Here are some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…


Being an English-Language Learner Is Hard. Here Are 5 Ways Teachers Can Make It Easier

Quote from Article:

Many of us have had the experience, when sitting in a foreign language class or visiting another country, of fumbling for the words to convey our thoughts.

In a brilliant essay from his book Me Talk Pretty One Day, comedic writer David Sedaris describes a discussion about Easter that took place in his conversational French class. His teacher asked who brings chocolate on Easter morning, and Sedaris answered, “The Rabbit of Easter.”

“A rabbit?” The teacher, assuming I’d used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wiggling them as though they were ears. “You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?”

“Well, sure,” I said. “He come in the night when one sleep on a bed. With a hand he have the basket and foods.”

The teacher sadly shook her head, as if this explained everything that was wrong with my country. “No, no,” she said. “Here in France the chocolate is brought by the big bell that flies in from Rome.”

I called for a time-out. “But how do the bell know where you live?”

“Well,” she said, “how does a rabbit?”

This demented conversation—with its various semantic and cultural misunderstandings—provides a window into the struggle our English-language learners face every day.

There are plenty of hard things about school for all kids. Too many tests, too much sitting, too little recess. But for English learners, there is an added layer of difficulty. The constant effort to understand and make yourself understood can be exhausting.

All 25 of my students speak either Spanish or Marshallese at home. Here are five ways I’ve found to make school a little easier for them.

1. Get them laughing.

2. Warm them up.

3. Make most of the talking happen with partners or small groups.

4. Don’t let your frustration show.

5. Realize that more is going on in their minds than they can express.

District Deeds Synopsis:

It’s always interesting to read about how Teachers find unique ways to reach out to the Students in their classrooms.  We know many San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Teachers that employ similar tactics to create a comfortable learning environment to keep ELL Students…and all their students…fully engaged.

Keep it up!

The Truth About ‘Segregated’ Charter Schools

Quote from Article:

The AP’s analysis relies on the previously discredited methodology of UCLA professor Gary Orfield’s 2012 studyEducation reformers and civil rights activists have already spoken out against the report and its unfair condemnation of charters. But one can’t help but fear that such falsehoods will be turned into “truths” by anti-charter crusaders, especially those – like American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten – who were quick to promote the badly done analysis as “damning evidence” of the failure of public charter schools.

The truth is that public charter schools are giving long overdue opportunities to minority children by providing high quality educations. America should be praising them. Instead, crusaders like Weingarten use their lies to influence Americans and disempower thousands of minority families.

Five Facts About America’s Segregated Charter Schools:

Truth #1: Residential segregation, not charter schools, increases “racial isolation” in public schools.

Truth #2: Choice is not equal to force.

Truth #3: Questioning the right to school choice disempowers minority families.

Truth #4: Academic success is as important as diversity.

Truth #5: Low-income and minority children need access to high-quality education now.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This editorial is heavily slanted positively toward charter schools but we thought it provided some good insights.  As we have said in past posts, all Parents want is the opportunity to choose the best possible education for their kids.  It is a fact that In some areas of the SDUSD it is a Charter School that is the “Quality School” in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately the incompetent SDUSD senior leadership would rather whine about losing students to Charters than actually doing anything about it


For Lunch Last Week, Schools Encourage Socializing

Quote from Article:

For students at Providence Middle School, last Thursday’s lunch period offered a unique experience: teachers and administrators asking them to talk more – not less.

Instead of their usual table assignments, each student received a raffle ticket bearing the number of a specific lunch table. At each table there were “icebreaker” games, such as tic-tac-toe, and other activities designed to stimulate social interaction.

“In an effort to promote kindness and build a sense of community, you’re sitting with a different group of people today,” said Associate Principal Michael-Jon Rodney, who served as public-address announcer for the school’s inaugural observance of No One Eats Alone Day.

District Deeds Synopsis:

What a great idea…a “No One Eats Alone Day”.  A simple strategy to help make ALL students feel included on campus and to make new friends.

Just shows that the best ideas are sometimes the simplest ideas!!!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“If one suffers we all suffer. Togetherness is strength. Courage.”  –  Jean-Bertrand Aristide


Have a great week!!!



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