May 2010

Check out our new section focused on writing and ELLs. You'll also find some good current events websites that will help guide discussion about complex topics currently in the news.

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: May, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

We are pleased to present a new section focused on writing and ELLs. We also have found some good current events websites that will help guide discussion about complex topics currently in the news.

Thanks for all of your great contributions to the Ning — we are happy to see a good community developing online!

All the best,

The Colorín Colorado Team

This month's highlights

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Colorín Colorado celebrates family traditions and the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific Americans with updated booklists, activities, and a variety of resources and ideas for ELL educators. If you're looking for titles for older students, take a look at's APA Heritage booklist for grades 4-12.

Video Interview: Linda Sue Park

Linda Sue Park is the Newbery Award-winning author of A Single Shard. In this interview, Park compares writing to sports, questions animal sounds among different countries, and reads from The Firekeeper's Son.

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Recommended Resources

Adventures in Summer Learning

School may be out, but learning is still in! The research is clear that children who don't read during the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and that loss has a cumulative, long-term effect. Adventures in Summer Learning offers practical suggestions for parents about how to create a literacy-rich summer, as well as profiles of effective formal programs for at-risk youth and children with learning disabilities.

This web-based production is the newest episode of Launching Young Readers, WETA's award-winning series of innovative half-hour programs from Reading Rockets about how children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help.

For resources on extended learning time and ELLs, take a look at these reports:

Voice of America: Current Events Articles for ELLs with Audio

If your students are interested in current events or need listening practice, check out Voice of America's Learning English website. VOA publishes free, up-to-date news articles written for English learners with accompanying audio of the text so that students can listen to and read the story simultaneously. Articles also feature an online dictionary and comments from other ESL students around the world. Topics include U.S. news and history, world news, American life, health, business, education, and arts & entertainment. Grades 4-12.

Learning About U.S. Immigration With The New York Times

In this post from The New York Times' Learning Network, educators can find ideas for teaching about the complex issues of past and present immigration, as well as related lesson plans, topic pages, multimedia resources, and recommended websites.

Educators and researchers may also be interested in this map that shows the number of ELLs by county nationwide as of 2007.

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In the Classroom

New Section! Writing & ELLs

For many ELL students, writing poses a big challenge to completing academic work, assessments, and graduation requirements. This new section on Colorín Colorado presents 15 ELL-specific resources focused on writing, including articles, online tools, research reports, and tips for parents. In addition, we highlight resources from our sister sites and other recommended sources.

From the Ning: How do you systematically teach writing to ELLs within your school and have you found it successful? —Matt Johns, PA

Share your ideas with the group in our writing discussion!

Successful Field Trips with English Language Learners

English language learners can benefit from field trips that enhance classroom learning. While it can be overwhelming for a teacher to organize such a trip, some planning beforehand and a few extra steps can make a big difference. This article offers some ideas for planning a successful trip for ELLs and providing students with a meaningful academic experience, as well as ways to get parents involved as chaperones.

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Books & Authors

New Booklist! Reading with Mom

Whether it's a family tradition, a favorite story, or a tender lullaby, these books are filled with reasons to celebrate mothers and grandmothers. Many of the titles are bilingual or are available in Spanish.

Also, don't miss the video clip of Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens' moving tribute to her mother and her explanation of how her mother's experiences as a young child inspired her to become a teacher.

Book of the Month

The Firekeeper's Son
By: Linda Sue Park
Illustrated by: Julie Downing

When Sang-Hee's father cannot send the signal that no enemies are in sight, Sang-Hee must get the coals to light the fire on the mountaintop. Based on an actual signal system used in 19th century Korea, illustrations and fluid text create a riveting story that enlivens history. An author's note provides more detail.

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Research and reports

In the Child's Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation

The authors of this new report (March 2010) from the University of California's Berkeley and Davis Schools of Law estimate that 100,000 children (88,000 of which were U.S. citizens) were affected by the deportation of a parent who was a U.S. legal permanent resident during 1997-2007. The authors examine the economic, legal, and social/emotional impact of these deportations, and recommend a number of guidelines to amend current policy that will "bring current immigration laws in line with the basic American values of public safety and family unity, as well as with international human rights standards."

Authors of the report include:

  • International Human Rights Law Clinic
    University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity
    University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Immigration Law Clinic
    University of California, Davis, School of Law

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