More and more classrooms across the country are filled with children who speak languages other than English. In these diverse classrooms, many teachers struggle with how to create reading and writing instruction that is appropriate for their English language learners. In Becoming One Community, Kathleen Fay and Suzanne Whaley provide expert guidance on helping students who are just learning English develop their voice and skills within reading and writing workshops.—JoAnn PortalupiWritten for the general classroom teacher whose class includes English language learners (ELLs), as well as for ELL teachers working in general classrooms, this book portrays ELL students in grades 3–6 who learn essential reading and writing skills and are full members of the classroom community. Throughout the book, Kathleen and Suzanne emphasize the importance of talk. By talking during science workshop, after read-aloud, or when sharing an idea with a partner, ELLs use language authentically and, in using it, become more adept speakers, readers and writers of English.Included are:classroom scenes with dialogue in whole-class and small-group settings;
authentic one-on-one conferences with readers and writers at varying levels of English language proficiency;
reflection by the teachers before, during, and after teaching;
scenarios from inclusive classrooms and descriptions of teachers' decisions which enable them to be successful learning environments.
This is not a quick how-to guide. Becoming One Community provides many practical examples of diverse classrooms at work and embeds theory on English-language development throughout. It gives teachers a repertoire of ideas to meet the needs of ELL students in their classroom but ultimately trusts in the teacher's own skills to best know their students and appreciate their innate intelligence.
Kathleen Fay, Suzanne Whaley
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