Sunday, November 26, 2017

December 3, 2017

Where is KK?

ESL Identification Process:

Several of you have asked how you know which students in your classroom are identified as EL's. At the beginning of the year, I created and added to a spreadsheet that was shared with you in your Google drive. With the implementation, this extra work has been eliminated and all EL students can be identified by simply logging in to your Ellevation account. Once logged in, you will see a list of all students who are identified as EL's. 

Here is a step by step guide to the identification process:

  1. Once a student registers, if they have a language other than English listed on their Home Language Survey, I either locate documents from previous school to see if they were being served in ESL or I test them to see if they qualify. 
  2. If they were being served in another district or qualify based on my testing, I set up an LPAC (Language Proficiency Assessment Committee) meeting to discuss my findings. This meeting has to take place within 20 days of the student's first day of school. 
  3. After the LPAC meets, students who do not qualify will have red folders with testing information added to their cumulative folder and students who do qualify have parent permission forms sent home. 
  4. Once the parent permission for is returned, I code the student in PEIMS and they are officially in the ESL program. 
  5. At midnight each evening, Ellevation pulls updated coding from PEIMS and adds it to their system. Your class lists will automatically be updated for you to see. 
  6. I am trying to get students tested, identified, and added as quickly as possible, but if you ever wonder about a specific child and don't see them in Ellevation, just send me a note and I will let you know for sure. Thank you for your patience during this year of change!!!

Ellevation Education To-Do List (2 Items):

1. The first push out for the new Ellevation progress monitoring forms took place on Friday, December 1st. You should have received an email letting you know, but if you did not, you can log in to your Ellevation account and you should see a notice at the top of the screen reminding you to complete these forms.

Instruction Video: How to Complete Monitoring Forms in Ellevation

Link to Ellevation Education Login

2. As the end of the second nine weeks approaches, it is a state compliance expectation that work samples for all EL's be provided by classroom educators. I am almost finished transferring over any work samples that were added into the Google form online link that we used during the first nine weeks, but have noticed there are many with no samples. If you did not upload samples for the first nine weeks, please do this in addition to samples for the first nine weeks.

Instruction Video: How to Upload Documents in Ellevation

What should you upload? Each nine weeks you should add the following documents:

    • Writing - Any district writing sample collected plus one other authentic writing sample (journal, free write, etc.)
    • Math, Science, Social Studies - Any two work samples that document accommodations needed for EL's to be successful in your classroom. 
    • See some examples below: 
Frayer Models

Sentence Stems

Eliminated Answer Choices

Flip Grid and See Saw Videos to Show Student Speaking Level: Add a Note and Video Link into a Word Document

Imagine Learning

This past week I emailed those of you have learners with an Imagine Learning account who have not been using it. Please reply as soon as possible to let me know if you feel they no longer need access. ESL facilitators have been asked to clean up any accounts not being used. If I do not hear back from you, I will be deleting these students from Imagine Learning.

For those who are using the program, please note that there will be a test that will take place in the month of December that will allow us to check student growth since the beginning of the year. This will be great information.

Please remember ... each classroom teacher has an Imagine Learning login. This login allows you to see which students have accounts, skills they have mastered, growth over the year, and log in information. You have the ability to print log in cards right from your computer. See below for the login information that was included in my October 15th blog:

ESL Learning Walks are Coming

ESL Learning Walks will be coming to all campuses in the spring. The chart below shows some of the things district facilitators will be looking for:

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week: 

10/2 Lectures or "Chunk and Chew"

  • Teachers give 10 minutes of instruction (input) and give 2 minutes for students to process the information (turn and talk, etc.).
  • Research shows that ELs need time to process and make sense of the information being introduced during direct teaching in the classroom. This strategy allows ELs to make meaning and try new vocabulary and concepts with other students in a risk-free environment. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 12, 2017

Where is KK?

Ellevation Education Follow-Up

Thank you for your participation in the Ellevation Education training this past week. If you are an educator who works with EL's (regular ed or special ed) and did not have the opportunity to participate in the training offered at your campus, please let me know. This is required for everyone who works directly with EL's. 

Those who did participate will need to complete a course survey in Eduphoria in order to receive one hour of Texas SBEC CPE credit for participating in the training. I will also be sharing updates and reviews each week via my blog to remind you about the topics we discussed at training or new features that may become available. New information will be added to our campus Schoology course for easy access. 

Please remember, we are at the beginning stage of data upload and information that was automatically imported came from students who were already in the district last year. I am working in my free time to manually add as much testing information as possible for learners who are new to the district this year. This is a slow process and often requires me to dig through red folders yet to look up testing dates, etc. to ensure the information is accurate. 

If you have questions about the program, please feel free to add them to my Padlet at any time.

Link to Padlet

Sheltered Instruction Strategy of the Week: 

Guided Reading and Writing Instruction with ELL's

As with the rest of the students in your class, guided reading and writing are equally important for your ELL's. These small group lessons provide an opportunity to scaffold, model, and discuss important strategies needed for ELL's to show growth in these areas. 

Check out this amazing blog, "Modified Guided Reading for ELL's," by KristenVibas (A Walk in the Chalk Blog) to learn more about implementing guided reading and writing with your ELL's

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October 29, 2017

Where is Mrs. KK?

STAAR Dictionary Policy for 2018

If you are in need of dictionaries for your EL's, please let me know so I can track some down. Dictionaries are available to all students but if you need a dictionary other than a "regular" one, please let me know.
STAAR Dictionary Policy for 2018

Sheltered Instruction Strategy for the Week:

Scaffolding for Writing Instruction

Writing is HARD ... especially for our EL's because it involves more risk and the possibility of making mistakes that will be seen by others. Below you will find some ideas to help your EL's grow in their writing skills.

1. Meet them where they are - 

If you have an EL that is not working on grade level, choose a lesson from your Write from the Beginning and Beyond teacher's manual that will allow them to work at a level where they will be able to be successful. If you have a third grader working at a first-grade level, they need to have lessons delivered at the first-grade level. This requires small group lessons that will help them catch up to their peers. It is OK for EL's to be doing different work from the rest of the class. I am here to help find these lessons and even push-in to work with small groups if you let me know when you will be working on writing and what topics you are focusing on.  

2. Use Thinking Maps to organize their writing -

  • Circle Maps - Use to brainstorm ideas for writing.

  • Flow Maps  - Use to help organize the sequence of events in a story.

  • Flee Maps - Combines a Flow Map and a Tree Map to help develop a complete writing sample with an introduction, details, supports, and a conclusion. 

Narrative Writing Flee Map Example

Expository Writing Flee Map Example

3. Provide a word bank with pictures - 

4. Provide story starters - Story starters take away the stress of having to come up with an idea on their own. 

Scholastic has a fun story starter wheel and allows students to write and illustrate online.

Story Starter Link

5. Provide Word Banks for Different Types of Writing - 

6. Grade selectively - Choose one or two specific things you will be grading in your EL's writing and let them know before they begin. (EX. Beginning sentences with a capital letter, correctly spelling words with a silent "e", using vivid verbs, etc.)

7. Allow learners to practice writing and recording themselves using FlipGrid - 

I have created some FlipGrid lessons and added them to my ESL Resources folder in Schoology. If you use Schoology in your classroom, you can simply add a writing prompt into your EL's assignments and away they go. I have added recorded instructions using Vocaroo (thanks Alli P. for this idea) for some and am working to finish adding this feature this week. This is a great way to allow your EL's to write first and then practice speaking in a risk-free environment. AND ... it is great documentation as we prepare to head into TELPAS season.

The video below shows how to move a resource from my Schoology group to your Schoology course. There is no sound, just a screencast. Full screen will make it easier to view.

KK's ESL Schoology Group

COMING SOON: Ellevation Education Roll Out

The district has purchased a new EL data storage platform that will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks. I will be working with the other ESL facilitators and campus assistant principals to plan this rollout. All EL data (testing information, proficiency levels, PLD's for growth, accommodations, work sample uploads, LPAC meeting notes, etc.) will be stored in this one place. Stay tuned for more information in the near future. I can't wait to share more with you.

Here are some pictures from a test class of what it will look like for you (these are not real students):

List of All EL's in Your Class


Individualized Descriptors for Each EL

Instructional Accommodations Being Used with EL's

Goals Established for EL's

Documentation Storage System

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.