Monday, March 13, 2017

WIDA Can Do Descriptors Are For Everyone

One of my annual Back-to-School traditions involves pulling up the list of my school's ESOL students, going through hundreds of schedules to determine which academic team each student has been assigned to and sending this information out to my colleagues.  The central ESOL office includes the most recent WIDA ACCESS scores on the master list, so I include this information with a review of the Can Do descriptors (including the video below) when I disseminate this information to my colleagues,

Truth be told, this annual task takes hours to complete and I often wonder if anyone actually reads the lines on the Excel spreadsheet after the students' names.  Much to my surprise, a recent conversation with the guidance counselor changed my view on the importance of sending out this information.  Ms. H stopped me in the hallway to thank me for sending her a list of the sixth grade ESOL students.  She read through the Can Do descriptors and has been using them to craft conversations with students.  She has found that by planning out initial questions that are geared towards the students' language proficiency level, she is able to have more engaging discussions and learn more about her students.

This conversation has inspired me to keep disseminating information to my colleagues (within reason, of course) without becoming so focused on immediate feedback.  If you are interested in obtaining your own copy of the WIDA Can Do Descriptors, they have recently been updated are are available here.



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