Category Archives: Children/Teens

“How Children Read Differently From Books vs. Screens”

“Scrolling may work for social media, but experts say that for school assignments, kids learn better if they slow down their reading.” P. Klass, M.D., The New York Times, March 16, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Cristina Spanò, The New York Times

 

Excerpt: ByPerri Klass, M.D. The New York Times, March 16, 2021

“In this pandemic year, parents have been watching — often anxiously — their children’s increasing reliance on screens for every aspect of their education. It can feel as if there’s no turning back to the time when learning involved hitting the actual books. But the format children read in can make a difference in terms of how they absorb information.

Naomi Baron, who is professor emerita of linguistics at American University and author of a new book,“How We Read Now: Strategic Choices for Print, Screen and Audio,” said, ‘there are two components, the physical medium and the mind-set we bring to reading on that medium — and everything else sort of follows from that.’

Because we use screens for social purposes and for amusement, we all — adults and children — get used to absorbing online material, much of which was designed to be read quickly and casually, without much effort.

And then we tend to use that same approach to on-screen reading with harder material that we need to learn from, to slow down with, to absorb more carefully. A result can be that we don’t give that material the right kind of attention…Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician who is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, said that apps designed to teach reading in the early years of school rely on ‘gamification meant to keep children engaged.’ And though they do successfully teach core skills, she said, ‘what has been missing in remote schooling is the classroom context, the teacher as meaning maker, to tie it all together, helping it be more meaningful to you, not just a bunch of curricular components you’ve mastered.’

Any time that parents are able to engage with family reading time is good, using whatever medium works best for them, said Dr. Tiffany Munzer, also a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Mott Children’s Hospital, who has studied how young children use e-books.

However, Dr. Munzer was the lead author on a 2019 study that found that parents and toddlers spoke less overall, and also spoke less about the story when they were looking at electronic books compared with print books, and another study that showed less social back-and-forth — the toddlers were more likely to be using the screens by themselves…Dr. Radesky, who was involved in the research projects with Dr. Munzer, talked about the importance of helping children master reading that goes beyond specific remembered details — words or characters or events — so a child is ‘able to integrate knowledge gained from the story with life experience.’ And again, she said, that isn’t what is stressed in digital design. ‘Stuff that makes you think, makes you slow down and process things deeply, doesn’t sell, doesn’t get the most clicks,’ she said…Parents can help with this when their children are young, Dr. Radesky said, by discussing the story and asking the questions that help children draw those connections.”

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ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Compare/Contrast Chart

Directions: Have students list the similarities and differences between two things or ideas. Have students share their ideas with the class. The chart is from ReadWriteThink.org

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Scrolling works for social media.
  2. The format children read in can make a difference in terms of how they absorb information.
  3. We use screens mainly for social purposes and for amusement.
  4. Many educators believe fervently in the value of reading print books to young children.
  5. Many apps and e-books have too many distractions.
  6. Reading apps are just a bunch of curricular components children have mastered.
  7. Apps have all these visually salient features which distracts from the core content.
  8. It should be the job of the software developers to design electronic books that encourage language and interactions.
  9. When kids enter digital spaces, they have access to an infinite number of platforms and websites.
  10. Professor Baron said that in an ideal world, children would learn how to read contiguous text for enjoyment.

Vocabulary Cluster By Learnnc.org

 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

In/On elementary school their/there’s an/and opportunity to/too start a/an conversation about the advantage/advantages of the different media: It goes/go for print, gone/goes for an/a digital screen, goes for audio, goes for video, they all have/had their/there uses — we need two/to make kids aware/awareness that knot/not all media are best suited to/too all purposes.

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “there are two components, the physical medium and the mind-set we bring to reading on that medium — and everything else sort of follows from that.”
  2. “…apps designed to teach reading in the early years of school rely on gamification meant to keep children engaged.”
  3. “What has been missing in remote schooling is the classroom context, the teacher as meaning maker, to tie it all together, helping it be more meaningful to you, not just a bunch of curricular components you’ve mastered.”
  4. “In an ideal world, children would learn “how to read contiguous text for enjoyment, how to stop, how to reflect.”
  5. “Any time that parents are able to engage with family reading time is good, using whatever medium works best for them.”
  6. “With younger children it makes sense to stick with print to the extent that it is possible.”

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you  prefer reading online or reading actual books? Why?
  2. In your opinion, which is better for young children, reading books or reading online? Why?
  3. According to the article what are the two main purposes for online reading?
  4. Why are print books better for parents and children?
  5. What is  dialogic reading?
  6. What is missing in online schooling for children?
  7. According to a 2019 study, what happens when parents and children read electronic books compared to reading print books?
  8. According to Dr. Radesky why is metacognition important for children to develop?
  9. After reading this article write down three new ideas you have learned about this  topic from the reading,  two things that you did not understand in the reading, and one thing that you would like to know that the article did not mention.

ANSWER KEY

Recognizing Depression in Young Kids

“We tend to think of childhood as a time of innocence and joy, but as many as 2 to 3 percent of children from ages 6 to 12 can have serious depression.” P. Klass, M.D., The New York Times, April 1, 2021

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Mikyung Lee, The New York Times

Excerpt:How to Spot Depression in Young Children, Perri Klass, M.D., The New York Times, April 1, 2021

“When parents bring their children in for medical care these days, there is no such thing as a casual, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ We doctors walk into every exam room prepared to hear a story of sadness and stress, or at the very least, of coping and keeping it together in this very hard year, full of isolation, loss, tragedy and hardship, with routines disrupted and comfort hard to come by.

Parents have carried heavy burdens of stress and responsibility, worrying about themselves but also watching their children struggle, and there is worldwide concern about depression and suicidality among young people.

But it isn’t only the adults and the young adults and teenagers who are suffering and sad; young children can also experience depression, but it can look very different, which makes it challenging for parents — or doctors — to recognize it and provide help.

Rachel Busman, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute in New York City, said that it can be hard to think about depression in younger children because we picture childhood as a time of innocence and joy.

But as many as 2 to 3 percent of children ages 6 to 12 can have serious depression, she said. And children with anxiety disorders, which are present in more than 7 percent of children aged 3 to 17, are also at risk for depression. Depression was originally conceived of as an adult problem. Maria Kovacs, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said that in the 1950s and ’60s, there were child psychiatrists who believed that children did not have sufficient ego development to feel depression… What does depression look like in younger children?

When young children are depressed, Dr. Kovacs said, it’s not unusual for ‘the primary mood to be irritability, not sadness — it comes across as being very cranky.’

And while suicide attempts by elementary school-aged children are rare, they do happen and have increased in recent years. Suicide was the second leading cause of death in children 10 to 14 in 2018…If a child talks about wanting to die, ask what that child means, and get help from a therapist if you’re concerned.”

Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines CDC

(Centers for Disease Control)

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and of the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. Discuss these ideas as a class.

Pre-reading organizer by San Juan Edu.

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. We doctors walk into every exam room prepared to hear a story of sadness and stress.
  2. Coping this year is very hard because of  isolation, loss and tragedy.
  3. Parents worry about their children’s struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. 
  4. More young children are suffering from depression.
  5. There are also children with anxiety disorders.
  6. Before adolescence, depression is equally common in girls and boys.
  7. The primary mood  is irritability, not sadness — it comes across as being very cranky.
  8. Parents should look for significant changes in functioning.
  9. This might mean a child loses interest in the toys or games or jokes or rituals that used to be reliably fun.
  10. A preschool-aged child might be depressed if they are having daily tantrums.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence identify the prepositions.

We tend to think of childhood as a time of innocence and joy.

When parents bring their children in for medical care these days, there is no such thing as a casual, “Hey, how’s it going?”

We doctors walk into every exam room prepared to hear a story of sadness.

It can be hard to think about depression in younger children because we picture childhood as a time of innocence and joy.

What does depression look like in younger children?

The best way for parents to recognize depression in young children is not so much by what a child says as by what the child does — or stops doing.

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from the speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “…it can be hard to think about depression in younger children because we picture childhood as a time of innocence and joy.”
  2. “…according to epidemiologic research, between 1 and 2 percent of young children — as young as 3 — are depressed.”
  3. “… in the 1950s and ’60s, there were child psychiatrists who believed that children did not have sufficient ego development to feel depression.”
  4. “In serious forms it snowballs with time, and earlier onset is associated with worse outcomes across the life span.”

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you feel that young children can suffer from depression? Why?
  2. When doctors speak with parents what are they prepared to hear?
  3. According to Ms. Busman, why is it hard to think about depression in young children?
  4. What percent of children ages 6-12 have serious depression?
  5. Originally, which group of people were conceived as the only ones having depression?
  6. During the 1950s and 60s what did psychiatrists believe about children and depression?
  7. What are some of the signs of depression in younger children?
  8. The article states, “while suicide attempts by elementary school-aged children are rare, they do happen and have increased in recent years. Suicide was the second leading cause of death in children 10 to 14 in 2018…” In your opinion, why have suicide rates increase among young children?
  9. What does PCIT stand for, and how does it help children with depression?
  10. According to Dr. Busman, what should one do if a child talks about wanting to die?

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading, two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

2021: Can We Do Without Helicopter Parents on Zoom?

“With kids needing so much help in remote learning, we may be pushed to become the parents we never wanted to be.” D. Braff, New York Times, Sept. 28, 2020

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Delcan and Co

 

Excerpt: The New Helicopter Parents Are on Zoom By Danielle Braff, The New York Times  Sept. 28, 2020

“On the first day of remote learning, my daughter was nervous she’d press the wrong button. So I pulled up a chair next to her bedroom desk and she and I began third grade. The school has set up a system called Schoology, which connects every caregiver with their child’s schoolwork. Every time she (and I) submitted an assignment, my phone dinged, signaling that I may (and should?) check on her work… Welcome to e-learning, where some parents have become reluctant helicopters, circling their kids as they attempt to learn, helping them with their every move…Andrea Cordts Pastin, a senior content manager for an SEO agency, moved a video baby monitor next to her 6-year-old so she could listen to class as she works in another room. “We have to listen in to see if the teacher gives her instructions for the independent learning times,” she said…The issue is that most younger students tend to be unable to manage remote learning on their own regardless of the teacher’s proficiency, said Beyhan Farhadi, a postdoctoral visitor at York University in Toronto, who researches online learning, education policy and equity…It may be difficult for parents, but this helicoptering approach — deliberate or not — can be tough on teachers as well… Some parents chime in during class to offer lesson recommendations, said Natasha Brejnak, the parent of a first-grader at a Chicago public school…’Everyone has a preference for what more effective teaching would be and knows their child very well.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine  any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. On the first day of remote learning,  many children are nervous.
  2. Welcome to e-learning, where some parents have become reluctant helicopters.
  3. Many parents can be  found sitting adjacent to their children in front of the computers.
  4. Parents claim that instructions can be confusing for six-year-olds.
  5. Any independence children have developed has gone completely out the window.
  6. Grown-ups  will need to help with everything from getting the child logged on to solving any technical problems.
  7. We often underestimate the role of the adult in the room.
  8. Reluctant learners are less likely to advocate for themselves.
  9. Some parents chime in during class to offer lesson recommendations.
  10. In a virtual environment, the teacher is still responsible for instruction and guidance.

 

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Some parents has become reluctant helicopters.
  2. Any independence she had built up has gone.
  3. A grown-up needs to help with everything.

 

II

  1. We often underestimate the role of the adult.
  2. Some parents sit on their kids all day.
  3. Riggs had been a part-time church choir director.

 

III

  1. Some parents chime on during class.
  2. Many teachers are grateful for all the help they receive from parents.
  3. Kids this age need to be redirected and encouraged.

 

Reading Comprehension: Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “We have to listen in to see if the teacher gives her instructions for the independent learning times.”
  2. A grown-up will need to help with everything from getting the child logged on, redirecting them to focus, and solving any technical problems.”
  3. The first couple of days last week, I didn’t even eat or take a shower.”
  4. “Everyone has a preference for what more effective teaching would be and knows their child very well, but I feel that’s just not a realistic expectation…”
  5. “I know most of them are working remotely as they assist their child,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of helicopters.”

 

 Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1.  Why did the  author sit next to her kid during online school?
  2.  What does Schoology mean?
  3. Why do they call these parents “helicopter” parents?
  4. Why does Ms. Pastin leave a baby monitor next to her child when the 6-year-old is online in class?
  5. According to Ms. Pastin, why does this take away from her kid’s independence?
  6. According to Dr. Farhadi why is adult support needed for a child’s online learning experience?
  7.  Why would an adult be needed for play-based activities?
  8. What did the organization FlexJobs find out in their study of parents and job hours?
  9.  In general how do teachers feel about parents involvement in their children’s online schooling?
  10.  According to Ms. Brejnak, what is the major problem with parents being online with their kids?
  11.  How does teacher Lorena Rojas feel about parents involvement in online teaching?
  12. After reading the article, do you think ‘helicopter’ parents are helpful or a hindrance to online learning? Provide reasons for your answers.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

How to Create Safe Spaces for Your Children to Talk to You

Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child. S. Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020

Credit-SuccessfulParenting

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Excerpt: How to Help Kids Open Up About Anything By Shanicia Boswell, The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2020

“Did you learn your lesson?” my mother asked.

Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.

I was a good kid… but I was always pushing the boundaries. This time, I had received a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew. When I told her what had happened, my mother approached me with arms crossed, her tone one of serious concern, but not anger.

I received no actual punishment, but I did have to take responsibility for my actions and pay the ticket with my own money. Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.

Credit-GrandrapidKids

Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter. The communication that starts with parents and children is one of the most influential and persuasive ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives, research shows. 

Taylor Quick, a licensed child therapist for Zola Counseling, a private practice in Charlotte, N.C., defines safe spaces as the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard..How do we create safe spaces to allow our children to manage their emotions and talk openly?

Credit- MyKidsTime

Have a ‘feelings check-in’…Smith-Crawford suggested parents try this with their children. ‘Ideally, feelings check-ins are done daily, at the end of the day. You can do this with your children until they are adults,’ she said.

Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence, said Daniel Goleman, Ph.D, the author of Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.

redit-The Good Men Project

Dr. Goleman has demonstrated how younger children have the power to manage their emotions… My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle. In this circle, we sit face to face to create a feeling of [being] equal…It is never too late to start opening new communication channels with your child, especially as we are spending so much more time together during the pandemic. By helping our children talk openly at home, we are preparing them to communicate and connect with others and to use their voice powerfully in the world.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer

Directions: Examine the title of the post and of the actual article. Next examine  any photos. Write a paragraph describing what you think this article will discuss. A pre-reading organizer may be used.

Pre-reading chart by J. Swann

 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Tips for creating safe spaces and developing emotional intelligence in your children.
  2. Those five words have been etched in my mind since I was a teenager.
  3. I was a good kid growing up  between boys and shenanigans.
  4. I was always pushing the boundaries.
  5. The communication  has to start with parents and children.
  6. Many parents feel that making  a curfew for kids is important.
  7. This is  one of the most influential ways children can learn to socialize throughout their lives.
  8. Children feel more empowered after their feelings have been validated.
  9. I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced.
  10. Self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence.

 

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Those five word have been etched in my mind.
  2. I was a good kid but I was always pushing the boundaries.
  3. I had a speeding ticket for rushing to get home before my curfew.

II

  1. Now that I’m a mother, I’ve worked to create those spaces for my daughter.
  2. How do we create safe spaces for our children?
  3. Parents should have check-ins with their children.

III

  1. Showing child how to calm down is important.
  2. Younger children have the power to manage their emotions.
  3. My 7-year-old and I have a safety circle.

 

Reading Comprehension

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. ” Growing up, I always found my mother to be a safe space for me.”
  2. Defines safe spaces as “the relationship that a child has to her parent or caregiver to feel understood and heard.”
  3. “I want the children and the family to identify and be aware of the feelings that they’ve experienced throughout their week but also be able to connect that feeling with a certain circumstance or event.”
  4. “Self-awareness, or knowing what you feel and how you feel it, is an important component of emotional intelligence.”
  5. “My parents listen to me because they want to support me and they want to be there for me.”
  6. He suggests,” we can ask our children how we are doing as parents.”

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Do you feel it is important for children or adults to have a safe place? Please explain why.
  2. Do you have a safe place? Why?
  3. How does Taylor Quick defines safe places?
  4. According to Ms. Quick, when do children feel more empowered?
  5. Describe ‘feelings check-in’
  6. According to Smith-Crawford how long should parents do feelings-check-ins with their children?

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Is Online Learning Working for Your Child? Here’s How To Tell

“Most parents never expected they’d be in grade school again, and yet, here we are…In a moment when time is precious and energy even more so, it might be challenging for parents to understand how growing a bean in a cup fits into their child’s larger education picture.You may be asking yourself: How will I even know if my child is learning anything this year?” K. Bosch, The New York Times (11/2020)

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- additudemaq

Excerpt: How to Tell if Distance Learning Is Working for Your Kid -Measuring skills, not test scores, is key. By Kim Bosch, The New York Times

“The short answer: Focus on the outcomes. ‘Learning Outcomes’ (which are sometimes called ‘goals’ or even ‘standards’) are a set of skills a student should master by the end of a school year.

For example, a typical outcome for a third-grade student in language arts might be, ‘Student can use transition words to vary sentence structure,’ or in mathematics, ‘Student can estimate and measure perimeter,’… Outcomes are a clear and measurable list of skills…As the education crisis caused by Covid-19 continues, all levels of education should focus more on the number of skills students need to learn rather than the amount of time spent on Zoom.

Credit- edutopia

This is especially important in primary school where education is closely tied to developmental milestones, and for pandemic parents who are struggling to find time and energy to help their kids with online education… So how then do they know whether or not their kids are keeping up in their development?

Figure out how your child’s school measures success.

Credit- chronicle.com

First, go online and see if you can find a copy of your school’s learning plan (here is a good example), or ask your teacher or principal for a complete list of learning goals for your kid’s grade. It is important to note that outcomes are not synonymous to major projects or grades or test scores…Depending on your kid, it might also be a good idea to share the list of outcomes for the year with them. Some kids might like being ‘in’ on the plan, or by focusing on the tasks in a list it might take away the anxiety of getting good grades… Parents are being asked to play a bigger role in their child’s education than ever before, and because of that, they should also be given the information that will allow them to do so. This is why your relationship with your child’s teacher is so important…what was once a conversation about ‘math skills’ (vague) can now be ‘Do you have some ideas about how I can work on X outcome at home?’

Having these conversations helps not only students and parents, but teachers too, since they can give you ideas for how you can support your child in person where maybe they, sadly, cannot right now because of social distancing measures.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 60 minutes.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Despite the best efforts of compassionate teachers parents are needed to help with online learning.
  2. Many parents hover over the computer with their kids.
  3. Students are reminded  to document their findings in science class.
  4. Parents are feeling anxious these days.
  5. Learning Outcomes are sometimes called goals.
  6. The author guided faculty through the process of going remote.
  7. It is important to note that outcomes are not synonymous to major projects.
  8. By understanding the learning expectations, parents gain a sense of organization
  9. Once you understand what your kid is expected to learn, you’ll be able to better engage them in the learning process.
  10. For many years, educators have used formal assessments as the measure of a student’s success.

 

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Parents never expected they’d be in grade school again.
  2. Parents are still playing a big role in online education this fall.
  3. Parents hover over an computer with their children.

II

  1. Many teachers are compassionate.
  2. Faculty member are asked to focus on what their students still need to learn.
  3. Parents are advised to  go online and find a copy of their school’s learning plan.

III

  1. Understanding the expected outcomes for your child’s grade can be helpful.
  2. It’s important for parent to engage their kids in the learning process.
  3. It is a good idea for parents to share the list of outcomes for the year with kids.

 

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

Directions: Have students read the entire article, have them complete the following sentencestaken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

Understanding the ___outcomes for your child’s ___can be ___in a couple ways. First, it allows you to ___a bit knowing that your school has a ___plan for your child’s___. It also gives you a ___by which to measure your child’s success.By understanding the learning expectations, ___gain a sense of ___and ___over an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

WORD LIST: control, organization, parents, relax, checklist, development, helpful, focused, grade,

 

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have  students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. Are you currently in an online learning program? If so, describe your experience so far. If you are a parent describe your child’s online learning program.
  2. Why are parents playing a big role in online education?
  3. According to the article, why are parents feeling anxious about online education?
  4. What is the best way to measure whether a child is learning a subject?
  5. What is another term for “Learning Outcomes”?
  6. What does OBE stand for?
  7. At her school, what did the author ask her faculty to focus on with their students?
  8. According to the article, what should education at all levels focus on?
  9. What is a good way for parents to find out if their kids are “keeping up in their development”?
  10. Why is knowing the expected outcomes for your child grade important?
  11. Why is sharing the expected outcomes with your child a good idea?
  12. The author states, “For centuries, educators have used formal assessments (tests, worksheets and grades) as the key measure of a student’s “success.” But in these challenging times, it’s important to focus less on the formal evaluation of student skills and more on the ability to demonstrate a skill in any way.”  Why is this important?
  13. Describe some  ways  in which a parent can make up the informal assessment periods kids used to spend with their teachers.
  14. Why is it important for parents to focus on the outcomes of a problem and not the way in which the child achieved them?
  15. What does the author suggest parents should do in regards to their child’s teachers?

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about the topic from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY