Educators from ExcEL sites across New York and Connecticut gathered in Shelton early in April 2019 for a peer network Design Studio to learn how teachers are using the Dynamic Language Learning Progressions in their classrooms to help English Learners develop language proficiency. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with teachers and see how they have incorporated the DLLPs into instruction, and explore the positive impact on students.
ExcEL coaches and Shelton TESOL teachers Christine Butler and Maria Zampano led the group in a fun and engaging ‘basics’ overview of language progressions. After establishing some common language and knowledge, participants had the opportunity to engage with three individual presentations exploring the use of the DLLP in the classroom, reflecting on the process, and looking at student work to understand the impact.
Classroom teachers Ashli Newman and Kristen Festa talked about their use of Patterns of Power and its relation to grammar instruction in the early elementary classroom. TESOL teacher Sara Marr shared progression related scaffolds and supports used in an opinion writing unit. TESOL teacher Maria Zampano talked about her use of dialogue journals in the high school classroom. Each presentation embedded an opportunity to look at student work samples together, analyzing the work to pull out individual strengths and needs.
Design studios bring together students and educators from across the network to focus, problem-solve and ultimately improve school-based practices. They are a powerful feature of the ExcEL Leadership Academy. These three presentations also represented capstone projects for teacher-teams working toward ExcEL’s Effective Educator of ELs micro-credentials.