Training intended to develop better informed teachers


 a review or summarizing strategy that engages all students!  The teacher asks a question or presents a problem.  Students individually (or in pairs) record their responses on a sheet of paper.  Then they crumple the paper, and at the teacher's signal, toss the "snowball" to the opposite side of the room.  Each student retrieves a fallen snowball, opens it, and reads another student's response.  The teacher calls on a sample of students to share responses with the entire class.  (Be aware that the EL student may be reluctant to read out loud or may have difficulty reading the other student's handwriting--let him/her practice first before sharing with the group.)  If the teacher collects and reviews the responses after class, this strategy can also serve as a formative assessment for the class as a whole (i.e. Did they understand what I was asking?)


 Students form groups of four to five people, and each group member receives three chips (poker chips work great).  The groups are then given discussion points to talk about,  Every time a group member speaks, he/she must put a chip in the center of the table.  When a group member runs out of chips, he/she is no longer allowed to speak until all other group members have all of their chips in the middle.  If there is more to discuss, go in reverse--every time a group member speaks, he/she takes a chip from the center until all three chips have been re-collected.


 Showing your EL students the research-based strategy of coding text will save them time, energy, and frustration!  Teach them the process by modeling a think-aloud with a sample piece of text you’ve projected onto the board.  As you read through the text, pretend there’s a word you don’t know and show the students that you’re writing the unknown word on a sticky note and putting a “U” behind it—for unknown; then stick it in the text margin.  Start with a limited number of codes:  I for important, C for confusing, and PK for prior knowledge, for example. 

courtesy of the Academic Language Professional Development Program created by the North Central Comprehensive Center at McREL.

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