Thursday, September 15, 2005

One step closer to having kids in my classroom

I finished testing the last students today.

Students get into the ESL program though a series of steps. First, their parents fill out a Home Language Identification Survey (HLIS) when they register their children for the first time. If they answer a certain combination of questions (such as "Which language does the child write?" "Which language does the child speak with friends?") with an answer other than English the student then takes a English language test called the LAB-R. If they student scores below a certain number on that test, he/she goes into the ESL program (or bilingual or dual language if they are available). Today I finished the last of the LAB-R testing. Of the six kids I tested, only one will be in the ESL program.

Now I have my final count (pretty much) for my classes: 14 students. I made some tentative groups by grade level. There are four groups: 4 eighth graders, 3 fifth graders and a fourth grader, 4 third graders and a second grader, and one kindergartener. Now I have to work on making a schedule. I started talking with some teachers today about how I might schedule this. For now I'm thinking that I'll take the eight graders during their writing block and work with them on that since one of their teachers expressed a need in that area. For the third/second graders I'm thinking about taking them during their morning literacy block and doing pretty much them same thing their teacher is doing with the class but modified for ESL. I talked to the kindergarten teacher today about pulling her student out for some periods (he needs work on English vocabulary) and for other periods pushing into his regular class. I haven't had time the chat with the fourth/fifth grade teachers yet so I'm not sure what the focus there will be. Hopefully I can make a final schedule tomorrow and then start meeting with the kids on Monday. Yea!

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