Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 Learning from the Field Conference

Listening to all the great educators across the state of California share their stories of success and tribulations in delivering meaningful professional development workshops. The Instructional Leadership Corps is a collaborative project with the California Teacher Association, National Board Certified Teachers, and Stanford University. The purpose of this project is to build teacher leadership, develop purposeful professional development using the Common Core State Standards, and guiding the participants (Teacher Leaders) as they deliver it to teachers in their districts. Teacher-led workshops are the most profound method to guide educators in the classroom, since we are the experts on the field constructing curriculum and units of study using CCSS.

My presentation for today is:
Selecting and Using Resources for Advancing and Understanding of ELA and ELD Common Core Standards

Please click HERE to access today's slides 
Handouts for today's presentation: 

These are our Learning Goals:
  • Become familiar with the demands of the new ELD Standards and see the connections to the ELA CCSS
  • Structure a Performance Task for K-12
  • Technology Resources for deeper learning to enhance lessons


CTA IPD Website

Literacy Design Collaborative

Understanding Language

Use Better Lesson to browse thousands of rich Math and ELA lessons from high-performing Master Teachers. 

Also, navigate through my blog's tabs to see more links and examples of tasks I have posted in the past. I also have tons on links to take you to other resources on the performance task tab.

Visit my NEA Greater Public Schools (NEA GPS Network) site to join me in a conversation about these resources. By providing me with feedback, it allows me to see what other educators across the nation are doing to meet the needs of our diverse population of students.
This site is free and its the largest professional learning community in the nation. Click on the link HERE to take you there.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Common Core Resources for Parents to Help their Student with their Challenging School Assignments

In this Common Core Café for Parents workshop, parents will learn about Common Core online resources they can use to help their Intermediate and/or High student with homework assignments, projects, and challenging math problems that will help them achieve the rigor and expectations of the Common Core standards.

Our goal is to build a bridge of communication with parents, community members, and educators across Montebello Unified School District to help our students achieve the rigor of the Common Core State Standards. The goal is to provide parents with useful resources that they can use the next day with their child. As educators, we are always thinking of ways we can partner with parents to help them support their child’s education. I compiled the resources with the collaboration of an intermediate teacher, Angelica Paz, and a high school teacher, David Keys. We hope that the parents find these resources as useful as we have in our classroom. 

Click HERE to see our parent handout


Resources for to Help Your Child at Home

School loop: Begin with looking at your school’s School Loop web page. Go the each of your child’s individual teacher. Teacher may have helpful websites, resources, or lectures posted.

StudyJams! Offers multiple learning methods to match the different learning styles of your students.

This is the resource I mentioned today about showing lessons in video form that will help your child build on their classroom knowledge or reteach a concept they need extra help on.
Another place to look for high-quality teacher-produced lesson plans that align to the CCSS is LearnZillion (, a learning platform that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting, In addition to sortable Math and ELA video lessons, they offer a handy Common Core navigator.
At AR BOOKFIND you can search for Accelerated Reader book titles based on reading levels, authors, topics, or titles of books.

Your youngsters can talk to other students about math, pose math questions, and try the problem of the week. Math Forum also includes software reviews and a search feature for finding other math sites.

Airplanes and flight are the subjects of this high-flying math site. Solve word problems, learn how kites stay up in the air, watch animations to learn about people like Amelia Earhart, and even design your own plane.

Learn about our Solar System, take a star tour, see how gravity and inertia work, or play a fun lunar landing game. In addition, you can learn about physical science, life science, animals, chemistry, and technology.

How Stuff Works brings you hundreds of articles that cover a wide range of subjects like 3-D graphics, animals, video games, engines, roller coasters, toys, electricity, computers, and much more.

These are Ms. Paz favorites that she mentioned today:
Brain Pop (this is also one of my personal favorites)

Council of the Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps:

ELA / Literacy

National Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

Achieve the Core

Common Core State Standards Text Exemplars

Mr. Keys referred to this website as one he uses often in his class:
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

National PTA Parents' Guide to Student Success: Provides examples of the changes in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics instruction at each grade level, as well as provides parents guidance for conversations with their child's teachers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Close Reading - Cafe Session 2

We have a full house today of teachers K-12 grade attending the Close Reading session. We are going to focus on: 

  • How to select a balance of texts that prepare students to read challenging fiction and non-fiction at their level
  • How to teach students to read texts above their “comfort zone”
  • Learn to write text-dependent questions for both narrative and expository genres, and how to provide entry-points for all children through visual media, and annotation
  • How to incorporate writing as part of a rigorous close read
To access our slides for today, please click HERE.

The following slide shows the strategies that we will cover today in our session: 

In our session, teachers discussed the "close reading" or reading comprehension strategy they currently use in the classroom. We wanted to encourage teachers to collaborate in a professional learning community environment.

Angelica Paz sharing her double-entry journal strategy.

Teachers are engaged in their learning and reviewing our provided strategies.
David Keys sharing his High School "Close Reading" strategy, which was "Read like a Historian" taken from the Stanford University Website.

Click HERE to a previous post on just "Close Reading" for more resources and examples.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Good Teaching Conference North, San Jose, California

There is truly something special about coming to the CTA Good Teaching Conferences. It’s energizing to the profession to see educators commit their weekend to attend a conference that provides us with experts in their content area and workshops that speak to all of us.

This morning I presented with three remarkable educators, Barbara Ransom, Norma Sanchez, and Ashely Cooper. We presented “Treasure Hunting: Common Core ELA, Math, and Science Lessons, Units, Tools, and Resources”
Live Streaming of our session: 
I will post more information on this soon! Including some new resources that I have found.

My second session is Diving into Depth of Knowledge, Make Sure They “Get It”: Comprehension Skills in the CCSS.

You can access my slides HERE
The session was also live streamed! You can view my whole session in the video below: 

Currently, educators I have come across have asked for more “close reading” resources. I have created a few templates that will help teachers in planning their own lessons. Below are just a few that I have recently drafted. Take the time to look through my blog for more that I have posted in the past. 
Click HERE to a previous post on just "Close Reading."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

CTA Issues Conference: K-5: Ensuring English Learners’ Success with the Common Core and California’s New ELD Standards

My presentation today is on “K-5: Ensuring English Learners’ Success with the Common Core and California’s New ELD Standards.” This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart since I am an English language learner. I started kindergarten only speaking in my native language, Spanish, and needed all the support I mentioned today in my presentation to learn a new language. I also teach a population of students that is predominately ELLs. I blogged about this topic a few months ago. Click HERE to take you to my previous post.

To access today’s presentation slides click HERE
Steps to Structuring an Academic Class Discussion 

 The Cog Commercial by Honda
I used this video as part of my strategy to use videos to help students construct meaning.

Resources for Structured Accountable Responses - Language Frames:

Sample Graphic Organizers to Support ELD Writing Instruction:
Vocabulary on a Familiar Topic: may be used to support teaching of vocabulary on a specific topic, or Describing Function
Sentences with Vocabulary on a Familiar Topic may be helpful in teaching Simple Sentence Structure Form, Capitalization and End Punctuation
Describing a Person:  may support teaching Describing People Function and Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs
Describing a Thing 
Sequencing: (What Happened?)  May be implemented when working on Sequencing and Retelling Past Events Functions, and on Sentence Structure, Verb Tense and Conjunctions Forms
Comparing and Contrasting (with Categories): may support teaching of Contrasting Function and Comparative Structures

Picture Cards:
Use picture cards to start discussions or to promote writing activities. Click on the links below to access the picture card files:

Additional English Language Development Resources:
California Department of Education English Language Development Standards
Framework for English Language Proficiency and the CCSS
Common Core Translation Project

The English Language Learner Knowledge Base
This website supports education professionals in the administration of programs for English Language Learners. Resources are provided for administrators, teachers and parent advocates.
Visit Website

Considerations for English Language Learners
This module segment from the IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University discusses instructional considerations for ELL students within each of the five core reading components.
Visit Website

Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades
This Practice Guide from the Institute of Education Sciences provides specific evidence-based recommendations addressing effective literacy instruction for English learners. Recommendations for teaching reading to English language learners are included.
Download PDF

English Language Learners: A Policy Research Brief produced by the National Council of Teachers of English
This publication of the James R. Squire Office of Policy Research offers updates on research with implications for teaching and learning.
Download PDF

Challenging Common Myths About Young English Language Learners
This publication by the Foundation for Child Development provides a review of new research regarding English Language Learners. Commonly held beliefs and myths that have influenced the instruction, assessment practices, and organizational structure of educational programs that serve ELL children ages three to eight are included.
Download PDF

Instructional Models and Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners
This guide provides information on instructional models for English Language Learners, research findings, teaching methods and strategies and recommendations for decision makers.
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Language and Reading Interventions for English Language Learners and English Language Learners with Disabilities
This report presents information about assessment, instructional interventions, and professional development with a particular focus on ELL students who have been identified with a language and/or learning disability.
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Language Development for English Language Learners
This professional development module provides information on language development, language assessment of English Language Learners, academic language instruction and vocabulary K-12. Links for PowerPoint and Facilitator's Guide are included.
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WebEx: Promising Research-based Practices in Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners
This Center on Instruction webinar presents information on promising practices for working with ELLs in both instruction and assessment. Links to the archived webinar and PowerPoint are included.
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WebEx: Data-based Instructional Decision Making for ELLs
This Center on Instruction webinar presents information on the key factors to consider when planning data-based and differentiated instruction for English Language Learners. Links to the archived webinar and PowerPoint are included.
Visit Website
Visit my NEA Greater Public Schools (NEA GPS Network) site to join me in a conversation about these resources. By providing me with feedback, it allows me to see what other educators across the nation are doing to meet the needs of our diverse population of students.
This site is free and its the largest professional learning community in the nation. Click on the link HERE to take you there.