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