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Welcome students, parents, and colleagues. Thank you for visiting my blog. This blog I have designed to introduce myself and inform you about what is going on in my classes. Currently, I teach ELD inclusion for grades 6.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Program Capacity Week June 2016 Pre and Post Reflections

Program Capacity Week June 2016 Pre and Post Reflections
Mae Waugh Barrios
HSE 1, FAESL +

Tuesday, June 14th
6:00-9:00
Book Fair with our favorite publishers & Equipment Refresher (document camera, LCD, etc)
Browse textbooks and get your questions answered by the experts! Get re-acquainted with the document camera and LCD projector.

Pre-Session Brainstorm Tuesday June 14th, 2016

As you probably know, I don’t really like books. As a teacher I often find them hindering. Hopefully someday I will write my own slew of textbooks that are up to my expectations, but right now my problem is that there is no perfect book. Usually, after six years of teaching, I feel like I am smarter and more competent at writing my own lessons and finding my own materials than anything I find in a text book. Especially for math. This makes finding a book unimaginably difficult. And it means I find myself searching for a textbook at the end of every single semester. In fact, I have used a new book for every semester I’ve ever taught at FAESL, and this fall will be my 9th semester. Wow! I just realized that…
To answer these questions more specifically, when I am looking for a textbook, I want to see something bright and vibrant and interesting. Since I teach HSE 1, many of my students are emerging readings, but I want to make sure their books don’t look childish. I know they are reading at a second or a third-grade level, but I don’t want them to feel demoralized for being at this stage in their educational journey. Additionally, I look for a book that has many features: readings, comprehension questions, vocabulary development, open-response questions and realistic, reasonable content matter. Last semester, I used a set of Laubach Reading for phonics as my anchor texts and while I really liked the way it wove together text and vocabulary and grammar. However, it was completely fictitious narrative and had no basis in content matter, like social studies or science. Also, a set of four books was way too many for my students to navigate.
For the upcoming semester, I’d like to find something with contextualized readings in the content for my ELA class and for math I’d like to find a text with more practice problems, more procedural support and more focused to my strand, the Real and Complex number system. I actually just learned from Janice on Monday night that we must provide our students with a book due to grant funding, so hopefully I can find something that catches my eye tonight!


Post-Session Reflection Wednesday June 15th, 2016
Book Fair with our Favorite Publisher

This evening it just happened to work out that I got a one-on-one session with the representative from McGraw Hill publishing. Nobody else from HSE was able to attend the workshop tonight, so I represented our HSE program and got a chance to look at all of the options from this publisher in particular. Unfortunately for me, all the material was at too high of a level for my class in particular, but it would be perfect for Tony and Molly. The representative was very kind and receptive and shared all of her display models with us (and I think it will ultimately prove to be lucrative for her because those texts look great and I think Tony and Molly will order them!)
I specifically was looking for texts we can use for our new math model, which is differentiated by strand and I think their small math booklets would really work for our classes. I’d really like us to get their entire set of these booklets because we could use them in every class and then we could have more streamlined math instruction because we will all be using similar-looking texts.
For ELA, the McGraw Hill representative shared with me lots of options, but none of which I loved. Her options for my level were more based on vocabulary development and while that is important, I want a textbook with longer text excerpts and more of a focus on comprehension skills and content reading. She did share with me two model texts that are science content-based, but as soon as I opened them my response was, “Where are the pictures?” I did consider using these texts and supplementing them with youtube videos of experiments or images on each topic, but I think the text is a little too dense for my level.
Ultimately for my ELA class next year, I would like to use the skinny science texts “Go Green” and “Our Living Planet” from Pro Lingua Associates. I think these will be perfect because it incorporates page-long text readings, vocabulary development and reading comprehension questions, all about science topics. Then I can supplement the text with newspaper articles or current events regarding these science topics, in order to differentiate for lexile level and interest.
Although I already integrate a lot of technology in my class, by projecting my lessons and getting my students using chromebooks for various activities, I’ve never used a document camera or projected my iPad in my HSE classes. So after Pat and June’s presentation, I might try out both of those. The document camera would actually really be helpful for projecting student work to collaborate with corrections and edits. This way we can work on editing and revising skills, and I could use it to project my new textbooks and annotate the text or fill in the blanks on the board.



Wednesday, June 15th
6:00-9:00
Spring Technology Update with Bob
We’ll cover a range of topics related to taking better advantage of laptops, tablets, and smartphones with our classes, including:
•Breakout sessions on using ChromeBooks in class, and teaching with your iPad
•New/improved favorite websites and apps
•Google Forms
•Leveraging students’ own mobile devices

Post-Session Reflection Wednesday June 15th, 2016
Spring Technology Update with Bob

Any time I think I just about know everything about technology, Bob always gives me a plethora of new ideas and options and link. And this program capacity week, he did not disappoint! Thank you, Bob, for putting all your great ideas in one place with links! (http://eslbob.weebly.com/) Some of these ideas I have heard about before and used in my classroom, like Kahoot, Pinterest, Readtheory and google, but now I have so many other ways in which to incorproate technology into my HSE classroom this fall.
The first thing I would like to try is a student self-assessment that gives them an approximate count of how many words they know in English. I’m thinking it would be a good way to start the semester with Testyourvocab.com and do it at the end of the semester, too. It is very subjective because the students don’t actually have to define the words, they just have to click if they know the definitions, but I think it would be effective enough to give them an approximate lexion tally that would really boost their morale and self-confidence. It is also an additional way to track student growth.
Another resource I’d like to incorporate in the next semester is to utilize TedEd. There is a feature called Ted Lessons, where you can create your own lessons around a youtube video, or use one of the ones they already have posted. I’ve used this for my middle school ELD class before, but it would be great in my HSE class because I already incorporate a lot of youtube videos for building background knowledge or for visual support for my HSE English learners.
Dreamreader.net also looks great because it has leveled academic English readings, coupled with multiple choice questions. While this is very similar to readtheory.org, the nice thing about this website is it has an audio component that reads the text aloud to the students. This would be good to try out with students who need practice with phonics or pronunciation. Also, it has a variety of social studies topics for the text selections, which would be a good supplement to my textbook for next semester which will focus on the sciences.

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