Category: English Language Learners


Support for English Learners

By Sarah Noble

I am in the midst of grading my 8th graders’ first interpretive paper of the school year. I am pleasantly surprised by what I see in the first few papers. My students are thinking deeply and engaging in the text based on the evidence they pull from the story. I breathe a sigh of relief, and keep slogging through the remaining 63 essays. The next essay is by “Johnny,” a low-intermediate English learner. He just moved here from […]

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English Learners and Dependent Readers: An Unexpected Advantage (Part 2)

We are always concerned for our struggling learners. Of course we are. So when a teacher first encounters the crazy-complex texts in an Inquiry By Design unit, that teacher may be a little skeptical, or hesitant, or even terrified.

Well, take a deep breath because there are several research-based reasons why those might be the very students to excel with challenging texts and an inquiry based pedagogy. (If you missed reasons 1-3, go here.)

I went through school a long time ago, […]

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English Learners and Dependent Readers: An Unexpected Advantage (Part 1)

“My high kids will be fine. But I can’t imagine what my ELLs and my SPED kids are going to do with this.”

We hear this consistently from teachers all around the country during Inquiry By Design’s curriculum institutes. Based on the increased level of complexity in the texts and considerable rigor of the accompanying tasks in our units of study, it’s a valid concern—but one rarely borne out in practice.

There are several reasons why English language learners and SPED students […]

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Reality YouTube*

“A Real Live Teacher Describes Her Students Reactions to Inquiry By Design”

We spend a lot of time here at Inquiry By Design reassuring teachers that their students really can handle the challenge of the texts and tasks in our inquiry-based curriculum. When we tell teachers that their struggling learners will probably surprise them the most with what they produce, we often encounter unveiled skepticism. Of course, we’re saying what we’re supposed to say because we work here—right?

So we were thrilled […]

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