On June 23, 2018 I was asked to participate as a presenter for the 2nd Annual VirtuEL Conference. What an honor! I presented on Growing Literacy with Visuals. This presentation is less than 16 minutes and gives teachers an explanation for the Picture Word Inductive Model. You can learn the why, how and what! You will be able to easily implement this instructional strategy into your k-12 content classroom to grow language! Watch the video below to learn more. And click this link to watch all the other amazing presenters as well including Jana Echevarria, Larry Ferlazzo, and Emily Francis!
If you are a co-teacher, you might wonder how co-teaching fits in with the components of balanced literacy. Or you might be a main stream (general education) teacher that has a co-teacher and you wonder how to best utilize two teachers in the room during workshop. Many ESL teachers co-teach in classrooms that embrace the reading and writing workshop. It's important to know which approaches fit best with each part of the balanced literacy classroom.
The best thing about the workshop model is that it allows for differentiation for all students. Students are reading and writing on THEIR level.
The best thing about co-teaching is that it lowers the student-teacher ratio allowing for more interaction with individual students and the ability to customize instruction.
It is about relationships
For years teachers have been told that the first day of school is all about setting boundaries, being firm, and even "mean" to students. I say we take this bad advice and dump it!!
Day ONE is not about rules, it's all about building relationships.
Recently I saw a graphic (see below) that shared the percent of children's books that have main characters that are diverse. You can learn more about the article here. The statistics were alarming. It reported that the majority of main characters in on our library shelves are either White or Animals/Objects. I thought to myself, no way...my bookshelf is not representative of that. But then I looked. I started sorting out my books. I made stacks. I was shocked and saddened that my bookshelf truly was not as diverse as I imagined.
Students benefit from seeing themselves in the books they read. Why? For one, because seeing ourselves outside of ourselves makes us feel less invisible. As Brene Brown says, "We are hardwired for connection and without it there is suffering." We also gain much knowledge and learn empathy from seeing others in the books we read. So why aren't our shelves filled with books that have diverse characters?
If you've ever questioned why your students aren't interested in the books on your shelves, you might stop to think about the types of books that are there. Do they represent your students? Can the kids connect with them?
I also learned about a non-profit organization called We Need Diverse Books. Check it out. They share a lot of information including lists of diverse books.
In my quest for making my shelf more diverse, I have found some great books. I'll keep adding to this and if you have suggestions, please comment and include a picture if you can.