ACSA Affiliate Content

Unlocking Learning II Report

The Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators.

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2 THE EDUCATION TRUST–WEST | UNLOCKING LEARNING II | MARCH 2018 As the students are discussing their thoughts on how to solve the problem with their table mates, Ms. Giberti reminds the students to use the sentence frames that are posted on the wall to start their discussions: "Why do you think…," "I agree that…" After a while she invites students to come up to the front of the class to explain verbally how they solved the problem and to show their calculations and drawings on the board. Three different students come up and show three different ways to solve the problem. After the students have shared their thinking, Ms. Giberti summarizes the different approaches, restating the students' ideas with math terminology – "operation" and "conversion" – as students take notes in their notebooks. While solving word problems in math is not new, the emphasis on students using language and discourse The fifth-grade classroom at William Northrup Elementary School in Alhambra, California is buzzing with chatter. Students – 40% of whom are English learners – sit in groups of four as they work together to solve the problem that their teacher, Angela Giberti, has written on the board. "Rosa is training for a race and is running laps around a field. If the distance around the field is 300 yards, how many complete laps would she need to do to run at least two miles?" UNLOCKING LEARNING II: MATH AS A LEVER FOR ENGLISH LEARNER EQUITY AN EMPHASIS ON LANGUAGE AND DISCOURSE IN THE CLASSROOM HELPS ENGLISH LEARNERS TO CULTIVATE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY AND MASTER MATH STANDARDS.

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