Special Interest Groups

Elementary ESL Grades 1 - 5

A Plethora of Possibilities for the Elementary School Teacher

By Noreen Drucker

The 2011 NJTESOL/NJBE Conference is fast approaching. It will be held at the recently renovated Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick on May 24th and 25th You can catch a glimpse of what will be offered at our website, www.njtesol-njbe.org . But just in case you are not at your computer, or you left your I- phone on the kitchen table, or you forgot to charge your Blackberry, allow me to highlight the parts of the program that would be directly related to elementary school teachers.

On Tuesday, Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes will be presenting “Strategies for Teaching Beginning English Language Learners.” The workshop will provide suggestions to work with those students struggling in their first months of language acquisition.

“Helping ELLs Succeed with Colorin Colorado!” will be offered by Lydia Breiseth, and Monica Schnee will present “Extending Language Learning with Web 2.0 Tools.” Both of these presentations are scheduled for Tuesday morning.

There will be workshops that deal with the content areas as well. “Teaching Academic Vocabulary in Math” will be presented by Barbara Andrews, and “Science through Literature” will be presented by Maggie Manson and Marybeth DeCostanzo. “Five Principles of Teaching Math and Science to ELLs” will be offered by Nancy Siddens and Madeline Franco-DeFaria. These workshops will be most useful as we continue to emphasize the importance of ESL in the content area.

Nancy Cloud will be making the keynote address on Tuesday night. Teachers who attend the dinner will receive professional development hours. On Wednesday morning, for elementary and middle school teachers, she will be making a presentation entitled “Connecting Reading and Writing with ELLs.”

For those whose districts are emphasizing differentiated instruction, “Differentiating Instruction for ELLs with Technology” is perfect. This workshop is offered by two NJTESOL Executive Board members, Judie Haynes and Marilyn Pongracz.

Literacy is a major component of our conference. For elementary teachers, “Promoting Literacy with Picture Books” will be presented by Keith Schoch. Sharon C. Snyder will offer “Language Learning Instructional Strategies”

To round out the presentations for elementary teachers we have: “Transfer of Literacy Skills” by Ana Mistral, “Making Content Comprehensible for All Students” by Cristina Hernandez, and “Engaging Today’s Learners” by Noreen Drucker.

For those of you who can attend only one day, ” What’s WIDA Got to Do with It?” by Barbara Tedesco and BJ Franks, both Executive Board members, and “State Initiatives in Bilingual Education and ESL” by Raquel Sinai, Lori Ramella, and Ericka Reed will run on both days.

Our Special Interest Group will meet on Tuesday at 1:45 and Wednesday at 1:30 for an hour. We will discuss “Hot Topics in Elementary Education.” There are plenty of those, so please bring your ideas and contribute to the discussion. Spring Conference is a valuable experience that you wouldn’t want to miss. I hope to see you there.

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to check the final program for any scheduling changes.]

Noreen M. Drucker is the Elementary ESL SIG Representative and may be reached at ndrucker@njtesol-njbe.org. She teaches in the Randolph Township Public Schools.


VOICES ONLINE Elementary ESL Special Interest Group SPRING 2011