Wednesday, Sep 12 9:00 pm EDT

Personalizing and differentiating instruction for English Language Learners

With Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa

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Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa is the 2014 Florida Teacher of the Year, and a Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. She is a leading authority on teaching English Language Learners, and has spent the past 18 years face-to-face with students of diverse ... Full Bio



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“Getting to know your students’ stories before you teach fuels each child with knowledge and arms them with a voice to achieve and succeed!”

When school resumes this fall, I’ll be sharing my most essential strategy for supporting English Language Learners: providing genuinely differentiated instruction that meets my students exactly where they are.

I know from first-hand experience with my students that taking steps to personalize my teaching goes a long way toward empowering my English Language Learners. In fact, getting to know your students’ stories before you teach fuels each child and arms them to achieve and succeed!

To better serve my students, I assess their academic and linguistic abilities early on  by introducing a fun survey that requires them to answer questions about who they are in their home country and who they are in their new country. The survey’s engaging questions ease their anxiety about performing in another language by encouraging them to translate and construct meaningful sentences in their first and second languages.

Next, I drive my instruction by being animated and accessible—I use body language. I make sure to face students while speaking. I’m careful to speak slower and enunciate each word. And I employ lots of visuals, lots of academic language, and lots of social language interactive word walls.

Then, I make sure I personalize each student’s learning in a way that meets and then just exceeds their present competencies and comfort level.

On September 12th, I’ll introduce each of these strategies in a free, one-hour workshop designed to show new and continuing ELL teachers exactly what they can do to personalize and differentiate instruction for their students. You’ll have a chance to reflect about these strategies and to begin to personalize for your own classroom. Then, our group will meet again on September 19th to share ideas and help fine-tune participants’ approaches.

Register for this TeachingPartners Live Workshop now, and TeachingPartners will send you a appointment you can drop right in your online calendar. You’ll also get a reminder closer to September 12th to make sure you’re ready.

As part of this Workshop:

Explore Videos of Practice

Learn directly from Dorina by first viewing videos of that share her ideas and practice. Then get ready to take part in live online workshops and learn first-hand how to personalize this strategy for your classroom.

Get Support from a Working Group

Learn together with other teachers. Be part of an ongoing working group of engaged colleagues committed to empowering English Language Learners by personalizing and differentiating instruction. Make connections and share what you know.

Attend Live Video Workshops

Get the guidance you need. Take part in two live workshops Dorina will host exclusively for working group members. Learn first-hand all you need to begin sharing this strategy with your students.


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