Friday, October 22, 2004

Education Next: A Journal of Opinion and Research

Education Next: A Journal of Opinion and Research - Published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard. A forum on education policy and school reform that includes evidence-based original research, critiques of other research projects, and book reviews. Full text free online.

From the site:

In the stormy seas of school reform, this journal will steer a steady course, presenting the facts as best they can be determined, giving voice (without fear or favor) to worthy research, sound ideas, and responsible arguments. Bold change is needed in American K–12 education, but Education Next partakes of no program, campaign, or ideology. It goes where the evidence points.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Mrs. Smith's Second Grade

Mrs. Smith's Second Grade - Site for a teacher at Thomas Merton Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. Has information and links for parents, kids and teachers. Examples of student work are also featured.

From the site:

School Tips for Parents:

1) Establish a family reading time. 15 minutes of reading does make a difference in your child's life. Children enjoy this special time. "Share a book with a child and share a moment of love."

2) Scale back TV time.

3) Make a plan for after-school activities. Schedule adequate time for homework, play, clubs, and family time.

4) Keep a large calendar. Mark each family member's activities in a different colored pen.

5) Collect important phone numbers. Update doctor, work and other listings for the school office, after-school care and one or two neighbors.

6) Have a backup plan. Find another parent who will exchange school pickup favors-in case you get sick or delayed by work or traffic.

7) Set up a file for school papers. Place all school newsletters, notes and papers in this file so you'll have them to refer back to for information.

8) Spruce up a study space for your child. Include pencils, crayons, a dictionary and other supplies.

9) Reestablish bed times for school nights.

10) Get children into the habit of getting ready the night before school. Set out clothes, pack lunch or lunch ticket, and put the backpack by the front door so you'll be ready for the next day.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Working With Young English Language Learners: Some Considerations

Working With Young English Language Learners: Some Considerations. This is another excellent ERIC Digest that deals with primary education. This one has ideas for helping elementary level students who come from homes where English is not the main language.

From the site:

In today’s preschool programs and primary school classrooms, teachers are working with an increasingly diverse population of young students, including many who come from homes where English is not spoken. According to Kindler (2002), English language learners (ELLs) now represent 9.6% of all students enrolled in public pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 classes in the United States; 67% of these students are enrolled at the elementary school level. The growth in enrollment of English language learners is not restricted to big cities and urban areas; in fact, states with large rural areas, such as Georgia, Montana, and Mississippi, have experienced sharp increases in the enrollment of ELLs in their public schools. Teachers in preschool and primary education programs all over the country may have English language learners in their classrooms. Unfortunately, many teachers are not provided with specialized training in how to meet the needs of ELLs (Menken & Atunez, 2001) and may have no prior experience in teaching young students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds.

This Digest provides general information on the characteristics of English language learners in U.S. preschool and primary school programs and describes learning conditions and instructional practices that are most effective for educating young ELLs.