Saturday, August 11, 2012

Design Websites For Your Classes--Great Instructional Support Tools For ELLs:)

With more ELLs entering mainstream classrooms, teachers might want to think about creating class websites.  Websites here could hold the lesson materials used in class by the teacher.  Imagine how such a tool would boost an ELL's (or any other student who was experiencing difficulty with the classwork) self-confidence in tackling academic materials.

Here, the ELL would have that much needed additional time to review the day's work without the time pressures of the school bell schedule.  Using the website, the ELL would also be free to identify the areas of the lesson that were unclear.  Equipped with notes on issues which were unclear, the student would be able to share specific problems experienced in trying to fully grasp the content of the lesson.  Such details would give the teacher the information needed to offer mini in-class "tutorials" to bring the ELL up to speed with the lesson content. 

Another use of class created websites is through project based learning assignments.  Pick a subject, any subject, and offer students the opportunity to create a website.  Here language is a wonderful byproduct as kids work as a team using what they all enjoy--technology.  In the process of meeting their goal, the ELLs are becoming increasingly fluent in English.  Further, this is an opportunity for students to use their creativity to "think outside the box."  ELLs would be working with peers in designing the site.  When the ELL encounters a language issue, his/her peers would assist him/her.  After all, the entire group would earn one grade so it pays off to make sure that every member of the group stays on task. The new common core standards will expect to see more of project based learning activities in classes as well as active involvement on the part of all students including ELLs.

Here is a YOUTUBE video from Google on how to create a website through Google.  It is just under 3 minutes in length and easy to follow:  HOW TO CREATE A GOOGLE WEBSITE

This link takes you directly to the link where the creation process begins:)  GOOGLE SITES

 If any problems are encountered in creating your class website, just ask your students to help.  I bet that they already feel comfortable in working with them regardless of whether or not they speak English:)



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