If we want to ensure that English learners don't continue to fall behind academically, integrating language with content is the key! This is where listening, speaking, reading, writing, (and viewing) come into play. So I ask you, how are you practicing what you preach and modeling these behaviors for staff, students, and families? I'll share mine and then I'd love to hear yours!
If you know me, you know that I'm not a podcast kind of learner. I'm not big on audio books either. But I know that some people are. This style fits some learners and not others. HOWEVER, I have found many podcasts engaging and worthwhile. Lately, I'm into Tan Huynh's new podcast! I love his authentic style. I can listen to him all day. I admire Tan for his work with students but also for sharing what he's learning with all of us.
All of my speaking engagements have been moved from face to face to online due to the COVID 19 pandemic. My next speaking engagement is with Houston Independent School District. They are hosting a Multilingual Symposium and I'm happy to share Sheltered Instruction Strategies with their PreK-2nd grade teachers. I'll be working with several other districts across Texas and beyond. Keynoting in Missouri in the fall and New York!
Like many of you, I love to read. Love, love, love it! My book of choice right now is Transforming Sanchez School: Shared Leadership, Equity, and Evidence by Raymond Isola and Jim Cummins. I learned about this book from Jim Cummins while listening to him on Tan's podcast. 99% of what I read is by recommendation. I have not finished reading this book, but so far I can tell you that I really like it. It's extremely dense. What I consider not an easy read. Something I have to sit and think about deeply.
Writing helps me process what I'm experiencing, reading, viewing, etc. It helps me negotiate for meaning and dig deeper into ideas. At conferences when I ask educators if they read for pleasure or read regularly many say they do. But when I ask the same question about writing, the answer is a lot less. This is concerning because teaching kids to write effectively requires that we, too, can express ourselves using powerful vocabulary and language structures. This takes practice. For example, I can't teach you to make crepes because I rarely do it. I'm a beginner. I know how. I've done it before. I can cook. But I myself haven't practiced it enough to teach another person to do it effectively.
So... What am I writing? Well, besides this blog (which I try to write in at least monthly) I write for the SeidlitzBlog and MiddleWeb. And I recently finished co-authoring a book for Seidlitz Education on reading and writing for English learners with Dr. Melinda Miller. It should be out this fall.
I have been viewing WEBINARS gallor! I bet you have too. Webinars have become highly popular during the COVID 19 pandemic. They are a great alternative to face-to-face professional learning. You can check out the series of webinars Seidlitz Education put out including the slides for each one. There's really a webinar for nearly every interest. Social studies, social emotional, family engagement, reading and writing, SIFE, etc.
Well, that's it. Now let me hear it. What have you been listening to, speaking at or about, reading, writing, and viewing.