Spanish Chat for Parents: Helping your child read even if you don’t know English

These post is a link to a live chat for Understood.Org, a division of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Understood.org is a website for parents who have questions about their children who have learning and attention issues. The website conducts daily webinars and chats in Spanish and English on critical topics for parents. It is a great resource for parents and the link to their main page.

This post is sharing the live Spanish chat I conducted for Understood.org on the How Reading in Spanish can help English. Here is the link ¿Cómo leer en español ayuda a los niños con el inglés?

Spanish Chat Para Padres Que Quieran Saber Sobre el Proceso de Educacion Especial

These post is a link to a live chat for Understood.Org, a division of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Understood.org is a website for parents who have questions about their children who have learning and attention issues. The website conducts daily webinars and chats in Spanish and English on critical topics for parents. It is a great resource for parents and the link to their main page.

This post is sharing the live Spanish chat I conducted for Understood.org on the special education process for parents and how to know whether a bilingual child is having difficulties in schools due to the English language learning process or because of a potential disability in both languages. The chat is in Spanish and parents can access it at any time. Click here to access the recorded live chat.

Spanish Chat: Bajas calificaciones en lenguaje: dominio limitado de un segundo idioma o discapacidad del lenguaje

Description on Chat in Spanish

I have been doing a series of Web Chats for Understood.Org, a division of the National Center for Learning Disabilities . Understood.org is a website for parents who have questions about their children who have learning and attention issues. The website conduct daily webinars and chats in Spanish and English on critical topics for parents. It is a great resource for parents and the link to their main page is

Below is the link to the latest one I did on helping parents know the difference between typical English language development and a potential disability. The chat is in Spanish and it is focused for parents.
Title: The latest Spanish Chat: Bajas calificaciones en lenguaje: dominio limitado de un segundo idioma o discapacidad del lenguaje

A Quick Guide to Know How to Support Your Child’s Education

By Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D.
January 30, 2014
Are you getting ready to prepare for next school year? Is your child a second language learner? Does your child struggle with school? Do you want to know what questions to ask when you meet with your child’s teacher?

Parents are often trying to prepare their children for the demands of school but often times they get conflicting messages about what children should know to be successful in schools. Below are some guidelines that might be helpful for parents wanted to prepare their children for school.
Children are expected to master many skills over their preschool years through adulthood. The main areas that are typically presented to parents iare social skills development and academic skills in reading and math.

Although these guidelines by grade they represent more of a continuum of skills that develop and increase over time. It is important to talk to your child’s teacher multiple times in the year. As a parent you would like to ask the following:

How is your child making progress towards grade level expectations?
What else is he or she receiving to help them accomplish those goals?
What you can do to support the learning process at home?
What are websites or other sources of information that can help me help my child?

For many children and young adults, school does not come easy. It is important for parents/guardians to be advocates for their child. If you suspect that your child or young adult is having difficulty in school in reading or in math, you can request weekly check-ups with the teacher. You may also want to consider an educational evaluation if you feel your child may have learning disabilities, behavioral disabilities or other challenges that keep him or her from learning grade level material in school. If you request an evaluation, the school has a process that they must follow with the conclusion of a meeting that determines if your child has 1 of the 13 areas of disabilities identified by the US Department of Education that impair their learning in school.

If you child does meet eligibility for special education supports and a specialized education plan, a team that includes you develops an Individualized Education Plan or IEP for your child. If your child is found to not be eligible, you can request that they school provide with him/her with interventions outside of the Reading/Literacy or English language Arts time or Math depending on the area of difficulty. This intervention is additional support that can help him/her prepare to access the content in class in more effective ways as part of their school day. In many states this process is called Response to Intervention or Tiered Intervention and Support. Visit your school district website, the district’s website or even the state for more information or visit a leading research center- the RTI Action Network for more information (www.rtinetwork.org).

If you child is also learning a new language, consider requesting that the teacher and the ESL or the teacher for students learning English as a Second Language be present at your meeting so that you can see the progress in their English language as well as academics. Learning a language takes 5-7 years so it is important that teachers and parents are aware of the progress and that they child gets the support along the way even when the child sounds like a fluent English speaker (i.e year 3 or 4).

For parents from different cultures, it is important to know that parents in the US are very involved in the children’s school particularly at the pre-school and elementary level. It is ok to ask for clarification of how teaching is happening in the classroom and how your children are learning. It is also common for parents to volunteer, if possible, in the school. As a bilingual parent you can provide many skills that schools are in desperate need such as translating materials for other parents, helping new families, helping introduced groups of students in their primary language.

If you need this information to share with other parents in other languages (available in 11 other languages) consider visiting Colorin Colorado http://www.colorincolorado.org/ for Reading Tips by grade http://www.colorincolorado.org/guides/readingtips/

If you are interested in a website that focuses on families with children that have learning and attention issues visit http://www.understood.org . This great website is a community of parents and experts that work together answering parents questions. The website is available in English and Spanish.

If you need more information about the educational evaluation process because you think your child may have a learning disability please visit the National Center of Learning Disabilities (www.ncld.org) and their parent guide to the evaluation process http://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IDEA-Parent-Guide1.pdf

Sources for these article came from:
Reading Rockets http://www.readingrockets.org/
Colorin Colorado http://www.colorincolorado.org/
Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts http://www.meadowscenter.org/vgc/

Recent Open Access Article- How RTI Can Address the Needs of English Language Learners (ELLs)

This recent article just appeared on Google Alerts and I wanted to share it here. The article provides a good summary of what is Response to Intervention (RTI) and culturally and linguistical diverse pedagogies. Aside from providing a good definition of all terms, they summarized the research on how culturally responsive pedagogy can impact the effectiveness and success of RTI. The focus is on Tier 1 Core instruction as a vehicle to ensure that culturally and linguistically diverse students (CLD) are taught using culturally responsive practices thereby increasing access to the regular curriculum and fidelity of implementation of the model. The article also addresses how the universal screening and progress monitoring practices within RTI can look for this population and how teachers can collaborate and problem solve which evidenced-based interventions and which differentiated instructional practices would be best for CLD students. The article summarizes research on how using the students primary language is imperative while also monitoring English proficiency. The authors did a nice job of bringing together the research on RTI, CLD pedagogy, and fidelity of implementation features.
http://www.subr.edu/assets/COEEJournal/Fall-2014/IJTL-Vol.4,No.3,Fall2014-(pp.143-221)-12.22.2014.pdf#page=62

Read Conmigo a Great Website of Bilingual Reading Materials

Looking for bilingual reading options? Visit Read Conmigo
The website has resources for parents, children, and teachers. You can even submit your story for potential publication.
Teacher can also print out resources and worksheets.
Signing up is free and you get access to 26 books and a report on a study they did on the use of tablets for reading bilingual books in the classroom.

You can also share with other bilingual families and educators via their social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, etc.

One book I just downloaded is called ” A Resolution for Maria La Mariposa”. When I clicked on the download it gave me the option to downloaded it to desktop/laptop, tablet, kindle, or you can view it as an e-book. The book was written in English and Spanish, the graphics were beautiful, and it was appropriate for younger readers through 3rd grade. Parents can read it to their child or if the child is an independent reader he or she can read it themselves. The book has activities that include a word search and en extensive list of comprehension questions. Remember parents– read it once your self, encourage co-reading, and encourage your child to read the last time — this will help build fluency in reading!

The kids portion of the website has several online and printable activities as well. They even have a “Community Events” option of resources for schools that want to have a literacy night at school. It LOOKS LIKE TEACHERS CAN REGISTER THEIR CLASS, although you will problably need to contact the directly for more specific instructions. I love it!

Visit them and promote them.

Benefits of Immersion Language Schools NECN Report

I am happy to share that Boston’s Channel 5 just ran a story on the growing number of language immersion preschools in MA and shared that story of Pine Village Preschools. Now in their 14th year across 8 centers Pine Village Preschools provides young children with an incredible opportunity to become bilingual and reap the benefits on brain development that have been identified in the research. I was also excited to be the former parent in the interview as I am their biggest supporter!!!. Immersion and dual language programs provide benefits all children and increases cultural responsiveness and creates natural global connections. To learn more about where to go from preschool to elementary immersion/dual language programs visit the Center for Applied Linguistics and for a wonderful example of an elementary school and high school click on the links below.

http://www.necn.com/portableplayer/?cmsID=279998572&videoID=ArPaJAGdkwwL&origin=necn.com&sec=news&subsec=new-england&width=600&height=360

Center for Applied Linguistics

Hurley K-8 School, Dual Language Spanish/English Program, Boston MA

Margartia Muniz Academy, Dual Language High School, Boston, MA

If you would like to add the awareness of other schools please add those in the comments.

Does this English Learner have a Disability or a Language Difference?

How many times do teachers ask you how you differentiate between a learning disability and a language difference? Check out the most recent toolkit from the RTI Action Network and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Proud to have co-authored this guide for all teachers working with struggling English language learners.
http://www.rtinetwork.org/getstarted/sld-identification-toolkit/ld-identification-toolkit-considerations-for-ell

Implementing MTSS– A How to Book

Announcing “Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers: A Multi-tiered Instructional Approach Using Hi-lo Books” by Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D. and Orla Higgins Averill, Ph.D.

After working with districts and schools for the last 6 years helping them to implement response to intervention (RTI) and multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), I am happy share the publication of our first book “Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers: A Multi-tiered Instructional Approach Using Hi-lo Books“. The book provides guidance on how RTI and MTSS works, how to structure it in your classrooms and school, how to use data for instructional planning and how to implement six research-based reading strategies as Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. The book can now be purchased directly from the publisher Saddleback Publishing or directly from Amazon by clicking here.

The book is broken down into five chapters:

Chapter 1: What Is a Multi-Tiered System of Support?
Chapter 2: How Can I Teach the Variety of Learners in My Classroom When It’s Just Me?
Chapter 3: Instructional Interventions That Work
Chapter 4: Using Hi-Lo Books as Intervention Tools
Chapter 5: Common Pitfalls of a Multi-Tiered System of Support

My goal in writing this book was that any teacher can pick it up, know how to work with his or her peers to implement tiered instructional practices. We devote a whole chapter to explaining what to do with data you collect from students (reading comprehension scores, curriculum-based measurement, lexile scores, etc.) so that you can use it consistently to plan instruction. In another chapter, we help teachers think about which tier 2 and tier 3 interventions help students who are struggling in different areas of the reading process. Finally, we address throughout the book how to support English language learners and students with disabilities in this process, how fidelity of implementation can truly change the academic outcomes of students, and how progress monitoring can tell you how to be become a highly effective teacher. I would appreciate some reviews after you are read it and use it.

I would also like to thank my co-author and friend Orla Higgins Averill. She is a great professional, educator, writer, and leader. It has been my honor to work with her and I look forward to writing to more upcoming books and publications in this area with her as our professional trajectories continue.