November 2010

In this issue, you'll find a number of our most popular resources with you this month, from our multilingual parent tip sheets and cognate list to ideas for helping ELLs apply to college.

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: November, 2010

Dear Subscribers:

We are pleased to share a number of our most popular resources with you this month, from our multilingual parent tip sheets and cognate list to ideas for helping ELLs apply to college. Also, be sure to check out our special book of the month, Giving Thanks by Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp. It's a perfect addition to conversations about giving thanks, taking care of our natural environment, and the traditions of the Six Nations of upstate New York and Canada.


The Colorín Colorado Team

This Month's Highlights

If you are looking for materials related to American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month, take a look at our classroom resources page. Also, don't miss our American Indian Heritage booklist or the Reading Rockets Native American stories booklist and e-card — and be sure to look for opportunities to include these resources into the curriculum throughout the rest of the year as well!

Tips for Choosing Culturally Appropriate Books: Native Americans

Professor Cathy Gutierrez-Gomez from the University of New Mexico has compiled a number of helpful tips for educators on how to choose appropriate classroom books about Native Americans that highlight authentic and meaningful experiences and avoid prevalent stereotypes. She has also included a list of recommended books related to Thanksgiving.

Parent Reading Tip Sheets in Navajo

These one-page reading tips for parents translated into Navajo offer ways that parents can help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age (PreK-3rd grade), many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages. The tips are also available in 10 other languages.

New on Colorín Colorado

Question from the Ning: Finding a Balance Between English and Content Instruction

"I am having a challenge balancing between teaching English to my beginner student — who just arrived from Haiti 3 months ago — and helping him in his content classes. I started teaching him survival vocabulary and greetings. Does anyone have any other suggestions?" — Yvonne

ELL Student Success: The Path to College

For English language learners, the challenges of familiarizing themselves with the college application process can be overwhelming. ELL teachers have an important role to play, however, by helping students prepare for and navigate the application process. This section features a number of articles with great ideas for ways to support ELLs as they consider their future plans. Additional resources for ELL instruction in middle and high school are included in our ELL Resources by Grade section.

For parent information in Spanish about applying to college, take a look at these recommended resources!

Research and Reports

Beyond the Classroom: Creating Pathways to College and Careers for Latino Youth

In 2002, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), through the support of PepsiCo Foundation and PepsiCo, Inc., created the Escalera Program: Taking Steps to Success. Escalera (which means "ladder" in Spanish) promotes economic mobility for Latino youth by increasing educational attainment, career planning, and access to information about advanced careers. NCLR recently published Beyond the Classroom: Creating Pathways to College and Careers for Latino Youth, an independent evaluation of Escalera and its impact. The two-year study provides background on barriers that Latino youth face in educational attainment and compares the college and career preparation of Escalera students and non-Escalera students. The report also highlights different ways that participants have customized components of the program model for their community.

In the Classroom

Vocabulary Development for ELLs

The average native English speaker enters kindergarten knowing at least 5,000 words. The average ELL may know 5,000 words in his or her native language, but very few words in English. While native speakers continue to learn new words, ELLs face the double challenge of building a foundation in English proficiency and then closing the gap with native speakers. Vocabulary Development provides a discussion of effective strategies for teaching the academic vocabulary that will help ELLs begin to close that gap.

You will also find some helpful tips in Selecting Vocabulary Words to Teach ELLs.

Cognates: An Important Tool for ELLs

Cognates are an important bridge for ELLs whose language is related to English, as in the case of Spanish speakers. These strategies offer ideas for using cognates to develop comprehension. We also provide a list of English-Spanish cognates for your reference!

Books and Authors

Book of the Month

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
By: Chief Jake Swamp

In this poignant and graceful picture book, Chief Jake Swamp gives thanks to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants for sharing their rare and precious gifts. According to the author's note, these words are still spoken at ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations. Giving Thanks is also available in Spanish, and related classroom activities are included in this teachers' guide.

Remembering Chief Jake Swamp

We were saddened to learn that Chief Jake Swamp, the author of Giving Thanks, recently passed away. Jason Low of Lee & Low Books remembers Chief Swamp in this tribute.

Holiday Booklist: Thanksgiving Tales

The books on this list offer a wide range of perspectives on Thanksgiving, from stories of immigrants adapting Thanksgiving traditions in their own special way to modern reflections about the things for which we are thankful. Many of the titles are also available in Spanish.

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