Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strategies to Support ELLs in Making Informed Decisions

With the new COMMON CORE, students will need to make informed decisions in undertaking the academic tasks assigned to them regardless of the subject area they are studying.  This will mean determining if a selected source is a credible one or not.  Such a skill is a must in the real world be it college or the business world.  Through implementation of the COMMON CORE, all students will be honing that skill--even in kindergarten! 

When you access the above site, be sure to DOWNLOAD the file in the upper right section of the site.  This PDF lays out all the steps involved in having students think critically about the sources they find.  Once they come to a decision, they must then support their belief/opinion with EVIDENCE from the site/source.  Is this not what is done in the real world?  School should be preparing them to succeed after they leave school.

Now, go back to the website and you will see a model of a lesson where students must think of a topic of interest to them and then find evidence to back it up.  The evidence must come from legitimate resources to make a convincing argument.  This is a skill that should be practiced in all content classes--not just English.  Common Core underscores this point continuously.

Why not start the process in classroom discussions?  ELLs might feel more comfortable here as opposed to writing immediately.  In fact, in the small group/ partner/whole class give and take, the ELL will have adequate time to develop the language he will need to eventually go to an essay and do well.

This entire week, I will be doing workshops on how to support teachers using Common Core.  As usual, I will post what I have gleaned from the sessions.



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