Teaching English Language Learners with Bridges

Justin Johnson and a team of colleagues from Oregon's Portland Public Schools have developed valuable resources that support academic language development in Bridges. Math TOSA Bonnie Robb writes that as students play partner games during Work Places, "We want students to use mathematical language to explain what they are learning during the game." To that end, the team wrote sentence frames "to support 'math talk' during Work Places. The sentence frames can be written on cards or sentence strips and placed into the Work Place bucket for student use." Bonnie adds, "It is important that the sentence frames are used during the whole group teaching/demonstrating of the game so that students have practice using the language with support before they use them independently."

Portland Public Schools link the sentence frames for 2nd grade under "Classroom Resources." Justin also uploaded the documents to a website to share with other Bridges users.

He notes, "These are electronic documents that can be changed to fit the language/needs of the teachers and students. It is a work in progress. They are also temporary language scaffolds, not something mandatory, but a way to shelter the language for students that need it and from which all will benefit." Justin invites others to contribute to this work; if anyone translates it into other languages he would like to post it on his website. Justin may be contacted at:  jmjohnson@pps.net


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Teachers working with ELL students may appreciate this related article:

Strategies for Teaching English Learners and Students with Learning Disabilities  by John Carr