1. Amy D'Amico
  2. https://ssec.si.edu/our-staff
  3. Division Director
  4. LASER Focused: A Model for Teaching Inquiry-Based Science to English Learners
  5. https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem
  6. Smithsonian Science Education Center, University of Memphis
  1. Kat Fancher
  2. https://ssec.si.edu/our-staff
  3. Program Specialist
  4. LASER Focused: A Model for Teaching Inquiry-Based Science to English Learners
  5. https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem
  6. Smithsonian Science Education Center
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 05:06 p.m.

    Thank you so much for taking time to watch our video! You can find more information and our full length videos at https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem.

    Questions we would love for you to consider:

    1. Does this video make you want to learn more about strategies for EL students in science classrooms?
    2. What did you learn about ways to help EL students?
    3. Could you take strategies like this apply it to your own classroom or not?
     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Ariel O'Brien
    Kate Goss
  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    K-12 Teacher
    May 5, 2020 | 01:09 p.m.

    Thanks so much for your work.  Your video prompted me to go to your website to look at these important strategies.  English language learners come to our classrooms with so much knowledge and understanding that might not be revealed because vocabulary gets in the way.  These strategies are a great way to begin to bridge that gap.

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 5, 2020 | 05:40 p.m.

    Glad that you liked it!

  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 03:12 p.m.

    I appreciate your work in positioning our EL students (especially young students) as competent learners in science. I'm interested in the family/community connections you made as a part of this project. Can you share more information about that? Thanks.

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 5, 2020 | 05:44 p.m.

    As part of this project we were able to offer "Family Nights" through our collaborators at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (a Smithsonian affiliate). We were able to open up the museum for free for participating students and their families to experience an exhibit or show that tied to the classroom learning of the students and had a dual language component. This is a special opportunity to students and their families. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    K. Renae Pullen
  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 06:03 p.m.

    I love it! Thanks for the information. 

  • Icon for: Patti Curtis

    Patti Curtis

    Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow
    May 5, 2020 | 04:44 p.m.

    Bravo SI Chicas.  I had no idea you had a ELA grant!  Good stuff. 

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 5, 2020 | 05:37 p.m.

    Thanks, Patti!

  • Icon for: Margo Murphy

    Margo Murphy

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 05:35 p.m.

    Love the expressions of the kids.  They are fully engaged.  I would like to understand the strategies more specifically.  In the beginning students were talking with each other.  Another was matching vocab (pink slip) with the event...  I saw a lot of activity but I am interested in knowing the EL strategies demonstrated in the video.  Also interested to know was this one school or across many schools.  I so appreciate this work because clearly the kids are thriving.

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 5, 2020 | 05:45 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest! You can learn more about the project and the strategies here https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem (scroll to the bottom for the full videos). The videos highlight one or two strategies specifically, but these amazing teachers are using a whole host of strategies effortlessly!

  • Icon for: Kimberly Welty

    Kimberly Welty

    Grant Support Specialist
    May 6, 2020 | 10:18 a.m.

    Great video - I especially enjoyed seeing the children's excitement about learning that comes through in their expressions. Thank you for doing this important research! We are also looking at English Language Learners and science. I was wondering if you could talk about what you observe the children doing in relationship to each helping each other in the classroom.  Do you see them assisting each other with understanding? Thank you again.

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:25 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video!

    When starting this project, we were not sure how interactive students would be with each other so we tried to pick strategies that encouraged students to work together and build on each others knowledge. One of the best strategies we found for fostering student interaction and support was the mix and match cards, see video at https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem. Overall, we saw most students working together and helping each other interpret their ideas in their group discussions before sharing out to the larger group.

  • May 6, 2020 | 05:41 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing about this important work. I enjoyed discovering some strategies on the website. I particularly appreciate that theses strategies foster student-student interaction. Do you have examples of teachers who articulated EL strategies with scientific practices such as discussions where students argue from evidence?

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 05:07 p.m.

    Thank you for watching!

    You can see the beginning level of creating those discussion in the sentence frames video but it was not the focus of this work. We suggest using sentence frames for all students when starting arguing from evidence.

  • Icon for: Sarah Powell

    Sarah Powell

    Researcher
    May 6, 2020 | 09:46 p.m.

    What an important project. Do you have examples of the word walls or graphic organizers that you could share? My team is working on vocabulary in mathematics for dual-language learners, and your examples would be helpful to see! 

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 05:24 p.m.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Here are samples of graphic organizers from the videos we did:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/11T6fikmgx8TMNE0nlP9jWvl4ZvgYykMoI2tc7u1C3vk/edit?usp=sharing

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xBouxtb9EAlJPN7CVIfMJAzKM62DG8Xxzd1rPth-foU/edit?usp=sharing

    The word walls vary by topic and what ever teachers want to highlight. You can see an example in this video

    https://ssec.si.edu/english-learners-stem-realia-wall-and-sentence-frames

     

     

  • Icon for: Michelle Callaway

    Michelle Callaway

    K-12 Teacher
    May 8, 2020 | 03:24 p.m.

    Hello, 

    Do you also have examples of Mix & Match cards? I would love to use some of these in my elementary STEM classroom!

    Best, 

    Michelle Callaway 

  • Icon for: Lynda McGilvary

    Lynda McGilvary

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 10:10 p.m.

    This is an interesting program and you have some great partnerships! How are teachers recruited to your program and what does their training/preparation consist of?

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 04:48 p.m.

    Thank you for watching! Our recruitment and training varies from project to project.

    When setting up projects we always try to work with a strong community partner who can help us understand the culture and needs of the location but also act as recruiters. We work with our community partner to clarify what the objectives, supports, and expectation of our program is before sending it out to groups/schools that may be interested. Also, when we are recruiting we require buy in from multiple levels. For CO, it was teachers and administration, but for other projects it might also include instructional coaches and the district leadership.

    For training, we have traditionally done face to face training for at least a day and half. We are looking at adjusting this for the future. Our trainings are a mix of practical use and higher level understanding of why we are doing what we are. For this project, we discussed the needs of EL students, why hands-on science was a strong area for language acquisition, the WIDA rubric, and the actual strategies for student support. As possible, we prefer to do an introduction and then have teachers apply the new knowledge by presenting to peers, adjusting current lessons based on the new knowledge, or work with peers to create new lessons and tools for their classrooms.

  • Icon for: Ariel O'Brien

    Ariel O'Brien

    Graduate Student
    May 9, 2020 | 08:39 p.m.

    I really appreciated the resources provided! I can see incorporating such tools as graphic organizers, realia walls, and sentence frames into everyday lessons. 

  • Icon for: Marianne Dunne

    Marianne Dunne

    K-12 Administrator
    May 7, 2020 | 09:55 a.m.

    Great video and resources! Thank you for sharing--I have shared the resources with my science colleagues! I am also interested in how the professional learning is implemented?

    Hi Amy- great to see you!

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 9, 2020 | 04:35 p.m.

    Hi Marianne!

    Teachers were given professional learning opportunities in an ongoing manner. First they were introduced to EL strategies in the context of introductory professional development focused on the implementation of curricular materials. The following summer teachers were invited to bring samples of student work and teachers were given tools to identify misconceptions along with an opportunity to deepen their learning related to EL strategies.

  • May 7, 2020 | 05:22 p.m.

    Thanks for the important sentiments expressed by the teacher in the video and useful resources coming out of your partnership! I look forward to next summer when we can have some Noyce Scholars and Fellows visit the Smithsonian and learn from your work. Cheers!

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 03:36 p.m.

    Thanks for watching! We are excited to host Noyce Scholars and Fellows when travel is possible again.

  • Icon for: Landon Charlo

    Landon Charlo

    Researcher
    May 7, 2020 | 05:43 p.m.

    Hello, thank you for the video. I was wondering how Laser Focused will be evaluated? 

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 03:36 p.m.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    This project is being evaluated by CREP at the University of Memphis (https://www.memphis.edu/crep/) using standardized testing data.

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 9, 2020 | 04:31 p.m.

    Standardized testing is being used to evaluate student achievement. In addition classroom observations, interviews and surveys are techniques to assess the program.

  • May 7, 2020 | 05:49 p.m.

    This inquiry-based science learning is great.  Really appreciate your recognition that language barriers doesn't mean conceptual barriers!!  In our work leveraging gestures as physical scaffolds for geometric reasoning, we found that EL students were able to express their understandings by offloading their ideas using gesture.  Might gesticulation be an outcome that you could track as you develop measures to assess student learning? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michelle Callaway
  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 03:41 p.m.

    Thanks for watching!

    We had not considered gesticulation. However, we recently had a discussion in our group about the importance of gesticulation and facial expressions in understanding people and keeping that in mind when framing yourself in a video call. I think that gesticulation may need to go into a future study somehow.

  • Icon for: Ximena Dominguez

    Ximena Dominguez

    Researcher
    May 7, 2020 | 09:19 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this video and access to your website, where you share the full set of strategies you have identified as part of your work. I'd be curious to learn which of the strategies have been harder to train folks to implement and/or which ones have been most challenging to implement?

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 9, 2020 | 04:41 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest! I wouldn't say that one strategy is more or less difficult to implement then another. Teachers are the experts in their classrooms, so we rely on teacher to identify opportunities in their classrooms to leverage different strategies. Often content will lend itself more or less towards one or more strategy.

  • Icon for: Michelle Callaway

    Michelle Callaway

    K-12 Teacher
    May 8, 2020 | 03:22 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing these resources! I'm excited to try out the strategies from your website. The Interactive Graphic Organizer and Mix & Match lesson was especially interesting.  For some reason, the link to the Mix & Match cards wasn't working for me. Are there other places where teachers can access cards like this?  

  • Icon for: Kat Fancher

    Kat Fancher

    Co-Presenter
    May 9, 2020 | 03:48 p.m.

    I am so sorry that is broken. I will try to get that fixed ASAP.

    This site has a few, but it might be easier to make your own specific to what you are working on.

  • Icon for: Jennifer Borland

    Jennifer Borland

    Researcher
    May 12, 2020 | 08:17 a.m.

    Your video and project made me smile!  I love the fact you are embracing children's natural scientific skills and curiosity as a way to help foster language learning and self-efficacy.  Do you have any plans to sustain this program as students advance to higher grades and/or track the impacts of this intervention over time? Based on the impacts you describe, I suspect that this is a program that could have tangible and long-lasting effects! 

  • Icon for: Amy D'Amico

    Amy D'Amico

    Lead Presenter
    Division Director
    May 12, 2020 | 09:24 a.m.

    Thanks for watching!

    Our focus has been elementary and middle school and our evaluation has been occurring over several years. This was supposed to be the final year of data collection but we won't have access to state assessment data or classroom observations. We hope to gather that data next year (if we are granted an extension) so that we can have a firmer grasp on student outcomes. If they are as positive as they have been trending we do hope to follow up this work.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.