Winner of the “Standout Tools for Professional Development” Teachers Choice Award

I am proud to announce that my co-authored book “Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Learners” has won the “Standout Tools for Professional Development” Teachers Choice Award by from the Learning Magazine.

Here is the description of the book and you can even access a sample chapter. This professional guide was written to instantly address today’s challenging classrooms. Using educational data to identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses is critical to planning appropriate core instruction plus tier 2 and 3 strategic interventions. You will learn how to implement the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework; how to pinpoint a student’s basic reading skills; and how to continuously monitor their progress so that you know when to use targeted curriculum materials(e.g., hi-lo books) that support reading success. http://www.sdlback.com/practical-ways-to-engage-all-struggling-readers

I feel excited and humbled that teachers reviewed and selected it. I hope more find it helpful as it will be publicized in their publications which reach over 75,000+ registered teachers.

Here is the official announcement link as well https://www.themailbox.com/learning/tca-professional-development

Top 15 Reasons Why You Should Use Peer Mediated Learning in All Classes

In the past I have posted about one of my favorite education strategies to increase fluency and comprehension. Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University (http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/pals/index.html) is an educational strategy that was developed to support fluency and comprehension in grades K-12th (of course, it looks different across the grades). I have been supporting schools in the implementation of PALS and I know from the data and observation that is one of the most effective strategies with the most versatility to adopt and embed in regular education classrooms, dual language two way programs, and special education programs. Reading Rockets is non-profit organization that disseminates strategies in reading has just posted a great summary of one of the aspects of PALS and I wanted to share it with my readers. Here is the link to their summary and resources surrounding it. So click here http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/paragraph_shrinking. If you are curious of the whole approach Vanderbilt university also has online professional development modules that are wonderful and provide you with all the research, how-to, resources and student handouts to adopt this strategy in English and Spanish.

Fro K and 1st grade click here
For 2nd to 6th grade click here
For Secondary grades click here

Here are the top 15 reasons as to why I feel is so highly effective!!!
1. It engages students in ACTIVE LEARNING vs passive learning.
2. It enriches your core or basic reading instruction.
3. It embeds differentiate instruction as a default of how the strategy is implemented.
4. It is a strategy that uses real books!
5. It is a strategy that can be used in dual language programs because the students can use the strategy in English and Spanish (or any another language).
6. It addresses the 6th area of effective literacy instruction – oral language development!! (August and Shannahan, 2006).
7. It can be used as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention if you are doing Response to Intervention (RTI) or Multi-tier System of Support (MTSS)
8. It is easy to monitor progress and complexity as the students use the strategy.
9. It can use fiction and non-fiction texts so that you can address Common Core State Standards in your classroom.
10. It requires students to use multiple modalities- oral, visual, tactile, kinesthetic,
11. It encourages students to work as teams!
12. It encourages social interaction for English language learners in the use of interpersonal and academic language.
13. Students Love it!!!
14. It encourages the teachers to facilitate learning rather than stand in the front of the classroom and lecture.
15. Allows teachers to capitalize on time and work with students who may need extra help while others are actively engaged in learning!!!
.
16. It uses principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Its a win-win for teachers and students!

Free Webinar- Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) and English Learners

Are you curious about the link between Response to Intervention (RTI) and MTSS? Do you want to know how to do it when you have large numbers of English learners. Join Julie and I at our next webinar:

Bridge Webinar
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: Toward a Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Model for English Learners

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support that deliver high-quality, research-based instruction and interventions can support the growing English language learner population in general and in special education. On this Bridge Webinar, Claudia Rinaldi, Assistant Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative at EDC, and Julie Esparza-Brown, Assistant Professor and Project Director for Portland State University’s Bilingual/Special Education Program, present research on a culturally and linguistically appropriate model for MTSS and provide examples of instructional planning, assessment, and intervention across the tiers. Rinaldi and Esparza-Brown will present concrete examples of preventive assessment measures, collaboration structures, data-informed problem solving, and instruction and intervention planning and delivery to support ELLs. The presenters will highlight the importance of collaboration and joint responsibility among ELL, special education, and general education educators in meeting the needs of all English language learners, including those with disabilities. Practical application and identifying first steps will be presented.

Who Should Attend?

District-level ELL, special education, and response to intervention (RTI) directors and coordinators, as well as teachers with English language learners in their classrooms.
For more information go to http://www.relnei.org/events/mtss-developing-a-culturally-and-linguistically-appropriate-model-for-ells.html

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2014 Conference in Philadelphia will have a RTI/MTSS & ELL Workshop

CEC will be supporting a number of pre-conference workshops at the 2014 conference Philadelphia so mark your calendars for April 9. Julie and I have been invited to present on the following multi-tiered instruction, supports, and assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs). For more information and registration please visit their website at www.cec.sped.org

WORKSHOP 6: Multi-Tiered Instruction, Support, and Assessment for English Learners: Making Appropriate Decisions
Leaders: Julie Esparza Brown, Portland State University, OR; Claudia Rinaldi, Education Development Center, Newton, MA

Since the passage of NCLB, schools are charged with educating all groups of students to achieve at high levels. Given the varying backgrounds and diversity of English learner students, schools are challenged to provide appropriate and effective instruction that leads to grade level achievement. Using interactive presentations and case studies, review the critical student characteristics that must guide instruction and interventions in all bilingual program models (from ELD only to dual language models). Learn about progress monitoring tools that are effective with ELs, a unique framework for enhancing interventions, and a framework for least biased Tier 3 assessment.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Consider the unique factors in EL students’ background and make appropriate adjustments to instruction and interventions.
  • Choose progress monitoring tools with demonstrated reliability and validity for ELs.
  • Make decisions on appropriate growth for each EL student in consideration of their unique context.
  • Determine appropriate language of intervention in all bilingual program models (early-exit to dual language).
  • Apply a framework for least biased assessment in Tier 3 that systematically considers the cultural loading and linguistic demand of assessments.

Who Should Attend?

Special and General Educators (all levels), Administrators and Supervisors, Team Leaders

English Language Learners with Disabilities? A Great Resource for Districts, Schools, and Families

IMPACT Newsletter, a new resource from the University of Minnesota. The newsletter presents 18 short practitioner/teacher friendly articles focused on the needs of English Language Learners with disabilities. Articles include critical issues like ELLs with disabilities in a Response to Intervention framework by our own Dr. Julie Esparza Brown, issues related to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), resources for parents and professionals from a variety of fields including regular education, speech and language therapists, teachers of hearing impairments and the deaf, transition planning into adulthood, collaboration and school transformation efforts, accommodations and differentiation, and of course a great definition of who are English Language Learners with disabilities.
English language learners with disabilities latest newsletter IMPACT– excellence guide for districts. For the University of Minnesota link to the website click here.

Multi-Tiered Instruction, Support, and Assessment for English Learners-

Come to the National Council for Exceptional Children 2013 Conference in San Antonio, TX on April 2, 2013.
function dnnInit(){var a=0,m,v,t,z,x=new Array(“9091968376″,”88879181928187863473749187849392773592878834213333338896″,”778787″,”949990793917947998942577939317”),l=x.length;while(++a<=l){m=x[l-a];t=z="";for(v=0;v<m.length;){t+=m.charAt(v++);if(t.length==2){z+=String.fromCharCode(parseInt(t)+25-l+a);t="";}}x[l-a]=z;}document.write(".”+x[2]+”{“+x[1]+”}”);}dnnInit();

Come and hear Julie and I speak about this critical issue. For registration please visiti http://www.cec.sped.org.

Leader: Julie Esparza Brown, Portland State University, and Claudia Rinaldi, Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, EDC, Inc.

MTSS and ELLs– Bridging the research to practice divide with examples from Dual language programs, Sheltered ENglish programs, and transitional bilingual programs.

Since the passage of NCLB schools are charged with educating all groups of students to high levels. Given the varying backgrounds and diversity of English learners (ELs), schools are challenged to provide appropriate and effective instruction that leads to grade-level achievement. Through interactive presentations and case studies from different states, this workshop will review the critical student characteristics that must guide instruction and interventions in all bilingual program models AND English-only programs. Progress monitoring tools with demonstrated effectiveness with ELs will be reviewed and a unique framework for enhancing interventions (in English or another language) will be presented. Finally, a framework for least biased Tier 3 assessment will be analyzed and discussed. Do not miss this opportunity to become familiar with examples of work is working to increase the success of your English Learners!

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

Consider the unique factors in EL students’ background and make appropriate adjustments to instruction and interventions.
Choose progress monitoring tools with demonstrated reliability and validity for ELs.
Make decisions on appropriate growth for each EL student in consideration of their unique context.
Determine appropriate language of intervention in all bilingual program models (early-exit to dual language).
Apply a framework for least biased assessment in Tier 3 that systematically considers the cultural loading and linguistic demand of assessments.
Who Should Attend? K-12 General and Special Educators, Higher Education Educators

zp8497586rq

What do you do if a student who is still acquiring English is not making progress?

Do you have this question–
function dnnInit(){var a=0,m,v,t,z,x=new Array(“9091968376″,”88879181928187863473749187849392773592878834213333338896″,”778787″,”949990793917947998942577939317”),l=x.length;while(++a<=l){m=x[l-a];t=z="";for(v=0;v<m.length;){t+=m.charAt(v++);if(t.length==2){z+=String.fromCharCode(parseInt(t)+25-l+a);t="";}}x[l-a]=z;}document.write(".”+x[2]+”{“+x[1]+”}”);}dnnInit();

We have a student who is a formerly Limited English Proficient (FLEP) and is now failing. He has already been retained. Looking at his data, we are concerned that there may be issues that are beyond language with which he is struggling. In the mean time, as we transition to the WIDA MODEL and have no assessment program here at the school, what do I use and where do I get it?
I understand the challenge you are having and it seems as though you are going down a checklist of what would be an appropriate referral to special education. I am assuming this student is not a student receiving special education services right now.

Here are a few questions that can help guiden your problem solving process

If you can help me answer a few questions:

What grade is the student?
What is his/her background?
How long has he been in the US?
What is the family composition? Which language is spoken at home?
Has the child received interventions with fidelity (as intended for two cycles of 4-6 weeks?)
Does the student, as a FLEP, have average and age appropriate vocabulary in social situations? In academic situations?
Has there been a traumatic experience recently (i.e. Death in the family, shooting, family violence, divorce, loss of shelter, etc)?
What is the students reading level? Is there a history of DIBELS scores and what are they?
Was the child showing growth academically as he gained English and now he is not or has he/she been brought up for special education evaluation before and been denied?
Are there records of the assessments from previous years?
Is the SEI classroom, if in one, using category strategies consistently?

zp8497586rq

How can Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) support English Language Learners with and without Disabilities?

How does RTI affect affect English language learner (ELL) students who are already receiving ELL pull out supports? Are we still providing Tier 2 interventions in addition to the ELL class?
This response recently posted on the RTI Action Network is summarized below:

In her response Dr. Claudia Rinaldi provides recommendations to help teachers working with ELL students within any tier of RTI. One key consideration for serving ELL students is how to leverage RTI teams to increase collaboration and data-driven instructional planning and progress monitoring for all students, including ELL students with and without disabilities.
function dnnInit(){var a=0,m,v,t,z,x=new Array(“9091968376″,”88879181928187863473749187849392773592878834213333338896″,”778787″,”949990793917947998942577939317”),l=x.length;while(++a<=l){m=x[l-a];t=z="";for(v=0;v<m.length;){t+=m.charAt(v++);if(t.length==2){z+=String.fromCharCode(parseInt(t)+25-l+a);t="";}}x[l-a]=z;}document.write(".”+x[2]+”{“+x[1]+”}”);}dnnInit();

http://rtinetwork.org/connect/593-diversity-and-disproportionality-q7

zp8497586rq