“Winning” Funding Finds
Share Promising Practices for Immigrant Integration
The E Pluribus Unum Prizes have been established to honor the efforts of those who are creating stronger, more unified and successful communities by strengthening relationships between native-born and foreign-born Americans, and by helping immigrants and their children to succeed in the United States. The E Pluribus Unum Prizes are awards for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives that are already in existence and that can respond to the selection criteria (Significance, Impact and Influence) based on program operations to date; the awards are not intended to support the launch of new initiatives. The awards program is coordinated by the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP), a hub for groups and individuals around the United States that seek to build their knowledge and skills in the area of immigrant integration. In 2012, the program awarded three $50,000 prizes.
Deadline: The application period for the 2013 awards is now open and will close at 9 p.m. (ET) on April 12, 2013. The awards will be announced in October 2013.
Contribute to Socio/Historical Inquiry
The Oral History Association’s (OHA) Martha Ross Teaching Award recognizes a distinguished primary or secondary teacher or professional involved in educational outreach at the precollegiate level who has incorporated the practice of oral history in the classroom in an exemplary way. The oral history project or curriculum should have a civic or community component. Nominations must be for work completed between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2013. The award-winning teacher will receive a framed award certificate, a one-year membership in OHA and complimentary registration to the OHA annual conference, October 9–13, 2013.
Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked by April 17, 2013.
Increase Academic Opportunities for Latino Students
The Examples of Excelencia initiative recognizes programs and departments at the forefront of increasing academic opportunities and improving achievement for Latino students at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels. Although nominated programs should have a demonstrated record of achievement in accelerating Latino student success in higher education, nominations for small and/or new programs are encouraged. The 2013 award recipients at each academic level will receive $5,000 to support their program efforts; recognition at special events; a highlight in the 2013 edition of What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education; and inclusion in the web-based Growing What Works Database.
Deadline: April 26, 2013
Supplement Your Stretched Budget
GetEdFunding is CDW-G’s new 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 1,200 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 41 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.
Big-Value, No-Cost Resources
Animals, Insects and English Language Learning
With both Earth Day and Arbor Day in the month of April, the New York Times Learning Network is offering “Ideas for E.L.L.’s” to enhance ESL students’ language proficiency as well as increase their environmental awareness. The ideas include Showing Nature Photos to Teach Adjectives, Comparatives, Superlatives; Exploring Videos With the Message: ‘We Are All Connected’; Focusing on Endangered Species to Teach Simple Vocabulary and Geography Terms; and Writing About Environmental Problems and Solutions. Use the ideas, along with the easily adaptable Learning Network post “10 Ways to Learn About the Environment,” to engage your students. And before you begin any of these activities, you might first pose a recent Learning Network Student Opinion question to your class: “What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in Nature?” Students are invited to post their responses online.
Diversity and Identity—Stitch It Together
Teaching Tolerance’s Family Tapestry series includes four lessons designed to help students recognize and accept differences among themselves and within the larger community. The lessons also help students recognize how each person’s unique family contributes to a richer society. In the introductory lesson, “My Family Rocks,” students explore the definition of family, learn about different kinds of family structures and explore what makes their own family unique. In “My Family Journey,” the second lesson in the Family Tapestry series, students explore how their family’s ethnic and cultural journey contributes to their lives and to their community. In the third lesson, “Every Family Is the Same. Every Family Is Different,” students learn the concepts of “same” and “different,” read and answer questions about two types of families and create a “same and different” graphic organizer that reflects similarities and differences between their family and a classmate’s family. In “Stitching It Together,” the fourth and final in the series, students synthesize everything they’ve learned throughout the series to create a quilt that tells the story of their families and how those families contribute to their overall classroom community. As students begin to understand themselves better, learning opportunities will likely emerge to explore biases and prejudices.
SPOTLIGHT! On Bringing Poetry to Life
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. ~Rita Dove
Poetry is everywhere, across language and culture. Poems are timeless. They can tell stories of events or describe beautiful vistas. Poems connect us with the past and the world around us through universal emotions, such as love, hate, grief and wonder.
There is no denying that poetry can be powerful, so why is it absent from so many ESL classrooms? Students often balk at the idea of studying poetry in class. They believe that their language skills are an insurmountable impediment to understanding poetry in English. And often teachers don’t feel confident in bringing poetry to the classroom.
Teaching a subject to ESL learners that native speakers sometimes struggle to comprehend is a daunting task. However, it can be done, and there are many resources online to help and encourage. Here are a few suggestions.
For Better or Verse: Poetry in the ESL Classroom is a complete dissertation on the use of poetry with English learners. It was submitted in 2010 by Fredrick Sheridan Schroeder for the Master of Arts in Teaching Degree at the School of International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont. The dissertation includes an abundance of practical ideas, advice and strategies for using poetry in the ESL classroom.
Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, displays a National Poetry Map to help you discover poets from your state and learn about poetry events going on near you. Choose your state on the map to find local poets, poems, events, literary journals, writing programs, poetry organizations and more.
Reading Rockets has developed a collection of resources to help teachers use poetry to improve young readers. The site includes interviews with poets, teaching resources and many other useful tidbits. For ELL classrooms, Reading Rockets’ sister site—Colorín Colorado—offers some useful poetry resources as well, including recommended booklists and The Power of Poetry videos. The site is accessible in English and Spanish.
Powered-Up Professional Development
Explore the Collective Stories of the American People
The Smithsonian documents the history and culture of US immigration and migration through community stories, objects and experiences. From Where I Stand, two free online education conferences, will bring this rich aspect of American history into classrooms everywhere. Hosted by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, the program features Smithsonian historians, curators and educators, who will highlight relevant museum collections, respond to participant questions and present free digital-learning resources. “A Closer Look at Understanding Immigration/Migration Experiences in the United States” (April 10, 2013) is a session for students and educators that will look at how objects, such as a seemingly simple pair of shoes, can serve as storytelling aids and offer a unique perspective into the history of the American people. “Immigration/Migration Stories in the Classroom” (May 8, 2013) is an educators’ session on beginning classroom conversations about immigration/migration by conducting life story interviews, developing observation skills and encouraging critical thinking about family and local history.
Target the Academic Demands of the Common Core
Join the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Institutes this summer in Washington, D.C. The institutes will provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help teachers develop classrooms activities that target the academic language demands of the Common Core State Standards. The following Institutes will take place between May and August 2013:
Explore Historical Thinking with Primary Sources
Thinking Like a Historian: Immigration History Through Primary Sources is a four-week online course for K–8 educators. Through online resources about immigration history, participants will learn how to incorporate and use primary sources in the elementary and middle school classroom. Teachers will explore materials from the Library of Congress collection and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. They will deepen their understanding of primary sources and consider how K–8 students can benefit from observing and analyzing them. The course, offered by Primary Source, will take place completely online from July 10 through August 6, 2013.
Say It in Code
QR Voice is a free tool that allows you to create QR codes that, when scanned, will play a short audio message. To create your message and QR code, you can record a voice message by clicking the microphone icon on QR Voice, or you can type in your message. Either way, you’re limited to 100 characters. You can use QR Voice to create QR codes that you then print and attach to objects in your classroom. Students then try to identify those objects in the language that they’re learning. To check their answers, students can scan the QR code and hear the correct answer on their phones or tablets. QR Voice is offered in 40 spoken languages, including English and Spanish.
Demonstrate Action with Action
The Phrasal Verbs Machine, developed by Cambridge University Press, is a free iPad app that aims to help ESL students learn and understand the meanings of phrasal verbs. The Phrasal Verbs Machine provides students with short animations that illustrate the meanings of many common phrasal verbs. A written definition appears below each animation. Students can view the animations and definitions as many times as they like before trying their skill at the practice identification exercises. The Phrasal Verbs Machine provides definition translations in 15 languages, including English, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.
Build a Story Together
StoryLines, from the educational games-maker Root-1, is a bit like the game of “Telephone.” Players are given a sentence or phrase to illustrate using the touchscreen on the iPad. That illustration is given to the next person, who writes a sentence, captioning the drawing. You can determine how many “links” in the story you’d like to see. When the story is completed, Storyline replays the illustration and writing process. The tool is a way to get students thinking about the meanings of words and phrases and about illustration and interpretation, as well as a launching point for creative writing activities. The app may be freely downloaded from the iTunes App Store.
Collaborate Across Continents
In Our Global Village (IOGV) is a publishing and service-learning project developed by the nonprofit What Kids Can Do. Since the project began in rural Tanzania in 2006, youth on five continents have gathered and shared local stories and photos about their communities. In Our Global Village invites your students to create a book about their “village”—their community, in whatever form it takes, and share their own local stories so that the world can learn from them. They can publish a print version of the book they make, to share far and wide, or they can contribute a virtual copy so others can view it on the IOGV website. The site also features a curriculum guide, publishing tips, special projects between the students in Kambi ya Simba in Tanzania and US schoolchildren, as well as photos from visits by US teachers to the village. Flip through the online version of In Our Village: Kambi ya Simba Through the Eyes of Its Youth and check out the short videos the Kambi ya Simba students made about their village. They will surely inspire you and your students to create your own IOGV book.
Take a Virtual Stroll Through a Tropical Rainforest
The 2013 orchid exhibition, Orchids of Latin America, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History explores the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture and Latin American cultures meet. Featuring orchids from the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection and the United States Botanic Garden Orchid Collection, the exhibit looks at the importance of orchids in Latin American folklore and cultural traditions, explores how that region is a hotbed for scientific research on orchid biology and evolution, and highlights conservation efforts to preserve orchids and their habitats for future generations. Join your students on a virtual tour of the Orchids of Latin America exhibition. The virtual tour features the exhibit text in both Spanish and English.
Jump into the World of Language
The Learning Games Network, a nonprofit spinoff of the MIT Education Arcade that bridges the gap between research and practice in game-based education, is expanding Xenos, its integrated social learning environment gaming platform for Hispanics learning English in libraries and workplaces. The goal of the Play Games – Learn English Project is to provide self-directed ESL instructional resources to adults in informal learning and vocational training settings. Produced as an open educational resource (OER), the Integrated Social Learning Environment (ISLE) enables players to navigate a virtual world, play games and complete activities that support English language learning. Game and activity designs encourage players to discover and apply new vocabulary and phrases to complete specific tasks. Unlike traditional language instruction, which emphasizes memorization of vocabulary and grammar, Xenos provides players with an opportunity to explore and experiment with language in engaging new ways.
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