I work with English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades K-5, which is approximately 30% of our school population. Our students come from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
My ELL students are joyful, strong, and resilient.
Some have just arrived to the United States and are not only learning English but are also adjusting to a new culture. My school is in the process of becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and our entire staff works together to help students be "caring, principled, thinkers" on a daily basis. My ELL students work extremely hard. Some are literate in their first language and are emergent readers in English. All students are working on developing academic language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
Having two iPads will allow me to set my students up to read audio books on our new computer program called "Learning Ally." Right now, we don't have enough iPads for my students to be able to use the program consistently. I have splitters so two students can read the same book on one iPad together.
The iPads would allow students to read chapter books together, with the support of the audio and highlighted text, so they can be reading the same grade-level texts as their peers.
The emphasis on hearing the word in context through the audio book will help my ELL students be able to better comprehend the text and hold deep, academic discussions about themes and main ideas.
Having these two iPads would allow 4 of my students to consistently read high-interest, grade level chapter books that are a little beyond their independent reading level because the text would be read aloud to them. I will also meet with students in a "book club" to discuss what they read, ask and answer questions, and target new vocabulary and concepts in the books they read together. For example, one of my 4th grade book groups wants to read Charlotte's Web, but it is too difficult for them to read on their own.
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