What academic value does eSpark have for your ELL students?

Deborah W., 1st grade teacher

Mercedes S., 1st grade teacher

“Most of our population are Hispanic. Some may speak English only at school and only Spanish at home, so, sometimes, coming from that weekend break or any break that they don’t have school, it’s kind of hard for them when they come back to the classroom. I mainly use eSpark for our reading and math curriculum just to better give them an understanding in more of a fun format. So they’re learning, but they’re also having fun at the same time.”

How do you implement eSpark?

Deborah W., 1st grade teacher

Schwanna H., 1st grade teacher

Mercedes S., 1st grade teacher

“After our afternoon PE, we use it from 1-1:40pm, so they have that much time to use it, and we use it every day at that time. I also use it when we’re preparing for our NWEA testing…. because a lot of the stuff that’s on eSpark we have on our NWEA testing.... I assign them lessons depending on the standards. When we prepare for tests I assign them, or if I see them struggling on something in class, then I assign them what we’re working on in class. A lot of them are struggling with place value and math addition, so I’ll assign them place value and math addition.”

Can ELL students work independently on eSpark? Is it user-friendly?

Deborah W., 1st grade teacher

Schwanna H., 1st grade teacher

Mercedes S., 1st grade teacher

“I believe it’s user-friendly for students that may be struggling (with English) because they have all types of different English tutorials to help them with the language, with vowels, with consonants, with syllables.... I haven’t experienced any of my students struggling at this point. Sometimes they get a little confused, but I ask them to sound it out or look at the picture or look at the example because it does give them examples."

Can ELL students use eSpark at home with their families?

Schwanna H., 1st grade teacher

Mercedes S., 1st grade teacher

“I do send their logins home with them to work on it with their parents. I print the directions off (the parent letter) because it’s in Spanish and English.”

*You can find our parent letter in English and Spanish here!

Do you have any advice for other ELL teachers?

Deborah W., 1st grade teacher

Schwanna H., 1st grade teacher

Mercedes S., 1st grade teacher

“They send me the reports like… what students are passing, what students are having a hard time, and then it suggests different groups if I want to put those students in small groups. That’s how I know sometimes some of my students get caught on the interaction and they forget that they’re actually supposed to be engaging and learning from it, and I look at the data and I say hey, you’re not trying on this, I need you to really try, I need you not to skip through it or those types of things. So it helps with that aspect, too.”

Key words: special education, english language learner, intervention

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