Gaining knowledge from informational texts is an essential academic skill. Yet for too many English Learners, this skill is not developed sufficiently and as they move from elementary into middle school, the reading gap becomes a knowledge gap. In Reading to Learn for ELs, author Ana Taboada Barber provides models of her instructional framework for reading informational texts so that reading teachers, content-area teachers, and ESL teachers alike can take on the work of teaching English Learners how to succeed and gain knowledge through reading informational texts.
Language is deeply involved in learning mathematics as students both communicate and think about their mathematical ideas. For all students—and English learners in particular—access means finding effective, authentic ways to make language clear and thinking visible so they can reason more, speak more, and write more in mathematics.
By Mark Driscoll, Johannah Nikula, and Jill Neumayer DePiper, adapted from their new book, Mathematical Thinking and Communication: Access for English Learners
As a general rule, mathematics teachers are experienced and frequently are experts in a particular kind of student work analysis. Often forced by time constraints to examine work quickly, they are able to see who is on the right track and who is not; how many students are getting side-tracked; where students are getting side-tracked; and who might need extra instructional attention. Often, this attention is directed toward students’ grasp of mathematics procedures and how to apply them.
All of this effort, in the real time of instruction, is essential to effective teaching practice. However, what often remain invisible in these hurried examinations of student work are the indications—perhaps small—of competence and potential in students’ mathematical thinking. Noticing such indications can be essential in providing English learners access to mathematical proficiency.
Analyzing student work is especially informative when the tasks are mathematically challenging; when they invite visual representations of the students’ work and descriptions of those representations; and when they inform and help structure teaching the next lesson.
The following are five important reminders about helpful and informative student-work analysis: