Carnegie Learning has shown to have a significant positive impact on English Language Learners. Through the discussion-based classroom experience, ELL students engage in discussion, collaboration and problem solving which help to build English language fluency. To support teachers working with ELL students, English Language Learner strategies are present throughout the Teacher Implementation Guide.
English Language Learners will communicate for social and instructional purposes throughout the learning experience. Each lesson is designed for the teacher to facilitate classroom discussion and learning together. An example is where students are asked to partner or work in groups. This is common practice throughout the lessons.
The instructional materials align to best practices in ELL vocabulary development in these ways:
The student textbook is written to accommodate a variety of learners, including ELLs, students with special needs, and students that are on-, above-, and below-course level. Support is provided to help teachers plan lessons that create access for their students, maintain student access and support pacing throughout the lesson, and formatively assess student understanding along the way.
Strategic learning techniques are used such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary. Students internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language development. Throughout the text, students are expected to explain and justify their reasoning, although these do not always require words. While students are developing their skills in written or spoken explanations, they also can demonstrate their conceptual understanding by using diagrams, drawings, graphs, or other representations.
Visuals representations are connected to language to help students make sense of content. Thought bubbles are embedded throughout the student text to promote productive reflection reminding students to stop and think. Sometimes they may remind students to recall a previous mathematical concept or pose a question to help them think about different strategies. These supports are thoughtfully placed to guide student learning.
By working through the MATHia software, ELLs are developing conceptual understanding and procedural fluency at a rate that is appropriate for their language development. The self-paced environment engages students in independent learning, which in turn encourages persistence with exploration and practice. Teachers can access just-in-time feedback on their students' progress, allowing them to intervene as necessary. The software includes a comprehensive glossary that provides a definition in words, a pictorial representation where possible, and an example for each entry. As students begin to work within MATHia, links to key terms are available on the unit overview page. The software includes multiple supports to help students attain the concepts of each workspace. An interactive Step-by-Step example is included in each adaptive workspace. In each example, dialog boxes help students understand the order of steps in the problem and the type of answer expected for each question. Students have the option to go back and review the Step-by-Step example at any time while working on other problems in the workspace. A static sample problem is also included that provides another way for students to get help understanding and answering the questions within each workspace.
In addition to overarching supports of a particular workspace, students have access to multi-level hints as they are working on each question. In general the first-level hint restates the question being asked and provides highlighting to pertinent elements of the problem situation. The second-level hint often poses a question and provides information to help the student think through the solution; and the last hint will show students, more specifically, how to answer the question. Based on how the student is performing within workspaces and how they are using hints, the software then adapts to the individual and decides when to give additional problems to solve on their path to mastering the concepts of the workspace.
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