August 2014

As you gear up for another school year, be sure to take a look at this month's back-to-school resources as well as our ideas for teachers who are new to working with English language learners.

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: August, 2015

Dear Subscribers,

As you gear up for another school year, be sure to take a look at this month's back-to-school resources as well as our ideas for teachers who are new to working with English language learners.

All the best for the upcoming year!

The Colorín Colorado Team

Don't Miss...

Unaccompanied Minors: Colorín Colorado Resource Section

A record-breaking number of children are crossing the border alone into the U.S. from Central American countries. Take a look at this list for an overview of the situation and a number of related resources for adults working with this population.

New on Colorín Colorado

Common Core Classroom Videos from Poughkeepsie, NY

We are excited to present a new set of Common Core classroom videos from Poughkeepsie, New York! Filmed at Poughkeepsie's middle and high schools, these videos focus on strategies related to academic vocabulary and answering text-based questions. The videos feature lessons prepared by teachers participating in the project in collaboration with Dr. Diane August. This project was funded by the American Federation of Teachers' Innovation Fund.

Note: Our Common Core classroom videos are also available on YouTube!

Common Core Corner

Common Core and ELLs Blog Posts by Topic

Our Common Core and ELLs blog has lots of great content now organized by topic! Some topics that may be of interest include:

Highlights from the New IES Academic Content and Literacy Guidebook

Earlier this spring, the What Works Clearinghouse published a guidebook called Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School. The practical guide was produced by the U.S. Department of Education by enlisting eight prominent education researchers and curriculum experts who reviewed and rated research evidence, developed overarching recommendations, and created practical examples of the recommendations. In this Common Core and ELLs blog post from June, Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner shares the recommendations, tells you how the guidebook supports ELLs with the Common Core, and shows how Colorín Colorado resources support the guidebook's recommendations.

Recommended Resources

English Language Learner Program Survey for School Principals

Working closely with the English Language Learners Alliance, REL Northeast & Islands has developed a survey to gather information from principals about school English language learner programs, policies, practices, and professional development, as well as school-leader knowledge about ELLs. Users can modify the survey to fit their local context. The developers anticipate that it will take principals about 15-20 minutes to complete the survey.

In the Classroom

Back-to-School Resources

Take a look at our back-to-school ELL resources as you start getting ready for the new year! Highlights include the following:

Video Clips: Advice for New ELL Teachers

Our expert educators offer their tips for educators new to working with ELLs in these video clips (also available on YouTube).

For additional ideas, see our Resources for First-Year ELL Teachers.

Parent Resources and Outreach

Engaging ELL Families: 20 Strategies for School Leaders

School leaders are in a unique position to engage the families of ELLs, even if previous attempts at family outreach have been unsuccessful. Engaged ELL parents bring invaluable dedication and wisdom regarding their children to the school community and can be a crucial partner in supporting their children's success. Here are some ideas to help get school leaders and ELL educators started on the path towards a strong home-school partnership on behalf of ELLs.

For Parents: Tips for a Good School Year

This bilingual tip sheet, also available as a pdf, outlines 10 things that parents can do at home to help their child have a good school year. Share these tips at parent night and conferences!

Books & Authors

Book of the Month: Abuelo

By Arthur Dorros
Illustrated by Raúl Colón

Together, a young boy and his abuelo gaucho (cowboy grandfather) go camping, ride horses, and even confront a mountain lion in a setting inspired by the plains of Argentina. Soon, the boy's family moves to the city from the country, away from Abuelo, and it is the boy's memories that help him adjust to his new life. Arthur Dorros's skillful blend of Spanish and English and Raúl Colón's poignant paintings illuminate how the special bond between a grandfather and his grandson reaches across miles.

Meet the Illustrator: Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón is an award-winning illustrator of more than thirty children's books by authors such as Pat Mora, Frank McCourt, Dr. Jill Biden, and Margarita Engle. Raúl's work has also appeared in The New York Times and can be seen in an MTA mural at the 191st Street subway station in New York City. In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Raúl talks about drawing as a child, influences on his artistic style (including Spider-Man!), the inspiration behind his illustrations, and the role of the arts in schools.

Booklist: Back-to-School

From back-to-school jitters to the stories of children who go to great lengths to get to school each day, these stories are perfect for students who are settling into another school year and will provide lots of topics for discussion!

For related titles, take a look at our ELL stories booklists.