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Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the webinar on Support for Distance Learning: The History–Social Science and English Language Arts/English Language Development Frameworks. It was packed with useful information. Here are three key learnings with resources from the English learner support lens.
Tip #1: Build, but not from scratch: The shelter-in-place circumstances may make the introduction of new content difficult. Consider ways to amplify and broaden learning that will allow students to practice, refine and master skills that they learned during the first part of the school year while at home. Here are some ideas of
ELD activities for language practice that you can use or adapt.
Tip #2: Teach the students, and reach the child: It is important that educators acknowledge that the challenges of distance learning are ongoing, and that teachers and students mutually feel them. Consider how established classroom routines can be modified for distance learning. If possible, maintaining these routines, even in an adapted form, will help provide structure and a sense of normalcy for students. Also, providing the language practice opportunities at home validates the students' home experience, lowers the affective filter and fosters relationships with family members.
Tip #3: Redefine, when necessary: Create flexible parameters that redefine engagement, participation, and daily schedule. What could the “new normal" look like? Educators might use fun games to engage students during virtual class sessions. Furthermore, educators might need to interact with students and their families through a variety of means such as the U.S. mail, phone calls, emails, what's app, parent networks, food distribution locations, etc. The length of time and frequency of synchronous sessions might vary depending on circumstances.
The History–Social Science and English Language Arts/English Language Development Frameworks webinar will be posted at the California Department of Education's COVID-19 Webinars
ELD Activities for Language Practice at Home, Tulare County Office of Education
Distance Learning Planning Models, Dr. Molly McCabe, ELA/ELD Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee Co-lead