Engage your ELL students with digital tools! The Corwin Connected Educators series is your key to unlocking the greatest resource available to all educators: other educators. ELL students deserve a classroom environment full of choice, inquiry, and creativity. By blending technology with teaching, your students can thrive. John Spencer’s insights will enable you to • Introduce project-based, differentiated instruction in your ELL classroom • Expand your use of innovative technology • Strengthen your students’ English language skills Being a Connected Educator is more than a set of actions: it’s a belief in the potential of technology to fuel lifelong learning. To explore other books in the series, visit the Corwin Connected Educators website at http://www.corwin.com/connectededucators/. “John Spencer is the kind of teacher that I wish my own kids had and that all students deserve. This book shows clearly and practically how technology can be used to give all students greater choice and a more powerful voice. This book inspired me to rethink my own approach and what I’m planning to do in my classroom tomorrow.” Philip Cummings, 6th Grade Teacher Presbyterian Day School “Spencer provides a clear framework for teachers to help students improve their language skills. A teacher can pick this book up and be provided with specific ideas and techniques which can be implemented in a classroom immediately.” Josh Stumpenhorst, Teacher Lincoln Junior High School Naperville, IL
Chapter 2: Vocabulary
I thought I had nailed the lesson plan. Students were preparing for debate-styled podcasts by reading an assortment of high-interest informational texts. I had paid close attention to reading levels and allowed students to choose which texts they wanted to read. On the surface, the lesson was a success.
However, I knew it wasn’t working when I noticed five different students who were completely checked out. One student drew a complex stick figure ninja battle. Another student stared at the wall and two others sat there talking about soccer.
I approached the stick figure ninja artist and asked, “Why aren’t you doing your work? Is the topic boring?”
He shook his head. “I just don’t get it.”
“Tell me what you don’t understand,” I said.