Becoming One Community: Reading & Writing with English Language Learners

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2004 - Education - 216 pages
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More and more classrooms across the country are filled with children who speak languages other than English. In these diverse classrooms, many teachers struggle with how to create reading and writing instruction that is appropriate for their English language learners. In Becoming One Community, Kathleen Fay and Suzanne Whaley provide expert guidance on helping students who are just learning English develop their voice and skills within reading and writing workshops.JoAnn PortalupiWritten for the general classroom teacher whose class includes English language learners (ELLs), as well as for ELL teachers working in general classrooms, this book portrays ELL students in grades 36 who learn essential reading and writing skills and are full members of the classroom community. Throughout the book, Kathleen and Suzanne emphasize the importance of talk. By talking during science workshop, after read-aloud, or when sharing an idea with a partner, ELLs use language authentically and, in using it, become more adept speakers, readers and writers of English.
    Included are:
  • classroom scenes with dialogue in whole-class and small-group settings;
  • authentic one-on-one conferences with readers and writers at varying levels of English language proficiency;
  • reflection by the teachers before, during, and after teaching;
  • scenarios from inclusive classrooms and descriptions of teachers' decisions which enable them to be successful learning environments.
This is not a quick how-to guide. Becoming One Community provides many practical examples of diverse classrooms at work and embeds theory on English-language development throughout. It gives teachers a repertoire of ideas to meet the needs of ELL students in their classroom but ultimately trusts in the teacher's own skills to best know their students and appreciate their innate intelligence.

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About the author (2004)

Kathleen Fay has served as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, Title I resource teacher, and Literacy Collaborative Coach since beginning her teaching career in 1990. In her current role, as Literacy Collaborative District Trainer for Fairfax County Public Schools, Kathleen provides professional development to school based literacy coaches. The best part of her job is working alongside coaches and teachers in classrooms, engaging in authentic experiences with students.nbsp;nbsp;When Kathleen decided to become a teacher, her aunt, Pat Johnson, also a Stenhouse author, was her mentor. "During my first years of teaching, Pat and I would spend hours discussing how best to teach specific children and how to set up an engaging learning environment for reading and writing. Our relationship gradually changed from one of mentor/mentee to colleagues who think and learn together. Now this is the type of relationship I try to form with teachers and coaches."nbsp;Kathleen believes that meaning is at the heart of most powerful learning experiences and students naturally work to understand.nbsp; She collaborated with Chrisie Moritz and Suzanne Whaley to write Powerful Book Introductions: Leading with Meaning to Promote Thinking to help teachers analyze texts and plan lessons where meaning is at the forefront of learning opportunities.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Kathleen and Suzanne Whaley wrote their first book,nbsp;Becoming One Community: Reading and Writing with English Language Learnersnbsp;(Stenhouse 2004), to support teachers who work in diverse communities and value every student as a full member of the community.nbsp;nbsp;Kathleen lives in Annandale, Virginia with her husband, Dan, and their two children, Willie and Charlotte.nbsp;

Suzanne Whaley is a National Board certified teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia where she was a classroom teacher and literacy specialist for 22 years before working in central office. She currently leads the literacy professional development for reading specialists, principals, school teams, and teachers in her district. Suzanne has taught second through fifth grade and has been a reading specialist and Literacy Collaborative Coach in a vibrant Title I school. Suzanne believes in the power of being a student of the students, who are the richest source of data that any teacher has. Suzanne considers herself lucky to have spent her career surrounded by thoughtful and passionate professionals who have shaped her belief in developing a "thinking teacher" where the most powerful habits of mind are reflection and continuous growth.nbsp;Suzanne strives to keep meaning at the heart of learning experiences for teachers as well as students.nbsp; She collaborated with Kathleen Fay and Chrisie Moritz to writenbsp;Powerful Book Introductions: Leading with Meaning to Promote Thinkingnbsp;to help teachers analyze texts and plan lessons so that meaning making is at the forefront of students' learning opportunities with books.nbsp;nbsp;Suzanne co-authored her first book,nbsp;Becoming One Community: Reading and Writing with English Language Learnersnbsp;(Stenhouse 2004), with Kathleen Fay to support general education teachers who work in diverse communities and value every student as a full member of the community.nbsp;nbsp;Suzanne lives in Clifton, Virginia with her husband, Ben, and their daughter, Rachel.nbsp;nbsp;

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