Book Image FinalIn August 2013, we finished up some writing, focused our work on projects in several states, and geared up for speaking engagements at state conferences. Please take a look!

Advocacy for English Learners: A Guide for Educators

We’re happy to report that Diane’s book is now in press and will be available from Corwin Press beginning on September 24, 2013.

International Reading Association Article

Diane and Ayanna submitted their draft article for IRA E-ssentials magazine titled “Considerations in Implementing the CCSS for English Learners.” The article describes what the shifts in CCSS mean for all teachers who work with ELs, provides numerous examples of practical strategies for teaching reading and writing to ELs within the CCSS framework. It will be published in fall 2013.

New York State: Scaffolding Curriculum

DSF Consulting is subcontracting on a project with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) focused on reviewing and scaffolding New York State curriculum aligned to CCSS. Dr. Anita Bright and Diane reviewed an 8th grade math unit while Ayanna reviewed a Kindergarten and 1st grade skills unit. The reviews include describing the scaffolds in the units that are present for ELs and recommending additional research-based scaffolding for ELs.

Kentucky: Professional Development

Ayanna’s work continues with providing on-site professional development for LEAs in Kentucky and Georgia. The sessions she developed and facilitated focused on using the WIDA standards, assessments, and rubrics to improve instruction for ELs. In preparation for a new school year, one session highlighted collaborative teaching models and another was designed to support teachers of ELs in delivering PD for their content area colleagues. Specific teaching strategies that emphasize developing all domains of language and a shared responsibility for teaching ELs were embedded within all the sessions. Future sessions are scheduled with an emphasis on effective teaching practices.

ISBEIllinois: ESL Professional Standards Meeting

DSF assisted the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in developing pre-service education standards for ESL teachers, bilingual teachers, and general education teachers serving English learners. Diane attended the first of four stakeholder meetings held outside of Chicago in August. ISBE requested and is receiving technical assistance from its federally-funded regional comprehensive center – the Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

National Education Association

DSF Consulting was awarded contracts to support the NEA with its publication of an ELL Advocacy Summit Summary report and an ELL Advocacy document draft. (Diane facilitated the ELL Advocacy Summit in spring 2013.) DSF consulting will also provide assistance to the NEA in analyzing its ELL professional development materials.

Massachusetts: RETELL

DSF Consulting partnered with the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012 to develop the first Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL) course syllabus and materials. RETELL was recently in the news. In fall 2013, the second cohort of school districts across MA will be offering a RETELL course. Both urban and suburban districts piloted RETELL courses over the summer. The RETELL course was created in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s findings that Massachusetts educators were not prepared to meet the needs of ELs.

Colorin ColoradoAugust 2013 Blog Posts on Colorín Colorado

  • Analysis of a PARCC ELA Assessment Task through an ELL Lens: Diane’s blog post deconstructed recently released sample test items and the rubrics provided for the tasks. Diane concluded with the need for teachers of ELs to advocate for their students to be included in the field tests so that educators are more likely to be aware of ELs writing and how it may differ from that of native English speakers.
  • NY and the CCSS for ELLs: What Happened over Summer Vacation Diane wrote about different events taking place in NY state teachers, including the release of CCSS-based test scores, candid conversations with Central NY teachers about challenges they face, and a project to scaffold NY’s curriculum for ELs.
  • Welcome Back to Writing with ELLs and the Common Core! Ayanna’s guest blog post provided scaffolds for the traditional back to school writing prompt “What did you do over summer vacation?” Scaffolds were provided based on three different levels of English language proficiency: beginning, intermediate and advanced.

Diane’s Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • Illinois: She will give the keynote address on advocacy for ELs and conduct a breakout session at the Illinois State Board of Education conference on September 26, 2013.
  • Pennsylvania: She will provide a ½ day workshop with colleague Dr. Deborah Taub on Universal Design for Learning for English learners on October 16, 2013 at the PA Migrant Education conference. On October 17, 2013 Diane will present two breakout sessions on strategies for teaching the Common Core to ELs.
  • Georgia: She will give a plenary session address at the Georgia TESOL conference on October 25, 2013.
  • New York: She will present a plenary session on the CCSS for ELs at the NY TESOL conference on November 15 or 16.