Thanks, great question!
Our district services students by using small group pull-out English immersion model. This means a minimum of 30 minutes per day for K-5 students in a small group setting of about 5-8 students per group. Students are grouped by ability and grade level. Recommendations for newly arrived immigrants is for 1 hour per day. Classes are conducted solely in English.
Middle school program is for one 50 minute period per day...this session is for mixed grade/ability level and again conducted solely in English.
Other districts in the state offer bilingual classroom settings, where there is a large population of one language group.
The push-in model is another that is offered, but my personal feelings are that there still needs to be separate instruction...teacher pushing-in to mainstream classroom does not offer enough intensity of instruction...
Does anyone have another thought on that?
State of NJ requires our curriculum to be content inclusive meeting state standards for Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, as well as Language Arts and Social Languague/Communication Skills.
It might be interesting and helpful for our members to share an overview of our districts' curriculum...would sharing our curriculums be helpful to you?
NJ also belongs to WIDA Consortium...ACCESS for ELLs testing and tracking. This provides exellent assessment for ELLs and structure for instruction/curriculum. Is your state a member?
Of course, online programs and activities such as those offered by all Thinkfinity partners provide students with opportunity to work at their own pace ( I could list a bunch of favorite activities, but that's for another discussion). I have laptops available for my small groups, which I find very helpful.
Hope this response gives you something you can use in your district....Will you be restructuring your program?
OH MY GOSH YES! I would love to see your curriculum! We are trying to develop one ourselves, because we are mostly used as reading teachers at our school. The district is small, but our numbers are big. We have 63 ELLs (not including monitored/exited students) in our school of 250.
We are a WIDA state, and we are looking at how the Common Core standards will affect what we are doing. And how we can move beyond being reading teachers and actually doing our jobs. We think this may mean more consulting with teachers on how to differentiate their lessons, however the administration keeps pushing for push-in, and like you, I feel this does not meet their needs.
I would love to see your curriculum, though! That might help us on our journey...
Thanks so much!
Hi Beth and Joyce,
Thanks for your interest...
Our ESL curriculum covers grades K-8...
It is a hefty document...around 60 pages, so I took a sample unit from each grade cluster along with table of contents page and have placed it in our documents section.
The curriculum template includes grade cluster, topic - vocabulary and summary, time frame, 21st Century skills, standards, essential questions, enduring understandings, objectives and resources.
The new Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Mathematics are included...
Please let me know if you would like to see additional units, perhaps I can email what you need...
I hope this is useful to you both...
Yes...it is an enormous amount of work!
The state requires curriculum updates every 5-6 year cycle. So our ESL curriculum was due this year. Our district "curriculum intruction and assessment committee (cia)" created the template last year and as each content curriculum comes due for update, we follow this template model. As you can see this was submitted and approved in March of 2011.
I am the sole district ESL coordinator, so I got to write the entire curriculum by myself...months of work, especially since all LA and Math Standards were revised. If you have other teachers in your district it might be easy to divide the work by grade clusters. Also, be sure to ask for "release time" or time during school professional days to get started...(most of my work was done on my own time...should not be that way).
Also, check regarding district policy for compensation for curriculum writing.
Begin the task by brainstorming the topics that you cover during the school year...usually 9 or 10 major topics per grade cluster, to parallel the 10 months of the school year. Keep in mind the importance of covering all content areas such as the science, social studies and math.
It is an excellent format and does provide everything you need to conduct lessons and units of study...so in the long run it is very helpful to the classroom teacher, who can model lesson plans from this.
BTW - you can visit my district website and can view the entire curriculum which is posted. Email me for the specifics...
Good luck ...I would be happy to help in any way I can.