May 2011

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and check out resources for Teacher Appreciation!

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: May, 2011

Dear Subscribers:

It has been a joy to discover so many wonderful books (old and new) as we have expanded our booklists for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! These stories will resonate in both mainstream and ELL classrooms all year round, and we'd love to hear about other books that you recommend as well.

We also are pleased to present an updated Teacher Appreciation section. We certainly appreciate you, and we'd like to know which teachers have made a difference in your life.

Finally, we know that this spring has brought a number of challenges to teachers and communities around the country. Please keep in touch to let us know how you're doing and how we can continue to help you meet the needs of your ELLs!

All the best,

The Colorín Colorado Team

This month's highlights

Colorín Colorado User Survey

As we make plans to develop new resources over the next academic year, we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to complete our brief, 10-question survey and let us know what you'd like to see on the site. Two survey respondents will be selected at random to receive an assortment of children's books!

Don't Miss...

Celebrating Teachers!

Who is a teacher that made a difference for you? Let us know through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or Ning! While you're at it, check out the video clip of Pat Mora's beautiful poem, "Ode to Teachers," in our updated Teacher Appreciation Section.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Colorín Colorado celebrates family traditions and the rich diversity of Asian and Pacific American (APA) Heritage with updated booklists, activities, and a variety of resources and ideas for ELL educators! Be sure to take a look at our new booklists featured in the APA resource section:

New on Colorín Colorado

Author Interview: Grace Lin

Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of more than 20 books — from picture books to young adult novels — for kids. While most of Grace's books are about the Asian-American experience, she believes in the power of books to make "all cultures universal." In this interview, Grace talks about her experiences as the only Asian child in her neighborhood (the inspiration for this month's featured book, The Ugly Vegetables), and she also shares the moving story behind her stunning Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

title Research and Reports

The Future of Children (Princeton University & Brookings Institution)

Immigrant Children: Volume 21 Number 1 Spring 2011

The Future of Children Journal is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. The mission of The Future of Children is to translate the best social science research into information that is useful to policy makers, practitioners, and the media. The journal's Spring 2011 edition focuses on many aspects of the education and well-being of immigrant children and youth, from participation in early childhood programs to enrollment in community colleges and higher education institutions. All 11 articles featured in the journal are available online for free, along with accompanying article summaries and policy briefs.

Recommended Resources

Teaching Spelling to English Language Learners

Have you wondered how to approach spelling instruction, correction, and assessment for your ELLs? In this excerpt from Writing Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners K-8, authors Susan Lenski and Frances Verbruggen offer some suggestions on effective strategies for ELLs of varying proficiency levels.

Reprinted with permission. Lenski, S. and Verbruggen, F. Writing Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners K-8. New York: Guilford Press. 2010.

In the classroom

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.

Books and Authors

Book of the Month

The Ugly Vegetables
By Grace Lin

In a neighborhood of flower gardens, a Chinese-American girl and her mother plant what the child considers to be ugly vegetables — especially when compared with the neighbors' beautiful flower gardens. The young girl soon realizes, however, that the ugly vegetables are special in their own way. One of Grace Lin's earliest picture books, the author draws from her own childhood experiences of growing up as one of very few Asian-Americans in her upstate New York community for this poignant, charming story. A recipe is included.

May Book Raffle

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are holding a raffle! Enter to win one of the following collections:

China Collection

  • My Chinatown: One Year in Poems
    By Kam Mak
  • The Wishing Tree
    By Roseanne Thong, Illustrated by Connie McLennan
  • I Hate English!
    By Ellen Levine, Illustrated by Steve Bjorkman

Japan Collection

  • The Falling Flowers
    By Jennifer B. Reed, Illustrations by Dick Cole
  • So Far from the Sea
    By Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet
  • The Wakame Gatherers
    By Holly Thompson, Illustrated by Kazumi Wilds

South Asian Collection

  • Chachaji's Cup
    By Uma Krishnaswami, Illustrated by Soumya Sitaraman
  • Nadia's Hands
    By Karen English, Illustrated by Jonathan Weiner
  • Mama's Saris
    By Pooja Makhijani, Illustrated by Elena Gomez

Hmong Collection

  • Grandfather's Story Cloth (Bilingual)
    By Linda Gerdner and Sarah Langford, Illustrated by Stuart Loughridge
  • The Whispering Cloth
    By Pegi Deitz Shea, Illustrated by Anita Riggio, Stitched by You Yang
  • Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella
    Adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn with Tzexa Cherta Lee, Illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien

To enter, please send an e-mail to Colorín Colorado with "Book giveaway" in the subject by 12:00 p.m. on May 27th, 2011 and indicate your collection of choice. One entry per family. Winners of any previous Book Giveaways are ineligible to win any other Book Giveaways for a period of one (1) year from the date of the Book Giveaway. Previous contest winners See complete contest rules here.