Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Tutors and Students in ACTION!

The AVID tutors at Salina Intermediate and Stout Middle School are in full swing!! The study groups are a maximum of 5 students to one tutor and are supervised by the AVID elective teacher.  The tutors facilitate each stage of the tutorial process by supporting problem-solving strategies through an inquiry process.  

 
Students complete Cornell notes guided by an Essential Question in content area classes and identify points of confusion (POC).  The first step is for one student (student presenter) to write his/her POC question on the whiteboard and explain their pre-work.  Next, group members ask the student presenter higher-order thinking questions to probe deeper into possible approaches to solving the POC.  This process helps the student presenter to make sense of the question and record notes on the board while group members take their own three-column notes on what he/she has written.  At the end of each tutorial session all students write a reflection on their learning.
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AVID Tutor Training

The tutors for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) at Salina Intermediate and Stout Middle School participated in 16 hours of training at the Administrative Service Center.    The tutors are college students that are strong role models and are dedicated to helping develop a culture of college readiness for students.  The tutors will facilitate tutorial groups twice a week in the AVID Elective classroom with an emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking through inquiry, collaborative teamwork, study skills, organization and reading skills.  We would like to extend a great big WELCOME to our tutors!!

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WIDA ACCESS Collaboration

The Bilingual and Special Education resource teachers  joined together to collaboratively prepare for the WIDA ACCESS 2.0, WIDA Alternate and WIDA Kindergarten Assessments. Schools will be administering these assessments to English Learners in all schools beginning on February 8, 2016.  This is a huge undertaking for our district  so the collaborative time allowed staff to revisit and review the assessment.  Most importantly, it provided time for teams to discuss key ideas for putting together  a seamless test administration plan.

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A New Face in the EL Department

We are happy to introduce our new Secretary IV, Salwa (Sue) Dakroub.
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She is a great addition to our department and we are excited to have her. Sue replaced Val Ferrante.  Sue comes to us from McCollough-Unis.  Sue is here to support the department and schools in supporting the needs of ELs.
Sue’s extension is 78044 and email is dakrous@dearbornschools.org
Sue brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment.
We are lucky to have her!

Mary, Mary…

It is with regret but warm wishes that the EL Department announces the retirement of Mary Niebel.  She is an integral part of the team (and a fun part too!).

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Mary,

One way to look at it is that your retirement actually means that you got promoted to one of the best roles in your life.  Congratulations!

Thanks for everything you have done for your colleagues and the EL Department.  Hard work, dedication and joy are only a few precious things you have shared with us every day.  If you put as much effort into enjoying your retirement as you have all the years you’ve been working with the EL Department, your retirement will truly be amazing!

May the years ahead bring you great joy and relaxation.  We will truly miss you Mary!

-EL Department

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Socratic Seminars in Action

AVID students at Stout Middle School are practicing Socratic Seminars.  The linked video (below) captures a Socratic Seminar based on an article claiming all students should have paid employment while going to school.

Socratic Seminars are structured, collaborative dialogues, focusing on a common text or resource.  Students prepare for the dialogue by analyzing the text and preparing questions to spur the discussion.  This strategy provides a format for students to practice skills in critical thinking, reading, and inquiry, as they participate in the inquiry-based dialogue.

CLICK HERE to watch Stout students in action

WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is the WIDA Consortium’s next generation English language proficiency assessment system.  Beginning February 2016, we will begin administration of this new summative assessment from grades 1–12.  An online assessment will replace the earlier paper-based assessment.

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is aligned with the WIDA English Language Development Standards and assesses each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.  The online test contains similar item types to the original paper-based test, with new features made possible through the use of the online test environment.wida access

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The Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assessments will not change from previous years and remain paper-based.

Full Steam Ahead

Bilingual Resource Teachers had a full day of learning today.

  • The day started by delving into Language and Literacy to review the 7 Steps of a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom using the 12-minute research strategy.
  • The learning continued by revisiting the RAN strategy and discussing benefits and adaptations for all levels from Kindergarten to 12th grade. (see previous blog for more information on how to implement this strategy with students.)
  • Another important focus included a topic essential to English Learners… Oral Language Development!  With explicit instruction and the right resources in hand, ELs can learn the patterns of the English Language by repeated encounters with language structures that have a gradient of difficulty.
  • Finally, Resource Teachers spent an adequate amount of time sharing important feedback by participating in WIDA’s validation survey before the finalization of the NEW 2016 Can Do Descriptors.

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