Principle #1- Students must be engaged in language learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.
A. Summary: Learning should occur in a differentiated environment so that students can access the curriculum at their given grade level. According to this principle, all students must be taught at grade level regardless of ELL category. Students must be accommodated in ways that allow them access and engage in the curriculum without isolation from their peers.
B. Why I picked this principle: I believe that language learning is developed experientially and language learning should not be divorced from learning the curriculum. For example, it is necessary for ELL students in the seventh grade to learn seventh grade content along with their peers in order to meet state and local standards and progress through the grades. Holding students back or diluting the curriculum due to language limitations is contrary to best practice.
C. How I will implement this principle: In my own classroom, the way that my practice will reflect this principle is in how I will teach literacy and writing. My teaching strategies will have built-in scaffolds so that all learners can access the curriculum. For example, I will maintain a word wall of content and academic vocabulary so that students have constant learning cues for class activities.
Principle #2 – Learning thrives in an environment where trust and respect are essential and where family and community are actively involved.
A. Summary: Students should feel confident that they are in an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. Language learning should occur organically, with opportunities to speak and write for the purpose of expressing ideas witho...
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...B. Why I picked this principle: I picked this principle because of the cultural diversity of my classes and the school community at large. There are too many opportunities for stereotypes, misconceptions and misunderstandings to develop if students are not taught to appreciate cultural distinctions, understand the connections we share and recognize the contributions of all.
C. How I will implement this principle: I will use literary texts that feature strong, multi-dimensional and compelling characters from all racial ethnic groups in my reading curriculum. I will supplement the social studies and science content with informational texts that feature the contributions of those who are often exclude from conventional textbooks. Students will create identity projects such as “I am” or “I am from” poems, essays and collages that express pride in self and culture.
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