September 2009

Now that the school year is in full swing, take a look at our newest resources! These include ELL strategies for mainstream teachers and school librarians. Please share these articles with your colleagues and district leaders.

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: September, 2009

Dear Subscribers,

Now that the school year is in full swing, take a look at our newest resources! These include ELL strategies for mainstream teachers and school librarians. Please share these articles with your colleagues and district leaders.

We look forward to hearing your feedback and ideas!

All the best,

The Colorín Colorado Team

This month's highlights

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful time to share rich cultural experiences with your students and learn about their diverse backgrounds. Colorín Colorado has compiled a wide array of Hispanic Heritage resources in English and Spanish for the classroom, including a Hispanic Heritage booklist, puzzles, and multimedia lesson plans.

New on Colorín Colorado

Booklist: Every Day Is Grandparents' Day

Whether they call them Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Pop Pop, or Abuelita and Abuelito, kids love their grandparents! They often provide a link to a family's cultural heritage and native language, and they have lots of great stories to tell. This new booklist from Colorín Colorado celebrates all that grandparents have to offer — and what their grandchildren offer them in return.

Supporting ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom

As the number of English language learners around the country continues to grow, more and more classroom teachers are working with ELLs. It can be quite a challenge, especially for educators who feel unprepared to provide effective ELL instruction. There are, however, many things that mainstream educators can do to help their students — some of which may already be happening in some form in the classroom.

This section offers articles, reports, and guides with ideas for mainstream educators on topics including language and reading instruction, and making students comfortable in the classroom.

ELL Resources for School Librarians

The school library is an important resource for English language learners. It may be the first place many students and their families get experience using a lending library. What can school librarians do to show ELLs that libraries are welcoming places of entertainment and enrichment? 10 Ways to Support ELLs in the School Library offers some ideas.

Featured Articles

Identifying Language and Academic Needs for Program Placement describes how assessment is used to identify English language learners (ELLs) who need special instructional services, such as sheltered English, ESL, or bilingual education. Appropriate assessment ensures that ELLs' needs are identified so that they receive the instruction necessary for their success in language proficiency and academic achievement.

Parent Resource: Tips for a Good School Year

This article, available in English and Spanish, outlines 10 things that parents can do at home to help their child have a good school year. The article is also available as a pdf to print out and share at parent night and conferences!

Note: There are three versions of this article in English and Spanish, written at different reading levels. Let us know which versions your parents prefer, or if you like having all 3 available!

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In the Classroom

Book Review

Getting Started with English Language Learners: How Educators Can Meet the Challenge
By Judie Haynes

Whether you're a new teacher or a veteran with lots of experience working with English language learners, you'll find a wealth of useful information in this practical guide by Judie Haynes, an experienced ESL teacher and co-founder of the website EverythingESL. The book begins with a discussion of the stages of second language development and also covers such topics as working with newcomers, differentiating instruction for ELLs, and challenges related to content area instruction for ELLs. The real-life scenarios from actual classrooms are a highlight of this very useful classroom guide.

Haynes, J. (2007). Getting started with English language learners: How educators can meet the challenge. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

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Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at help support Colorín Colorado.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're looking for resources to help make your content units more accessible for English language learners, the following FAQ may have just what you need:

Find the answers to this and many others in Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching ELLs.

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Beyond the Classroom

Book of the Month

Braids / Trencitas
By Kathleen Contreras

Meet Abuela and Isabela, who tell each other stories while Abuela braids and unbraids Isabela's hair every day. When Isabela discovers Abuela can't read, she finds a wonderful way to help her grandmother. Lovely illustrations bring Isabela and Abuela to life in this heartwarming book about the importance of passing down traditions across generations.

In a Word: Linguistically and Culturally Diverse (LCD)

This month's glossary term is commonly used to identify communities where English is not the primary language of communication, although some individuals within the community may be bilingual or monolingual English speakers.

Dispatches from Afghanistan

You may remember Amber Prentice, a middle school teacher we recently featured in our From the Heart section and in our "Welcoming Classroom" video. Amber is currently working in Afghanistan on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers' International Affairs Department, assisting in professional development and curricular efforts for teachers there. Amber has been blogging about her experiences for Colorín Colorado — if you'd like to ask her a question, feel free to send us an e-mail and we'll pass it along!

Read for the Record: October 8, 2009

On October 8, 2009, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will open Eric Carle's beloved book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and read aloud to children in their communities. Colorín Colorado and Reading Rockets are pleased to be an active partner in promoting Read for the Record, the community literacy initiative sponsored by Jumpstart in partnership with the Pearson Foundation.

Learn more about Read for the Record and Eric Carle on Reading Rockets, and don't miss The Very Hungry Caterpillar Family Literacy Bag — also available in Spanish!

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