Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ooh SEI! ELD! 4-Hour Block!??

Teachers are always sooo busy! These past two weeks have been hectic to say the least.
Last week, I was out of my classroom for three days straight {GASP} and it wasn't because I was sick {I tend to not call in even if I'm almost dying!!!}. I had to go to an SEI training that is given by the STATE! This SEI training is specifically for teachers that use the 4-hour block of ELD in our wonderful state of AZ!
Let me tell you a bit about our 4-hour block. In Arizona, our ELLs are required to have 4 hours of English Language Development. They can get it from an SEI {Structured English Immersion} classroom or from a Mainstream classroom {with an individual plan- ILLP}. My classroom is an SEI classroom. I have ELLs that have a proficiency level of pre-emergent to basic. In those 4 hours, we are required to teach an hour of EXPLICIT Grammar, an hour of EXPLICIT Oral English/Conversation and Vocabulary, an hour of EXPLICIT Writing, and an hour of EXPLICIT Reading!!! Yeah, do you get that it has to be EXPLICIT!!!! EXPLICIT!!! This means that we barely have any time for Math and no time for Science or Social Studies. We are allowed to use content but it can't be embedded. For example, I can use sentences from our Science text to teach about sentence structure {grammar} but I cannot teach science vocabulary and count it as an hour of vocabulary!!! Crayyyy-zy??? Yes! It is sooo hard to do this... I seriously need to meet with our grade level coach and ask her some serious questions!!! Does anybody else do this? What do you do? My school day is soooo short {8-2} and with breakfast in the classroom, lunch/recess, and specials everyday I have no idea how to incorporate Math but especially Science and Social Studies! Now, I am not even sure that I am allowed or supposed to do the Daily 5!!! Ah! My mind is going crazy! I really need to figure this out!
Then, my principal decided to do walk thru's in our classrooms. He is specifically looking for objectives and that our students KNOW the objectives for any given lesson throughout the day! Well, he came in yesterday and asked one of my sweet {HMMM...} little friends... sounds bad, right??? Well, not so bad, I don't {think} I have anything to worry about... we were practicing words with the long a sound and writing some on our whiteboards and my sweet little friend said that we were practicing words... technically we were so I count that as being right! :) Woop, woop!
And, report cards are due Thursday at 6 am... so technically tomorrow and guess what???? I am already FIN....ISH.....ED!!! Yeeeeeeeaa! I am so excited to get that off my to-do list! :)
Another thing is that I am being observed by my mentor on Friday. It was supposed to be Monday, but I asked her to reschedule due to the principal observation... So, let me explain my mentor. In my school district, we are required to be in the mentor program for 3 years. This is my 2nd year teaching so I just have one more year of being "mentored"! It is not bad at all, actually I am very grateful. Our mentors send us to workshops {I get to go to a Kagan workshop at the end of the month!!!}, get us some supplies, and just help us reflect! Well, my mentor has to observe me using my goal {that I wrote in the summer} while teaching a lesson! My goal was to incorporate Whole Brain Teaching strategies in my teaching... I am actually impressed with myself because I have been faithful to WBT!!! :) My kiddos love it and I see a lot more engagement than last year when I didn't use WBT. Nevertheless, I am still a teeennnyyy bit anxious/nervous about the observation!
Soooo that's what has been going on with my life! Today, was also my little ones picture day! Her Daddy got to get her ready since I am working. He is soooo AWESOME!! He does her hair and picks out her outfits! I am beyond grateful for him, too! Here are some cute pictures just to show ya'll!
Concentrating on eating with her chopsticks!!
At the park!
Look at those pretty perfect braids Daddy did! LOVE!
Ready for picture day by practicing her pose! LOL
Aw! I just love spending time with my little one!! She is just like me! :) Now, for a teacher funny! I saw this on Pinterest or FB! Soooo true!!!!
I would LOVE a vanilla latte right about now!! :) Have a fabulous week ya'll! I am working on a Spring literacy and math center pack!! :) I can't wait to finish! See ya'll!


  1. Your daughter is a cute. :D
    I will never complain about our ELD times ever again. We have 30 minutes every day of explicit ELD lessons - no other kids can be included. I have 14 EL's in my room. SO, I am to ignore my other 16 kiddos for 30 minutes while I work solely with the ELL's. I have a problem with this. We don't have aides or anything like that... so those other kiddos are on their own for 30 minutes. Yeah...I'm pretty much a rule breaker on this one. They all could benefit from those grammar, writing, and reading lessons. :D
    Your explicit day sounds stressful... hang in there.
    Dragonflies in First

    1. I can't believe you can't include your other kiddos... weird!!
      It is stressful!! LOL

  2. Your 4-hour block sounds ridiculous!! I would cry if I didn't have time for science or social studies... sometimes it's the only thing the kids look forward to during the day!!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

    1. It's true!!! I feel bad for them because we don't have time for SS and Science... even though I try to incorporate it as much as I can I feel like it's not enough!! :(

  3. Sandra, you explained the ELD block for Arizona perfectly! I just finished teaching a second grade SEI class in AZ, and I could not get through everything! We also had mandatory Rosetta Stone for 45 minutes everyday on top of it all!! No science, no social studies, and barely enough time for math as you said!

    Literacy in England is 1 hour only (for all learners!)......in the past I have extended it to 1 1/2 so I can do guided rdg groups........it's so different than AZ!

    Keep your head up and do your best.....I know it's hard because it feels like we're rushing all the time (that's how I felt anyway).


    1. So you know how I feel??? :) Thanks! Maybe I should move to England... lol jk I love AZ but it's getting a little ridiculous! Did you know the Task Force expects our kids to be proficient in ONE year??? Hahaha I wish!!! :)

  4. Oh! My I don't see how you make the 4 hour block work! I would need a latte, like your cartoon says everyday!

    I am your newest follower!

    1. Mmmm... I need a Starbucks IN my school! LOL ;)

  5. FOUR hours?!? HOW do you teach ANYTHING else??? I thought our mandatory intervention block in addition to our 90 minute reading block was bad...ugh

    1. It's soooo hard!!! They (the state) tells us that our job is to teach language not content!!!! Can you believe it? They say that content will come as the language progresses or something like that!!! Crayyyyzy!

  6. YEA! I found another AZ teacher! I so want to do a bloggy meet up... now there are four of us.

    I have to start teaching SEI in 2 weeks. I heard it is "rough" and I am required to complete double the practicum hours for each course. It is crazy!

    Kagan training is AWESOME!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

    1. Woop woop!!! It might sound like I'm complaining but I'm not!!! :) I love our state and yes I would definitely do a bloggy meet up! Soooo fun! I'm in Phoenix!
      If you have any questions with SEI let me know and I'll try my best to answer them!!! :)
      I'm heading to your blog now!

  7. Hi Sandra, I stumbled upon your blog through a google search. This is my 2nd year teaching and my first year teaching ELD. Reading your blog was like reading my thoughts. I used the Daily 5 last year and loved it and found it super effective, but it seems that it's not possible with the 4 hour block. I would love some advice on using centers/daily 5 with ELD, please let me know what you have found to work!

    Feliia Jordan