I don’t teach specifically to ESL students, but I have used Formative specifically with differentiation in mind. Because of this, our head ESL teacher tries to place her students in my classes whenever possible. I break down each learning target into several mini-lessons that provide ‘steps’ to progress towards the level of mathematics they will see on my test. I use videos and the Formative whiteboards to add color to the steps in my examples prior to independent practice. This summer, I’ve been inspired to add audio links that my ESL students/low readers can cilck and listen to the directions as they follow the text. I also plan to ‘hide’ some pictures/hyperlinked text so my ESL and IEP students can have an adapted version of the assignment (with simpler directions, fewer multiple choice options, less questions, etc.)
I totally agree! I found a math site that my ESL students LOVE! It’s called ProdigyGame.com. Students play through a story and ‘battle’ animals and other players along the way. The battle is a set of math problems, which if answered correctly, serve as ‘hits’ towards the other character’s HP or a ‘block’ to keep a student from losing his own HP. Students level up, collect special attacks/blocks, and collect animals along the way. My favorite part is the students can battle each other in class AND each student is working at their own math level. All my students play, but my ESL students love the game because there is an audio button they can click on and it reads the directions to them. This is especially helpful for my Marshallese students because they typically come to me with ZERO reading skills. Many of my students have strengthened their English by playing Prodigy Game.
ProdigyGame starts out with a set of diagnostic problems that tell you a student’s independent learning level for the game. It then progresses the student through the math levels as they show proficiency. There are ‘help’ buttons students can click on to get a hint or to see a similar problem worked out. I can interject a specific set of problems (for the whole class or for individual students) into their computerized learning plan and then review those reports and use the data to plan your next steps.