Greetings Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals! It’s February already and I’m sorry I have not checked in with you in a while. It’s been a busy fall and holiday season. January’s over! How are our students doing? How are we as teachers doing, personally and in our teaching practice? Let’s take a breath and pause. Then, let’s reconnect and reassess!
It’s time to reconnect with your instruction and reassess where your students are!
By now most of your students have had 4+ months of exposure to English in school and elsewhere. Hopefully you’ve been busy these last months teaching your students basic vocabulary and sentence structure within a theme, and giving them lots of time and space to develop their oral language.
have they learned what I’ve taught them so far?
The goal is to give you a comprehensive overview of how much they know at this point. Remember, we’re not testing them on new skills. More importantly, to what extent they can do it independently? For this, you’re going to reconnect to your instruction by referring back to your past lessons and materials. Then, you’re going to plan to reassess your students.
What’s going to be easier for you? Putting in the time to create a separate workbook that you hand out and then collect and score OR avoiding printing paper and having students do tasks directly in their notebooks?
Create an assessment workbook and/or google slides with the following suggested tasks:
Task 1 Vocabulary assessment: Choose between 10-15 key vocabulary words you’ve taught since September and have students match it to a picture or other options (see assessment slide template in the link below). Assign students 1 point for every correct match. If you test 15 words and they’ve scored 12 correctly, they’ve learned 80% of the words you’ve taught them – good job!
Task 2 Written expression/Sentence writing: Assess whether students are able to expand a simple sentence in writing with and, but, and because. If you’ve taught more advanced conjunctions, create sentence stems that students can expand using them. Use the NYSESLAT writing rubric to score their answers.
Task 3 Listening comprehension: Choose a video around the most recent theme you’ve taught (but not the exact same video as before). Based on the video, have students answer a number of yes/no questions that indicate they understood the key points. Assign students 1 point for every correct match.
Task 4: Reading comprehension: Choose a short text or portion from a text they haven’t read before, but based on a theme you’ve covered in class. Create a series of yes/no or short answer questions to see how much students are able to understand. You can decide whether to read the text aloud to them or not.
Task 4: Alphabet and sound-symbol correspondences: If you have been following my scope and sequence and if you’ve taught your students the alphabet and consonant and short vowel sounds, first have them write the alphabet out in sequence. Next, test them on their knowledge of consonants and short vowels using a number of options (see link below).
Task 5: Grammar & Morphology: Review some previously taught grammar skills like the -ing suffix, subject pronouns, yes/no questions, prefixes, etc. Recycle some exercises you’ve given them to see how much they remember about using these skills.
Optional Task: Speaking: Provide students with a number of familiar speaking prompts, as well as pictures to support comprehension. Either as a class or in partners, write a few notes about each student’s ability to speak and progress since September as you listen for responses. Assign points for responses and/or make notes around the growth of their speaking ability since September
whe you reconnect and reassess, it provides data to drive your instruction throughout the rest of the year
This is a time-consuming process but well worth the effort: by reconnecting with the material you’ve taught thus far and reassessing the students, you will have a solid understanding of what students have learned and what they’re ready for next.
If you have large numbers of students and can’t track each student’s progress individually, put students into groups of 3 or 4 and collect some form of work collectively. Use these slides as templates for your assessment. The idea is that you will reuse these slides at the end of the year to assess their end-of-year progress.
don’t give up
Teachers: I know everyone may be feeling the midyear slump but don’t give up! You have been laying the foundation for more advanced proficiency! Reconnect and reassess to drive your instruction through June.
If you’ve been following my scope and sequence, you’ve also been systematically and sequentially moving through linguistic skills like consonant sounds and present progressive tense couched in communicative sentence frames and vocabulary. Note what you’ve taught with the help of this progress tracker.
Also check out my linguistic slides that you can download, copy and insert into your lessons to help you teach the skills. I will be continually updating these throughout the year to help you keep on track. I want to hear from you about reconnecting and reassessing – leave your comments below!