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March 17, 2021

Video Playlist: Collaborating to Plan Common Core Lessons for ELLs

Planning and Collaboration

We’ve partnered with the National Education Association (NEA) on a new series aiming to show some of the “invisible work” that goes into successful teaching. In this series, called Practice, Planning & Collaboration Around the Common Core State Standards, we get to see the end-result classroom lessons and the planning that went into crafting them.

In the first of five video packages, we see two second grade teachers collaborate to plan and teach a Common Core-aligned lesson about soil. At Amanecer Primary Center in Los Angeles, Tita Ugalde and Maricela (Mari) Rodriguez teach primarily English Language Learners in classes differentiated by English Language Development (ELD) levels. Mari teaches students at ELD Level 3, while Tita teaches students who have been classified as “English Only.”

The lessons are inspiring, but most notable is Tita and Mari’s relationship. The way they inspire and respect each other sets the groundwork for their powerful collaboration, generating great results for their students.

See the power of collaboration through Tita and Mari’s videos:

1. Mari’s Lesson: Asking and Answering Questions About Soil: We begin by stepping into Mari’s classroom, where students ask and answer questions about informational text. Throughout the lesson, Mari supports her ELL students as they gain academic language through discussion, graphic organizers, and small group instruction.

2. Tita and Mari’s Collaboration Session: In this video, Tita and Mari share how they work together to plan Common Core-integrated lessons. After Mari has taught her lesson, Tita and Mari meet to discuss how the lesson went. They look at student work and reflect on what students learned. It’s wonderful to see how Tita and Mari share the responsibility for planning lessons and how they differentiate the same lesson for use in each of their classes.

3. Tita’s Lesson: Using Text Features to Gather Evidence About Soil: After the collaboration session, we get to see Tita teach the lesson to her students. Tita focuses on using text features while reading the informational passage about soil. As you watch both Tita and Mari’s lesson videos, note how the teachers make the lesson their own.

While you watch, you’ll notice much more than just the Common Core-aligned lesson. Both Tita and Mari have a wealth of great teaching strategies in their toolbox. These quick strategy videos highlight useful tips from Tita:

  • Circle Maps: See how Tita uses this graphic organizer to record what her students know about soil. Tita creates a frame around the circle map, where she asks students to share where they could get more information about soil.
  • Get Back to Me: Sometimes students are called on to give an answer that they aren’t ready to give. Tita shares a tip for how she uses wait time and a “get back to me” strategy for giving students time to come up with their responses.
  • Brain Break: Tita gets her students moving around with quick brain breaks and shares how movement brings extra focus into the classroom.

Watch More From This Series

Case Study of a Teacher: Engaging Students in Text Analysis (Part 1)

Case Study of a Teacher: Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment (Part 2)


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