Opportunities for English Learners in the CCSS ELA

In a paper, as part of Stanford University’s Understand Language series (here) authors George C. Bunch, Amanda Kibler, and Susan Pimentel describe, for those “collectively responsible for education of English Learners,” what has to be done so the CCSS are “realized” for English Learners. They outline four key principles:

  1. Making sure students are engaging with complex texts to build knowledge across the curriculum
  2. Using evidence to inform, argue and analyze
  3. Working collaboratively, understanding multiple perspectives, and presenting ideas and
  4. Using and developing linguistic resources to do all of the above.

They write, “Leveraging students’ existing background knowledge, and building new knowledge, can be accomplished in a number of ways before and during a lesson or unit of study—without preempting the text, translating its contents for students, telling students what they are going to learn in advance of reading a particular text, or ‘simplifying’ the text itself.”  If you work with English Learners, their paper is worth the read. (Full access here.)

About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at coretaskproject@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Common Core State Standards, Content Knowledge, English Learners and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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