Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017

Where is Mrs. KK?

Report Cards  

*Please book me if you need help with report cards for your ELL's.

This year you will not be reporting out ELPS levels for the ELL's in your classroom on report cards. However, I would like to meet with each team to look at learner growth since the beginning of school. Our goal is that each ELL show one year's growth each year. By looking at where they started the year and where they are now, you can make decisions to help target instruction based on their weakest area.

As you are finishing up report cards, please take the following into consideration:

*Beginning and Intermediate ELL's should be graded according to their academic performance at the grade level in which they are functioning, not the grade level in which they are placed.

EX. If you have a third grade ELL working on a first grade level, their grades should be based on the first grade level curriculum and a note to parents should be provided in the comments section. (see below)

*Advanced and Advanced High ELL's are orally proficient and should be able to comprehend most classroom instruction. They should be graded on the same standards as other mainstream students but if accommodations are occasionally needed this can be noted in the comments section of the report card.

Sample Report Card Comments:

Below Grade Level:

_______________'s achievement is based on the use of below grade level (first grade, second grade, etc.) curriculum to support English language learning needs.

On Grade Level with Accommodations:

______________ has been working on grade level curriculum with accommodations to support English language learning needs.

On Grade Level with Very Few Accommodations:

_______________ is working on grade level curriculum with accommodations provided in the area of _______________. (frequently vocabulary)

_______________ is working on grade level curriculum with no accommodations needed. 

Red Accommodation Folders

As we wrap up the end of the first nine weeks, it is time to complete the online red accommodation folders for the ELL's in your classroom. 

Cottonwood Creek - I will be walking you through this process during your PLC time this Thursday.

SHOUT OUT to first grade who had their samples ready and were able to complete their red folders last week! 

Lakeside - I would love to meet with each team to walk you through this process. I can meet with teams or individual teachers before school, during your conference time or after school. Please book me to let me know the day/time that works best.

Please bring:

*Pictures (on your phone or iPad) or scan copies of each ELL's BOY writing sample and one other "authentic" writing sample (unedited writing from journals or other class activities).
*If you have a learner needing accommodations in other areas, please provide photos or scans of work samples (math, science, ss) noting the accommodations they have been receiving (shortened assignments, oral reading, etc.) on the top of the page.


If you are a STAAR testing grade level, accommodations must be noted and work samples provided in this online folder in order for learners to receive the same accommodations on the STAAR test.

To complete red folders on your own, follow these steps:

1. Open your class list of ESL students:

Fifth Grade

2. Scan the QR code in the top left-hand corner using your phone or iPad.
3. Press the link that says, "Upload Student Samples Here" on your phone or iPad.

Cottonwood Creek:

4. Enter the first learner name from your list. 
5. Tap the button that says "Choose" file and go to "Photo Library" if you took pictures. You can even use the camera to take pictures on the spot.
5. Choose the student work sample photos.
6. Tap the button that says "Upload File" and the work samples are uploaded. It's that easy!
7. After uploading work samples, you will also need to complete and submit the accommodations form for each learner. 

Imagine Learning

*Please book me if you need help with Imagine Learning or have questions about using your teacher login to look at data or print resources to use during small group instruction.

Thank you for encouraging your learners to use the Imagine Learning program. I have seen a huge increase in usage over the past couple of weeks and feel confident using this program with fidelity will increase language acquisition with our ELL's. The goal is for learners to use the program for a minimum of 60 minutes per week. This can be a combination of time on the program at school and at home. To complete a segment in the program,  kindergarten/first grade need to be on for 15 minutes, second/third grade for 20 minutes, and fourth/fifth grade for 25 minutes. When a segment is finished, learners will hear the same song and a progress report will be shown on the screen. The program automatically logs them out when a segment is finished so they spend exactly the amount of time I have programmed on the app. Please do not use Imagine Learning as a babysitter for your low level ELL's. Nothing can replace time spent working with them in a small group setting. If you need games, activities, or resources to use with your ELL's, please let me know.

We have a limited number of licenses, but at this point I have been able to set up all learners who tested as NES at the end of last year or beginning of this year, in addition to all B/LES and most requested by teachers. If you are unsure which learners in your class have access to Imagine Learning, you can log in and look at your class list.

User Name = school email
Password = campus + section

EX. lakeside4c

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week:

Using Thinking Maps with ELL's - 

*They provide the opportunity for ELL's to use visual comprehensible input (understood by listeners even though they do not know all of the words and structures of the language).
*They allow ELL's to discuss complex subjects and clarify meaning.
*They provide opportunities for ELL's to use all four language domains (listening, speaking, writing, and reading).
*They allow opportunities to for differentiation for all language levels.
*They allow all ELL's to be successful since they are making their own meaning and connections.
*They allow ELL's to participate visually and spatially vs. verbally and written.

by J. Bagni, M. Chiofalo, C. Ciatto, N. Connolly, K. Cook

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 1, 2017

Where is Mrs. KK?

Connecting Cultures with KK Blog Tips and Tricks 

On the right-hand side of my blog, you will see two areas that may be of help if you would like to book time to meet with me or if need to review an item discussed in a previous week's blog. 

1. You Can Book Me: I have created booking sites for each campus that reflects the days I am on campus. I try and keep my calendars updated to reflect the times I am available. Please feel free to book me to discuss your ELL's (status, growth, concerns), designing lessons for co-teaching opportunities in your classroom, looking at test results and planning for learner growth, assistance with Imagine Learning (for you or your ELL's), really ... anything you need!

2. Hot Topics: This section is a list of all topics I have tagged in my blogs. Each week, I add labels to match the topics discussed. Each time something is labeled, the topic moves up on the list. The number in parentheses shows how many times a topic has been labeled. If you need to find something quickly, all you need to do is click on the word and it pulls up all blog posts where I have mentioned that topic. Then, you just have to look through a few blogs vs. every blog post I have ever written.

Imagine Learning University

Imagine Learning has created a site for educators to log on and watch short (2-3 minute) videos to learn more about the program. All you need to do is click the link below, push the start now button, create a login, and you are ready to go. These videos give quick lessons on how to look at student data, find resources to use during small group instruction, and much more!


Did you know that each year the ESL department purchases a research database that is available to ALL learners? CultureGrams is an easy to use, child-friendly research program.  If you have never used it before, please check it out. 

For a safe login, have your learners:

      1. Go to the campus Symbaloo and open MacinVIA.
      2. Login with their CISD user name and password. 
      3. In the top right-hand corner search box, type CultureGrams and enter.
      4. Click the green button that says Open Now and begin researching.
      5. It even allows learners to generate and copy citations!

Lakeside Symbaloo

Cottonwood Creek Symbaloo

Emoji as a Second Language?

This past week, my friend, Karen, shared something she learned from Diana Saylak at the district's recent Math Academy training, "Use emojis to communicate with ELLs." Later that day, one of my non-English speaking learners came to me for help with Imagine Learning. She didn't seem like herself, but she was having trouble understanding when I asked if she was feeling bad. So, I decided to try using an emoji ...

and she INSTANTLY understood what I was asking! I did a little more research and found a website where you can quickly search for emojis. Type in any word and it pulls up emojis that match. 

Emoji Finder Link

Try it Out!!!

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week: 


Foldables allow  ELL's to create meaning to topics being discussed through the use of visual and kinesthetic interactions.

 by Classroom Notes Plus

by Lora Drum

Schoology ESL Resources Group

I have created a Schoology group for those who are interested to join and access resources related to the Sheltered Instruction Strategy highlighted each week. You can join by adding the code below or you can follow the link in the title above.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 24, 2017

Where's Mrs. KK?

Imagine Learning

Imagine Learning is a language acquisition programs available to ELL's scoring NES (Non-English Speaker) or the lower level LES (Limited English Speaker) on their oral language assessment. In order to get the most out of the program, it is recommended that learners should spend 60 minutes per week (LES) or 100 minutes per week (NES and any Tier 3 RtI) at school or at home working on the lessons. I will send information home with learners this week explaining how they can access the program at home.

The ESL team has decided to set up our Imagine Learning logins to be the same. We have found that when learners transfer from campus to campus we end up with many different logins. This will allow for consistency in these instances. For those of you who have been utilizing this program already, this means when your ELL's log on the next time, they will need to input their new information. They will need to use their CISD login initials and numbers for BOTH their user name and password.

 EX. User Name = lrk6647
Password = lrk6647

I have worked on getting things set up this weekend, but there are a few learners who seems to have multiple accounts. I have contacted the company to get help transferring these over as soon as possible. 

Once everything is correct for students using the program, I would like to meet with teams to look at the features available. There is a great deal of data that can be used to learn about your ELL's and their progress. 

I have set up a teacher account for each of you with ELL's (that's pretty much everyone at this point) so that you have access to their work at any time. You will use your school email address and your password will be your campus name plus your grade level and section.

EX. Email =
Password = lakeside4c

CISD: English as a Second Language: PL 

Regina Owens has created a district Schoology course with great information about the ESL program in our district. Within this course, there is a RESOURCES folder where you will find links to information and materials you can use in your classroom. She has asked for everyone to join this course. 

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week: 

Provide phrases or simple sentence frames to help ELL's become writers. 

  • Assists ELL's with writing complete sentences.
  • Scaffolds lessons to meet ELL's at their current level.
  • Allows ELL's the opportunity to participate in conversation related to classroom content.
Using Sentence Frames with ELL's Video Explanation

KK's ESL Resources Schoology Group

I've added sentence stems for all subject areas.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September 17, 2017

Where's Mrs. KK?

Electronic Red Folder Documentation 

As we begin the year, we will continue using the electronic red folders used last year. This weekend, I shared a private link with each of you that will take you to your class list of ELL's. This list does not include your monitor learners (mostly 3rd-5th grade), so I will also be coming around this week to give you a written copy that will include any learners who are in their first or second year of monitoring. 

At the end of the nine weeks, I will send a reminder for you to submit accommodations for each ELL on your list. If you open the link I shared and use the QR reader, it will take you directly to the form. You can easily scan the code, submit and then move on to the next child on your list. 

When choosing accommodations used with your ELL's, please only select the ones done specifically to help them be successful in your class. (See below for the updated list of accommodations)

Please remember the importance of providing documentation for accommodations used by uploading documents to the tiny url at the top of the chart. This documentation can be pictures of activities, scans or even a folder from your Google drive. It is pretty simple, but if you need assistance, please let me know. I'm happy to help!

For easy access, I have created a page for each grade level. I have shared privately, so you should only be able to open your grade level and class. If you share learners with another educator, I have given access to any classes you may work with. This will allow you to see and provide input to the educator as to how they are doing when in your room. 

Fifth Grade

*On a side note, the district has purchased a new documentation program (Ellavation Education) that we will begin using in the near future. I will receive training on October 5th and the roll out will take place sometime after that. In the meantime, we will continue using the online system used last year.

ELL Instructional Accommodations

In order to align the accommodations used with TEA's list, the following are the accommodations that will be listed on the online red folder form.

New Educator Training Certificates

New educators, please remember to complete the courses listed in your new hire Schoology course by September 30th. Once you are finished, please print a copy of each certificate and leave it in my box. I will keep a copy for the campus and will share a copy with the district. 

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week:

Building Academic Vocabulary:

Image sitting in a classroom and hearing someone speaking and not understanding what they were saying? Now imagine if they said the word and then showed you a picture or used a gesture to help you learn what the word meant in their language. Using pictures and gestures allows your ELL's to connect background knowledge from their language to the new language in which they are being immersed.

Located within our new curriculum documents, you will find academic vocabulary words for each unit. These are the words that all learners should know before moving on to the next grade level.

Science Curriculum Documents: Has a key vocabulary list with words, definitions and pictures
                                                     (Example from Kindergarten, Unit 1)

Math Curriculum Documents: Show a list of important words (Example from Kindergarten, Unit 1)

Social Studies Curriculum Documents: Show a list of important words (Example from Kindergarten, Unit 1)

Using a Cognitive Content Dictionary  (September 4th blog) would be great with these words.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 10, 2017

Where's Mrs. KK?

The First 2o Days:

This week I will be wrapping up my beginning of the year testing. I am still digging through cumulative files as new students continue to enroll but will be focused on getting those registered through last Friday tested first. Kindergarten and first-grade learners only take the oral assessment which takes around 20 minutes to complete. Second, through fifth-grade learners begin with an oral assessment which takes around 20 minutes to complete. If they score FES (fluent English speaker), they must take the IOWA Test of Basic Skills reading and written expression sections. These tests are timed and will take around an hour to complete. Thank you for your understanding as I will need to pull learners from your class during instruction time in order to complete these assessments.

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week:

Picture File Cards: 

Picture file cards contain images on one side with definitions or descriptions on the other. They can be created for units of study throughout the year to help ELL's use background knowledge to understand what is being discussed in class. Picture file cards can be used for sorting and writing activities during a unit.

Image Attributions

Did You Know ...

that Google Docs has a feature that allows you to translate instructions and documents for your learners? Watch my screencast to see how this can be used in your classroom.


Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017

Where is Mrs. KK?

The First 20 Days of School

As the first 20 days are quickly passing by, this week I will begin testing learners who may be potential ESL students. I will also be digging through records sent from other schools and organizing my campus LPAC team. 

Did you know? TELPAS

Our goal each year is for ESL students to grow one grade level in their TELPAS scores. BUT ... did you know these scores is calculated based on the following percentages? 

Reading = 50%
Writing = 30%
Listening = 10%
Speaking = 10%

This year, one of my goals is to help use student data to select a TELPAS area in which focused instruction will help to reach that one-year growth goal.

How can I help my ELL's with vocabulary?

Our new curriculum documents are filled with the academic vocabulary all learners need to know before leaving each grade level. One way to help your ELL's (and all learners) is through the use of a Cognitive Content Dictionary (see images below). Create the dictionaries one word at a time as introduced during a unit and be sure to include a sketch or printed image to provide a visual for your ELL's.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017

Welcome Back! 

It was great catching up everyone last week. My goal for the first couple of days was to check in on learners who are already identified as ESL students while visually identifying learners who will need to be tested for ESL.

Where is Mrs. KK?

The First 20 Days of School

During these first weeks of school, I will be checking in with those of you who have currently identified ESL students or those who are clearly non-English speakers. If you are in need of help please e-mail (, call (extension 8324) or text with questions or needs.

In addition, you may see me hanging out in the front office more than usual. At the beginning of the year, my job includes going through cumulative folders for all newly enrolled students to determine whether or not they have been or need to be tested for ESL services. This is easy for learners who have moved in from out of state or out of the country but for those who have lived in Texas often involves calling or emailing to determine this need.

Once I have identified those needing testing, I will begin pulling learners from your classrooms. Testing for K-1 is an oral assessment that usually takes around 30 minutes to complete. 2nd-5th-grade learners will take an oral assessment (30 minutes) and norm-referenced assessment (IOWA) for reading and language (1 hour). I will complete these as quickly as possible in the next week or so.

After learners are tested, they are not considered ESL until an LPAC (Language Proficiency Assessment Committee) meeting is held. For this meeting, I prepare paperwork to show what tests were administered and what scores the learners earned. This meeting must take place within the first 20 days of school and must include a committee (made up of the assistant principal, a current ESL parent and myself) then determine if ESL support would benefit the learner. Once this meeting has taken place and signatures of consensus are obtained, learners are "officially" identified as ESL.

My goal is to have these things completed as soon as humanly possible in order to provide each of you with a complete list of ESL students in your classroom. As I complete each grade level of new students, I will bring you a class list which will identify current ESL students and those I know I will be testing. This will at least give you a glimpse of who in your class may need extra support as the year gets started. I will bring official lists once the LPAC meeting is complete.

Imagine Learning

For those with ESL students identified as non-English speakers or low limited-English speakers, they will have access to the Imagine Learning program again this year. These accounts are already set up and ready to access on the iPad or computer. Each learner is automatically assessed and placed where they need to be in the program the first time they sign in. It is recommended that learners use this program 100 minutes per week (20 minutes per day) for maximum results. Each segment lasts 20 minutes and then they are automatically logged off. For best results and data collection, please have them complete the entire 20 minute cycle when possible. 

Later today, I will email the initials of learners in your class who currently have access to the Imagine Learning program so you can begin using it this week.

The logins are set up as - username: firstname+lastinitial (ex. roxannk) and password: 1234.

Learners can also access this program at home by downloading the app on an iPad or logging in on a computer at

The first time they log in at school or home they will be asked to enter the site code ...  


Morning Meetings

Many educators are using morning meetings as a way to begin their day and spend time getting to know their students. If you are using morning meetings, I have attached a link to a website that explains how to adapt morning meetings for ESL students.