Enhancing Instructional Resources
English Language Learners in U.S. schools face the daunting challenge of mastering academic content while learning a new language. Their teachers face the challenge of helping them succeed in an environment of rigorous standards and limited resources. With support from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, SEDL is helping both students and teachers meet these challenges by updating and expanding a highly popular supplemental instructional program that integrates math, science, literature, and language.
The program currently provides rich and challenging lesson plans and resources to boost math and science achievement among Spanish-speaking students in kindergarten through Grade 3. Called Mosaic, the updated program will include new units for grades 4 and 5. SEDL is also revising the existing materials to ensure they are grounded in current research and aligned to state and national curriculum standards.
Working with teachers in Austin and Fort Worth, SEDL will collect data regarding the relevance and usability of the existing materials. Staff will then use this data to design the new curriculum materials, which will use an integrated approach to teaching mathematics, science, and technology while building academic language skills. The updated program will be available next year and provided online for teachers to use free of charge.
This project addresses not only the academic challenges English language learners face but also two critical issues: the need for higher achievement in math and science among Texas K–5 students and the alarming achievement gap between English language learners and other students in both Texas and the nation.