Stories of the adventurous life

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 […]

The ENL Specialist as a Co-teacher

Last month co-teachers Andrea Calabrese (ENL) and Mike Garguilo (Science) shared tips and strategies emerging from their successful collaboration in the 7th grade Living Environment classroom.  As a follow-up, Andrea shares some thoughts on what has helped her become a successful ENL co-teacher; Many content area teachers feel that allowing the ENL teacher to adapt/modify the material […]

Bye science curriculum, we spent years making you but you are no longer effective …

Sleepy Hollow Middle School co-teachers Mike Garguilo (science) and Andrea Calabrese (ENL) shared their recipe for successful co-teaching:  communication and organization.  They shared their winning strategies with colleagues at the NYS TESOL conference this month in Syracuse, NY. Andrea and Mike have worked together to rework every aspect of their 7th grade living environment curriculum […]