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For educators of English Learners, rapid change is underway: 1) New standards for English Learners are being released and implemented; 2) State-mandated Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) must now include specific strategies for ELLs; 3) Educators must differentiate instruction for an increasingly diverse student body.
And more and more states are requiring educators to prepare individualized learning plan for ELLs to ensure that all educators – classroom teachers and ELL specialists alike – are collaborating effectively around student needs.
Common to each of these trends: Educators will benefit from setting goals for English Learners aligned to standards, and monitoring progress against those goals to ensure success.
In partnership with Allison Balter, an ELL leader from Lawrence Public Schools in Massachusetts, we delivered a national webinar in that provided a framework for setting goals. A full recording of the webinar can be found here. Leaders from more than 100 districts participated. Allison did a great job transforming the commonly used SMART goal-setting framework and making it directly applicable for EL educators. The chart below defines each part of the SMART framework and then applies the criteria specifically for ELL educators:
As with every Ellevation webinar, we learn by doing. Specifically, in this webinar we walked through a variety of case studies, reviewed proficiency level and domain data on students, and set goals that met SMART criteria and were aligned to ELD standards. Each time we set goals, we walked through a series of steps. Once we had a baseline knowledge of the levels of the students and the desired target of the goal, we did three things:
By following this simple process, and keeping in mind the SMART criteria, we were able to write a variety of high quality goals and provide a roadmap that educators could use immediately.
The feedback was extremely positive. To help contribute to the broader ELL community we wanted to share the materials as widely as possible. We hope you enjoy the recording.
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