Thursday, January 19, 2012

Video Contest for Educators of ELLs

I am excited to let you know about a video contest that WIDA is sponsoring for teachers of ELLs. Not only are there some great prizes for participants, but you also have the chance to showcase the wonderful activities and assessments that you use with your ELLs.   The contest is open to all
elementary and secondary teachers of ELLs – whether you are an ESL teacher, a bilingual/dual language teacher or a mainstream teacher with ELLs in your class. 

           Think for a moment about some of the engaging activities that you have planned in the coming weeks.  What are some of the activities you’ll be using to introduce that new unit?  Or, maybe an assessment that you will use to end your current unit of study?  Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Beginning of the unit/lesson activities that  you will use to gauge your students’ background knowledge on the topic (e.g. KWL chart, concept attainment activities, math games, science demonstrations/experiments, interactive whiteboard activities)
  • Language Experience Approach (LEA) lesson in a content area lesson
  • Readers Theater or  guided reading group activities/discussions that include ELLs
  • Songs you teach your students to learn key concepts  (I’ve heard there is a great song for the water cycle)
  • Gestures you use to teach certain key concepts (e.g. hand and arm movements for acute and obtuse angles, etc.)
  • Vocabulary activities to preview, review or teach new content area words and phrases (e.g. picture or word sorts, role playing, using realia or manipulatives)
  • End-of -lesson or end –of- unit assessments (e.g. picture/word sorts, sequencing activities, student presentations, dramatizations)
   As you ponder these ideas, you will also want to read through the nine guiding questions for the video submissions. Your video submission should respond to one of these nine questions.  Here is an example.  Let’s say you videotape an activity where students work in pairs to sort pictures of various objects into three columns. The columns represent sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks.  As the students place the pictures in the appropriate column, they have to explain their reasoning using a sentence frame “This rock goes in the ___________ column because it___________.”  Because of the various supports (sensory, graphic and interactive) in this activity, you could address the fourth guiding question “How does this classroom event demonstrate the effective scaffolding of content instruction/assessment for ELLs? In other words, how does it make grade-level content accessible to ELLs?” A list of all nine questions, technical tips and suggestions can be found here.

In a nutshell, WIDA is looking for a short video (5-10 minutes) that includes:
  1. Classroom activities that showcase effective teaching, learning and/or assessment of content and language for ELLs in your class
  2. Your reflection on the classroom events, including a brief explanation of what preceded this lesson and what will follow it, what went well and what you would change.
  3. (Optional) Student and other participants’ reflections

In exchange for your video submission, you will receive a free copy of the 2012 elementary or secondary English Language Development Standards booklet.  The top three videos will receive additional prizes:

First place: $1,000 cash prize and a scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development Academy

Second prize: $500 cash prize and a scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development Academy

Third prize: $250 cash prize and scholarship for the awardee and a colleague to attend a 2012 WIDA Professional Development Academy

The deadline for submission of your video, one page application and signed release forms has been extended to April 15, 2012.

Written by: Tammy King

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