Supporting English Language Learners Through Language Objectives

What is a “language objective”? In Explicitly Designed Instruction for English Learners (2013, pp. 69-70), Hollingsworth and Ybarra describe language objectives as statements of how the teacher will intentionally advance the use of the English language during the lesson and further students’ language development through structured listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Echevarría, Vogt and Short in Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners (2012, pp. 33-34) recommend thinking about four major categories when creating language objectives: academic vocabulary; language skills and function; language structures or grammar; and language learning strategies. In other words, language objectives describe the vocabulary students will need to understand and use during the lesson; the language skills and functions students will need to engage in during the lesson; the language structures and grammar they will be expected to use; and the meta-cognitive strategies they will need to plan and monitor their learning.

Middle-Skilled Jobs: An Underutilized Postsecondary Pathway

“College and Career Ready” has become a familiar phrase. Our goal is to prepare students for their futures so that, ideally, students exiting high school have appropriate future plans and possess the knowledge and skills to achieve them. However, when planning for life after high school, we often present students with the choice of attending college, usually a four year institution, or joining the labor force immediately upon exiting. Could the “Career Ready” portion of “College and Career Ready” include a greater variety of directions for transition planning? An often overlooked option in the career planning process is a pathway in the middle-skills market.scription goes here

Improving All Students’ Mental Health Outcomes: Start with Why & Remember Learning to Ride a Bike

I knew my purpose for learning to ride a bike and it was so compelling that I was going to do whatever it took to get there. Long before reading Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2011) or watching his “Golden Circle” TED Talk (third most viewed TED talk ever!), I learned to ride a bike because I started with my “Why” – my goal, my purpose, my motivation, my belief. We all did. We learned to ride bikes because we wanted to go someplace. We endured and triumphed over the litany of details that comprise riding a bike because we were excited about our Why. We didn’t persist in our attempts to ride our bikes just to not fall off and not get hurt; we persisted so that we could achieve our Why— independence, exploration, going someplace.

The Elephant and the Rider: Engaging in Challenging Change

Whether it’s change in our personal or professional lives, true lasting change is difficult. Why is it so difficult? According to Chip and Dan Heath (2010) in Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, the main hindrance is that our brains have two independent systems that are always working and can fiercely disagree. The first system is the emotional side. This side is instinctive; it feels pain and pleasure, but wants comfort. The second system is the rational side. This side is contemplative; it ponders and scrutinizes and wants change. There is a natural tension between these two that can result in stasis.

Does Teaching Social Skills Really Work?

Long-term life outcome studies like the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study (2011), in which 1,000 children in New Zealand have been followed from birth to age 38, demonstrate the critical importance of self-regulation and social skills in attaining positive academic, career and health outcomes. Wouldn’t it be great if we could teach students these critical behavioral and social skills in the same planned and systematic way we teach academic skills? Well, we can, can’t we? Isn’t social skills instruction an evidence-based practice proven to produce positive social and academic outcomes for students?

Welcome Back from The Lower Hudson RSE-TASC!

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! It has been an eventful summer but it is great to feel the excitement of educators and students returning to classrooms full of plans and optimism.

In this first newsletter of 2015-2016 we want to share with you some of the exciting plans we have at the Lower Hudson RSE-TASC for 2015-2016.
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