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The Central Blog has a great page called “Around Raleigh” that can be very useful in our classes at this time of year. With pleasant weather finally arriving and spring break around the corner, it’s a good time to let our students know the variety of interesting attractions in Raleigh. It’s also perfect for a practical Around the Town lesson.
The Around Raleigh page lists previously published Civics blog posts that describes museums, parks, pools and so much more.
We are proud to announce that our entire Wake Tech ESL Curriculum, Levels 1-6, is now available here on the ESL Teachers’ Blog. A huge “thank you” goes out to all the members of the ESL curriculum team, particularly Kim Saunders, for the enormous amount of time and effort that they have spent on this project over the last two years — and especially to Carrie Cargile, who created all of the Level 4,5,6 lesson plans and initial curriculum for these three levels.
We welcome helpful feedback on this curriculum and the accompanying lesson plans. To leave a comment, idea, question, or suggestion, click on “Leave a comment“. Please reference the specific level, module/unit, strand and lesson plan, if applicable.
To access the entire curriculum, click on “Wake Tech ESL Curriculum” in the blue menu bar, above — or on the specific level, to the right.
Today’s post focuses on schools, parents, and parent/teacher conferences. The resources in this post address the following topics:
Types of schools in the USA
Places in the community (including transportation around town)
Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy
VOA Special English on youtube.com This video gives an overview of the types of schools in the United States. It’s in a “read along” format, with each word highlighted so students get both the audio and visual of the word.
Many Things.com This site includes a drop down list of activities to use with the vocabulary list. You can practice these as a group or individually in a computer lab or with the i-pads.
Parents and Their Children: Parent Teacher Conferences Students always seem to want information about how to have a successful parent/teacher conference! Here are a few resources to consider, which you can modify for NC.
Parent Toolkit. A comprehensive toolkit for any parent. An ESL teacher could use the information from the toolkit to help prep students for the conference, all the while working on new vocabulary and grammar, not to mention American culture. This document is rich with resources and possibilities. The material is presented by grade level, and includes checklists and questions to ask the teacher. It’s produced by Education Nation and NBC. http://www.parenttoolkit.com/?objectid=CDD7B950-20A0-11E3-8EC10050569A5318
Color in Colorado. Relevant and informative. A complete lesson plan on parent-teacher conferences is included.
Wake County Public Schools Parent Academy. Although this isn’t a place in the community, per se, it’s full of info that our students are interested in. There are workshops “to provide families with strategies that have a positive effect on the education of children”. Information on the site is in both English and Spanish. Super informative! http://www.wcpss.net/parent-academy
Back in1956, Benjamin Bloom, along with other psychologists and educators, created a system of categorizing educational goals. Updated in 2001, this framework, consisting of six categories, has been applied by teachers and college instructors for decades now. It is organized from simple to complex, and concrete to abstract. It helps the teacher see where the student is, and what the expectations are for the next level. Bloom’s can help you, the teacher, write learning objectives and assess student learning.
Now, imagine connecting Bloom’s Taxonomy with modern day apps, websites, and technology! It has been done, and it’s called The Padagogy Wheel! And, it’s a beautiful thing! The Padagogy Wheel links apps/technology to these five categories:
Welcome back to the Teachers Resources blog. This week we are looking at emergencies: who to call, what to do, and where to go. You can also visit http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/ for information and practice for your students.
We are posting links to multiple lessons. You can just “click” and print! These are all time savers!
The American Red Cross has pictures of different types of emergencies on one page. Click on the picture and it takes you to an information page on how to prepare for the emergency. This information is excellent and can modified for most levels. Great pictures, safety checklists, and specific recommendations for how to prepare for and deal with all types of emergencies. http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies
The United States government also has a comprehensive page on preparing for any kind of emergency. It also includes what to do if a disaster occurs, and how the government may be able to help. https://www.usa.gov/prepare-for-disasters
In the next few weeks we are going to have some coordinated posts with the Civics and Culture blog! You will get two posts; one will be for students, and the other for the teachers. When teaching your lessons about places around town, prepositions of place, or just strictly “community places” vocabulary, make sure to also check out the Civics and Culture blog. You’ll find practice materials for your students on that site!
Today’s post is about government buildings in Raleigh. Use the links on this site to help plan your lessons. You can also direct students to the Civics and Culture page for additional practice. There are follow-up questions on the site that your students can do as homework if desired. Here’s the link to the Civics and Culture page: http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/
Government Buildings in Raleigh:
City/town hall-offices for government officials
Municipal Building-similar to city/town hall, with many offices and different gov. departments
Courthouse-where legal issues are managed, such as criminal and civil trials, marriage, divorce
Capitol Building-the governor’s office is located here.
Legislative Building-where NC laws are discussed and processed
Electronic communication is the default mode of communication for many, however “snail mail” is still widely used for lots of things. There are a variety of resources available for both students and teachers. Here are a few of them you can use in the classroom, or with lesson planning.
Additionally, Youtube has some videos that model typical post office conversations.
For a student focused lesson on mailing a letter and using the post office, please go to Beth’s Civics and Community blog and read her “How to Send Mail” post! It’s super informative and has lots of good practice on it!
All of our ESL classes are “multilevel”, with some students excelling in literacy, and others in spoken language. Research generally proves that spoken language is more quickly acquired and written English takes much longer. So, with that said, what are some ways to improve reading and writing? What do we need to focus on in our classes? Is it just a matter of more reading? Explicit phonics instruction? Where do you begin with literacy instruction?
To work on reading, multiple experts agree that there are five things to address. They are:
Phonological awareness-understanding that language can be broken into smaller units.
Comprehension-the ability to understand text
Vocabulary-new words to help in reading comprehension
Fluency-ability to read/speak text
Phonics-the relationship between sounds and letters
Differentiated Instruction in the Multilevel Classroom
As you well know, not all students are at the same level in any given class. Therefore, we have to do the best we can to differentiate our instruction and meet the needs of our students. The website www.fcrr.org has some wonderful examples of how to do that. It is geared toward elementary school, but the lessons and differentiation are applicable to our adult classes. Follow the prompts on the left side of the page! www.fcrr.org Florida Center for Reading Research is a wealth of information that includes not only assessment tools, but actual instruction and sequencing for reading instruction. There are step-by-step instructions on differentiated instruction.