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  • Collaborating Towards Academic

    Excellence for Multilingual Learners

    VANAS Conference November 2017

    Mariana Castro, P.h.D. Director of Standards

    WIDA Consortium at WCER, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    2017 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, on behalf of the WIDA Consortium

  • Collaborating Towards Academic Excellence for Multilingual Learners

    Preparing multilingual students for college, career and community used to mean ensuring they had the knowledge, skills, and disciplinary practices that will ensure students meaningful participation in college, career and community. This involves students being able to communicate, collaborate, problem-solve and engage in critical thinking.

    For teachers of multilingual learners, the power in achieving language development and the ability of using language for these activities resides in intentional collaboration. Collaboration has shown to increase student achievement, teacher effectiveness and school climate.

    This daylong workshop focuses on research-informed practices and activities to reflect on and plan for them. Participants are encouraged to come with their co-teaching partners to maximize the potential of implementation of these practices back at school. However, tools will be shared for all participants to begin or continue collaborative practices in school.


    Collaboration: Rationale and Benefits Collaboration Cycle: Infusing Language Throughout Teaching and

    Learning o Planning for Collaboration and Collaboration in Planning o Co-Teaching o Co-Assessing o Reflecting on Collaboration

    Scaffolding and Differentiation Through Collaboration Moving to Action: Planning and Reflection

  • Quotes In a 2-year research study published in 2015, Ronfeldt and his colleagues examined teacher collaboration practices in 336 schools and involved over 9,000 teachers. Researchers found that when teachers engage in high quality collaboration that they perceive as extensive and helpful, there is both an individual and collective benefit. High-quality collaboration in general and about assessment in particular among teachers is associated with increases in their students achievement, their performance, and their peers students achievement.


    By far, one of the most important aspects of collaboration is having adequate resources to support collaboration within the school. Without the proper resources to support collaboration, collaboration would not help student success. A large resource to support collaboration is administrative support within the school. Through administrative support, the school will have financial resources that are distributed towards common planning time, tutors, professional development, grants, and partnerships with community businesses (Walther-Thomas, et. al., 1999).


    When students can see educators working together to achieve a common goal, they will begin to gain an understanding that adults must work together and support each other to reach a goal. 1bis, in turn, demonstrates to students that collaboration is a key component to reaching goals and students will begin to collaborate to reach their goals. (Reibman, et. al, 2006)


    Teacher collaboration is presumed to create a powerful learning environment for teachers professional development (Meirink, Meijer, & Verloop, 2007). It is assumed that exchanging ideas, conceptions, opinions, people can generate or create knowledge which could not have been generated by one individual (Meirink, et al., 2007; Tillema, 2006).


    Teacher effectiveness has less to do with individual attributes, and far more to do with the extent to which teachers work with each other and provide collective leadership for their schools and communities. Mentoring has been shown to increase new recruits pedagogical practices, teaching effectiveness, and retention. However, new studies suggest that teachers at any experience level stand to gain from collaborative work. Teachers who have consistent opportunities to work with effective colleagues also improve in their teaching effectiveness.


    Best practices for collaboration that are most tightly linked to teacher effectiveness (Berry, Daughtrey & Wieder, 2009). These include:

    Scheduling adequate time for collaboration. Aligning collaboration structures for both horizontal and vertical collaboration. Structuring collaboration meetings formally.

  • Creating an atmosphere of mutual trust


    A report that analyzed school systems in 20 diverse countries that experienced sustained improvement

    (Mourshed, Chijioke, & Barber, 2010) found that one common thread was a strong reliance on teamwork

    to identify and respond to problems. The power of collective capacity, explained Michael Fullan, is that

    it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary thingsfor two reasons. One is that knowledge

    about effective practice becomes more widely available and accessible on a daily basis. The second

    reason is more powerful stillworking together generates commitment. (p. 72)

    --- Goddard and Goddard (2010) stated that teachers are professionals and possess unique knowledge about their students and how they learn. When effective collaboration occurs, teachers knowledge and experience are diffused and instruction is enhanced. Teachers with various levels of experience that collectively focus on improving student learning are most effective in increasing student achievement (Williams, 2010). --- Although encouraged in schools improvement plans, teacher collaboration is not usually monitored or investigated (Goddard & Goddard, 2007). Some collaborative practices are unstructured and inconsistent. This leads to perceptions from teachers that collaboration is unvalued or not obligated (Sawyer and Rimm-Kaufman, 2007). Professional development is usually only offered as a quick-fixed approach to the goals of the school improvement plan, causing a decline in the sustainability of teacher collaborative opportunities. ---

    Good teaching doesnt happen in isolation. Effective teaching environments are those that provide the

    time, conditions and resources for teachers to interact, collaborate, learn from their colleagues, and play a

    role in school decision-making. Valuing teachers and teacher professionalism in this way can help to

    attract new talent into teaching, retain the most effective teachers in the classroom, and together

    contribute to raising the quality of teaching and learning. (Burns & Darling-Hammond, 2015).

  • Group Resume You each bring a vast array of talent and experience to your group. Create a "group resume" as a way to showcase your group's strengths and expertise. Each Group:

    Learn about individuals in the group by discussing prompts below. Pick a facilitator and a scribe to keep track of the discussion on chart paper Prepare a 2-3 minute presentation that highlights the strengths/interests of

    the entire group. How would you promote your group to others? Prompts: 1. What are the collective years of experience in the education field? 2. What are the collective contexts (grade levels taught, positions held, etc.)? 3. What are the cultural/linguistic experiences of the group? 4. What are the skills of the group?

    Factors in Successful Collaboration

  • Personal Commitment

  • Johari Window Ideas to explore or discuss:

    Class environment Organization Teaching philosophy Expectations Instructional strategies Student engagement

  • Teaching and Learning

    Collaborative Activities (Honigsfeld & Dove, 2010)

    Instructional Non-instructional Joint planning Curriculum mapping and alignment Parallel teaching Co-developing instructional materials Collaborative assessment of student

    work Co-Teaching

    Joint professional development Teacher research Preparing for joint parent-teacher

    conferences and writing report cards Planning, facilitating, or participating

    in other extracurricular activities

    Teaching and







  • Student Portrait

  • Content and Language Objectives

    Learning Objective Language Target/Objective Learning Intention: We are learning to write a narrative. Success Criteria:

    - Set the scene in the opening paragraph

    - Build up tension/suspense; - Use spooky adjectives and

    powerful verbs; - End with a cliff hanger.

    Learning Intention: Measure and calculate the perimeter of irregular polygons. Success criteria:

    - Measure the length of each side

    - Correctly calculate the total of the measurements to give the perimeter

    Learning Intention To understand the effects of water pollution on the environment. Success Criteria:

    - Describe what water pollution is

    - Classify different types of water pollution

    - Explain the specific effects of pollution on animals, plants and water.

  • Co-Teaching Models

    Model Description Notes One Teach/One Support

    Station Teaching

    Team Teaching

    Alternative Teaching

    Parallel Teaching

  • Putting it all Together: Collaboration Action Plan

    One thing I would like to try The resources I would need My next step is