Education World | Connecting educators to what works

Web Name: Education World | Connecting educators to what works






7 Fun Engaging STEM Activities for Kids With an estimated 75% of jobs over the next decade predicted to demand skills linked to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), it’s more important than ever for educators to inspire and engage a love for these often challenging subjects Read More Puerto RicoHand out this printable student work sheet with the uncorrected text for students to find errors of capitalization, punctuation, spelling, or grammar.Puerto Rico Student Handout View All Every-Day Edit activities Ideas for Using Every-Day Edit in the classroom. Uncorrected Text:Puerto Rico is a territory of the united states, which means that people who are born there are United States citizans.  Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean Sea and is made up of more than 143 islands.  Puerto Rico has mountains waterfalls and a tropical rainforest.  Both spanish and English are spoken in Puerto Rico.  Baseball is a very populer sport in Puerto Rico and Roberto Clemente is the most famis Puerto Rican baseball player. Answer Key:Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, which means that people who are born there are United States citizens.  Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean Sea and is made up of more than 143 islands.  Puerto Rico has mountains, waterfalls, and a tropical rainforest.  Both Spanish and English are spoken in Puerto Rico.  Baseball is a very popular sport in Puerto Rico and Roberto Clemente is the most famous Puerto Rican baseball player. Copyright © 2020 Education World Every-Day Edit: Puerto Rico 50 "Needs Improvement" Report Card CommentsHaving a tough time finding the right words to come up with "areas for improvement" comments on your students' report cards? Check out our helpful suggestions to find just the right one!The following statements will help you tailor your comments to specific children and highlight their areas for improvement.Related: 125 Report Card Comments for positive comments!Needs Improvement- all topics is a hard worker, but has difficulty staying on task.  has a difficult time staying on task and completing his/her work.  needs to be more respectful and courteous to his/her classmates.  needs to listen to directions fully so that he/she can learn to work more independently.  is not demonstrating responsibility and needs to be consistently reminded of how to perform daily classroom tasks.  works well alone, but needs to learn how to work better cooperatively with peers.  does not have a positive attitude about school and the work that needs to be completed.  struggles with completing his/her work in a timely manner.  gives up easily when something is difficult and needs extensive encouragement to attempt the task.  gets along with his/her classmates well, but is very disruptive during full group instruction.  has a difficult time using the materials in the classroom in a respectful and appropriate manner.  has a difficult time concentrating and gets distracted easily.  is having a difficult time with math.  Going over _____ at home would help considerably.  is having a very difficult time understanding math concepts for his/her grade level.  He/she would benefit from extra assistance.  could benefit from spending time reading with an adult every day.  is enthusiastic, but is not understanding ____.  Additional work on these topics would be incredibly helpful.  is having difficulty concentrating during math lessons and is not learning the material that is being taught because of that.   understands math concepts when using manipulatives, but is having a difficult time learning to ____ without them.  is a very enthusiastic reader.  He/she needs to continue to work on _____ to make him/her a better reader.  needs to practice reading at home every day to help make him/her a stronger reader.  needs to practice his/her sight words so that he/she knows them on sight and can spell them.  needs to work on his/her spelling.  Practicing at home would be very beneficial.  can read words fluently, but has a difficult time with comprehension.  Reading with ______ every day would be helpful.  could benefit from working on his/her handwriting.  Slowing down and taking more time would help with this. is having difficulty writing stories.  Encouraging him/her to tell stories at home would help with this. has a difficult time knowing when it is appropriate to share his/her thoughts.  We are working on learning when it is a good time to share and when it is a good time to listen. needs to work on his/her time management skills.  _______is able to complete his/her work, but spends too much time on other tasks and rarely completes his/her work. needs reminders about the daily classroom routine.  Talking through the classroom routine at home would be helpful. is having a difficult time remembering the difference between short and long vowel sounds.  Practicing these at home would be very helpful. is struggling with reading.  He/she does not seem to enjoy it and does not want to do it.  Choosing books that he/she like and reading them with him/her at home will help build a love of reading. frequently turns in incomplete homework or does not hand in any homework.  Encouraging _______to complete his/her homework would be very helpful. does not take pride in his/her work.  We are working to help him/her feel good about what he/she accomplishes. does not actively participate in small group activities.  Active participation would be beneficial.  has a difficult time remembering to go back and check his/her work.  Because of this, there are often spelling and grammar mistakes in his/her work. does not much effort into his/her writing.  As a result, his/her work is often messy and incomplete. is struggling to understand new concepts in science.  Paying closer attention to the class discussions and the readings that we are doing would be beneficial.  is reading significantly below grade level.  Intervention is required. does not write a clear beginning, middle and end when writing a story.  We are working to identify the parts of the stories that he/she is writing. is struggling to use new reading strategies to help him/her read higher level books. is wonderful at writing creative stories, but needs to work on writing nonfiction and using facts. has a difficult time understanding how to solve word problems. needs to slow down and go back and check his/her work to make sure that all answers are correct. is not completing math work that is on grade level.  Intervention is required. is struggling to understand place value.   is very enthusiastic about math, but struggles to understand basic concepts. has a difficult time remembering the value of different coins and how to count them.  Practicing this at home would be helpful. would benefit from practicing math facts at home. is very engaged during whole group math instruction, but struggles to work independently. is able to correctly answer word problems, but is unable to explain how he/she got the answer. is having a difficult time comparing numbers.    Related: 125 Report Card Comments for positive comments!Student Award Certificates!Recognize positive attitudes and achievements with personalized student award certificates!Copyright© 2020 Education World 50 Needs Improvement Report Card Comments Strategies for English Language LearnersWhat can teachers do to increase effective communication in classrooms when language barriers exist? Historically, professional development training for teachers with no background in working with English Language Learners (ELLs) has failed to shore up the ever-widening gaps in achievement that occur as classroom processes continue to elevate methods that are outdated and culturally unresponsive. Building structures so that language learners can thrive sounds intimidating; however, making positive strides is completely doable with intentional, targeted action.Increase Language ProductionRecently, I observed an ELL math class that was noticeably quiet. The teacher stood in front, providing direct instruction at the board. Once he was finished demonstrating the problem, students began filling out worksheets. Some of the students asked one another questions, but not many. One intrepid student circulated throughout the room, both asking for and offering help, but he was the only one who was doing much talking. Without strategies for discourse built into a lesson, language growth is limited.The most vital aspect of maximizing the success of ELLs is upping the use of language production in class. My content background is secondary English, but I work with all subjects on building structures for increasing verbal output not just for ELLs, but for all students. Strategies that serve specific populations also benefit everyone in the class. An accessible best practice involves the process of questioning. Typically, teachers ask the questions. Instead, flip the questioning process so that instead of doing a worksheet or teacher-created assessment, students are asked to develop open-ended questions about the lesson, both to share with one another and to give to the teacher. When students are responsible for creating higher-order questions, the rigor of course expectations elevates critical thinking processes as well as student-centered understanding of the learning. To ensure that this process of questioning happens, intentionally work the questions into lesson plans and have them ready to go before a lesson begins.Value the Power of Choice, Flexibility and ResponsivenessLast year, one of my ELL students came up to me after class. His attendance had been spotty at best, and he was sitting at about 25 absences only a couple of months into the school year. “I like this class,” he said, “but I’m working two jobs at night. My older brother is sick and needs medicine. I don’t want you to think I’m skipping because I don’t care.” It took such bravery for this student to share a piece of his story with me, and I told him that he would succeed, but not with the current system in place. Instead, we developed a plan that would allow him to do the work with check-ins, and arranged time for academic support on his schedule. He did just as much work as his classmates, and the benefit of meeting with me on his own increased his confidence as a student.When I was in school, I struggled to learn on the teacher’s terms. For that reason, my own teaching practice has largely been about increasing student ownership of the class through choice-driven methods. From a culturally responsive lens, being flexible is a cornerstone to creating understanding between teacher and student. ELLs come to classes with a broad range of challenges; some, like my student, work long hours outside of school. Some live in challenging conditions. Some are hungry, or cold, or tired. If students are financially and physically comfortable, they still struggle with processing endless unfamiliar words, phrases and expressions that come at them each day, which is exhausting. As a strategy, learn each student’s story, and be explicit about providing options for learning. Whenever work is assigned, make it clear that one way is not the only way. If teachers share their willingness to provide choice, students will appreciate that responsiveness and respond with achievement.Reach Out Every teacher hits walls, and I have worked with several who are continuously frustrated because their efforts to meet learning goals for language learners are unsuccessful. Even with experienced teachers, content area expertise is not going to do the trick; we need to reach out to experts. For instance, ESOL teachers are able to provide an array of strategies and supports to help ELLs. Furthermore, by simply opening lines of communication, teachers are better equipped to ask questions, however great or small, about day-to-day challenges of teaching a set curriculum to students who need more responsiveness.While we can implement strategies to help language learners, that is not the same as being certified in ESOL. If we do not take advantage of the human resources in the school, both we and our students stand to lose. Too often, particularly in secondary schools, we do not look to our colleagues in other areas of expertise for help. Instead, we work alone in frustration, creating lesson plans in bubbles and hoping they work. Instead, both teachers and school leaders should brainstorm collaborative structures that would allow teams to plan across contents and areas of specialty. Not only does effective team planning allow for a deeper level of professional development, but it also leads to increased student achievement.Teaching for student mastery in classes with ELLs is about implementing accessible but lasting strategies that let our students know we care about them and that they are part of our community. If everyone collaborates to do this work, we can make huge strides in making sure that our ELLs do more than just survive; rather, they thrive in classrooms that cherish their strengths and contributions to the school community.Written by Miriam Plotinsky, Education World Contributing WriterMiriam is a Learning and Achievement Specialist with Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, where she has worked for nearly 20 years as an English teacher, staff developer and department chair. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, and recently earned her certification in Education Administration and Supervision. She can be followed on Twitter: @MirPloMCPSCopyright© 2020 Education World         Strategies for English Language Learners

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