EL Newsletter

Our News & Events

25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer

Summer Activities iLEAD Exploration

Here are some awesome summer activities and ideas that will keep your kids engaged this summer. Best of all, they are all really fun! Pick one that looks like a good fit or combine a few of them to create a season packed with learning.

  1. Fill in summer’s special days and events on a calendar. Help children use pencils, drawing paper, and rulers to create, decorate, and fill in their own summer calendars.
  2. Teach kids to cook and bake using recipes and cookbooks, including those from your family history and traditions.
  3. Make homemade bubble solutions and experiment with unique bubble blowing tools like strings, milk containers, and garbage can lids.
  4. Read aloud The Paper Crane by Molly Bang. Then introduce the art of paper folding by printing and following the instructions for how to make an origami crane.
  5. Go on a nature walk.
  6. Create musical instruments from materials found around the house.
  7. Cool down by making ice cream in a bag. The simple technique produces delicious ice cream in about five minutes.
  8. Read aloud your favorite myths or fairy tales. Discuss the stories with your child. Then invite your child to choose a story, and together make a diorama depicting a pivotal moment in the tale.
  9. Catch a firefly and then go online to learn more about fireflies or read a book about them.
  10. Have your child make an original tessellation.
  11. Staple together pieces of plain paper or use a notebook to help your child make a cartoon flip book. Have your children draw a sequence of cartoons and simulate motion as they “flip” through the pages.
  12. Learn about national parks from the comfort of your own home, and encourage your child to complete online activities and become a web ranger.
  13. Start a rock collection. Collect, gather, identify, and store neat rock specimens.
  14. Plan with your child a family activity day. Decide how much money to spend, and help your child research events and activities in your area and choose an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy.
  15. Take a virtual campus tour of colleges and universities your high school student might be considering.
  16. Ask your child to design an original paper airplane and diagram the steps for constructing it so another family member can recreate it!
  17. Start a family or neighborhood book club. Even a parent and child can form a book club by reading the same book and chatting about it.
  18. Hang a white sheet outside at night and shine a light on it. Observe the variety of insects it draws.
  19. Kids rarely have the opportunity to design their own rooms to best suit their individual needs. Invite your child to devote some thought to ways to improve his or her living space.
  20. Help your child make a set of tangrams. Trace the designs on a piece of paper, mix up the tangram pieces, and use them to create jigsaw puzzles.
  21. Create a clue-based scavenger hunt. Write clues and place them in envelopes, then give your child the first clue. As they open the clues, they are practicing their reading skills and ability to follow directions. At the end of the hunt, you can place a small surprise or a fun activity for your child to find.
  22. Turn your favorite book (story or chapter book) into a play. Write a script, have family members take different roles, and even create your own props and backdrops. Record or share it live with family and friends over Zoom.
  23. Turn plain white carnations or fresh-picked Queen Anne’s Lace into dramatic colored creations. Using just food coloring and water, flowers can be changed from white to any tint (usually in just one day).
  24. Invite your child to play a math game and record his or her scores on a sheet of paper. Choose a probability game, a timed flashcard activity, an online game from a site such as FunBrain, or another favorite math activity. Celebrate your child’s effort with a special treat.
  25. Put old wallpaper and magazine scraps to good use by using them to create recycled paper beads. This easy activity requires very few common materials and keeps kids very busy on rainy days. When they’re finished, children can string their beads and give them as gifts or wear them for fun.

This article was adapted from “25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer.”

Please visit their website to find links to support all the activities above.

ELPAC Testing

Test Prep

We are so proud of all our learners who completed the ELPAC Assessment! Our EL learners worked hard and did their best on all domains: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Results will likely come in August and will be sent to families as soon as they are received.

6 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children

Science Kits

INCREASED COGNITIVE ABILITY – In a Time article, Jeffery Kluger says that babies are born with the inherent ability to speak and understand the world’s 6,800 languages. They continue to easily learn multiple languages up into early grammar school. Having gained these language abilities as babies and children, multilingual adults are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas. They work faster and expend less energy doing so, and as they age, they retain their cognitive faculties longer, delaying the onset of dementia and even full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

MORE FLEXIBLE BRAIN – The ability to balance two separate languages and alternate between the two when the situation dictates requires a certain degree of flexibility. Because bilinguals may acquire two languages in the time in which monolinguals acquire one, they quickly become more flexible learners.

INCREASED LISTENING SKILLS – As children begin to tune their hearing to learn unfamiliar sounds and words in the new language, their listening skills develop. It is somewhat similar to a musician having a trained ear for the sounds of the notes over time.

HIGHER MEMORY RETENTION – As children memorize new words, they are actually helping their brain to be better at memory work in the future. As the brain is stimulated with difficult, new challenges, this boosts the brain’s health, vitality, and increase in memory power.

INCREASED MARKETABILITY IN THE FUTURE WORKPLACE – A study from a Los Angeles-based recruiter found that almost 9 out of 10 headhunters in Europe, Latin America, and Asia reported that bilingual skills are critical for success in today’s business setting. In this increasingly global world, bilingualism carries many benefits. Furthermore, 66 percent of North American recruiters agreed that being bilingual will become increasingly important over the next 10 years.

BETTER PROBLEM-SOLVERS – Language is like a puzzle. Letters and sounds fit together to make words, and then words fit together to make sentences. By fitting the pieces together in a new language, children become naturally more adept at problem-solving abilities.

Adapted from “6 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children.”

25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer

Summer Activities iLEAD Exploration

Here are some awesome summer activities and ideas that will keep your kids engaged this summer. Best of all, they are all really fun! Pick one that looks like a good fit or combine a few of them to create a season packed with learning.

  1. Fill in summer’s special days and events on a calendar. Help children use pencils, drawing paper, and rulers to create, decorate, and fill in their own summer calendars.
  2. Teach kids to cook and bake using recipes and cookbooks, including those from your family history and traditions.
  3. Make homemade bubble solutions and experiment with unique bubble blowing tools like strings, milk containers, and garbage can lids.
  4. Read aloud The Paper Crane by Molly Bang. Then introduce the art of paper folding by printing and following the instructions for how to make an origami crane.
  5. Go on a nature walk.
  6. Create musical instruments from materials found around the house.
  7. Cool down by making ice cream in a bag. The simple technique produces delicious ice cream in about five minutes.
  8. Read aloud your favorite myths or fairy tales. Discuss the stories with your child. Then invite your child to choose a story, and together make a diorama depicting a pivotal moment in the tale.
  9. Catch a firefly and then go online to learn more about fireflies or read a book about them.
  10. Have your child make an original tessellation.
  11. Staple together pieces of plain paper or use a notebook to help your child make a cartoon flip book. Have your children draw a sequence of cartoons and simulate motion as they “flip” through the pages.
  12. Learn about national parks from the comfort of your own home, and encourage your child to complete online activities and become a web ranger.
  13. Start a rock collection. Collect, gather, identify, and store neat rock specimens.
  14. Plan with your child a family activity day. Decide how much money to spend, and help your child research events and activities in your area and choose an affordable activity the whole family can enjoy.
  15. Take a virtual campus tour of colleges and universities your high school student might be considering.
  16. Ask your child to design an original paper airplane and diagram the steps for constructing it so another family member can recreate it!
  17. Start a family or neighborhood book club. Even a parent and child can form a book club by reading the same book and chatting about it.
  18. Hang a white sheet outside at night and shine a light on it. Observe the variety of insects it draws.
  19. Kids rarely have the opportunity to design their own rooms to best suit their individual needs. Invite your child to devote some thought to ways to improve his or her living space.
  20. Help your child make a set of tangrams. Trace the designs on a piece of paper, mix up the tangram pieces, and use them to create jigsaw puzzles.
  21. Create a clue-based scavenger hunt. Write clues and place them in envelopes, then give your child the first clue. As they open the clues, they are practicing their reading skills and ability to follow directions. At the end of the hunt, you can place a small surprise or a fun activity for your child to find.
  22. Turn your favorite book (story or chapter book) into a play. Write a script, have family members take different roles, and even create your own props and backdrops. Record or share it live with family and friends over Zoom.
  23. Turn plain white carnations or fresh-picked Queen Anne’s Lace into dramatic colored creations. Using just food coloring and water, flowers can be changed from white to any tint (usually in just one day).
  24. Invite your child to play a math game and record his or her scores on a sheet of paper. Choose a probability game, a timed flashcard activity, an online game from a site such as FunBrain, or another favorite math activity. Celebrate your child’s effort with a special treat.
  25. Put old wallpaper and magazine scraps to good use by using them to create recycled paper beads. This easy activity requires very few common materials and keeps kids very busy on rainy days. When they’re finished, children can string their beads and give them as gifts or wear them for fun.

This article was adapted from “25 Activities to Keep Kids’ Brains Active in Summer.”

Please visit their website to find links to support all the activities above.

Six Awesome Jobs That Require a Second Language

Jobs

There’s an increasing demand for bilingual workers. New American Economy reports that the demand for bilingual workers more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. That’s a lot of new jobs that need qualified bilingual (or multilingual) candidates!

According to the Chicago Tribune, foreign language careers are on the rise in a number of fields, including finance, health care, social services, information technology and more. Learning a second language can increase your employability in almost any field you can imagine.

Additionally, bilingual workers often earn more than their monolingual counterparts. AOL Finance reports that bilingual workers earn between 5% and 20% more than the base rate per hour.

  1. International Sales Manager: In any sector that produces goods, it is likely there are international sales positions. Many international sales positions focus on B2B “business to business” sales. Businesses often sell their products to other businesses, and while these negotiations are often considered more complex, they can also be tremendously satisfying for a skilled negotiator.
  2. Study Abroad Coordinator: These coordinators serve as a university’s go-to person for study-abroad opportunities.
  3. Foreign Service Officer: Foreign service officers serve as representatives of their home nation in countries throughout the world. Depending on their career track, they might help Americans abroad, protect American borders, work to negotiate with foreign governments, manage embassy operations, promote mutual understanding and more.
  4. International Development Program Officer: International development jobs focus on helping communities across the world. This may involve addressing issues like health, clean water, economic development, energy, the environment and more.
  5. Foreign Correspondent: International journalists and foreign correspondents travel throughout the world to cover breaking news stories.
  6. Intelligence Operative: Being an intelligence operative doesn’t necessarily involve sneaking into parties to follow shady characters. It might involve field work, but there are also many positions in analysis, STEM and support.

Adapted from “Living the Dream! 6 Awesome Jobs That Require a Second Language.”

Summative ELPAC

Summative ELPAC

Our testing window for the Summative ELPAC is open and our assessments are underway for all our English Language Learners this year through online and remote platforms. Thank you to those who have already tested, and we appreciate those who are testing soon!

If you missed our webinar outlining the Summative ELPAC and what families can expect, you can watch it here. Below are some tips and reminders for each of the domains tested through the ELPAC. Take practice tests together with your learner to get them familiar with the test and question types.

Speaking Domain

  • Remember to speak clearly and in English to receive credit for your answer.
  • Add details to your answer! The more information you can convey, the higher your will score.
  • Ask for the questions to be repeated if you are unsure of how to answer.

Listening Domain

  • You can listen to each part only once, so pause and take notes as needed.
  • Preview the questions ahead of time so that you can listen for specific information.

Reading Domain

  • Read the passage first. Read the questions. Then reread the passage looking for the specific answers.
  • Read all the answer choices and eliminate ones that are incorrect.

Writing Domain

  • For 3rd grade and higher, practice typing sentences and paragraphs in a Word document.
  • Review what a basic paragraph contains: opening sentence, detail sentences, and a closing sentence.
  • Carefully read the directions and make sure you are answering questions correctly.
  • Edit your writing before submitting (check for correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling).

Overall Tips

  • Take your time and ask questions. The test administrator is there to support you.
  • If you get overwhelmed, you can take a break. Let the examiner know.
  • Do your best!

Some Awesome EL Resources

books

BrainPOP EL

BrainPOP is a free subscription Exploration offers its English language learners. It is a comprehensive English language learning program for all grade levels. Please reach out to your EF if you have not set up your BrainPOP account yet. This program starts with a placement test based on each learner’s skills. As your child works through the content, they will develop their English skills. This will help with success in all academic areas.

iLEAD’s Hub

Our password-protected Hub introduces our EL team and provides many resources to help our learners find success.

ESL Galaxy

This is a free, one-step site that contains many resources including flashcards, worksheets, board games, and lesson plans.

ESL Video

This website provides free quizzes, lessons, and online conversation classes for English learners.

Preparing Learners for the Future

science

The article “Using Motivation Sources to Guide Students to Their Ideal Careers” reminds educators (homeschooling families!) that we are preparing learners for their future, a future we can’t really imagine, with jobs that do not even exist today.

Here are some important takeaways from this great online article:

Technology is the way of the future, and we need to give our children skills to embrace technology. Some of these skills include the following:

  • Mental Elasticity: Thinking outside the box
  • Complex Problem-Solving: Thinking about complicated problems and coming up with innovative solutions
  • Critical Thinking: Synthesizing information from several sources and drawing meaningful conclusions
  • Creativity: Thinking abstractly, coming up with new ideas, diagnosing and solving problems
  • People Skills: Connecting with people everywhere, all over the world
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Being able to pull information and skill sets from multiple sources

Inspirational Quotes to Share with Your Learners

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

Learner Spotlight: Juan Munoz “Jr.”

LS EL

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

My favorite saying is “Que si” because it’s very funny when I say it to my dad when I play around.

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

Every year in December, we go to this place called Candy Cane Lane. We go with the family to see the lights and walk while we’re drinking hot chocolate.

What career would you like to have?

I would like to have a job making video games or toys.

What is your favorite subject?

I like science because you can see cool reactions and experiments.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

No, I don’t think so. I get treated the same as others.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is to build Legos, look at science experiments on YouTube, and puzzles.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

There’s help everywhere. It will get hard, but it will get better. Don’t worry—you’ll get it.

How long have you been homeschooling?

Almost a year.

What do you like about homeschooling?

I get to stay at home and be comfortable. And I like the classes given to me because I like the kids in my class.

Learner Spotlight – Mya Felix

Learner Spotlight

Mya is a first grade learner who started homeschooling in March of last year. She likes homeschooling because she is able to do her school work in her pajamas. She also gets to go to the library whenever she wants. Her favorite part about learning from home is that she gets to spend time with her mommy and baby brother.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English and Spanish. I am also learning sign language.

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

“Panza llena corazón contento!” In English, this means, “Having a full stomach makes your heart happy!”

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

Family game time and the altar for Day of the Dead.

What career would you like to have?

I want to be a firefighter and a painter.

What is your favorite subject?

Math is my favorite, and working on Explode the Code.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

Yes, it helps me talk to “Tita” (Grandma) and my cousins from Mexico.

What is your favorite hobby?

Painting and playing with my toys.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

Listen to music in the new language.

ELPAC Summative Test

ELPAC Summative Test

Beginning in February, English language learners will take the summative ELPAC. The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is California’s assessment system that is used to determine the English language proficiency of learners whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC assesses four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The summative ELPAC measures how well a learner is progressing with English development in each of the four domains. To support these domains, the EL team has added some family activities to this newsletter. Additionally, the iLEAD Exploration website has a database of activities to support each of these domains. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resource database.

The summative assessment is given to learners in grades TK–12 who have been identified as English learners. These learners continue to take the assessment annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. In order to be considered proficient in English and reclassify, a learner must score a 4 on each of the four domains AND score a “meets or exceeds” standard on the ELA portion of the SBAC or “meets or exceeds” the grade level norm on MWEA MAP.

Parents/guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. State law (California Education Code section 313 and California Education Code section 60810 ) and Federal Law Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency.

This year, our EL team will be providing a webinar for learners to join and learn test-taking strategies and tips to be successful on the summative ELPAC. This will be coming in early February. We hope you will join us!

Family Activities to Support Listening

listening

  1. Telephone: This is a classic game for working on listening. Start with one sentence, and whisper it to the person next to you. That person will whisper what they heard to the next person. The final person says the sentence they heard out loud. This kind of game works especially well with larger groups. You can also use this game to demonstrate how stories change as rumors spread.
  2. Freeze Dance: This game requires children to listen for the music stopping AND to stop their bodies. This is a good way to work on impulse control as well. Pick a fun song, stopping it occasionally and seeing who freezes their bodies. Try to hide the music source so no one can see when you are about to stop the music.
  3. Mother, May I? The person who is the “mother” stands on one end of a space/room, while the other players line up at the other end. Each player takes a turn asking if they can move (for example, “Mother, may I take three giant steps forward?”). There is a lot of fun listening here! This game is also great for following directions and taking turns being the leader.
  4. Simon Says: This game requires listening for a certain phrase and then moving only when the leader includes “Simon says” (for example, “Simon says place your hands on your head.”) This is another game that works on controlling impulses, and players can take turns being the leader.
  5. Tell a Group Story: The first person starts a story with one sentence. Then the next person adds onto the story, and it continues until everyone has contributed at least one sentence to the story. (For smaller groups, you can go around two or three times.) This requires listening to what has already been said and making connections, as well as working together as a group.
  6. Online Listening Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended listening activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Reading

TK-1 Read Aloud

  1. Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling: There are several ways to play this storytelling game. One is the tell-a-group-story method, where players randomly select a few of the playing pieces and then one scene card is turned over. Each player takes a turn adding to the story, integrating one of their playing pieces into the story each time. The stories get very creative and silly.
  2. Boggle: If your kids like word searches, then Boggle is their game. Shake the letters and see how many words can be found in a short amount of time. The real challenge is finding words that other players do not spot. Shake and repeat.
  3. Apples to Apples Junior: In this game, there are two stacks of cards. The green set contains descriptive words, such as kind, cool, and bold. The red set contains people, places, things, and events. In each round, players choose the best red card from their hand to complement the green card word. The judge selects the favorite played card as the winner of the round.
  4. Bananagrams: In this addictive word game, speed wins, not points. Participants race to build joined-up words using all of their tiles. When any player uses all of their letters, they shout “Peel!” and every player takes on a new tile, meaning everyone has to quickly rebuild their word grid!
  5. Scrabble Game: Scrabble, the classic crossword game, is loads of fun for friends and family. You can feel the excitement begin as soon as you rack up your letters, choose a great word, and hope to land on a triple-word score. Play the popular Scrabble game the classic way as you take on opponents for a challenging and fun time, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.
  6. Online Reading Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended reading activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Writing

Writing

  1. Storytelling: In this game, you need only paper and pencils so that everyone can write a story together. On a board, write the first sentence of the tale. Then, over the next two minutes, the participants will write down the next step of the story. After two minutes, the paper is passed to someone else, who will continue the story. These papers circulate a few times until the story is completed. Enjoy sharing the different and funny stories that were created.
  2. Birthday Cards: Every time there is a family birthday or special event, have your children write a birthday or holiday card. This will make them speak their thoughts about their family members as well as encourage them to write.
  3. Comic Strip Fun: This activity is better for older children who already know how to read and write, especially if they like storytelling. Collect some comic strips for your children and ask them to fill out the dialogue bubbles (which should be blank to begin with). Then challenge them to make it more exciting. They can also draw with crayons to make more colors and liven up the comic strip.
  4. Write Until Wrong: Players start writing a list of words. They may write any words they choose but must stop when they misspell a word. If in doubt whether a player has made a spelling error, consult a dictionary. Count the number of words spelled correctly before the first mistake. That is the player’s score. When everyone is ready, start a new round and have players write new lists. Players could try to beat their previous best scores or win the game by achieving a higher score than the other players. Alternatives include choosing categories of words that may be on lists, such as five-letter words, items you could buy in a store, colors, adjectives, verbs, etc. The same basic game could be played by having participants write stories until they make their first spelling mistake and then counting the words successfully written.
  5. Write What You Want: Each morning, have your child write a list of things he or she wants to do that day. The list should be in sentences. Examples: “After breakfast I want to go to Billy’s house!” or “This afternoon I want to go swimming.” Help your child spell any words as needed. When finished, have the child read the list to you.
  6. Online Writing Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended listening activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Speaking

letter

1. Guess the Object: This is a fun game for kids to practice the power of description. Cut a hole in a box that is large enough for their hands. Make sure they understand that they are not allowed to peek into the hole. Place an object in the box. Have the child describe what the object feels like and guess what the object might be.

2. Picture Telling: Collect a variety of pictures. Give each participant a time limit and let them describe what they see in story form. During this exercise, they are processing visual cues and using their ability to speak about them to someone else. The other players practice their listening skills.

3. Guess Who: Each player chooses a secret character and takes turns asking each other yes/no questions about characteristics in order to narrow down the choices and guess the other person’s secret character first.

4. Headbanz: Kids love playing this game because everybody gets to look silly with a headband on their head. Each player draws a card with a food/person/animal/item and, without looking at it, places it on their headband so all other players can see it. Players must ask questions about the picture on their card, remember the answers, and use this knowledge to guess who/what they are.

5. Scattergories: In the original version of this game, a dice is rolled to reveal a letter of the alphabet. All players have a list of categories (food, famous person, movie title, etc.) and must try to write down something that starts with the letter to fit each category. The goal is to be as creative as possible. (If someone else wrote down the same word as you, both of you must cross it out!) The player with the highest number of original answers wins the round.

6. Online Speaking Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended speaking activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Meet Your EL Team

teamwork

Name/Role: Stephanie Casolara, EF and EL Coordinator
Location: Yucca Valley (near Joshua Tree National Park)
Family: Two energetic, awesome boys, ages eight and five.
Interests or Hobbies: I love to read, run, and hike, along with rock scrambling.
Fun Fact: I was born and raised in Upstate New York. I came to California to teach and absolutely love the Southern California desert life.

 

 

 

 

Name: Amri Gallardo, EF and EL Support
Location: San Fernando Valley
Family: Husband Bruno, daughters Grace and Faith, turtle Pepe Pepino, hamsters Rocky and Drago.
Interests: Watching MMA and 90-Day Fiancé. (It is the story of my life because I got engaged six weeks after meeting my husband and then brought him over to the US. I don’t recommend it, and I use the show as a teaching tool for my daughters.)
Fun Fact: I used to be an aircraft mechanic before becoming a teacher.

 

 

 

Name/Role: Jennifer Billig, EF and EL Support
Location: Yucca Valley
Family: Husband, a six-year old daughter, an eight-year old son, one German shepherd.
Interests or Hobbies: I enjoy running, hiking, camping, music, and watching The Office or crime shows.
Fun Fact: I backpacked across Ireland and Scotland for a month with my husband.

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Jennifer Hudson, EF and EL Support
Location: Central Los Angeles
Family: I live with my husband and two daughters in a craftsman bungalow southwest of downtown.
Interests or Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, birdwatching, and doing arts and crafts.
Fun Fact: I am learning to play the cello.

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Jennifer Ramirez, EF and EL Support
Location: Lake Forest
Family: Married to Alex, and we have three kids who are ten, eight, and five years old.
Interest/Hobbies: I enjoy baking, sports, and traveling.
Fun Fact: After backpacking through Spain for a month, I returned home, sold my car, resigned from LA Unified, and decided to return to live and teach in Madrid, Spain.

 

 

 

Name/Role: Lorraine Kajikawa, EF and EL Support
Location: Torrance
Family: Married to my wonderful husband, Gavin, with two beautiful daughters, eight and ten years old.
Interests or Hobbies: I love creating and caring for my succulent arrangements and propagating succulents. I also enjoy baking all kinds of baked goods!
Fun Fact: I once “climbed” the Great Wall of China!

 

 

 

Name/Role: Patty Plascencia, EF and EL Support
Location: Chino
Family: I’ve been married for nineteen years to my hubby, Orlando, and we have three beautiful homeschooled girls: Abby, Keilah, and Roxana.
Interests or Hobbies: I love adventures, especially, trying new foods and going to new places! I enjoy reading and love finding great deals!
Fun Fact: Complete strangers let me borrow their newborn baby. I like babies!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hight School Clubs and Organizations

Every year from September 15 to October 15, we honor our ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America during Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15 was chosen as the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month because it marks the anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence during this period on September 16 and September 18.

To help honor this amazing culture, we are including some resources that you may want to investigate:

PBS Learning Media

Scholastic: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Book Ideas

NEA: Hispanic Heritage Month

Teaching Central America

Teaching Tolerance: Latino Civil Rights Timeline

ELAC Meetings 2020-2021

RE

The English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) is a school-level committee of parents, staff, and community members designated to advise school officials on English learner programs and services. Each school with 21 learners must form an ELAC and the committee must meet at least four times a year.

The dates of iLEAD Hybrid’s (of which iLEAD Exploration is a program) ELAC meetings are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on the following dates:

  • November 19 at 9:30 a.m.
  • January 14 at 9:30 a.m.
  • February 11 at 9:30 a.m.
  • May 13 at 9:30 a.m.

We want parents to join these meetings, as the purpose is to support families and learners. iLEAD will send out a survey so families can indicate topics they would like to cover at meetings this year. These are public meetings, and all are welcome. At the next meeting, we will elect the following officers: President (Chair), Vice President (Vice Chair), and Secretary. If any voting takes place, only the parents/guardians of English language learners can vote. We want your voices heard.

The agenda and log-in information will be sent via email to EL families a few days prior to each meeting. Here are the minutes from our first meeting of the school year.

Tips for Building an English Vocabulary

Meet the Team

Learning the vocabulary of any new language is considered to be the key to understanding what learners hear or read during the school day. It is very helpful for English language learners to build their English vocabulary as quickly as possible to increase learning of both the English language and new concepts and ideas.

  1. Parents should try to speak English at home at some point each day. It is very difficult for students to learn a new language if the language is not reinforced at home consistently.
  2. Read aloud (or use a website that reads aloud) with your student in both English and their native language each day.
  3. Encourage your student to continue to read for pleasure in their own language even while learning English.
  4. Have your student create a scrapbook, journal, or diary of their time in the United States.
  5. Help your student make a personal dictionary with vocabulary words they are learning.
  6. Use art to increase English vocabulary.
  7. Watch appropriate English language television programs or DVDs with your student or use singalong or storybook music tapes.
  8. Commit to learning English with your student.
  9. Use Rosetta Stone Classroom each day to practice English.
  10. Use the internet to find and access websites with ESL practice activities.Practice makes perfect!

Things to remember:

  1. Learning a new language takes time to comprehend and practice. Be realistic about how quickly your student can progress and be patient!
  2. Making mistakes is part of the learning process.
  3. Students are both active and passive learners. They typically “understand” and “recognize” new English words before they are comfortable “speaking” or “writing” them. This is a normal part of the process of acquiring a second language.
  4. English language learners cannot absorb everything they are exposed to every day. It takes time!

English language learners typically improve their English proficiency at an amazing pace. We are so proud of them!

EL Supports on iLEAD Exploration’s Website

Presenting Online Curriculum Options for High Schoolers another idea

The EL team has developed resources for EL learners on its website. To view, go to iLEAD Exploration’s home page and log into the Hub. On the Hub Quick menu page, select English Language Learners and you will find a whole page dedicated to everything EL! You can meet our EL staff, learn about ELPAC testing, find ELAC meeting agendas/minutes, read EL newsletters, and search resources specific for EL learners.

Additionally, did you know that our Exploration website can be translated into several different languages? Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the “Translate” button. From there, choose your home language. It is important to note that the translate feature is not able to translate documents (PDFs, Google docs, etc.) that are viewable on the website.

BrainPOP EL

BrainPop

Every English Language Learner will have access to BrainPOP EL. You can watch this video to learn more about the program. More information coming soon.

Speaking Activities

adolescent-blur-child-close-up-236149

Speaking is usually thought of as the most important of the four skills. Below is a list of activities to enhance a learner’s ability to speak English.

Describe a Picture
Using the two links below, learners are able to look at daily pictures and graphs and describe what is happening in each picture or graph. For each picture, there are guiding questions for the learner to think about and answer. The learner also has the option to read how others respond to the picture/graph. When describing a picture, think about answering who, what, where, when and why.

https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-whats-going-on-in-this-picture

https://www.nytimes.com/column/whats-going-on-in-this-graph

What is It?
Place 5 objects on the table under a towel or blanket. Describe each object and let your partner guess what it is you are describing, then switch.

Sentence ideas:
The object I have is (heavy/light).
It is used in the (room).

Debates
Give your learner a statement. Have your learner think about whether or not he agrees or disagrees with the statement. The learner writes notes defending his statement. Have your learner present multiple reasons why he agrees or disagrees with the statement.

Example: The Summer Olympics are better than the Winter Olympics.
Sentence starters:
I think….
I believe….
The _____ is better than ____ because….
In my opinion…..
I think that…for example…

Listening Activities

listening

Listening is an essential skill that we use daily. Listening takes different forms in different situations. You listen in a classroom, an airport, in a conversation, while watching television, and while listening to the radio. Below is a list of activities to help improve your listening skills.

Music 101
Listen to any song, and write down any similes you hear.
Example: “And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind”
Are there any metaphors you hear? What about personification, hyperbole or irony?

Storyline Online
Listen to a story online.

Unite for Literacy
Listen to a story online with the option to listen to the story in different languages.

Listen and Draw
This site has some audio files of vocabulary and scenarios that learners can listen to. Learners can draw the pictures or descriptions on a blank piece of paper as they listen to the vocabulary. Learners can also draw a picture as they listen to a story.

TED Talks
Ted Talks are a great resource for advanced or intermediate ELL learners. Have your learner listen to a Ted Talk two times through. For the first time, have them share the main idea. For the second time, have them listen for and then share opinions and facts.

Podcasts
The Walking Classroom is offering 26 free educational podcasts right now (due to Covid-19)! Their program is simple…take a 20-minute walk while you listen to a podcast! Each podcast comes with a health-awareness message and includes a character value within the narrative. It also includes discussion questions, key vocabulary, and quizzes. It is great for ELL students and catered to grades 3-8.

Reading Activities

Reading Strategies and Reading Strategies - Workshop in Tustin another option

Comprehension is the goal of reading. This skill can be extremely difficult for EL learners due to limited vocabulary and limited background knowledge. Learners should read or be read to daily. Here are a few activities that support EL learners and their reading comprehension.

Determine Main Idea and Details
Use the flower writing graphic organizer to help a learner determine the main idea and details of a passage.

Building Background Knowledge
All students learn better when they first access what they already know. Use a KWL Chart to activate prior knowledge. Learners already have experiences and knowledge that they can build upon.

Vocabulary
Expanding your vocabulary is a great way to improve your comprehension skills. Vocabulary Coil is an interactive site that you may want to check out.

Interactive Games
Let learning be interactive! These games are engaging and will help build critical reading skills. The games are easy to understand and help build a child’s vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills. You can find something for every grade level and English proficiency skills.

ESL Fast

Learn English Kids

FunBrain

ESL Fun Games

Mr. Nussbaum Learning

 

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