"The Words Came Down!": English Language Learners Read, Write, and Talk Across the Curriculum, K-2

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2006 - Education - 191 pages
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As teachers everywhere find more and more students with limited English in their classes, many are asking: "How can I include ELL students in every aspect of the day?"

Beginning with designing a classroom that welcomes students and creates appropriate conditions for learning, Emelie Parker and Tess Pardini go on to detail a workshop format for reading, writing and content-area studies.

The workshop structure allows teachers to differentiate instruction to include all students, and affords students ample opportunities to collaborate with others as they learn to speak, read, write, and comprehend while also engaging in active learning of the curriculum. The authors provide numerous examples of ways that teachers can become proficient in knowing each child and orchestrating instruction to meet individual needs.

Throughout "The Words Came Down!" oral language is emphasized in a continuum from teacher modeling and demonstration to situations in which student-to-student communication is essential. The authors show that when children's attempts at communicating are accepted and celebrated, they will learn to communicate with each other comfortably and spontaneously whether on the playground or working on a science experiment.

In addition, this helpful guide offers a variety of approaches to assessment, and demonstrates the importance of engaging families as partners in learning English and content.

 

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About the author (2006)

Teaching came naturally to Emelie. "After having three daughters and foster children, having a child care center in my home, amd being a Brownie leader, teaching Sunday School, and volunteering in classrooms, I found I was naturally teaching all the time and loved it! I went back to school to finish my degree and to learn how to teach. I'm still learning how to teach and still love it."

Emelie received her master's degree from the University of North Florida in early childhood education. She's been a teacher for kindergarten through grade six, and a writing and math resource teacher. She consults and speaks at county, state, and national conferences, as well as at individual elementary schools and at university classes and conferences.She was a literacy coach for Fairfax County Schools (VA) for many years; she now volunteers with Community Coalition for Haiti Education.

In professional development settings, she likes to lead teachers to examine their own present practices and take away a few new techniques or strategies to help their students progress. She builds her sessions on Cambourne's Conditions for Learning, Vygtosky's Zone of Proximal Development, and Gallagher and Pearson's Gradual Release of Responsibility.

"We share our own stories and discuss videos and pictures of the new learning in actual classrooms. Then we have time to explore our next steps together."

Emelie has over 20 years of experience working with English language learners. She is a grandmother to seven grandchildren.

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