Collaboration among educators, while universally agreed to be a strong driver of student achievement, is too often cited as an area of challenge. For the educators we serve, finding time to collaborate around the needs of ELLs is frequently undermined by the day-to-day challenges of the school environment.
Classroom teachers: How often do you find yourself wishing you could quickly reach out to an ELL specialist for strategies that work with the ELLs in your class?
ELL specialists: How much more effective would your work be if you knew that your classroom teacher peers were empowered with relevant information about ELLs and their language needs?
And for everyone: Don’t you wish you had more time to talk about your students, share ideas and tips, and collaborate more frequently than just occasional PD sessions or conversations in the hall?
At Ellevation, we hear you. Oh boy, do we hear you!
In response to these frequently expressed challenges, we set out to create Ellevation InClass: a simpler, collaboration-focused version of Ellevation designed with the classroom teacher in mind. At it’s core, Ellevation InClass is about taking the information and recommendations made by the ELL team in Ellevation, making those recommendations instantly available to all classroom teachers in the district, and enabling a district-wide focus on ELL achievement. Let’s take a look at how Ellevation InClass makes it easier for classroom teachers to identify, inform, and instruct their ELLs.
Identify: Differentiation and Identification are a Snap
Ellevation InClass provides a number of tools that let classroom teachers quickly identify their ELs, their recently-exited monitored students, their newcomers and more.
Using the My Students list, InClass teachers can quickly group their students by proficiency level, or filter and sort them to find a particular subset. For example, an InClass user can use their My Students list to find their level 1 ELLs who entered the program within the past few months.
Alternatively, InClass provides a Data Dashboard, giving teachers a graph that groups their students by proficiency level, even in an individual language domain. The “Students Needing Attention” view of the Dashboard can be used to identify students who have shown limited growth in a domain over their recent ELP assessments.
Finally, InClass provides powerful differentiation tools with the My Groups function, allowing classroom teachers to create their own custom groups of ELs based on class period, proficiency level, tasks required, or anything else they can think of!
Inform: It’s a Digital ELL Language Plan
Too often, language plans for ELLs are printed out and delivered to classroom teachers with incomplete information or insufficient explanation. And while useful, ELL language plans are static documents unless they are the center of a conversation between educators. Ellevation InClass gives the classroom teacher up-to-date information about their ELLs in an easy to read online format that promotes collaboration:
1. Based on live schedule data from your district, each classroom educator has insight into the ELLs in their classrooms. Better yet, classroom teachers can see and communicate with other teachers serving those same students, enabling a team-based approach to instruction and support.
2. Student ELP assessment results, already stored and updated regularly in Ellevation, are presented in an easy-to-interpret graph, allowing teachers to look for areas of development or challenge over time.
3. A student's current proficiency levels, services, important dates, and home information - including language - are all displayed in order to provide context for classroom teachers.
4. Proficiency Level Descriptors are visible on each student’s record, for each of the language domains. Additionally, “successive” descriptors are shown to provide indicators that a student has progressed to the next proficiency level.
Instruct: Improve ELD and Content Mastery Simultaneously
InClass helps inform teachers about the underlying language assets of the students they serve, helping them craft language objectives aligned to the content they are responsible for teaching. Testing Accommodations, Classroom Modifications/Accommodations, and Language Goals are available for every ELL, all the time. Ellevation InClass now makes it incredibly easy for classroom teachers to ensure that the student is receiving the instructional supports necessary for their continued growth.
Soon, InClass will also deliver instructional resources directly to teachers, so that educators will not only have better information on who their students are, but also how to specifically support and challenge them.
Collaboration: It Takes a Village
It’s no secret that collaboration among teachers is a large contributor to student success. We need more of it. Technology can play an important role in supporting collaboration by lowering communication barriers, providing equal access to relevant information, and - most of all - enabling relationships among all stakeholders working with ELLs.
Ellevation InClass is a groundbreaking extension to the Ellevation platform. And we’re just getting started! Over time, InClass will be extended to provide classroom strategies and activities to classroom teachers, offer monitoring forms for online completion, and so much more!