The following is a blurb taken from the Ontario Ministry of Education (2009) Capacity Building Series on ELL Voices in the Classroom.
One tool that I have discovered is called FluentU. FluentU brings language learning to life through real-world videos.
It is suggested that when teaching students in other subject areas (i.e., mathematics), there should still be a strong connection to literacy learning and technology (Leading Math Success, 2005). When considering mathematics, the following paragraph describes the issues with ELL students the way they are perceived in the classroom.
"Engage all students in mathematical activities that develop mathematical thinking. Some teachers tend to excuse English language learners from certain aspects of the academic work in order to not damage their self-esteem. Berzins and Lopez (2001) describe this as the pobrecito (poor little one) syndrome. However, carefully combining elements of language learning with mathematics learning is at the heart of effective language learning, and is related to what Slavin and Calderon (2001) call “component stacking (p. 3)”
Another article called Strategies for English Language Learners by the Ontario Ministry of Education (2006) suggests that using a variety of instructional strategies is important. One way that I try to differentiate instruction in mathematics is through digital math manipulatives. I have talked about this resource on my blog, but I really do believe that they offer a unique learning experience for students. The main reason for this is that digital manipulatives provide a different tactile experience and have many built-in scaffolding features. One of my favourite companies that make digital math manipulatives is Brainingcamp. Brainingcamp offers many different kinds of math manipulatives and also have built-in instructional activities that students can complete.
The Math Learning Centre also offers a wide variety of digital math manipulatives that are free to download. Math manipulatives scattered across the table can be fun and hands-on for some students. However, they can also be very distracting and overwhelming. I find that the digital tool keeps learning more narrow and focused on the task behind the screen. This can potentially support students who are trying to juggle academic content knowledge and English language learning. Click on the icon below to learn more about digital math manipulatives!
Overall, it is important to think about the content, process, and product of students' work when trying to differentiate. Hopefully through these different digital resources, you will feel better equipped to support ELL learners in Mathematics.