Leaning Forward Together

Month: October, 2012

Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for English Language Learners

First and foremost, I think struggling students sometimes stay in school because of the connections they have with their peers in classes, clubs, and school activities.  When school and classes are hard and students are struggling with issues at home, the students who have somewhere they feel like they belong, I think they have a better chance of getting through difficult times.  I will encourage all of my students to find an activity they feel like they can belong in so that they have a support group on campus.  I will go over the various clubs, sports, and activities they can join.  In addition, I will have resources posted in my room which explain the various campus involvements.  For the ELLs specifically, I will help them find something that fits their needs.  If there is nothing, I will start an International or Language club where students of all languages and backgrounds can come learn about different cultures.  I will make sure my students have a place to belong, whether they are an ELL student or not.  In addition, as activities like football games and homecoming come up, I’ll spend a few minutes in class going over the history of those traditions so everyone learns how they were started and why they stil exist.  By doing so, I will provide insight for my ELLs to learn about American culture.  


Accurate Assessment for ELL Students

“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy

This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

Paragraph Grading Rubric:
Prompt: “What implications does this poem have for you and what does it tell you about the things you do not like about yourself?”
10 points possible: Respond completely to the prompt and use the theme of the poem to relate to something in your life.
8 points: Response does not tie incorporate the theme of the poem.
5 points: Only answered half of the prompt.
0 points: Not addressing the prompt or not turning it in.

I chose to grade the paragraph in this manner because we had talked about the poem in class and spent time going over the theme and vocabulary. The purpose of the paragraph is to have students make the connection between their personal lives and the text they read in class. I do not expect it to be a fully polished piece, so I am grading them on the content, not the mechanics.