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Lisa Flicker

ITEC 7430
Spring, 2018
ELL
Report Template

1. Description

a. The setting of the field experience (e.g., in a classroom, at a community organization location,
etc.).

The setting for this ELL Field Experience was in my 8th grade Georgia Studies class at Holcomb
Bridge Middle School. Hernan, an 8th grade student, is a member of this class along with 29
other students. It is a large class with a very diverse student body make-up.

b. The student(s)—use a pseudonym to maintain confidentiality—with whom you are working (e.g.
age, grade level, level of English Proficiency, personal characteristics based on
observations/interactions, other information that may give the reader a more in-depth description
of the student)

Hernan was born in Brazil and came over to America when he was 13 years old. He is currently
14 ½ years old. He entered HBMS half way through his 6th grade year. Hernan’s primary
language is Portuguese. Hernan could speak very little English when he entered HBMS. He
remembers elementary school in Brazil and how different it was but he likes it here and is active
in soccer and has a strong group of friends. Our middle school is relatively small so Hernan is
pretty much with the same ESL students in all of his classes. We have two teams, one team has
most of the special needs students and the other works with most of the ESL students. I am on
the team that has the ESL students.

Hernan has progressed well with his language acquisition, and is not intimidated with speaking
and reading out loud. He struggles mostly with content vocabulary and comprehension. During
his last Access (W-APT) ESL testing, which was last February, Hernan’s listening skills and
speaking were at a 3.2, his reading was at a 2.0, writing 2.5, and with an overall score of 2.6.The
accommodations that I am using with him are having him highlight or underline important words
or concepts in our readings, increase wait time for response, offer opportunities to explain in
different ways, cooperative group activities, and reading his assessments to him out loud.

Through talking to Hernan, and many of my other students in the class, I have a greater
understanding of the major gaps that students who come over at around middle school age are
experiencing. This situation is due to ESL students missing much of the basic background
content that my United States born students had in their elementary schooling. None of my ESL
students have been exposed to United States history and I am now asking them to try and use that
as a base for understanding connections and concepts in Georgia Studies. This content requires
background knowledge in American history and without it many gaps are present that prevent an
understanding of the big picture. My feeling of helplessness for not being able to provide as
thorough a background knowledge to my ESL students as my native learners was reconfirmed by
the Cho (2008) study. However, there are strategies suggested for helping promote connections
between eras and content. For example, I can provide visual aids, increased interactions between
students, and utilize more graphic organizers instead of text-dense resources (2008). Hernan is
open and eager to learn. These strategies have worked well with him and in regard to his
understanding of the subject matter. Furthermore, what helps him to be successful is that he is
always willing to attend study sessions during lunch and do what he needs to in order to learn.
He has a great attitude and he wants to do well in my class.

Hernan also happens to be is a visual learner. I am using his strength and preference in his
learning style to help him gain a better understand of the vocabulary we are covering. I created a
virtual word wall on my iTunes U course that includes images describing and representing our
unit vocabulary. I then asked Hernan and my other ESL students to find additional examples that
we could add to this word wall and that would represent at least three of the terms (one from
each strand they would need to know for the WWII: Artifact Collection Activity).They did this
through a graphic organizer.

Another strategy that I used with Hernan was to reread and restate directions to assist with
clarification of what the student is being asked to do or answer. Hernan should not have his lack
of vocabulary impede on his creating assignments of any kind. I also have that apply to
responses he is being asked to complete. Hernan was able to limit his response to the artifact
lesson in the types and amount of questions. The questions he was asked to answer gave ample
insight on whether or not Hernan understood the assignment and the importance of his artifact to
the time period.

c. The days and times that you met with the student.

Hernan has been in my 7th period Georgia Studies class all year. We change our schedules here
at HBMS each quarter. I was able to work with Hernan 2/15-16, 2/19-23, 2/26 for this specific
learning experience. As he is in my class each day, meeting with Hernan is something I can
easily do and on a daily basis during our 55 minute class period Monday through Friday.

d. Ways in which you interacted/engaged with the student (including pedagogical strategies).

There are several ways I interacted with Hernan, including one-on-one, small group, and whole
group instruction. He is a very active young man and it is difficult for him to sit still for extended
periods of time. Therefore, I continue to incorporate some strategies that have shown to work
with him. He is allowed to stand as needed and to move around a bit throughout the room. He is
quick to learn but sometimes needs redirection due to his limited vocabulary acquisition and how
he perceives a task to be. However, Hernan is very comfortable asking for help and wanting
clarification. He has a wonderful attitude when he makes a mistake and is grateful for any
assistance.

One of the strategies I implemented to use with Hernan was using Popplet with his group to
organize their facts for the three artifacts they were being asked to create. Hernan’s part for his
group was to decide upon an artifact for Georgia’s contribution to WWII. After meeting with his
group in a small group setting, I went over specific sites they could use to help choose their
artifacts and then went over strategies for organizing their information. They decided on Popplet
as a graphic organizing tool for this. He put in his B-29 bomber and then included facts to
support his reason and to define what it was. This worked great for him as he is very visual and
had the ability to work collaboratively to organize his data and information on that one site.

Another strategy I used with Hernan was that once he felt more confident with this task, I had
him explain it to the other members of his group who did not. This helped to clear up any
misunderstandings and for him to use what he knew to help another student. He is actually very
good with taking the lead and enjoys being in charge, so I used that aspect of his personality to
promote this group task.

2. Objectives and Assessments


Write 2-3 learning objectives and state how you will assess each. Provide evidence for meeting the objectives.

Objective Assessment Was the objective met?


Evidence of student learning.

Example
(Content) The student will (Formative). I will observe and ask Yes. Maria was able to look at the
investigate the questions while the student is working. quadrilateral manipulatives and identify
characteristics of (show and explain) all the
quadrilaterals. characteristics of each.

The student will research Formative- I will observe and ask Yes, Hernan was able to work with
and choose three artifacts questions as the student is researching and his group to research by using the links I
representing each of the choosing three specific artifacts to provided from a PPT I had gone over
following, WWII: The War, represent their WWII Artifacts Collection with them. This was based on explaining
the Holocaust, and Georgia’s assignment. what artifacts are as well as my
contribution to the war providing visual examples of artifacts.
effort. Groups were also allowed to go off on
their own to find information. I had
provided students with this PPT as a link
in iTunes U for this assignment. There
were two links included for researching
artifacts. One link went to a Pinterest
board on WWII artifacts that students
could use to research artifacts and the
other was from History.com that was on
WWII artifacts and had them arranged
by specific areas and events within the
topic.
Hernan needed some clarification
regarding artifacts and specifically what
would categorize an artifact for WWII:
The War section. That strand was a little
more abstract and broad than the other
two and he needed more help in
narrowing it down. Another further
hindrance to complete mastery, at first,
was his lack of background knowledge
with the content and as discussed on the
study by Cho (2008). Strategies for
activating background knowledge were
gained from the IRIS Center ESL Module
(2018), in which I asked Hernan’s group
what they knew about war and what
they thought a world war meant. I
further asked and discussed what would
a world war involve and what they knew
about reasons for people going to war.
Our discussion led to a better
understanding of this era and the people
who were a part of it.

The student will work with Formative- I will observe and ask I will make sure to reinforce the
their team members to questions as the student is creating their specific areas of the rubric that Hernan
create a display of their artifacts for the WWII Artifacts Collection may be struggling with. I worked in
artifacts along with a assignment. small group and one-on-one with
written description for each Hernan to make sure he and his group
artifact. understood the task. I went over several
strategies and technology tools for the
students to possibly use for graphing
their information. Strategies that I had
actually learned more in depth about
from ELL's and Social Studies.
Hernan’s group chose Popplet as their
collaborative tool to use for organizing
their information and helping to write
their descriptive component for this
activity. Hernan took the lead and
helped to organize his group. He was the
one who helped find the objects and he
used various research tools to find the
perfect one he wanted to utilize for his
section.
Yes, Hernan was successful with this
objective. He worked well with his team
members and chose an appropriate
artifact that represented his section.

The student will create and Summative- I will assess the student based Yes, Hernan met the objective. Students
share with the class a on the artifact chosen and the descriptive were asked to publish their products on
technology-based product of paragraph they created explaining why a Padlet that was created for all of my
three artifacts during WWII they chose this artifact. The requirements Georgia Studies classes. I did this so all
that represent the culture of set forth for this assignment are in the the students could learn from one
the time period. rubric. another and see what other students felt
was important as representations for
artifacts for the time period. Students
were asked to share their artifacts and
explanation, and the importance of
how/why the artifact represented this
particular time period. Hernan’s group
used a dongle to connect their iPad to
the smart board to share their
presentation with the class. They had
created a PPT to show their artifacts
and then each gave a brief oral
explanation of their particular one.
Hernan did an excellent job sharing his
information to the class. His voice level
was very good and he told me
afterwards that he felt very comfortable
in front of the class while he was
presenting. He was proud of the job he
had done. Hernan was assessed on
choosing an artifact that represented
the WWII era and explaining the
background behind this object as related
to the culture of the time and how it is
an important representative of that
time.

3. Resources
You are required to use 2-3 ELL-specific resources to help inform your understanding of ELLs and
increase your pedagogical strategies to assist students who are English Language Learners (ELLs). You
may use the resources listed within the module or other resources available to you. Briefly describe how
the resources were used to assist in your experience.

ESL.YourDictionary.com was very helpful in realizing the importance of vocabulary and word walls or
flash cards for my students, and especially my ESL students who are struggling more with vocabulary
acquisition. This site helped me to think about our vocabulary terms a little differently and in regard to
how I need to utilize strategies that incorporate the use of collaborative graphic organizers and visuals to
reinforce the terms we are covering along with their meanings. I need to keep in mind all the different
modalities of learners within my class. I will do this to provide opportunities for students to work with
the new vocabulary, with more hands-on opportunities, and to aid in greater comprehension.

The site ColorinColorado.org may be one of my new favorite sites and I am so excited to have found it
from working on this ELL assignment. The Social Studies page that discussed how an ESL student
brings so much to a class through their own connections to the content was very inspirational to me. I
want to be able to have my students feel valued and for them to understand that their contributions to our
class discussions are important aspects of us all understanding the content we are studying. The links
that you could access from this site, for example, Like a Book in Time, has wonderful resources for
literature that ties in with history and includes art activities on the subject matter for students.
Modifications can be made for all your different learners and there are additional links that forward you
to other research sites, games, and information for reaching this specific diverse group of students.

ELL's and Social Studies is a new and wonderful resource for me that I found from the New York Board
of Education. This is an excellent resource for vocabulary strategies, which are very useful for Hernan,
as includes graphic organizer ideas like the one they refer to as chaining. It gave some insight in to
strategies that do work for ESL learners as well as some that are shown to be not as productive. I know,
and am much more aware now, that relying on a long text passage or some reading passage that I have
not gone over with a student like Hernan is not beneficial to his achieving mastery.

The IRIS Center: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/ell/#content, was an excellent resource for


me to gain greater understanding on the specific needs of an ESL student and the proven strategies that
are showing to work best when working with these students. However, I do understand, and understand I
need to consider that the ESL community is just as diverse as any other in regard to special needs,
learning styles, and strengths. The Sheltered Instruction model is what I try to utilize to activate prior
knowledge and help build background. This was reinforced through this module and learning activity as
it allowed me to incorporate a more interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, helping to provide
opportunity to reach my ESL learners in a greater capacity.

The study by Cho & Reich (2008), New Immigrants, New Challenges: High School Social Studies
Teachers and English Language Learner Instruction, brings to light the concept of how teachers are
feeling when working with ESL students. This includes the lack of resources or strategies some
educators feel are lacking within their professional toolbox, the feeling of helplessness over the lack of
content knowledge some ESL students may have, and the feeling of frustration educators have with
trying to get ESL students caught up (Cho & Reich, 2008). The resources included within this study
provided me with a greater insight in to the positive impact graphic organizers can have and the type of
test I should be incorporating within my class to allow ESL learners to understand the material I am
introducing to them.

Cho, S., & Reich, G. A. (2008). New Immigrants, New Challenges: High School Social Studies
Teachers and English Language Learner Instruction. Social Studies, 99(6), 235-242.