Accessing prior knowledge is an important element of instruction especially when serving multilingual learners. It doesn’t have to take long, but when implemented it can stimulate thinking and help new learning stick too.
ABC Brainstorming is one way to access prior knowledge, and it can also be used as a culminating activity. ABC Brainstorming can be done in small collaborative groups or it can be done individually. I have found it most effective when introduced first individually for a few minutes and then in small collaborative groups.
Teachers of Multilingual Learners have unique roles, special jobs! They not the same as most of the other teachers in the building. Here are a few articles to help get the year started on the right foot.
4 Things You Can Take OFF of Your List Before School Starts
3 Common 1st Day of School Mistakes
Things To Do with MLs During the 1st WEEK of School
5 Ways to Start Off Your Class Period with MLs
Teaching multilingual children is a gift. It’s truly a joy. In my own classroom, I learned so much from my students, especially those that spoke more than one language.
Over the years, one thing I learned from experience as well as through professional learning is that each student deserves to be seen and served individually. No one size fits all approach works. While differentiation may seem daunting, it’s actually not that scary. Dr. Stephen Fleenor describes differentiation as “not creating individualized lessons...it is creating environments in which students at all different levels, all different proficiencies...can each thrive and each grow one level up in that lesson”. Dr. Fleenor offers two wise suggestions for creating of environments that offer differentiation:
The first thing we do with students can set the tone for our time together. Starting the period off on the right foot is critical to a successful lesson. Read on to discover five ways to start your class period in engaging and welcoming ways whether you are a general education teacher or an ESL teacher that pulls students out.
Well, to begin with, I had a one hour layover in Atlanta from Houston to South Carolina. However the flight from Houston ran 30 minutes late. Turned out when we landed in Atlanta, I had 30 minutes to make it to my connecting flight.
I had never been to the Atlanta airpot before. Those of you that have been to the Atlanta Airport may see where this is going.
Have you ever baked cookies in the oven without preheating the oven first and expected them to be finished within the same time the directions said? Do you remember how they came out? I've done this before because I was too impatient to wait for the oven to preheat. My cookies were raw...not finished, mushy...If I wanted them to taste right, they would need to stay in the oven longer.
I would like to argue that when we don't build background for students, we are essentially doing the same thing.