From one of my Graduate students:
By far the most consistently underrated digital learning tool we see, YouTube Channels have evolved YouTube from a steaming cesspool of mixed garbage, to a serious distribution tool for any kind of content—academic or not. So much so that important academic ideas such as the flipped classroom, blended learning, and the Khan Academy are literally based around its distribution model.
Why Every 21st Century Teacher Should Be Able To Use It
The formula is simple.
People love videos, so YouTube allows people to consume billions and billions of videos every single day.
While many of these are of cats trying to shake tape off of their paws, many of them are not. And by allowing anyone—from niche experts to general educators—to create channels of their own to curate and share digital media content, it’s probably the tool with the single greatest potential to transform the learning in your classroom.
As whimsical or substantive as the content you find (like apps),for film, video, or music, and dead simple to use, YouTube is capable of enabling self-directed learning, academic direct instruction, full-on test preparation (if that’s your thing), or authentic project-based learning, and absolutely deserves a spot in any 21st century teacher’s classroom.
Tips from one of my graduate students:
The tip this week is more of a reminder or something to keep in mind. It is important for all educators to understand the intense stressors ELL students face each day in and out of school. These stressors range in topic but often cause them to become frustrated in school and either act out or refuse to work. In addition because of some of their stressors they are often unable to complete homework, study for tests/quizzes, and complete projects outside of school. Here are some examples of the stressors they experience:
Leaving their home country against their will either due to intense poverty, violence, or a parent’s job
Most students from Central America arrive here under extreme duress and secrecy
they hitch rides on trains
walk through the desert with no provisions for days
fear of immigration and others who take advantage of them
must pay back thousands of dollars to those who smuggled them into the country and they are often constantly threatened for the money
Students are expected to look after younger siblings once they get home from school because their parents are working
Especially among African cultures the girls (especially the oldest) are expected to care for younger siblings, clean, do laundry, cook, and other domestic duties
Feel stress to keep their first culture and at the same time fit in with the American culture
Face prejudice and racial stereotypes
They are expected to help translate important documents for their parents and family members or attend doctors appoints and the like to translate (this can be very stressful and cause them to miss school)
Many students feel extreme stress to perform academically and with the same rigor as they did in their home country but due to the language barrier this is almost impossible
As always if you have any questions or concerns please let us know. Have a great and short week!
ELL Social Studies Teacher
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
How can an ESL teacher become a leader in their district? One of my students pursuing the ESL certificate took initiative to her leadership. This in-service ESL teacher decided to create once-a-month messages sent to district employees. In the short messages she shines the spotlight on issues that enlighten classroom teachers and other personnel on English Learner matters. Please see one example below from Jessica Mitchell, ELL Social Studies Teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Kentucky:
As I said last week this tip will be about building background knowledge. This strategy is often difficult for teachers because this means building the background knowledge that most Native born speakers would know. These often involve aspects of our culture that we do not think about and assume that our students already know or understand. When teaching an ELL student who has lived here less than five years do not assume that they have any background knowledge of a topic.
For example, in my U.S. History class we are currently discussing the period in American history before the Civil War. We were scheduled through our PLC to spend a day discussing different abolitionist movements in America however, I felt it important to build their background knowledge of slavery in the United States. Most native-born students have learned about slavery throughout their educational career and have an instant image of American slavery in their minds when the topic is discussed. An exception to this would be an ELL student. They have no history or concept of American slavery or the history of racism in the United States after the Civil War. I tried and tried to get my students to come to the conclusion about why Americans would choose Africans to become slaves but they could not get to the concept of racism and prejudice; they did not even know the meaning of those words.
It is important to take time to assess the background knowledge of your ELL students and bridge the gap between them and your native-born English speakers. This can be done:
in a formative discussion in the class where your regular education students fill in the gaps for the ELL students (providing a good review for your other students)
review/introduction to a topic (homework, flashback, etc.)
checking in with your ELL students while everyone is working on an assignment and filling in the gaps through a quick one-on-one discussion
any pre-assessments for a new unit
I hope this helps and as always please let me know if there is anything you need. Also please email me with any suggestions for tips that you would like to see discussed in future weeks.
Great list upon which to reflect. I am not sure how I feel about the co-dependent issue but all other aspects seem to be on the mark:
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
– Yogi Berra
Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
— Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish writer