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Cut to the Core

Tutor de Estándares Comunes, Artes del lenguaje for grades 3–5 is the Spanish-language companion to Common Core Coach, Triumph Learning’s award-winning supplemental program designed to provide differentiated instruction for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. Both programs, English and Spanish, were designed to bring on-level students where they need to be to meet the rigors of the CCSS. With dual-language instructional support in the teacher’s manual supplement and genre-specific differentiated Spanish-language lessons in the student edition, you will have the tools you need to help students master achievements emphasized by the CCSS. Order your class set today and save 15% by calling (800) 338-6519.

Click Here to Download Free Sample Lessons

Examine Efficacy of ELL Programs

Published in March 2015 by the Education Commission of the States, State-level English Language Learner Policies offers a series of policy recommendations that states and the federal government can adopt to improve the academic performance of English language learners. The report lists proposed changes in five areas: finance; student identification and reclassification; educator quality; prekindergarten services; and parent and family engagement. To better identify ELLs, the report suggests developing standardized tools—including home language surveys—to help schools and districts to identify language learners with more consistency and reclassify students who may no longer need ELL services. The group also wants states to establish standards that English learners “should only leave English language programs when they can read, write and comprehend English well enough to participate meaningfully in an English-only classroom setting.”

Click Here to Download Free Report

Bring the World to Your Classroom

The Global Oneness Project provides stories in the form of articles, films and photo essays. The stories include global themes with a humanistic lens. The project’s films have been featured in The New York Times, the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic. The accompanying lesson plans facilitate critical thinking, reflective writing and in-class activities designed for use in the arts, environmental sciences, English, history courses and more. Each month the Global Oneness Project releases a new story with an accompanying 60-minute lesson plan aligned to national and Common Core standards. View the introductory video and then get started by searching for media that fit your classroom needs. Also sign up for the monthly enewsletter and connect on Twitter (@goproject).

Click Here to Access Free Stories

Click Here to Access Free Lesson Plans

Click Here to Sign Up for Free eNewsletter

Plan for a Día Year

In April 2016, Children’s Day, Book Day, often known as Día (for El día de los niños, El día de los libros), will celebrate its 20th anniversary—20 years in which literacy advocates have motivated families in their communities to honor children and to share bookjoy throughout the year. Annually, during April, book fiestas are held at schools, libraries, universities/colleges and community centers. To help you share bookjoy, children’s book author Pat Mora has provided a free downloadable booklet with practical ideas to share with your planning committee or colleagues. Click on a chapter link to download and print that chapter or download and print the complete booklet—free of charge. And be sure to celebrate Día’s 19th anniversary on April 30 of this year.

Click Here to Download Free Booklet

Open Portals to Uncharted Worlds

All accredited academic institutions can now receive up to 25 free downloads per school of the award-winning fiction writing game Elegy for a Dead World for use in their school. In Elegy, students explore distant planets inspired by the works of British Romantic-era poets and write fiction about the people who once lived there. Elegy inspires students to write stories, poems and songs by combining a loose narrative framework with hand-painted art and rich soundscapes. In English as a second language (ESL) classes, students practice their grammar skills by entering short phrases into fill-in-the-blank sections that serve as the narrative framework. Dejobaan, the game developer, is working with educators in K–12, ESL and university programs to develop lesson plans. Educators are currently using Elegy as a teaching or learning tool for creative writing, literature, grammar and game design. Elegy for a Dead World will launch in the first quarter of 2015 for PC, Mac and Linux on Steam.

Click Here for More Information

"Winning" Funding Finds

Celebrate Latino American Cultures

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: Humanities in the Public Square. The program is designed for libraries, museums, community arts and cultural organizations, historical societies, public television station affiliates, state humanities councils and others that seek to facilitate informed discussion in their communities about the history of Latinos in the United States, dating back more than 500 years. This project will feature the PBS documentary series LATINO AMERICANS, a production of WETA in Washington, DC; Bosch and Co.; and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), as a public programming cornerstone. The goals of Latino Americans: 500 Years of History are threefold: (1) to bring scholarship on Latino American histories and cultures to new audiences; (2) to engage people in examining and documenting the histories of Latino Americans in their communities; and (3) to foster understanding of local histories in regional, national and international contexts. Up to 200 sites will be selected to receive a Latino Americans grant. Eligible organizations are invited to submit an online application.

Deadlines: May 1, 2015, for applications; June 15, 2015, for announcement of awards

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Become a part of the LATINO AMERICANS project. Make a video describing what being Latino means to you, share your family traditions, tell how you celebrate your heritage and culture or describe your role models.

Click Here for More Information

Promote Mutual Understanding

Through its English Language Specialist Program, the US Department of State recruits US academics and professionals in the fields of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and applied linguistics to deliver and maintain quality English language programs overseas. Eligible applicants are US citizens with a master’s or PhD degree in TESOL, or a field related to English language teaching. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to the field of English language teaching. In addition, skill in one or more of these topic areas is preferred: the arts; aviation; business; disabled learners; engineering; English for academic purposes; hospitality; law, law enforcement or border guards; literature; medicine; summer camps; technology; and young learners.

Deadline: May 12, 2015, for spring and summer cycle

Click Here for More Information

Reach Hard-to-Reach Students

The Tina B. Carver Fund honors the life and work of a longtime member of TESOL and the ESL/EFL community. Established by Carver’s family and colleagues, the fund provides grants of up to $400 for the purchase of student classroom learning materials and/or teacher-related materials (for example, ancillary materials that can be used in conjunction with textbooks or other instructional materials) to support adult ESL education programs in the United States. A TESOL member, or member of a TESOL affiliate, may submit an application on behalf of a community-based organization, charitable institution or other nonprofit in the United States that carries 501(c)(3) status and provides ESL programming for adults. Awarded grants will primarily serve the hardest-to-reach students with limited resources.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Recognize Successful Ed-Tech Collaboration

CDW•G, in partnership with eSchool News, is sponsoring Collaboration Nation, an awards program that will recognize the nation’s finest examples of collaboration and successful educational technology projects. CDWG will share the winning school and district’s keys to success and will award that school or district a grand prize of $50,000 to spend with CDWG on products and services from partners such as HP, Lenovo and Meraki. From March 2 through June 30, 2015, schools and districts are invited to submit a nomination and short video on the Collaboration Nation website. The winning school or district’s nomination and video will demonstrate exemplary technology collaboration across departments and describe how the project had a measurable impact on teaching and learning.

Deadline: June 30, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Plus: Schools and districts are encouraged to be part of the Collaboration Nation community on Facebook by sharing videos of collaboration successes. Each month (April, May and June), the school or district video that has the most shares on Facebook will win a $15,000 prize in products from Collaboration Nation partners such as HP, Lenovo or Meraki.

Click Here to Access Collaboration Nation Facebook Community

Professional Development Plus

Map a Route to Excellence

You are on a journey as a teacher of English, but where do you want to go? What do you need to do to get there? What is the best pathway for you? Continue your professional development on First select the stage you’re at. Then click on the links to find ideas to help you develop as a teacher.

Click Here to Visit Website

Plus: Every teacher has his or her own pathway to development. This video, produced by the BBC, showcases several pathways for continuing professional development taken by teachers of English around the world. Start by mapping your own pathway. Then think about where you’re going next.

Click Here to Access Free Video

Facilitate Academic Language Development

Teaching Modals Across the Levels” is the third of four webinars presented by Oxford University Press authors on issues in teaching and learning grammar for facilitating academic language development. This virtual seminar, which is sponsored by TESOL, will consider important aspects of teaching modals, including focus on form and basic language functions for beginning learners and appropriate use of modals for hedging in high-level academic writing. The seminar, which will take place on April 22, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (ET), is free for TESOL members and nonmembers, but participants must be registered by April 19, 2015. The seminar registration will remain open for three months following the live event. Participants who register after the registration deadline will receive access to the recorded version of the virtual seminar only.

Click Here to Visit Website

Engage in Academic Conversations

Key Strategies for Developing Oral language, a new video series from TeachingChannel, focuses on academic conversations with ELLs. The series, created in partnership with Oakland Unified School District, highlights three classrooms where ELLs are engaged in academic conversations. The videos show how teachers got their students to where they are—articulately, confidently and independently engaging in discussions with their peers and teachers.

Click Here to Access Overview Video

Plus: The videos are accompanied by three related blog posts that pull out specific strategies, activities and approaches for supporting oral language skills: (1) “Engaging ELLs in Academic Conversations,” (2) “Why Are Academic Discussions So Important for Our ELLs?” and (3) “Key Strategies for Developing Oral Language.” In addition to the videos, the posts include recommended resources, discussion questions and supporting materials.

Click Here to Access Blog Posts

On-the-Go Learning

Repeat After Me

Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch helps K–2 children practice reading fluency through echo reading. The app offers English learners three different ways to read: “Read to Me”—listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read; “Read It Myself”—read the book in its traditional form; and “Auto Play”—play the story like a movie, automatically reading and turning pages. In addition, children can take pictures with Cat in the Hat characters using the Camera or Photo Library on a mobile device, or they can choose to become the Cat in the Hat, the playful Things or even Sally or her brother. Cost: $1.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Make Magical Movies

Puppet Pals HD for iOS mobile devices lets K–10 ESL students practice reading fluency and language skills. Students select characters, settings and a title and then narrate a story while animating the characters using their fingers. They can pose their characters, make them walk around and have them interact with vehicles, locations and props. The characters’ mouths automatically move in sync with students’ voices. Students can create their own backdrops and characters using pictures from the mobile device’s Camera Roll and export the finished video files to iMovie or YouTube. Costs: Free; in-app purchases from $0.99 to $4.99

Click Here to Visit iTunes App Store

Worth-the-Surf Websites

Examine Waves of Immigration

In 1819 Congress passed a law requiring that the arrival of all immigrants be recorded. Immigrant workers were needed, and the rest of the 19th century saw their numbers grow. From that period through today, America has seen waves of immigration, which are captured in a colorful interactive graphic, 200 Years of Immigration to the United States.

Click Here to Access Free Infographic

SPOTLIGHT! On a Nation of Immigrants

In 1876 the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. In honor of the event, the French sent a gift: a huge copper statue that represents liberty. Emma Lazarus, a Jew whose family had lived in the nation for generations, described the statue as …

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”*

* Excerpted from Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” (1883).

Explore How Stories Are Told Around the World

Even if a story is the same, each culture will tell it differently, because each one has its own genres and cultural rules. That’s led to a host of different traditions and practices beloved around the world. From Hula to Griot, Calypso to Zajal, this TED Talks web page presents some of the storytelling traditions used around the globe.

Click Here to Visit Web Page

Explain the Evolution of English

English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It’s spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today.

Click Here to Visit Website

Connect Actively with Shakespeare’s Language

English language learners come to reading Shakespeare from diverse backgrounds, with different experiences, prior knowledge and varying styles of learning. In addition, students in any given classroom will be at different points in their English language acquisition. Because of these considerations, teaching Shakespeare to ESL students requires a specific arsenal of strategies for reading and dramatic performance. For your ELL/ESL classroom, check out Folger Shakespeare Library’s teaching modules, which incorporate performance-based teaching methodologies that can be highly effective with students of every ability, at every grade level. Although written with ELL/ESL students in mind, these lessons will be valuable and fun additions to any language curriculum.

Click Here to Visit Website

Click Here to Access Teaching Modules

Humanize Language Teaching

Inspiration Lane is an online magazine for all levels of ESOL, ESL and EFL classes. Each day the reading content automatically changes. The site can be projected onto a whiteboard and enjoyed by the whole class. The daily readings and interactive language experiences are intended to provide a free, engaging and encouraging experience for students learning English—especially during those last minutes of class time.

Click Here to Visit Website

Hatch New Scientists

WGBH has launched a new bilingual website and curriculum for PEEP and the Big Wide World, the Emmy award–winning science and mathematics series for three- to five-year-olds. The new website, available in both English and Spanish, includes PEEP animated episodes, live-action videos, games and family activities, as well as an extensive collection of educational materials and professional development tools for center-based and family-based preschool educators. The series stars a wide-eyed chicken named Peep, a robin named Chirp and an irascible, endearing duck named Quack. These three friends live in a large urban park—a place of endless wonder, excitement and mystery—perfect for learning about the world and how it works. On the PEEP website, children will discover new ways to explore PEEP resources, and families will learn how to support their children’s math and science exploration. Spanish- and English-speaking families will find a dual language website that is unique to children’s media and one-of-a-kind professional development suited to their needs. All visitors to this mobile-friendly website will be able to explore science and math anytime, anywhere.

Click Here to Visit Website in English

Click Here to Visit Website in Spanish


Big Deal Media provides timely, relevant resources in a rapidly changing educational environment, created with insight and attention to detail by seasoned educational publishing professionals and practicing K–12 educators. Browse the Quill-sponsored free ebook, Reaching ALL Students. And be sure to “Like” Big Deal Media on Facebook and follow Big Deal Media  on Pinterest and Twitter ( to learn how other educators are using Big Deal Media resources and to share your own ideas and experiences.

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Collaborate with Big Deal Media’s inclusive community of special needs educators by joining Everyone CAN! on Also, subscribe to Everyone CAN! Essentials for Educators of Special Needs Students, Big Deal Media’s free  quarterly enewsletter of curated, easily accessible resources to serve this group of educators. Find sources of funding, research-based developmental strategies, mobile learning innovations, assistive technology collections and truly useful  online interactive environments, including specialized resources to partner with parents.

Explore the Web Wednesday feature on Big Deal Media, where you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st century themes and skills into the study of core subjects.


« Welcome to Our Global Community – April 14, 2015

In this Issue:

Big Value, Low-Cost/No-Cost Resources

· Cut to the Core
· Examine Efficacy of ELL Programs
· Bring the World to Your Classroom
· Plan for a Día Year
· Open Portals to Uncharted Worlds

"Winning" Funding Finds

· Celebrate Latino American Cultures
· Promote Mutual Understanding
· Reach Hard-to-Reach Students
· Recognize Successful Ed-Tech Collaboration

Professional Development Plus

· Map a Route to Excellence
· Facilitate Academic Language Development
· Engage in Academic Conversations

On-the-Go Learning

· Repeat After Me
· Make Magical Movies

Worth-the-Surf Websites

· Examine Waves of Immigration
· SPOTLIGHT! On a Nation of Immigrants
· Explore How Stories Are Told Around the World
· Explain the Evolution of English
· Connect Actively with Shakespeare’s Language
· Humanize Language Teaching
· Hatch New Scientists

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