In this issue:
November is filled with special celebrations, highlighted throughout our newsletter. Take a look at our booklists and ideas on how to bring these celebrations into the classroom!
In addition, you won't want to miss our updated academic language resource section, filled with videos, articles, professional books, and more. These resources may be particularly useful in conversations around English language learners and the Common Core.
Lastly, we are very grateful for you, our audience. Your suggestions and feedback continue to make us better! All the best to you and yours for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
The Colorín Colorado Team
Don't miss our updated children's and young adult booklists featuring numerous titles written by/about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Books are organized by topic and range from traditional bilingual stories to photo essays about contemporary American Indian families. We hope you'll get creative and look for opportunities to include these books and related classroom resources throughout the year and across the curriculum!
New children's booklists include the following:
- Books for Babies and Toddlers
- Family Stories and Traditions
- Native Trailblazers Series
- Remarkable Women
- Sports & Athletes
New YA booklists include these topics:
For suggestions on selecting other related titles, take a look at Tips for Choosing Culturally Appropriate Books & Resources About Native Americans by Dr. Cathy Gutierrez-Gomez.
November is American Diabetes Month, and we wanted to let you know about a great new bilingual resource online for kids with diabetes. Mariela Aguilar is a children's librarian and storyteller in Arlington, VA, and the former host of the bilingual video series Cuentos y Más ("Stories and More," available online through the Arlington County Library website).
Based on her own experiences with diabetes, Mariela has launched a blog with kids' stories about a young girl named Clara Guevara who is struggling with her diabetes, whom she has named Glugar. Each story about Clara and Glugar, available in English and Spanish, introduces a new adventure and focuses on a different aspect of living with diabetes from a child's point of view.
New on Colorín Colorado
November is also National Adoption Month, and we are pleased to announce a new resource section featuring a number of tools for parents and educators of internationally adopted children who may be English language learners. These include tips about language development and adoption for both younger and older children; adoption booklists for kids and teens; and resources for parents and educators about how to approach the topic of adoption in school settings.
Dr. Laurie Weaver is a Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural studies at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Laurie is also a proud single parent of Marisa, a 9th-grader whom Laurie adopted from Guatemala when Marisa was about six months old. In 2002, Laurie wrote an article for Adoptive Families about Marisa's early language development. We recently interviewed Laurie to learn more about how her daughter is doing today and what advice she has for parent and educators about the language development of internationally adopted children.
Common Core Corner
The latest addition to our Common Core and ELLs blog features a two-part series written by Ayanna Cooper and Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner with guidance for ELL educators who are planning Common Core professional development for their colleagues. Each entry offers a range of topics and resources that can be tailored to meet colleagues' needs and schedules in your particular setting.
- Part 1 — Common Core and ELLs: Planning Professional Development for Colleagues
- Part 2 — Common Core and ELLs: Professional Development About Academic Language
Common Core and ELLs: New Resources in the Field
A number of new resources about the Common Core and English language learners have been published since our last newsletter. Here's a quick summary, and you can read more about all of these resources on our Common Core and ELLs blog!
- Education Week
Education Week's new report, entitled Moving Beyond the Mainstream: Helping Diverse Learners Master the Common Core, features classrooms across the country and includes timely articles about the challenges educators face as they implement the standards for all students, including those with disabilities, ELLs, and gifted students. Highlights include an article about the academic language demands of the Common Core and an article featuring a middle school collaborative effort between ESL and content-area teachers around the standards in Beaverton, Oregon. (Available in a free, online edition)
- Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
CAL has a new brief entitled Implementing the Common Core for English Learners: Responses to Common Questions. The brief is based on educators' questions about the new standards encountered by the CAL team in their professional development sessions and includes an overview to three significant language and literacy demands of the Common Core and what those demands will mean for ELLs.
- Understanding Language
Stanford University's Understanding Language initiative has launched a six-part classroom video series accompanying its Persuasion Across Time and Space middle grade unit for intermediate ELLs, filmed in Denver, Colorado. The videos are available from the Teaching Channel.
By Debbie Zacarian (Corwin, 2013)
In this groundbreaking guide, Debbie Zacarian, EdD, provides a new perspective on the role of academic language in the engagement and success of all students, including English language learners. She provides an in-depth discussion of the differences between academic language learners (those who enter school with limited academic language) and academic language "carriers" (those who enter school with extensive academic language), as well as each group's strengths.
Using numerous classroom examples, she then outlines a range of strategies for bolstering academic language instruction. These include making content relevant to students' lives, building upon students' previous literacy experiences, and engaging parents around activities that foster academic language development. Zacarian also includes thoughtful reflection questions that can be used in individual, pair, or group settings, along with tools such as graphic organizers and rubrics to guide discussion.
Zacarian, D. (2013). Mastering Academic Language: A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
For additional titles about academic language, including books that focus on content areas, oral language development, writing, and literacy, take a look at our new academic language booklist!
In the Classroom
Academic language is a key to school success, yet it can be difficult for struggling students and English language learners to master. This new resource section includes articles, video interviews, and our popular academic language webcast, all of which offer numerous examples and ideas on helping students understand what academic language is and how to incorporate it into their interactions and classroom experiences. We also include new resources focused on role of academic language in the Common Core.
This article written by Colorín Colorado Manager Lydia Breiseth helps educators understand the role that academic language plays in their classrooms and in ELL student success. The article also includes information on social vs. academic language, as well as numerous examples of the different kinds of academic language needed for all students to fully participate in classroom activities and assignments. Videos and recommended resources are included.
Parent Resources and Outreach
Colorín Colorado offers parent reading tip sheets for grades PreK-3 in 11 languages, as well as tips for babies and toddlers in English and Spanish. Share these at school events, conferences, or in the library!
Books and Authors
By Richard Van Camp
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Product Description: Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib Nation in the Northwestern Territories of Canada. An internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, Van Camp has partnered with talented illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that honors the child in everyone. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read, or sung to all the little people in your life!
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.
Enter a raffle for the following books! To enter, please submit an e-mail with "Book Giveaway" in the subject by December 2, 2013 and indicate your title of choice.
- Children's Book: Little You by Richard Van Camp
- Professional Title: Academic Language: A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement by Debbie Zacarian