Developed for the Culminating Assessment for the Teaching ELLs AQ; created by Christina Kompson and Nicole Kipfer. 2017. Jeju, Korea. The purpose of this workshop is to isolate ELL student need in the classroom through a collaborative inquiry approach, facilitated by PD staff and conducted iteratively throughout the year. Please contact Christina Kompson (email@example.com) for more information about adapting or facilitating the workshop.
Professional Development Workshop template: ELL Collaborative Inquiry
ELL- Collaborative Inquiry Template.pdf (384.035 KB)
Integrated Grade 10 History Assessments
CHC2D Strand D: This strand looks at Canada between 1945 and 1982. The lesson plan attached is the introduction lesson to the unit, which uses images and video to explore the concepts that will be explored. The assessment for the unit is described as follows: Groups will present their analysis of a newsclip from the CBC online archive. Students must present a clip relevant to any of the topics covered in the unit, identify what the greater context of the newsclip is, and how it relates to the central question of the unit, and assess its value as a historical source.
How you would plan and differentiate assessment for students on STEP 1 and STEP 2 of the ELD program based on specific curriculum expectations that allows for curricular integration.
Given the visual nature of this introduction lesson, I think I can easily integrate the creation of word walls for the ideas and vocabulary introduced. Furthermore, I can ensure the student is paired with a language partner and is given a scaffolded graphic organizer that guides them through the unit (using L1 translations, visuals, and simple sentences). This unit can be easily integrated into business, math, media studies, and art, and after determining if students in my class are taking these courses, I can work on co-creating the assessment to integrate the curriculum assessments.
What would you like to assess?
The three big ideas in this History strand are: 1) Canadian society experienced major changed during this period, as a result of a variety of national and international social, cultural, and political factors; 2) Although this period was marked by conflict and tensions, both nationally and internationally, Canada also participated in cooperative ways in the international community; 3) This was a time of major transformation in Canadian identity. My assessment would provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of these ideas. I can also use the ELD curriculum to incorporate accommodations for the ELD students in STEP 1 and 2. Besides language accommodations, the content of this unit is reflected in the Socio-cultural Competence and Media Literacy Strand, so there are plenty of opportunities to adjust their assessments to reflect these expectations and the CHC2D expectations.
How would you assess these students based on a technology tool and/or through dual language strategies.
The assessment product can use technology and dual language strategies effectively. The presentation can be done electronically (for example, they can use a voice-over program, which will allow ELLs to write a script and speak slowly from that, taking away presentation pressures). Students can answer the assessment questions in the L1 and present it as an informational brochure for newcomers to Canada. If the assessment becomes integrated with other courses, there are a number of ways to use both technology and dual language strategies that can address the different course expectations. It will be crucial for us to sit down and discuss these aspects of the assessment prior to the start of the unit, so all teachers can incorporate sufficient scaffolds for our ELD students.
History_LP.docx (4.867 MB)
BIG IDEA: Reflection journals as a school-wide data collection mechanism
Description: Students are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of using reflection journals to track their own progress. As a new school-wide initiative, I would like to systematize this so we can use the extremely valuable information students are providing to improve the school culture and achievements. This gives the chance for all students' voices to be heard, and not just those who have the confidence to speak up. Teachers in every class, at every grade level, will incorporate these journals as part of their course expectations (they can be very brief, and at least take place once every two weeks. I don't think that will be much of an inconvenience for teachers). There will be a Collaborative Inquiry PD session every two months in which grade-level teachers come together and analyze the journals after they have been made anonymous (for student protection): how are students responding to content, activities, language needs? how are they progressing socially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? are there persistent problems them describe that can be addressed with instructional strategies? Questions like this help teachers analyze the data in relation to their teaching to better promote change and in relation to student perception of school life to better understand specific areas of improvement. ELLs are encouraged to write a full reflection in the L1 and the school can have them translated prior to the PD session. They are also encouraged to use visuals or any other tool that will help them convey their thoughts. If their oral skills are more proficient than written, they are welcome to audio record their reflections as those can be transcribed for anonymity. After these sessions, the data can be presented in parent/community brainstorming sessions in which the whole school community hears the students' remarks and provides viable solutions and suggestions for improving school culture. This big idea ensures a systematic feedback loop between teachers and students. It also emphasizes the importance of student feedback as a form of agency. Subject teachers can begin to see trends throughout the subjects and grades about writing proficiency, content concerns, and social/environmental factors that are effecting student learning. With multiple uses for these brief and informal student reflection journals, this big idea has the potential to make big change
ENG2P - Grade 10 English Applied, Reading and Literature Strand
Class Task: Graphic Novel Literature Circles. Students will preview 4 graphic novels and choose 3 graphic novels to read during the unit. They will use a Literature Circle guide to record their thoughts and participate in discussion with peers reading the same book each week (ELLs will have added visual scaffolds to support the connection between reading, writing, and thinking about the texts). Each week, the student will take on a different role in the discussion and provide a simple check-box peer-review for group participation for the oral component of the task.
The learning goals (generated from the ESLBO Reading strand) and success criteria (generated from the ENG2D Reading and Literature strand) will provide accommodations for the learning goals of ELL students. As most ELL students are not given course modifications but are held to the same curriculum expectations as non-ELL students, creating accommodation in the learning goals allows ELLs to work towards specifically targeted goals that can be evaluated under the same curricular expectations as non-ELLs.
Knowledge and Understanding
Student voice is the inherent agency students have in their learning. For education professionals, it connotes students' ability and desire to contribute authentically to school improvement and issues that matter to their learning (Student Voice, 2013). "Student voice is not something that we grant to students, but rather something we tap into. By broadening the definition of how children can and do express voice, educators are taking diverse approaches to 'hearing' student voice" (Student Voice, 2013, p. 2). This notion of inherent student agency and ability is at odds with our traditional, industrialized/standardized understandings of education which became commonplace in the 19th century. For the past century, since Dewey published his educational philosophies in the West, more and more educators are understanding students are capable of deeper learning than previously thought possible. Understanding and incorporating student voice is not only transformative to the classroom environment, curriculum, expectations, and learning experiences, but it also transforms the inherent conditioning of passive learning students experience in traditional education.
In a traditional education setting, ELLs are positioned as deficient receivers of learning in that they do not have the language skills necessary to 'keep up' with mainstream course work. Students are incredibly perceptive and observant, and even if this idea is not expressed explicitly they will understand it in the body language, social structures, and educational programming around them. Incorporating student voice allows students to actively participate in and change their educational environment so it suits their needs, and incorporating ELL student voice ensures they are treated equitably and shown they are valued in the community. It gives students a chance to express their own needs. Teachers use observational data to develop a professional judgment about student needs, but combining that with what the student perceives their needs to be will make interventions more targeted and effective. For example, a teacher might observe an ELL struggling with oral communication in small group settings. They might make the professional judgment that the student lacks adequate BICS to communicate confidently with their peers. By incorporating authentic, and perhaps anonymous, channels for student feedback on their learning environments the teacher may learn the ELL feels isolated from social groups and doesn't know how to navigate social norms. Now, the teacher can provide learning activities that target these skills so the student can develop them in a safe learning environment and in conjunction with their language and academic development.
The example above is a local, perhaps isolated issue of student voice. At the other end of the scale, programs like 'Speak Up' allow students to systematically participate in the creation of their education. Student representatives have taken their peers' ideas from across the province and created "student voice indicators" that help school boards and teachers align their instruction with student need. Unlike the needs identified as teachers, these indicators come from students' perspectives. The difference is important for teachers to recognize because often we feel we are meeting their needs but we are not the ones experience school as a student, and our own schooling experiences are different from theirs. Overall, teachers who acknowledge and promote student voice alter the established educational power dynamics and authentically promote student ownership over their learning.
Math is one of my weakest subjects (only after having a terrible teacher in grade 9 who made me resent it). From speaking with colleagues who speak math, I've come to understand that making word problems and abstract concepts accessible to ELLs is often challenging. Using manipulatives and demonstrations is a way to make concepts less about the language and more about the concepts themselves.
I used arithmetic in a card game with my Grade 7 History/Geography class. I used the game 'War' to structure a simulation of the French and English invasion of Canadian Aboriginal lands in the 1600s. I have attached the lesson plan and guided handout. The goal was to use arithmetic to calculate how many resources were won during each "war" between the two groups of people as French/English moved along the St. Lawrence river and into Southern Ontario.
FurTradeWarGame copy.docx (663.899 KB)
Assessment is when teachers gather data about students’ progress toward meeting course curriculum expectations, use it to inform teaching instruction and strategies with the intent of improving student learning, and evaluate evidence of student achievement based on those expectations (Growing Success). Assessments are formative (Growing Success uses the terms assessment for learning and assessment as learning to further distinguish types of formative tools) and summative (assessment of learning).
Assessments are embedded within classroom instruction so that learning tasks directly relate to observable data that teachers can use to evaluate students’ progress at any given time in the course. A variety of the types of assessments should be used, giving students multiple ways to provide evidence for their learning. This is especially important for ELLs, who may be negatively assessed based on inauthentic reading or writing evaluations. The learning goals and success criteria for all assessments (both formative and summative) should also be co-created, or at least shared and explained, with students prior to beginning the learning tasks and instruction. Students are then aware of the important aspects of the tasks, can direct their attention for meaningful engagement, and can ask questions in the context of assessment, all of which will help address misconceptions or misunderstandings before their learning is evaluated.
Frequent and authentic formative tasks are essential for supporting ELLs because these help teachers gather reliable and extensive data about student learning and which can be used to move these students along the language continuum and push their ZPD. Lesson planning with assessment in mind ensures that ELLs are explicitly taught the tools they need to succeed in evaluations. Heavily weighted or complex summative assessments can cause stress, anxiety and disengagement if ELLs do not feel they have the proper knowledge and skills required for a high mark. Teachers have the power to use formative and summative assessments to empower all students, especially ELLs.
According to Drake and Burns (2004), teachers most often design integrated curriculum from three different starting points: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary. Multidisciplinary education begins with connecting curricular standards from many different disciplines to a unifying or underlying theme. Interdisciplinary education “chunks tougher the common learning embedded in the disciplines to emphasize interdisciplinary skills and concepts” like communication or literacy (Drake & Burns, 2004, p.5). Transdisciplinary education focuses on student questions and integrated life-skills as a way to frame and interpret the curriculum. Students and teachers use real-life problems, local contexts, and inquiry to develop the course curriculum (Drake & Burns, 2004, p.5). All three of these approaches offer time, space, and instructional strategies to ensure that ELLs are fully supported in their language development. Integrated curriculum allows teachers to focus on concepts that students can connect to their prior learning, past experience, their L1, and critical thinking skills. When given appropriate language scaffolds, ELLs will be able to connect English vocabulary to authentic experiences and curricular content. It strengthens their ability for communication because there are more points of access to the conversation. It also is accessible to the wider community because it may not be as content-heavy as traditional teaching, making it easier for parents and others to be involved in the students’ continued learning. The Aboriginal Perspectives Toolkit was designed for accessibility to the curriculum. As an integrated framework, it addresses the issues ignored by mainstream Canada for centuries falls in all areas of education. The Toolkit highlights areas of history, civics, science, environmental studies, family studies, and language where Aboriginal perspectives directly connect to themes and skills outlined in curricula.
I taught an interdisciplinary Grade 7 History/Geography course during my practicum placement. To begin the unit on New France, I use art, creation stories, and traditional textbook information to create a multidisciplinary lesson. The lesson question was “How do creation stories shape our understanding of the land/resources we use?” and the learning goals were to determine important symbols to the First Nations and European peoples and to explain the different perspectives of humanity’s relationship with nature. Because we used the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program curriculum, I was able to meet the expectations through my lesson question and objectives.
During the Minds On, students made observations of two visual representations of creation stories, based on The Garden of Earthly Delight by Hieronymous Bosch and Anishinaabe-Ojibwe art of Kitche Manitou. Our prompts were: What people, animals, and plants do you see? What do you notice about the colors and composition? How are they similar and different? After the students generated ideas, we formed a circle and read the creation stories. There were two ELL students in the class, and to accommodate them I provided students with the option to pass. One ELL student did and one did not. Reflecting now, I could have chosen a better way to scaffold this part of the lesson for them, but based on their reading and oral proficiency levels the text was within their ZPD had I adjusted some of the vocabulary.
I then passed around two bottles – one filled with dirt and a metal objects and another halfway filled with dirt and only a few metal objects. I asked what they heard and why they heard the metal in one more loudly than the other. I used this as an analogy for voice and representation: the few who shout loudly will be heard over the many who speak softly. We then used the textbook to take notes on the First Nations and European people, relationship with nature, and valued material objects.
As a consolidation I asked them the question: “What does it mean to walk in another person’s shoes?” Many conflicts arose from how FNMI and European peoples' differing notions of stewardship and dominion, which determined their perspectives on nature. In order to build empathy and understanding, the students worked collaboratively in small groups to determine the most important symbols to each group of people and draw them on large cutouts of shoes. I asked them to pay special attention to how the symbols reflect the values they place on nature. The groups then shared their symbol choices to the class.
Grade 9 Applied English Media Studies Strand - Introductory Lesson
Curriculum expectations for each task found on pages 66-69 of the Grades 9 and 10 English Curriculum, 2007
Minds On Task:
1. Understanding Media Texts: Audience Responses: 1.4. identify how different audiences might respond to selected media texts
Students are given access to a collection of advertisements, including print, video, audio, and textual media types that have been compiled by the teacher. In pairs, they will pick one advertisement and identify three possible responses the target audience might have. The advertisements will be organized by audience type, offering students at least ten different audience types to chose from (ideas include children, parents of children, teenagers, adults, seniors, families with high incomes, families with low incomes, adventurous people, organized people, messy people, etc.). Each pair will choose a different advertisement. After observing and discussing the advertisement, the pair will describe an emotional response (how the advertisement makes them feel), a cognitive response (what the advertisement makes them think about), and a consumer response (extent to which they want or need something after seeing the advertisement) that the target audience might experience. Each pair will share their chosen advertisement and audience responses with the class.
Students will be given a packet that includes all the new terminology and graphic organizers used in this lesson. ELLs in the class will be given a packet that includes additional language supports. Visual representations of the key terminology and definitions in the L1 language, as well as sentence starters inserted into the graphic organizers will provide extra language scaffolds so they can participate in the activities successfully.
2. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions, and Techniques: Form 2.1. identify general characteristics of a few different media forms and explain how they shape content and create meaning
The unit's big idea will be presented to the class: How does media influence our decisions?
We will discuss the characteristics that exist in the advertisements shared in the Minds On. These include advertising characteristics such as competition, loyalty, emotional intensity, fear, humor, durability, testing, substitution, etc. A brief glossary will be provided in the packet where students can connect the example advertisements to the characteristics. ELLs will be provided with the terms in their L1s as well, making it easier to connect the visual examples in class with the English concepts that may be hard to understand.
Once students understand what types of characteristics are used in advertising, we will generate a chart that lists the characteristics used in different types of media texts: print, video, audio, and text. Through this generation and the discussion, students will begin to understand how the different forms shape content and create meaning.
3. Creating Media Texts: Purpose and Audience 3.1. describe the topic, purpose and audience for media texts they plan to create; Form 3.2. select a media form to suit that topic, purpose, and audience for a media text they plan to create, and explain why it is an appropriate choice
Students will use this new understanding to create a pitch for a new advertisement. They will use the guided outline provided in the handout to describe the topic, purpose and audience for the type of advertisement they choose. They will use the types of audience responses and characteristics of advertisements previously discussed as a scaffold for thinking through their own advertisement. The outline will guide them through explaining why their choices are appropriate for the media type chosen. This lesson will take more than one class period, so students will be able to think about their advertisement and finish the outline for homework. They will be encouraged to talk about their advertisement with their parents, as they will offer valuable insights as adult consumers (a target audience students may not fully understand). During the next class, they will pitch their ideas in small groups using the outline as a guide and receive feedback on the advertisement's potential success from their peers.
4. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: Metacognition 4.1. describe a few different strategies they used in interpreting and creating media texts and explain how these and other strategies can help them improve as media interpreters and producers
Students will provide a short reflection (either written or recorded) on their understanding of the unit question. How did their initial idea change as they thought about the topic, audience, purpose, and form? Did they use advertisements they have seen as inspiration or guides? How well did they need to know their target audience to produce an effective advertisement? What did they learn about their understanding of the audience, topic, purpose, and form from their peers' feedback? The advertisement outline and reflection will be used as a diagnostic tool to plan the unit's following lessons.
Thoughts on student inquiry and the tasks:
This introduction lesson sets up student inquiry during the whole unit by frontloading the key terminology and structures they can use to analyze, evaluate, and discuss the observations they make when confronted with different types of advertisement. This allows all students to access the higher order thinking skills needed to fully engage with the unit question: How does media influence our decisions? Allowing students to plan their own advertisement and reflect on the decisions they made and their peer's feedback gives them a highly scaffolded inquiry task (based on the research, action, and reflection model of inquiry). Students are exposed to media and advertisements every day, and jumping into the analysis and production of such advertisements will push them to question what they see in their daily lives by giving them ownership over their connection to advertisement. It shows them there is agency for the audience and consumer, but also that their agency is highly curated by the advertiser's decisions. This sets up the nuances they need to understand to answer the unit question and allows for further inquiry.
One important method for finding the proper starting point for ELLs is to provide authentic and effective diagnostics for reading, writing, and oral literacies in both their L1 and L2. This is a good way to being understanding students' strengths and needs at the start of the year, but is especially important for ELLs who may have developed their skills since they were first given an assessment (STEP User Guide, 2015). Furthermore, attention to early observation will help teachers understand and plan for supporting students' acculturation processes, creating authentic scaffolded English interactions, and encouraging parental support in student learning (ESL and ELD Curriculum Grades 9 to 12, 2007).
In addition, I would try to begin each class with informal conversations with the students. I usually try to do this as they enter the classroom, saying hello to each individual student by name and asking how they're doing. Oftentimes, students will come in ready to talk about something that happened in the last class or ask your opinion on discussions they were having in the hallway. The informality of discussion that happens before students think the class actually "begins" is a way to make them comfortable and open to oral participation in the learning activities that follow. These are effective methods for finding appropriate starting points for ELLs because they help develop rapport with the students (Many Roots, Many Voices, p.20).
I am an enthusiastic and conscientious educator. I use my blog to connect my personal experiences and adventures to my pedagogy.