Help Migrant Children, Hear Music in Poetry, Grow Word Knowledge, …
"Winning" Funding Finds
Curated, Current Funding Opportunities
GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s website to help educators and institutions find the funds they need to supplement already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding is a free and fresh resource, which hosts a collection of more than 2,300 (and growing) grants and other funding opportunities culled from federal, state, regional and community sources and available to public and private, preK–12 educators, schools and districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations that work with them. The site offers customized searches by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. Once you are registered on the site, you can save the grants of greatest interest and then return to read about them at any time.
Innovations for Improving Academic Outcomes
School districts that are implementing innovative ideas to improve student learning and prepare every student for college and careers may be interested in applying for the fifth round of the United States Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. The department is accepting pre-applications for the Development grant category, which will provide up to $3 million each to 10 to 20 recipients with promising but relatively untested ideas. Applications for the Development category must address at least one of six priorities: improving the effectiveness of teachers or principals, addressing the need to accelerate improvement in low-performing schools, improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities, improving academic outcomes for English learners, using technology effectively and serving rural communities. Following a peer review process, the department will invite highly rated pre-applicants to apply for the competition’s Development category. Applications for the Validation and Scale-up i3 categories will be available later this spring. Visit the i3 website to learn more about the grant program and the pre-application process.
Deadline: April 14, 2014, for pre-application
Blossoming Children's Literacy
The Snapdragon Book Foundation was started in December 2008 by a former school librarian to foster children’s literacy. In a time when many schools are reallocating their funds to technology and audiovisual equipment, the foundation hopes to make sure that school libraries are still offering children good books to read. The foundation provides financial grants for books to school libraries serving disadvantaged youth, preK–grade 12, in the United States. Grants will be awarded to public, private and experimental schools. In the past, grants have ranged from $800 to $20,000. When applying for a grant, request the amount that the project requires. At times Snapdragon may be unable to fulfill the complete request but will offer a partial grant.
Deadline: April 18, 2014, for applications
Next Generation's Latino Leaders
The Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a national initiative for graduating high school seniors that fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences and humanities via the Smithsonian Institution and its resources. This college preparatory and leadership program encourages participants to explore various academic and career opportunities through the lens of the Latino experience. Up to 24 graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated interest in and commitment to the arts, sciences or humanities as it pertains to Latino communities will be selected to participate in a weeklong all-expenses-paid interdisciplinary training seminar in Washington, D.C. The seminar will be followed by a four-week internship in a preselected museum or cultural center in the United States or Puerto Rico. Participation in YAP includes meals and accommodations for the duration of the one-week training seminar, round-trip travel costs to Washington, D.C., and a program stipend. Students selected are responsible for all expenses during the four-week internship, including transportation, accommodations and meals. After completion of the five-week program, participants will receive the $2,000 program stipend. Students who do not complete the training seminar and four-week internship will not receive the stipend.
Deadlines: Applications accepted through late April 2014; application process and selection committee to convene May 2014; June 22–28, 2014; July 7–August 1, 2014
Plus: The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) offers academic internships for upper-level high school students, undergraduate and graduate students during the summer, fall and winter/spring semesters. Internships are offered on a part-time and full-time basis for students with an interest in and commitment to the arts, sciences or humanities. Interns will work on a variety of Latino Center projects, focusing on exhibitions, public and educational programming, online resources, marketing and development.
Deadlines: Applications accepted through late April 2014; application process and selection committee to convene May 2014; June 22–28, 2014; July 7–August 1, 2014
Big-Value, No-Cost Resources
Adjustments for Newcomers
Help! They Don’t Speak English Starter Kit is a resource guide designed for preK–grade 6 teachers seeking ideas for recommended teaching strategies, lesson plans and other materials. Most of the strategies promoted in the guide are recommended for all students, not just English learners. First produced by a group of migrant educators in Virginia, the Starter Kit is published by ESCORT, formerly the Eastern Stream Center on Resources and Training, located at the State University of New York at Oneonta, a national resource center dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for migrant children. The nine chapters in the guide include “Migrant Students, Schools, and Culture”; “Strategies for Involving LEP Students in the Mainstream Classroom”; “Promoting Literacy (By Any Means Necessary)”; “English in the Content Areas”; “Promoting Mathematics (By Any and All Means)”; “Assessment and Evaluation: How Can We Be Fair and Demanding?”; “Fostering Home–School Partnerships”; “Technical Assistance and Resources”; and “Articles of Interest.”
Plus: The Help! Kit for secondary educators of migrant students is a compendium of research about best practices in teaching English learners in content-area courses. This resource guide is the sequel to Help! They Don’t Speak English Starter Kit for elementary teachers. The guide came about because so many educators were requesting a Help! Kit for middle school and high school teachers who have the challenge of teaching demanding content-area courses to migrant students with limited English proficiency. Chapter 1 of the guide includes a Glossary of Terms for navigating The Help! Kit. Chapters 2–12 address “Migrant Students, Schools, and Culture”; “Strategies for Involving LEP Students in the Mainstream Classroom”; “Making Language Arts Comprehensible to the English Language Learner”; “Making Social Studies Comprehensible to the English Language Learner”; “Making Science Comprehensible to the English Language Learner”; “Assessment and Evaluation: How Can It Be Fair and Demanding?”; “Fostering Home–School Partnerships”; “The Challenge of Meeting Graduation Requirements”; “Postsecondary Options: How Can We Help?”; and “Technical Assistance and Resources.”
SPOTLIGHT! On Poetry: A Universal Language*
Poetry is universal among all societies, giving insights into individuals’ lives, cultures, beliefs and practices. It can be successfully utilized as a rich linguistic tool and resource for all English language learners, as ESL teachers introduce their students to favorite poems.
The often-complex nature of poetry is not “foreign” to many ESL students who are already familiar with poetry written in their native languages. Some students who were previously forced into counting meter and memorizing poems may resist the idea of learning from poetry. But there is enjoyment to be had by delving into hidden symbolism and uncovering elusive meanings. It’s a perfect teaching tool for the ESL teacher!
With poetry’s rich vocabulary and its many benefits as a natural teaching tool, the introduction of poetry within a program of the study of English as a second language can become an enjoyable means to enrich and energize the learning environment of an ESL classroom.
Specifically, the repetition of words and syntax that typify poetry, as well as its intrinsic possibilities of language play and rhythmic and rhyming devices, can provide English learners with an opportunity for a meaning-filled engagement with their English language texts. In addition, the study and writing of poetry allows ESL students to enrich their English language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as contributing to their oral fluency.
*Excerpted and adapted from http://www.brighthubeducation.com/esl-lesson-plans/7143-benefits-of-utilizing-poetry-as-an-esl-teaching-tool/
For Better or Verse
April is National Poetry Month, and for 2014, the Academy of American Poets has introduced Poet-to-Poet, a multimedia educational project that invites young people in grades 3–12 to write poems in response to those shared by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors. To participate in Poet-to-Poet, students should watch the videos on the website of chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then students should write their own poem in response and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2014. (Be sure that students include their name and the name of the poet who has inspired their poem.) The Academy will consider all student poems for publication on Poets.org in May 2014.
Plus: For teachers who are interested in using Poet-to-Poet in the classroom, the Academy of American Poets worked with a curriculum specialist to design a series of activities aligned with the Common Core.
Poetry in Motion
The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the rhythms of poetry. The focus in on two poetic forms that originated as forms of song: the ballad stanza, found throughout British and American literature, and the blues stanzas of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The exercises take poetry off the page and put it into terms of movement, physical space and music. This is the first Smithsonian in Your Classroom with a soundtrack. At a special web page, Smithsonian Folkways – Soundscapes, students can listen to musical ballads and blues from the catalog of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
Beginning in Delight, Ending in Wisdom
The Poetry Foundation’s Learning Lab encourages teachers, students and learners of every age to immerse themselves in the enjoyment of poetry. The Learning Lab provides Core Learning Poems, Articles for Students and Teachers and Essays on Poetic Theory. A special feature of the Learning Lab is the Glossary of Poetic Terms. Students can search the glossary alphabetically by Forms & Type, Rhythm & Meter, Schools & Periods, Techniques & Figurative Language and Theory & Criticism.
Plus: The Poetry Foundation offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to search for poems, save their favorites and share them with friends. Users can search for poems by poet or title, or by entering a line or two of a favorite poem.
Powered-Up Professional Development
Voices from the Field
CAL is continuing to expand its series of professional development institutes focusing on key issues for educators of English learners. CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical hands-on tools to help teachers develop classroom activities that target the academic language demands of the College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards, including the Common Core. Join CAL at an institute this summer in Washington, D.C. The institutes listed below are described more fully on CAL’s website.
May 20–21, 2014: Spanish Literacy Institute
Deadline: Registration is under way; early registration is encouraged, as space is limited.
Culture, Language and Math
Need help teaching English language learners (ELLs) in your mathematics classroom? TESOL’s online course ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher will help you. Participants will learn about core ESL principles and practices, the role that language and culture play in learning mathematics, planning and implementing instruction for ELLs and assessment of mathematics knowledge. They will also explore how teachers can use TESOL’s PreK–12 English Language Proficiency Standards to develop ELLs’ academic language proficiency and plan instruction and assessment in secondary mathematics classrooms. The course will take place online from June 2 through July 29, 2014.
Deadline: Registration closes on May 28, 2014.
Fotobabble allows students to take a new photo with an iOS mobile device or insert a photo from their camera roll. After inserting the photo to a page, students select a frame, choose various editing effects and add stickers, drawings and text. Then students record themselves adding information about the photo. For example, the app can help to scaffold students’ learning of vocabulary taught during a unit of study. First students take and insert a photo of the unit’s word wall. Next they record themselves saying the words. They can then share their video on a class Facebook page. At home, students can practice saying the words before playing the video to check their pronunciation and word reading. They can also share their Fotobabble video on Twitter or email it to family members to extend the learning experience. This activity is especially helpful to scaffold English language learners understanding of academic vocabulary.
Mobile Devices: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
"Seedlings" for Learning
A game for one to four players, Futaba (“seedling” in Japanese) presents players with pictures of everyday items and asks them to name each object. Simple and fun, the game encourages player competition to see who can choose the correct name for an item from a list of four choices. Whoever gets the most correct answers in one minute wins the round. Whether students are playing in groups or practicing solo, this game is sure to add new words to their vocabulary. Futaba also has an upgrade with extra, customizable features.
Mobile Device: iPad
Cost: Free; $2.99 for extra features
Especially relevant to language learning is the possibility of using mobile games to create hands-on, situated learning experiences related to individual students’ linguistic backgrounds and interests. These can include exploration, practice, language production and collaboration in a variety of learning contexts. Mentira is a place-based augmented reality game using the Augmented Reality for Interactive Storytelling (ARIS) platform, developed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The game is a murder mystery, consisting of current and prohibition-era fictional events, all set in the Los Griegos neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The basic structure of the game is directed conversations between the player and fictional characters (Non Playing Characters, or NPCs) concerning the murder and its solution. Each conversation is situated at a particular place and time in the game’s narrative, much like a historical novel in which fact and fiction combine to set the context and social conditions for meaningful interactions with simulated characters, other players and local citizens. A core component of the game requires players to visit the local neighborhood to collect additional clues and ultimately solve the mystery by determining the responsible party.
Mobile Devices: iPhone, iPod touch
Cost: ARIS platform needed to play game is free from iTunes App Store
Music Cultures Worldwide
Listen for Life, a global nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music cultures worldwide, has created Travels With Music to introduce students to world cultures, using music as the gateway. The multimedia program explores the richness and diversity of 15 world cultures—Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, the Philippines, Trinidad and the United States—through the use of 300 video and audio segments that comprise six hours of classroom instruction. The engaging content in Travels With Music is ideal for instruction in history, geography, ESL/EFL/TESOL, cultural diversity, cultural literacy, music and tolerance. Available as both an online subscription and on DVD, Travels With Music introduces each culture by providing perspective on its origins and history, surrounding geography and unique customs, traditions, language(s) and music.
The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) provides interactive and innovative opportunities to enhance learning and increase access and awareness to the Smithsonian’s Latino collections and resources in the arts, sciences and humanities. The center offers K–12 education programs and workshops, youth development programs, family programming, online resources and free downloadable bilingual teacher and student materials. These programs and resources teach the public about the untold stories of Latinos in America. SLC’s Latino Virtual Gallery (LVG) is an interactive learning environment that enhances knowledge and appreciation of Latino cultural heritage. LVG is a 21st century interdisciplinary approach to science and the humanities. The Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) is an educational outreach resource initiative created to enhance knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Latino cultural heritage through innovative and engaging online experiences. LVM Interactive is the convergent media archive exploring Latino identity and connecting communities through transmedia experiences.
Plus: In the Smithsonian Latino Kids Corner, students can enter the Virtual Gallery for Kids, where they’ll learn what portraiture is and how portraits form part of cultural and artistic expression. They’ll also learn about and create written compositions based on analytical skills practiced through observation of portraits. In the Son Clave Lounge, students will learn about cultural heritage through the lens of music. They’ll also explore the Latino cultural tradition of blending diverse music styles and explore music styles through instruments. And in the Meso Time area, students will learn about the art of storytelling and recognize the value of oral histories in passing on cultural traditions. They’ll also explore objects, images and sounds from Mexico’s diverse people and learn about Mexico as a place of human, scientific and historic wonder.
Read and Succeed
TextProject is a nonprofit organization that formalizes a decade-plus of ongoing work by its founder, Elfrieda H. (Freddy) Hiebert), to bring beginning and struggling readers to high levels of literacy through a variety of strategies and tools, particularly the texts used for reading instruction. TextProject’s three priorities in support of its mission are creating products and prototypes for student reading programs, primarily based on the Text Elements by Task (TExT) Model of text complexity; providing teacher support resources and classroom reading activities; and supporting and disseminating related research. The content areas that drive TextProject’s research and development of products and teaching strategies include Common Core State Standards; Text Complexity; Assessment; Vocabulary; Beginning Reading; Core Vocabulary; Summer Reading; Morphological Awareness; Silent Reading & Reading Stamina; and Reading Automaticity & Fluency. Among the free student resources, you’ll find free sets of texts, TalkingPoints for Kids to increase text-based discussions and FYI for Kids, a magazine-based reading program. Teacher resources include free evidence-based lessons; Exceptional Expressions for Everyday Events, which use everyday words to teach new words; Word Pictures to teach complex words; and Read-Aloud Favorites to introduce topics and genres that students may not otherwise be able to read independently.
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