The MELL Online Learning page holds several of the MELL team’s newest professional development offerings, including four new video series. The MELL project is excited to share knowledge about effective English language learner mathematics instruction with as many educators as possible. MELL team members are continually working with K-12 educators to refine best practices and increase teaching confidence. Additional web-based professional development materials are in the works.
The MELL Language Strategies video series looks at different strategies useful for teaching mathematics to English language learner (ELL) students. The series covers key language issues for ELL students, the use of word walls and foldables (manipulatives), and the use of brainstorming and compare and contrast activities. Many of the strategies are also useful across curriculum areas with ELL students and struggling readers alike. The use of cognates in communicating with ELL students effectively is also addressed. Footage for the MELL Language Strategies series is drawn from several MELL campus training institutes.
The MELL Dual Language Instruction video series follows a class of ninth grade Algebra I ESL students through a guided lesson that introduces and then practices a new mathematics concept. The lesson is conducted using a dual language delivery method and covers the formula used to find the distance between two points in a Cartesian plane. This video series highlights several successful English language learner (ELL) instructional strategies such as peer partnering, content-based instruction, higher order progression of language and academic progression in two languages. An accompanying lesson plan is also available.
The MELL Hands On Learning series looks at ways to use different types of manipulatives to introduce or reinforce key mathematical concepts. MELL research continues to show the benefits of hands-on learning with English language learner (ELL) students. Not only does the use of a tangible device make the abstract concrete, but it also allows teachers to effectively demonstrate and reinforce mathematics vocabulary. This Hands-On series covers the use of tangrams, geoboards, pentominoes, color chips and several other types of manipulatives. Footage for the Hands-On series is drawn from various MELL campus training institutes.
The MELL Math Camp video series explores the Math Camp instructional model being implemented in several schools along the Texas-Mexico border. The Math Camp model involves an intensive, multi-week professional development institute for ELL mathematics teachers combined with a simultaneous math camp for ELL students. What teachers learn each day in their professional development sessions they put into practice immediately with students. Research shows significant gains in teacher and student knowledge using this immediate-practice method.
In the “Brownsville Experience” video, educators discuss the various aspects and benefits of implementing the Math Camp model in the Brownsville School District in Brownsville, Texas. The “Brownsville” video serves as a good overview of the Math Camp model. In the “Exploring Math Camp” videos, teachers discuss the Math Camp model and its benefits as well as several instructional applications.