Focus On!

Happy Independence Day.  Happy 4th of July.

We thank you for continuing to choose us for your professional learning, and we have enjoyed working to meet your needs since 2001.  We always enjoy hearing from our participants for ways we can better meet your needs as well as innovative ideas you believe would benefit your peers.  Feel free to email us, call us, skype with us, however you wish to communicate with us!

This month’s special is English Language Learners—An Introduction.  This is a 45-hour, 3-credit course approved for clock hours in numerous states, salary points in a number of districts and other state-approved CEUs.  This course is eligible for graduate-level credits from our university partners.  Please check our site, and select your state and district to get all the information you will need to know.

What educators who have taken this course had to say”

“I learned a great deal from this course. The strategies and activities that I learned that I can implement in my classroom were the most helpful. I especially liked the lesson on listening which discussed pre, during and post listening activities. These tasks are great not only for ELLs but for all of my students. I like that the pre-skills get the students ready for reading with a purpose. The during reading listening activities such as skimming and scanning are quite helpful. I like the post activities such as discussing what was found and coming up with some kind of product. I have a wealth of new knowledge from taking this course. It was a good experience.”

“I’ve enjoyed this course very much and found many lessons and principles to be helpful to polish my teaching skills. Especially, the teaching principles of Murphy and Byrd was something to reflect on my teaching practices. Like it says language learning is complex. There is no one-size-fits-all method that works best for all different types of learners. Through practice I need to find teaching methods that works for my particular groups of students. In order to do that I need to be a facilitator, a coach, an entertainer, and an expert in the classroom.”

“Skimming, scanning, and dictation are three tools I could definitely employ more often. I had no idea that in, at, and on could be indicators of size and I already showed that to my class. I also printed out the poem dictation activity and used that in one class. It was an eye-opener as to what my students could pick up throughout the readings. I am also going to use the spoken- with- stress and expressed- in -writing chart. The differences between cohesion and coherence was another principle that was very clearly defined and helped me determine where to put my efforts as well as delineating between a mistake and an error. I already use pairing and have several projects for group work, but they do take a longer time and I find my special needs students have difficulties with arranging meeting outside the classroom. This course gave me some specific information on what I should be concentrating more on, and will help me eliminate activities that would seem to be useful, but are not efficient. How to incorporate the bottom up and top down approaches was a big time saver.”

“One idea that I learned from this class was the idea of recording myself and my students as I teach a lesson. This activity will hopefully give me insight as to why some of my students are struggling. I want to see at which point in the lesson the struggling students are tuning out. I hope the recording will help me find some areas of need that I can work on to help all my learners to succeed. Another idea that I learned in this class was to have the students integrate the reading, writing, and speaking skills in one lesson. This will help build their English language skills through different modalities.”

“I was certainly intrigued by the multiple intelligence model proposed by Howard Gardner. After taking several tests, I realized that my strength as a learner favored the visual, logical and watch-then-do style. Interestingly enough, after really thinking about it, I see my lesson planning leaning towards a great deal of visual aids but not enough tactile or auditory inclinations when I deliver my lessons. Also, I feel that I need to do a lot more watch –then-do with my students. In other words, I need to model a lot more with them because I know that it benefits me a great deal. I am now in the process of giving the multiple intelligence test to all of my students to get a better understanding of their strengths. I believe this will go a long way in terms of creating effective lessons and improving the academic rigor in my class. Another key component of this class that has helped me a great deal is the section detailing the merits of peer to peer observations. I have a student named XXXX. He has an IEP and seems to give many teachers in my school a very difficult time. However, in some classes, he seems to do wonderfully well. After observing him in other classes, I realized the classes where he does well are classes where the teacher shows great interest and where the classroom is a very positive and safe place. The teacher is very compassionate and caring. I am now making more of an effort to praise him when he does something. This, I am hoping will help to establish a sense of respect between the student and me. Observing other teachers and comparing how they teach and interact with other students has certainly helped me be a better teacher.”

For more information and to enroll, click here

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