Kidblog correspondence

Blog, Affective, Mechanics Rubrics

End of Year Student Technology Reflections

Survival Guide for ELL’s Video

Affective Rubric

cognition

          4

          3

          2

           1

self awareness and understanding

Demonstrates a well developed sense of self and affective maturity when exposed to ELL related themes.

Demonstrates a developed sense of self and affective maturity when exposed to ELL related themes.

Demonstrates a semi developed sense of self and affective maturity when exposed to ELL related themes.

Demonstrates a rudimentary sense of self and affective immaturity when exposed to ELL related themes.

Cultural

Understanding of ELL’s

Challenges and struggles

Demonstrates a proficient understanding of the challenges and coping mechanisms related to ELL’s

Demonstrates a developing understanding of the challenges and coping mechanisms related to ELL’s

Demonstrates a basic understanding of the challenges and coping mechanisms related to ELL’s

Misunderstands challenges and coping mechanisms related to ELL’s

Blog Rubric

 

              4

              3

           2

          1

 

Content

reception

I answered all blog questions. I used a lot of vocabulary. I included my opinion. I blogged many times a week.

I answered most questions. I used some vocabulary. I blogged once a week.

I answered some questions. I didn’t use vocabulary. I didn’t include my opinion.

I only blogged a few times. Few of my blogs make sense.

 

 

 

mechanics

I used capitals and punctuation all the time. I re-read my blog to make sure it made sense and edited each time.

I used some capitals and punctuation. I re-read sometimes to make sure it made sense. I edited a few times.

I used a few capitals or punctuation. Few of my sentences make sense.

I need help cleaning up my writing.

 


collaboration


I read a peer’s blog every computer class. I either commented or questioned a peer about their blog each time.

I read some peer’s work every other class. I made some comments and questions some of the time.

I read few peer blogs. I made few comments or questions.

I never read another blog.



technology

I can turn the computer on, use browser, sign on, use shift key, use punctuation, type with fluency all of the time.

I can turn computer on, use browser, sign on, use shift key, use punctuation, type with fluency most of the time

I can turn computer on, use browser, sign on, use shift key, use punctuation, type with fluency some of the time

I can turn computer on, sign on, use shift key, use punctuation, type with fluency with assistance.

 

Mechanics rubric

 

4

3

2

1

Sentence

structure

 

S writes in

full

sentences

S writes in

full

sentences

most of the

time

S writes in

full

sentences

some of the

time

S writes commentary

that may be

legible

Capitalization

 

 

capitalization complete

Most capitalization complete

Some capitalization complete

capitalization

incomplete

 

Spelling

 

 

Can spell check independently and teach others how to as well

Can spell check independently

Can spell check with help

No evidence of spell checking ability

 

Punctuation

 

Punctuation is used throughout blogs correctly

Most punctuation is used correctly

Some punctuation is used correctly

Punctuation is inconsistent

 

Name: _________________     Date: ____________________

 

                        My Blogging Checklist

 

Directions: Read each sentence and color the picture that best describes how you feel about the statement.

 

           

1. I signed on every week and responded to the teachers’ prompt.

 

 

2. I wrote on looseleaf to practice my statement first.

 

 



  3. I reread my blog to check if it made sense and to add punctuation.

 

 

        

4. I read at least one peers’ blog every week.

 

 

5.   I used a question to ask a peer to clarify or expand on their blog.

 

 

 


6. I added onto a peer’s blog with a comment of my own.

 

 

7.   I blogged about immigration, ways to cope and how to persuade people’s opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: _________________________________        Date: _____________

 

Technology Student Questionnaire

 

1.    I can turn a computer on.                        Y                           N

 

2.    I can open up internet explorer.              Y                          N

 

3.    I can search and access websites.          Y                            N

 

4.    I can type on a keyboard.                        Y                           N

 

5.    I have a computer at home.                    Y                           N

 

6.    I can open up a word document.            Y                           N

 

7.    I can spell check a word document.       Y                           N

 

8.    Please describe everything you know about computers.

(Include all websites you know how to use.)

______________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments