Farishta Mohd, Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate’s Literacy Unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies

Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?
“I fought through the civil war and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.” ~John Burnett, US Army

Farishta Mohd is in her second semester at Touro College. She graduated from CUNY Queens College with a BA in History and a minor in Secondary Education. She teaches as a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private school in Flushing. As a former ELL student, she as attuned to the difficulties English Language Learners experience.  With her TESOL degree from the Graduate School of Education, Touro College, she hopes to address ELL needs and “pave the way for a brighter future for them just like my teachers and professors continue to do for me.”

Ms. Mohd’s timely unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies focuses on uncovering the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in this pivotal time of US history.

Trail of Tears

 America’s Indian Removal Policies  

https://civics.sites.unc.edu/files/2012/05/IndianRemoval11.pdf

Content and Skills Summary

In this three-week unit, students will uncover the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in carrying it out. Students will examine America’s Indian removal policies, including events leading up to the passage of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act and the effect it had on NativeAmericans. Students will examine primary source documents from the 1830s, to gain insight on the political strategies, perspectives, culture clashes, and historical consequences of this time period.

In analyzing primary documents students will use close reading to find the origins, context, purpose and the author’s arguments. Students will use modified versions of primary source documents. Students will annotate keyphrases that capture the author’s central idea. When comparing and contrasting opposing points of view students will use explicit language from the text. Students will use the guideline Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down primary source documents. 

To demonstrate their mastery of the content students will take a stand for or against the Indian Removal Act by organizing a skit. Students will role play and bring the words of historical figures to life. Students will use their annotated primary sources to assemble a skit that will display their understanding of differing perspectives on the Indian Removal Act.  

All activities, lessons, in-class tasks and take home assignments will encompass the four basic foundations of language: reading, writing, speaking and listening.  

Reading

  • Read primary document
  • Look for the development of ideas and the use of academic language.
  • Find the author’s point of view by evaluating his arguments, claims and ideas.

Writing

  • Write answers to guiding questions from the primary source  
  • Show awareness of audience
  • Follow the Conventions of Standard English in capitalization, comma usage, and spelling.
  •  Use descriptive language in conveying your ideas about the author’s point of view
  • Cite quotations from readings
  • Annotate key phrases, words and sentences that support the author’s argument   

Speaking

  • Orally share  responses to guiding questions  
  • Ask questions and make comments about the text’s structure and features
  • Discuss the author’s point of view about the topic

Listening

  • Listen to questions posed about the text’s structures and features
  • listen to peer presentations
  • Listen to peers reading chunks of primary source documents
  • Listen to teacher say each vocabulary word and its definition at the beginning of each lesson

Reading strategies like the one below will be utilized throughout the unit to help students comprehend the texts.

Learning Objectives

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Compare and contrast opposing points of view when reading primary source documents  
  • Identify main ideas and opinions of an assigned reading
  • Identify the details from the text that support the author’s main ideas, opinions and themes
  • Explain orally and in writing an author’s use of academic language
  • Summarize the author’s point of view/purpose from assigned reading
  • Apply conventions of Standard English for capitalization, comma usage, and spelling in written text.
  • Take notes by gathering and categorizing or organizing graphically or outlining and sequencing while reading informational text
  • Create in writing an effective claim or argument against or for the Indian Removal Act
  • Investigate the role of the US government in the removal of Native American tribes in 1830.
  • Define the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and its significance in The Indian Removal Act of 1830.
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral homes. 
  • Identify Cherokee reactions to the removal act

Assessments

Formative assessment

  • After reading the primary source documents Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830,  and Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Students will first annotate key phrases, words or sentences that show the authors’ main idea. Using textual evidence students will then list the reasons for each authors’ claims. Students will work in small groups using the guide Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Giving feedback and evaluating peer presentations
  • Close reading annotations
  • Self-questioning and taking a stand
  • Organizing  and presenting skits

Skills

  • Use questions to examine the text’s topic, information, and structure
  • Analyze key details and language to increase understanding
  • Compare and contrast two opposing points of view
  • Use context clues to decode the meaning of new and unfamiliar words
  • Use writing strategies to summarize key ideas of primary source documents
  • Close read to get the gist of the text
  • Use text explicit words, phrases and sentences that support the main idea
  • Work in small groups  
  • Close reading to get the gist of the primary source document
  • Use text explicit word/phrase/sentences to explain the impact of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans.
  • Organize a skit to show the Cherokee Nation’s perspective on their forced removal.
  • Compare and contrasting the message conveyed by each document.
  • Use context clues to figure out word meaning
  • Will work in groups to analyze primary documents  

Instructional Materials

  • Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830
  • Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Examining Primary Sources-Reading Group Roles

Lesson # 1

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.6

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Vocabulary: announce, benevolent, pursued, consummation, propose, savage annihilated and unconstrained.

Motivation: Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?

Guiding Questions

  • What were the different points of view offered regarding the removal of Native Americans in the 1830s?
  • What role, if any, does the removal of Native Americans play in the theory of the United States’ “Manifest Destiny”?

Learning Objectives SWBAT

  • After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands.
  • Compare and contrast different primary source documents with differing points of view
  • Make connections between the removal of Native Americans and the theory of “Manifest Destiny.”

Language Objective SWBAT

  • Read modified primary source documents proficiently and independently.
  • Annotate key words/phrases/sentences that explain the reasons why Native Americans were removed from their lands
  • List textual evidence that show differing points of view on the removal act

Procedure: Today we are going learn about a group of people who were forcibly removed from their homes. They were a Native American group known as the Cherokees. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act to remove Indians from their lands. Not all Americans were in agreement with this new act and many indicated their disapproval. President Jackson, in addressing his Second State of the Union, gave his reasons for removing Native Americans. We are going to get in groups of five and look at some primary documents. One will be President Jackson’s Second State of the Union. Another will be Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836. A third document will be Native American Voices – Colonel Webb (Choctaw).  Each group member will have an assigned role. Read the handout Examining Primary Source-Reading Group Roles and decide what you will do. You will read the primary source documents.You will use the handout Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down the text.

Exit Ticket: List the differing points of view from the documents you analyzed with your group.  Use specific words from the text. Present your findings as a group.  

Name:                                 Your Role

Title of Your Document:

Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal

1. Group Up: Arrange your group so that you are in a circle so that everyone can see and effectively communicate with everyone else.

2. Skim: First, silently skim the document provided to you. Does anything pop out first? (i.e. do you see any clues as to what the document may be about; is there anything that catches your attention or that you find interesting or confusing?; etc.)

3. Read: Together, carefully read through the document provided to you. The language may be confusing to you, or seem difficult to understand. Take your time and reread as needed. As you read, mark the text:

  • Circle any words that are unfamiliar to you. Underline any parts of the document that you think are most important or that stick out to you.
  •  If you are confused by any part of the document, write a question mark by that line or section. You can also write outquestions on the text.
  • If anything surprises you or evokes a strong emotional response from you, you can write an exclamation mark by the line or section.
  • If a particular thought pops in your head that connects to the reading, write it in the margins.

4. Discuss: The “Facilitator” will lead your group in discussing the following questions. You can also raise your own questions for discussion.  

  • What parts of this text did you underline as most important or interesting and why?
  • What does this document tell us regarding America’s Indian Removal policies in the 1830s?
  • What emotions or feelings are evident in this document? Or, what emotions or feelings would it have aroused in Natives, government officials, and/or European settlers?
  •  What is the purpose of this document? What evidence in the text makes you think this?
  •  Predict what impact you think this document, or the subject matter it addresses, will have on Native Americans and on the European/American settlers.
  • Based on this document, who would be impacted by America’s Indian removal policies and in what ways?  
  • Imagine you are living in the 1830s and you come across this document. How would you feel about it and why?
  • As you read this document, what images came to mind? If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why?

 5. Prepare to Present: Each group will present.  In order to teach the remainder of class about the document your group read and discussed, assist the Presenter in preparing to summarize the text and your discussion/opinions regarding the text for the remainder of class. In addition, choose at least 3-5 sentences of the text that you think are most important that the Presenter will read to the class during his/her presentation.

6. Extra Time? If your group has time left after completing all of the above steps, each of you should return to the question posed above: If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why? Reconsider this question, then as individuals, create your own piece of art that in some way represents or symbolizes the document you read. The Task Manager will retrieve the art supplies you need from the teacher.

Examining Primary Sources – Reading Group Roles

  • Facilitator: Your job is to lead the discussion on the reading provided to your group. Pose discussion questions to the group and ensure that every voice is heard (including your own). Make sure the group stays focused on the task assigned. While ensuring everyone else participates in the discussion, you should also provide your thoughts. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Recorder: Your job is to take notes during the discussion your group has regarding the reading assigned to you. Make sure you write down a final answer to each discussion question. You will assist the Presenter in preparing his/her notes for the summary he/she provides to the other groups. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Task Manager: Your job is to monitor the time as your group works and to provide time warnings (i.e. “10 minutes left,” “5 minutes left,” etc.) to your group. Make sure that your group equally divides its time among the questions and tasks, while ensuring all aspects of the assignment are completed before time is up. If any supplies are needed, you are responsible for getting them and ensuring they are returned. Also, assist the Facilitator in ensuring everyone in the group participates and stays on track. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Presenter: Your job is to summarize your group’s discussion for the remainder of class once time is up. Make sure you do this in a way that teaches the other groups about the reading assigned to your group. Be prepared to speak in a clear, concise manner. The Recorder can help you in preparing and writing the summary to be presented. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  •  Q & A-er: Your job is to keep track of any questions that your group members pose throughout the discussion. Whenever possible, assist in finding the answers to these questions. (For example, you may need to look up a word in the dictionary, or consult your text book for further information on a topic.) If the group needs the teacher’s assistance, you are responsible for communicating the group’s questions or needs to the teacher. Also, after the Presenter summarizes your group’s reading and discussion with the remainder of class, you are responsible for answering any clarifying questions other groups may have of your group. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.

References

Robertson, Kristina. Preparing an engaging social studies lesson for english language learners. 

Retrieved from: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/preparing-engaging-social-studies-lesson-english-language-learners

Paulina Araya on the ESL Textbook Project EDDN 634, Touro College

A textbook in a classroom is essential for the teacher and students as a guide throughout the school year. A textbook gives a teacher an idea of different ways to teach a certain topic. If the school you are working for has a curriculum, they provide the textbook which makes teaching a lot easier. Unfortunately, not all schools have a curriculum and many teachers must make up their own curricula including choosing using the textbooks best for students.

Paulina Araya has been teaching for four years with two years in Queens (D.O.E).  She is currently in her second year in Suffolk County, Long Island. Ms. Araya taught ELLS during Summer School in Queens for two years in a row and absolutely fell in love with the ENL population so she decided to pursue her career in TESOL. Plus, her husband along with her parents are former ELLS. She is at my second to last semester at Touro, currently taking an online course along with a Monday night class and next semester all that remains is the Practicum. She is excited and can’t wait to graduate in June 2019.

At my school district, the most common textbook used for ELLS is called EDGE Reading, Writing and Language. EDGE consists of 7 Units. Each unit has an Essential Question that follows a Genre Focus, a Focus Strategy and implications for Grammar and Writing.

 http://latinoamerica.cengage.com/ngl/edge/


Unit 1: reflects on What influences How you Act? Genre Focus: Short stories, character, plot and setting. Focus strategy: Plan and Monitor the grammar and vocabulary, sentences, subjects and predicates, Subject-verb agreement and personal narrative for writing. Unit 2: focuses on How do families affect us? Genre focus is Nonfiction: Author’s purpose. Ask Questions for Focus Strategies and for Grammar Subject pronouns, Present tense verbs, and subject-verb agreement. For students writing the focus is news articles.
Unit 3: Do we find or Create Our True Selves? Short stories: Narrator’s Point of view for Genre Focus, for Focus strategy: make inferences Grammar: Present, Past, and future tense, subject and object pronouns and for writing short stories.
Unit 4: How much should people help each other? Genre Focus is Nonfiction: Text structure and features. Focus Strategy is to determine the importance of structure. Grammar: possessive words, prepositions, and pronoun agreement. For their writing students will write a problem solution essay.
Unit 5: Do people get what they deserve? Genre focus, Short stories: Theme for Focus Strategy Make connections, Grammar adjectives, and adverbs. Writing is the description of a process.
Unit 6: What rights and responsibilities should teens have? The Genre Focus is Nonfiction, Structure of Arguments. Focus strategy is synthesizing information. Grammar focuses on indefinite pronouns, word order in sentences and compound sentences. The writing assignment is a Persuasive Essay.
Unit 7: What do you do to Make an Impression? Genre focus is Drama and Poetry, focus strategy is visualizing. Grammar aspect is compound and complex sentences, present perfect tense. The writing assignment is a literary analysis.
All seven units are common core structured and are preparing students to focus on specific strategies for the ELLS to pass the English Regents. There’re multitudes of visuals, graphic organizers, sentences starters, rough draft instructions for essays, key vocabulary review, critical thinking questions, and short stories that relate to ELLS. There is also a website https://www.myngconnect.com that helps students facilitate their learning while at home or out of the classroom.

Marisa Simoncic’s Literacy Unit for Touro Course EDDN 634

Teaching the vocabulary prior, really helped the students better comprehend the stories. As we were reading, they liked the mixture of round robin, choral, and teacher modeling.


Marisa Simoncic is a fourth-grade teacher at a charter school on Long Island. She is currently in her second year at Touro College, TESOL Masters Program with a graduation date of August 2019.

The assignment was to design a Literacy Unit for ELLs Students, with a rationale, lesson plans, hand-outs and a reflection on the lesson. Ms. Simonics literacy unit on James and the Giant Peach is designed for  4th Grade: Transitioning-Expanding with the themes of Friendship, FamilyRelationships, Good vs.Evil. The complete assignment is shared via a PDF with the graceful permission by Ms. Simonic.

James and the Giant Peach Kindle Edition
by Roald Dahl (Author), QuentinBlake (Illustrator)

Lesson 1:
James and the Giant Peach
Chapter 1-4 (pages 1-11)
Learning Objectives:
-I can participate in discussions about the text.
-I can learn new vocabulary word to help me understand the text.
-I can identify the setting, characters, and plot.
-I can use a story map to organize my information.
-I can use the story map to help retell the story.
-I can make a prediction.
Learning Standards:
RSL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
RSF. 4.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Vocabulary: paddle, desolate, peculiar, luminous, spectacles
Pre-Reading Activity: The teacher will have the students write the definitions on the graphic organizers. They
will need one for each word. Then work with a partner to complete the organizer. The organizers can get stapled into their notebook.
Materials: notebook, vocabulary anchor chart, elements of story anchor chart, story map
Instructional Plan:
1. The teacher and students will discuss the vocabulary words that will appear in the chapters. As the words are being discussed, the students will write the definitions into their notebooks. Then they will work with
a partner to finish the graphic organizer. (See template below).
2. The teacher will review the anchor chart that reviews elements of a story (characters, setting, plot). The teacher will explain that these elements are necessary for a story that is fantasy. Provide the students with a copy of the anchor chart for their notebook.
3. The students and teacher will read the text. The teacher will use a combination of choral reading, teacher modeling, and round robin reading to read the chapters. The teacher will pause for discussion.
4. After reading, the students and teacher will fill out the James and the Giant Peach story map. The teacher will model on the smartboard or on chart paper. He or she will explain that they will fill this out
throughout the story (add to plot, characters,etc).
5. The students will use the story map to aid in a retelling of what was read for the day. If the student is struggling, show the students the sentence frames or retell cards to get them started with their verbal
retell. The teacher can use the checklist to help determine if the student was successful.
6. Extension: If the students do well with verbally retelling, the students can write a brief retell using sentence frames to get them started.
Questions for Discussion:
-What kind of life does James live at the age of four? Describe his life.
-What happens to James to make him feel alone and scared?
-Where does James go?
-How is James treated by his aunts?
-How can we describe the aunts?
-What is the man in the bushes holding? Why does he give it to James?
-Would you take what the man is giving James?
-What do you think will happen with these green beans?
Homework: The students will design a pair of “magic, marvelous, fantastically luminous” sunglasses for James.
Then the students will write three to five sentences about what happens when the glasses are used.
Assessments: Reading-Fluency, Discussion-Comprehension, Story Map, Retell (with checklist)

Chapter 1-4 (pages 1-11)
Learning Objectives:
-I can participate in discussions about the text.
-I can learn new vocabulary word to help me understand the text.
-I can identify the setting, characters, and plot.
-I can use a story map to organize my information.
-I can use the story map to help retell the story.
-I can make a prediction.
Learning Standards:
RSL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
RSF. 4.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Vocabulary: paddle, desolate, peculiar, luminous, spectacles
Pre-Reading Activity: The teacher will have the students write the definitions on the graphic organizers. They
will need one for each word. Then work with a partner to complete the organizer. The organizers can get stapled into their notebook.
Materials: notebook, vocabulary anchor chart, elements of story anchor chart, story map
Instructional Plan:
1. The teacher and students will discuss the vocabulary words that will appear in the chapters. As the words are being discussed, the students will write the definitions into their notebooks. Then they will work with
a partner to finish the graphic organizer. (See template below).
2. The teacher will review the anchor chart that reviews elements of a story (characters, setting, plot). The teacher will explain that these elements are necessary for a story that is fantasy. Provide the students with a copy of the anchor chart for their notebook.
3. The students and teacher will read the text. The teacher will use a combination of choral reading, teacher modeling, and round robin reading to read the chapters. The teacher will pause for discussion.
4. After reading, the students and teacher will fill out the James and the Giant Peach story map. The teacher will model on the smartboard or on chart paper. He or she will explain that they will fill this out
throughout the story (add to plot, characters, etc).
5. The students will use the story map to aid in a retelling of what was read for the day. If the student is struggling, show the students the sentence frames or retell cards to get them started with their verbal
retell. The teacher can use the checklist to help determine if the student was successful.
6. Extension: If the students do well with verbally retelling, the students can write a brief retell using sentence frames to get them started.
Questions for Discussion:
-What kind of life does James live at the age of four? Describe his life.
-What happens to James to make him feel alone and scared?
-Where does James go?
-How is James treated by his aunts?
-How can we describe the aunts?
-What is the man in the bushes holding? Why does he give it to James?
-Would you take what the man is giving James?
-What do you think will happen with these green beans?
Homework: The students will design a pair of “magic, marvelous, fantastically luminous” sunglasses for James.
Then the students will write three to five sentences about what happens when the glasses are used.
Assessments: Reading-Fluency, Discussion-Comprehension, Story Map, Retell (with checklist)

Reflection

I was very eager to teach this lesson to my ENL students. They all love the novel study time during the day, they just struggle when it is in the whole class setting. When I told them that we would be working in a small group, they were thrilled. It was helpful to work with the small group in this fantastic book. Unfortunately, I was only able to teach the lesson in a small group for day one due to time constraints. The other lessons were done as a whole group. My reflection will focus on the small group instruction with my ENLs.Overall, the lesson was a success. It was difficult to get everything done in one session. I actually had to break the lesson into two days. Overall, my class has very limited vocabulary. So, I work very hard to make sure that I spend time explicitly teaching the vocabulary. The students really enjoyed using the Frayer model vocabulary graphic organizer. They liked that they were able to draw a picture. The sentences, however, were a challenge. I modeled sentences for the following words: luminous and desolate. After the modeling, we came up with a sentence as a group. They then copied those onto their organizers.

EDDN 634 ENL UNIT PLAN Introduction to Argumentative Writing by Touro Teacher Candidate Luis Colón

Luis Colón “Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.”

In my course EDDN 634 this weeks assignment is a Unit plan with ELA standard alignment. It is always a pleasure to highlight my teacher candidates work. You will find the complete unit with all the hand-outs in this article.

Luis Colón is an 8th and 9th grade English teacher on Long Island as well as a graduate student working on obtaining his MS in TESOL from Touro College. This year marks his second and final year in the program as he anticipates finishing before the end of 2018.

Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash


Luis Colón “Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.”

Next Generation ELA Standards
Reading Standards
9-10R1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly/implicitly and make logical inferences; develop questions for deeper understanding and for further exploration.
● RH1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the time and place of publication, origin, authorship, etc.
● RST1: Cite specific evidence to support analysis of scientific and technical texts, charts, diagrams, etc. attending to the precise details of the source. Understand and follow a detailed set of directions.
9-10R2: Determine one or more themes or central ideas in a text and analyze its development, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; objectively and accurately summarize a text.
● RH2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop within a text.
● RST2: Determine the key ideas or conclusions of a source; trace the source’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the source.
9-10R8: Delineate and evaluate an argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity or fallacy of key statements by examining whether the supporting evidence is relevant and sufficient
● RH8: Analyze the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
● RST8: Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a source support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Writing Standards
9-10W1: Write arguments to support claims that analyze substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
● 9-10W1a: Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from counterclaims, establish and organize clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaim(s), reasons, and evidence.
● 9-10W1b: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims in a balanced manner, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both, anticipating the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
● 9-10W1c: Use precise language and content-specific vocabulary to express the appropriate complexity of the topic.
● 9-10W1d: Use appropriate and varied transitions to make critical connections and distinctions, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
● 9-10W1e: Provide a concluding statement or section that explains the significance of the argument presented.
● 9-10W1f: Maintain a style and tone appropriate to the writing task.
9-10W7: Gather relevant information from multiple sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas;
avoid plagiarism and follow a standard format for citation.
● WHST7: Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and Research

ESL Learning Standards
Standard 1: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding.
Standard 3: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for critical analysis and evaluation.
Unit Introduction
As high school students in my district, there is a shift in curricular focus from how students are taught English / Language Arts in the lower grades (which follow the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop Curriculum) to one that is designed to prepare students for
the demands of the New York State Regents Exam. I specifically chose these articles and designed these activities for my groups of students since I have classes with many athletes who play competitively and many of which have hopes of playing sports in college. The argumentative question “Should college athletes be paid as professional athletes are?” asks students to consider where and if a line should be drawn between what is considered
professional sports and what is not since a lot of money is made from college sports through admission to games, merchandising and even airtime on television and radio.
Many of my ENL students are on the school soccer team which just won the State Championship or play outside of school on travel teams. They show passion for sports and many have played competitively since they were very young. Their passion for sports caused me to reflect and reconsider which argumentative topic to use with my group this year and I was excited to put it into action.


Essential Questions
● What is an argument?
● What makes a good argument?
● Where do we see arguments in our day to day lives?
● What is the intended audience of argumentative writing?
● What literary techniques do good writers use to convince their audience?
● How do I select effective evidence to support the claims I am making?
● How is argumentative writing similar and/or different to other styles of writing?
● What are the different mediums of argumentative writing in the modern day?
End of Unit Assessment (Performance Task)
Argumentative Essay
Main Objectives
By the end of the unit, students will be able to…
● Define the academic language of argument writing: Claim, Counterclaim, Argument,
etc.)
● Become familiar with and utilize argumentative conventions in their writing
● Cite textual evidence from multiple texts that supports and refutes the argument that the writer is intending to deliver to their audience
● Analyze how writers use the elements of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos when supporting their claims in their writing
● Analyze how writers explain evidence that they have gathered through research to support their claims
● Revise and edit their written work to create a final draft that includes the
conventions of argumentative writing as well as the structure and organization of a final draft
Critical Thinking Questions (Bloom’s)
● Interpret texts from different authors on the same subject matter by analyzing textual evidence, identifying who the intended audience is, and analyzing how the author uses rhetorical devices to support their claims
● Evaluate how effective an argument is based on source material, the validity of sources, and voice of the author of the text
● Analyze the typical language of argumentative writing and determine what the intended purpose behind the author’s use of specific diction in their writing
● Discuss in either pairs or groups how the evidence found in argumentative articles supports the claims that the author is attempting to make in their writing
● Appraise argumentative evidence based on the credibility of the source material, quality of textual evidence cited, and validity of that textual evidence
● Compile evidence from various sources that reflect both evidence that supports our claim and evidence that refutes our claims.
● Compile and organize evidence for an in-class debate that effectively and strongly supports the claims that student groups are defending.
CENTRAL TEXTS
Central Texts Paired Texts Paired Film
“Students Who Lose Recess are the Ones Who Need It Most”
“School Suspensions Don’t Work. It’s Time for Something Better” 
“The Surprising Truth About Discipline in Schools”
“How One Middle School Cut Discipline Referrals By 98 Percent in Just One Year”
“Should Athletes Be Paid to Play?”
“College Athletes are Being Educated, Not Exploited”
“How the N.C.A.A Cheats College Athletes” 
“It’s time to pay the tab for America’s college athletes”
SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL
Texts Film
“21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees And Should Be Allowed To Unionize” 
“A Day in the Life of a Student Athlete”
“Why Shouldn’t We Pay Student-Athletes?”
A Day In The Life of NFL Running Back
Latavius Murray

ENL ACCOMMODATIONS / MODIFICATIONS
● Graphic organizer for organizing evidence and in-class debate
● Sentence frames on chart paper to assist with writing
● Verbal as well as visual modeling on the SMART Board
● Incorporation of various media including diverse articles, video clips, etc.
● Seating in a manner where students have a speaker of their native language in the area
● Explain directions at a slower pace and simplify them for all students


Carmen Cambeiro, TESOL Masters Degree Candidate at Touro College on the importance of People Mapping

touro-collegeMs. Cambeiro holds a Bachelors degree in Adolescent education with a concentration in Spanish. She teaches foreign language at John Adams High School in Queens and loves her career and students. She finds my job to be very rewarding and loves the diversity within the school. In order to be the best teacher she can be, she is currently working on her Masters degree in TESOL at Touro College. This is her first semester in the program and is looking forward to the rest of the program.

As part of our online discussion forums, my cohort deep-dives into specific concepts and strategies. Ms. Cambeiro’s deeply reflective contribution on the importance of people mapping shows her thoughtfulness as a teacher preparing for a diverse classroom and keeping students well-being in mind.

The discussion question was:

  1. How do you prepare for People mapping at the beginning of the school year?  List 3 specific examples.

Ms. Cambeiro: Before I began teaching, I investigated the demographics and community I would be working in. I looked at what country most of my students would be from and researched as much as I could about their culture. I created a chart for myself to remember some of the cultural difference. The first few days of school, I make sure to observe my students in the classroom and hallways to see what would make them comfortable or uncomfortable. Most of the time, with teenagers, it is very easy to see what makes them uncomfortable and not. Some of the differences I researched I knew would be difficult since I come from a culture where physical touch is completely normal. I knew when parent-teacher conferences came around, I would have to remember these small changes to not offend parents and guardians unintentionally. I found it difficult to figure out which parent did not want to shake my hand, but over time it became much easier. I noticed that many times the students were acculturated in the society, but parents were not, and I had to know the difference once the time to meet them coming. I could imagine this is very different for ELL students and SIFE students. As well, when it comes to culture, I always try to understand the students’ religious holidays, especially when it comes to fasting. Many times, teachers do not take into consideration the holidays in which the students are in the building but may still be fasting. This can easily affect their performance and we must take this into consideration when teaching. Last year, I did not just research the holidays that many of my students were celebrating, but I allowed them to explain it to the class so that they understood the religious holiday as well. Of course, I made sure the students were comfortable with sharing this information with the class and lucky for me, most of them were! Aside from demographics and culture, I teach in an inner-city school where many of the students are going through a lot of personal and family issues at home. The first days of school I try to get a feel for what is going on in their homes. Some of the students may be in government housing or have immigration problems in which they live with family members instead of their parents. It is a difficult task to find this information out since the student may be uncomfortable sharing their personal information with someone they haven’t had a chance to trust yet. I always tried to find interesting ways to do this.  This year I decided to simply ask if there was anything in their life that could affect their behavior or performance in my class in a survey given on the second day. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of students who shared personal information with me. It really helped me find out what the student was like and how they would react to specific tasks or activities in class. For example, one student told me his father had recently passed away and he has been trying to stay strong for his mother. Another student told me about her social anxiety and her need to be in smaller groups instead of presenting in large groups. Just this small information can tell you a lot about your students and what you can do to ensure that they are comfortable and in a positive environment to learn L2. Last year, my student lost both of her parents to gang violence and her grandmother to old age in the same year and as you could imagine she was having a rough time. When reviewing family vocabulary words in class, I realized how upset she was getting and how much this was affecting her. I tried my best to do everything I could to comfort her and make the topic as easy and light-hearted as possible. I found that to be a difficult task, but if it wasn’t for me preparing and people mapping, I may have not noticed how uncomfortable she was in the class. People mapping is one of the most important things we can do as educators in the beginning and throughout the year.

References

Ortega, L (2009). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Chapter 3: Crosslinguistic Influences, London and New York, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Nicole Pappas’ Contribution for GSE Touro College, TESOL Program, EDDN 634 Reading and Writing for ELL’s

GSE LogoEvery week my aspiring teacher candidates matriculated in the GSE, Touro College contribute to their online course in discussion forums.  I am struck by the depth and breadth of their analysis, thought processes and connections to their professional teaching practice.  Here Nicole Pappas, one of my students and her contribution to session 5.

Nicole Pappas graduated from SUNY Old Westbury in May of 2018 with a bachelors degree in general and special education grades 1-6. She is certified to teach both special and general education grades 1-6. Currently, she serves as a permanent substitute teacher in the Levittown Public School District.  She started the TESOL graduate program at Touro College as a teacher candidate for the TESOL Masters Degree.

The Common Core State Standards include initiatives for shifts regarding the teaching of literacy to ELLs. Discuss these shifts.

There Common Core State Standards are grounded by three shifts in ELA. According to Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELL’s the first shift is building knowledge through content-rich notification. To address this shift, teachers of ELL must assess and build ELLs prior knowledge about the content and structure of the nonfiction text. The teacher then must integrate the students’ background knowledge into the instruction. The teacher has to teach the ELLs the differences between the structure of informational and literacy text. The teacher must also design appropriate assessments in order for the students to demonstrate what they know and can do. The second shift is reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from both literary and informational text. Teachers of ELLs must be able to build on the students’ background knowledge while using evidence from different types of texts. The teacher must also create appropriate text-dependent questions for students at different levels of the English language. By teaching the ELLs the academic language necessary so that they can use evidence from the text in reading, speaking, listening, and writing. This is important because the students need to gather information from the text to answer or understand the text. The last shift is regular practice with complex text and its academic language. Teachers must analyze complex texts and make ELLs aware of the academic language found in the complex tests. Also, the teachers must be able to teach ELLs strategies to guess words that are unknown to them. Examples of these words are cognates, prefixes, roots, and suffixes. The teacher also has to teach the meanings of words that have multiple definitions. This can be difficult for some students because one word can mean many different things. The student has to use context clues in order to figure out the correct meaning of the word (p.5). 

2.   2.  How can we, as educators, incorporate these standards into our lessons for our ELL students?

We can incorporate these standards into our lessons for our ELL students by differentiating and scaffolding instruction. One way to scaffold instruction is to use visuals, synonyms, and examples to clarify the meaning of words. The teacher can also use sentence starters and guided questions. Also, the teacher can have the student preview the text in their home language. These techniques help the ELL student understand the Common Core State Standards. By pre-teaching the meanings of key vocabulary words, the ELL student already has a knowledge on what the topic is that the Common Core State Standard is addressing.

3. Discuss several instructional strategies that would be beneficial in teaching writing to ELL students.

One strategy that would be beneficial in teaching writing to ELL students’ is by providing feedback to the students. According to the article, “Second Language Writing and Research: The Writing Process and Error Analysis in Student Texts” by Johanne Myles, if the teacher doesn’t provide proper feedback on errors, the improvement of the students writing will not happen. The teacher needs to teach the students self-corrections and regulation. The students also need to be motivated to want to write. If a student is not motivated or interested in writing, the student is not going to want to try and write. The teacher should also have the students talk out loud with one another more. By having students verbally discuss the answers, and then writing it down, it can help the students process the information and then correctly write it down on paper. The ELL students should first brainstorm ideas by using an outline. The student then writes these ideas out and has the teacher revise them and look over them. The writer translates their plans into a representation of their goals. Teaching writing to ELL students can be beneficial and help students write to the best of their ability.

4.     How can we encourage our students at all levels to become proficient in writing arguments?

We can encourage our students at all levels to become proficient in writing arguments by reminding students that argument skills are used in their everyday life. According to the article “Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs” by Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull-Sypnieski, teachers can create a word chart and include words like problem, cause, effect, and solution. Students would then translate these words into their home language, and develop a list of common English synonyms. The teacher should also give the student’s sentence starters to help them start a sentence. For example, when given the question: what is the problem? The sentence starter would be, the problem is ___. The students first verbally address the problem, and then they write down the answer on paper. If the students are writing a persuasive essay, it is essential to pre-teach the vocabulary that the students might need in their writing. The students will need to research the material that is necessary for the persuasive essay. The teacher should put examples on the board with correct grammar and spelling in a sentence and also the incorrect way to write a sentence in English. For example, under the yes column, the teacher could write: The boy is tall. Under the no column, the teacher could write: The boy are all. This is teaching the students the correct and incorrect form of are and is. The teacher should help the student connect their prior knowledge to make inferences to the material they are learning. 

5.   Analyze (not describe) briefly Vygotsky Scaffolding and the Zone of Proximal Development with an eye to implications to YOUR professional teaching practice.

According to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development: Instructional Implications and Teachers’ Professional Development by Karim Shabani, Mohamad Khaib, and Saman Ebadi (2010), Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development was used to describe the current level of development of the learner and the next level that is attainable through the use of environmental tools and adult or peer facilitation. Individuals learn best when working together with others during collaboration. I use this implication in my professional teaching practices because I ask my students to do turn-and-talks often. This helps students bounce ideas off of each other and students may feel comfortable to share and express their ideas with one another. Vygotsky perspective is to provide students with meaningful learning and problem-solving tasks that are slightly more difficult than what they do alone. I incorporated this into my teaching practice by creating STEM projects that are difficult for a student to solve alone, but easier when with a partner. One of the STEM activities I had my students do was to create a car using a water bottle, balloon, CD’s, string, and tape. The students had to draw their design of the car and had to think of ways to make it go as fast as it could. The students were able to bounce ideas off of each other and think of ways to make the car go as fast as it could. The students then raced the cars to see which car went the fastest. All of the students were familiar with what the purpose of a car is, they just had to use the recourses and tools to create the fastest car. 

Questions:

  1. What fun activities do you do with your students that incorporate the CCSS into your lessons?
  2. How do you help your students organize their writing? What types of graphic organizers do you use? 

Ferlazzo, L., & Hull-Sypnieski, K. (2014, April). Teaching Argument Writing to ELLs. Retrieved October 12, 2018

Myles, J. (2002, September). Second Language Writing and Research: The Writing Process and Error Analysis in Student Texts. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

Shabani, K., Khatib, M., & Ebadi, S. (2010). Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development: Instructional Implications and Teachers’ Professional Development. English Language Teaching.

 

TESOL International Association. (2013). Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs. 1-13. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

Highlighting Touro TESOL Masters Candidate Michelle Mannino’s Discussion Contributions in EDDN 634 – Teaching Reading and Writing to ELL’s

 

GSE LogoWhat is the best teacher education, and how can we make sure that programs cater to teacher candidates needs, are vital issues that facilitators, professors, lecturers, colleges and universities around the world are struggling with.  One area that I focus on is highlighting teacher candidates contributions to classroom discussions to encourage continued research, publication and motivation to submit exemplary coursework.  Michelle Mannino is one of my teacher candidates in EDDN 634, and her contribution in our discussion board shows not only depth of text analysis but also connects the reading to personal and professional experiences. These personalized connections form a bridge between the academic knowledge and internalization of the readings.

Here Michelle, Mannino, a Masters Candidate in the TESOL/Bilingual Department at the Graduate School of Education, Touro College.

My name is Michelle Mannino, and I am an educator who has always loved working with children both in and outside of the classroom, which is where my dedication for teaching comes from.  Years later, I now enjoy and live my passion as a Special Education Teacher in Manhattan.  This is my second year teaching in an ABA 6:1:1 classroom, in which my students are diagnosed with Multiple Disabilities or Autism. I am currently certified in New York State in both General and Special Education (1-6).

I am looking forward to having my third certification in ESOL, as I am in my second semester at Touro College for my Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The Guiding Questions are in bold and refer to text reading (see references) of week 4 in the online course.

  1. Many studies conclude that there are five essential elements of reading instruction.  Discuss these elements.

The five essential elements of reading instruction are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. According to the article by Suzanne Irujo, “ELLs cannot develop phonological awareness in English until they are familiar with the sounds of English. This means that before explicit instruction in phonological awareness begins, children should have extensive experiences with fun and appealing songs, poems, chants, and read- alouds that will allow them to hear and reproduce the sound patterns of English.” (Irujo, 2007). Irujo also states in the text, “What Does Research Tell Us About Teaching Reading to English Language Learners?” that “…Phonics can be problematic because ELLs often have difficulty discriminating between similar sounds, and because the English language does not does not have a regular system of correspondence between letters and sounds.” (Irujo, 2007).  He also writes;  “Most ELLs will need additional time to master phonics.” Fluency is another element that is “…difficult for ELLs because their lack of proficiency in English slows down their ability to decode words and hinders their ability to understand the meanings of the words and how the words combine to produce meaningful sentences and discourse.” (Irujo, 2007). Next is vocabulary. The text states “Vocabulary is difficult for ELLs; even for quite proficient learners, the extent of their knowledge of vocabulary is only a fraction of what it is for native speakers of English, and the failure to understand even a few words of a text can have negative effects on comprehension.” (Irujo, 2007).  What the text says about comprehension is “Reading comprehension is more difficult for ELLs than for native speakers for various reasons.” (Irujo, 2007).  

Comprehension, in general, can be challenging for English speaking students.  For example, when in school myself, I had to go to the resource room for reading comprehension.  I read fluently, but had a hard time comprehending what I was reading. Still, to this day, I need to re-read texts more than once to fully comprehend them.  During this session, I was having difficulty understanding what the questions were asking.  So, I had to re-read slowly a few more times to fully understand what the questions were asking. 

2. What components make up an effective reading program for ELLs?

One important component that makes up an effective reading program for ELLs is picking an appropriate text.  According to the article “Integrating Strategic Reading in L2 Instruction”, it states “From the standpoint of teaching strategic reading, while interest is crucial, an equally important factor is the students’ proficiency levels in their L2 and the consequent choice of a text that is at an appropriate level of difficulty.” (Janzen & Stoller, 1998).  Finding a text that is not too easy and not too difficult for the learner, will allow them the opportunity to utilize more strategies in the daily routines.  (Janzen & Stoller, 1998).  Once a text has been chosen, the teacher needs to implement different strategies into the instruction. Some examples that are given of different strategies are predicting, asking questions, checking predictions or finding an answer to a question, summarizing, and rereading.  A lot of these strategies can be linked together as well, and incorporated into small group activities.  (Janzen & Stoller, 1998).  Janzen & Stoller state in their text that the most important part for a teacher is that they “…must be able to enable students to monitor their comprehension and to become more self-aware readers.” (Janzen & Stoller, 1998).  Comprehension is very important, because if a student cannot comprehend a text, then they are not understanding what they are reading and are unable to answer the questions incorrectly.  All teachers should differentiate and plan their lessons according to the strategies and their students as well.  (Janzen & Stoller, 1998).  

3. There are many theorists who have researched the question of how to teach reading to ELLs. Choose one from our readings and discuss his/her theory.  

When reading all of the texts, the one passage that stuck out to me the most was “Interacting and talking about text in particular ways is essential (Casanave 1988). Heath (1984),Vygotsky (1962), and others found that students develop literacy skills when teachers encourage them to talk about written language, when teachers model comprehension strategies for them, and when students have opportunities to talk to each other about how they make sense of a text (Hoffman and Heath, 1986).” (Mikulecky, 2008).  

I believe these theorists make a lot of sense.  I believe a student should talk about their written language as long as the teacher makes the students feel comfortable by supporting and modeling comprehension strategies for their students.  Then the students will have the opportunity to talk to their peers and help make sense of the text.  An important difference is “encouraging” and not “pressuring” the students to talk about their written language.  Maybe, a student can explain something more thoroughly when they express it.  With the guidance given to these students, it will allow them to become more independent readers.  Working in small groups and talking to one another about what they made out from the text, will help guide them through this reading process.  As teachers, we need to implement many strategies for our learners and put into consideration that their prior knowledge is very important especially in their native language.  

References:

Irujo, S. (2007, January). What Does Research Tell Us About Teaching Reading to English Language Learners? Retrieved from http://cmmr.usc.edu//543/543IrujoResearchReadingELLs.pdf

Janzen, J., & Stoller, F. L. (1998). Integrating Strategic Reading in L2 Instruction. Retrieved from http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/PastIssues/rfl121janzen.pdf

Mikulecky, B. S. (2008). Teaching Reading in a Second Language. Retrieved from https://longmanhomeusa.com/content/FINAL-LO RES-Mikulecky-Reading Monograph .pdf