Blog

Stories of the adventurous life

Moving Forward: First ExcEL Design Studio

One of the hardest challenges educators may face is the diversity of students that come in and out of their classrooms. Teaching techniques are not one size fits all, a tactic may work for one student but may not resonate with another. In the quest to find new approaches to better serve their students, educators […]

Countdown to the Spotlight

We look forward to welcoming many participants in just over a week at the Spotlight on Innovative, Student Centered Schools, the one day Pre Conference Institute being hosted by CSSR at ASCD’s Empower18 Annual Conference. The Spotlight will feature K-12 schools that are committed to implementing student-centered learning environments through strategies such as: competency based […]

ExcEL Leadership Academy Launches Parent University

By Maria Zampano of Shelton Public Schools On Thursday, November 9, 2017 the ExcEL Leadership Academy at Shelton Public Schools held their first evening session of Parent University. Participants learned about the ExcEL grant and how the district is using it to address the needs of their children. The presentation emphasized how parents, teachers, and […]

Equity for ELs: Learning English in a Competency Based System

Across the country, educators and policymakers are coming to the same conclusion: the structure of the traditional system is a barrier. The premise of competency education is that the traditional education structure, which is designed to sort students, can be replaced with one that is designed for every student to succeed. When we design for […]

Project ExcEL Teachers Prep for 2017-2018 School Year!

As we begin to enjoy the warm weather June brings, here at Project ExcEL, we also reintroduce our Annual Summer Institutes! Every year, Project ExcEL creates a space for teachers to gather, network, exchange brilliant ideas, and plan for the upcoming school year. Our Summer Institutes event has expanded in 2017 and will take place […]

The Shelton Trifecta of Resources Inspiring the Success of English Learners

Have you ever thought about how intimidating it can be to learn English? For some students, it can be very nerve-racking, especially for those who don’t speak English as their first language. Shelton is fortunate to have some wonderful and inspiring teachers who serve as mentors for English learners.  Project ExcEL, however, uses a mix […]

Building Student Agency with English Learners

From left to right: Mariel, Marlenny and Genesis with their mentor Ms. Rosenberg (top); Ener, Brayan and Elisaul with their mentor Mr. Matute (bottom) ​ Mr. Matute helped me learn how to deal with trouble, like if a teacher doesn’t listen or doesn’t understand.  He listens, makes me write the problem down, and then we […]

Putting Dynamic Language Learning Progressions to Work

Teachers in the Middletown (NY) City School District have been working with learning progressions, and are beginning to put them into practice. The Dynamic Language Learning Progressions (DLLP) describe ‘high leverage language features’ – pathways that students move through as they develop academic language while learning English.  For example, students master the use of simple […]

Co-Teachers: The Content Teacher’s Perspective

Last month ENL teacher Andrea Calabrese from Sleepy Hollow Middle School in Tarrytown (NY) shared her thoughts on being a co-teacher in a middle school science classroom.  This month we hear from her teaching partner, science teacher Mike Garguilo. English Language Learning (ELL) students face many hurdles in education but the one that many educators […]