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A Quick Guide to Boosting English Acquisition in Choice Time, K–2
We have written this book with the assumption that you already teach reading and writing as workshops and you have already found workshop teaching can provide powerful learning opportunities for children. We are also assuming that your class contains many ELLs. This book will help you provide your ELLs opportunities to make meaning through play. When children use blocks, construction paper, and improvisational drama to create alternate worlds and to inhabit those worlds, they're meanwhile drawn into a rich language curriculum. They use language to imagine and assess possibilities, to negotiate roles, to critique and revise work, and to assume roles. This language work is important for all youngsters and it is especially important for ELLs.
We believe passionately that young ELLs need to explore language through play. This belief was influenced by our experiences as early childhood teachers and as staff developers in primary classrooms brimming with ELLs. We were also inspired by the rock stars of education: Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Brian Cambourne, and Lucy Calkins.
In the first chapter, we suggest that choice time can be taught effectively within a workshop structure. In the second chapter, we emphasize the advantages that a choice time workshop can have for ELLs. The third and fourth chapters outline two units of study in choice time workshop and explore the notion of developing a curriculum for choice time.
The most rewarding part of writing this book was the collaborative aspect. Each chapter was truly written with a collective "we" and is infused with ideas and experiences from each of us.
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