My master teacher and I met with the ELD coordinator on our site this week to discuss how to use SDAIE strategies in our freshman Biology class. We have 9 ELL students between the two classes I co-teach. We wanted to be sure the content was accessible to them since their test scores were low. The ELD coordinator discussed 6 different strategies with us, including: modeling, bridging, contextualization, schema building, meta-cognition development, and text representation.
Modeling: Teacher shows students how to do a problem by “modeling” or walking students though examples very slowly, allowing students to take notes and ask questions. Students share each other’s answers. I did this when teaching students to identify to the independent variable, dependent variable, control, and experimental group in experimental scenarios by walking through students the first problem on their “Simpsons Scientific Method” worksheet.
Bridging: Teacher taps into EL’s prior knowledge, interests, and background experiences to make topic relevant. This creates interest and makes it easier for the student to relate (scaffolding). Making predictions from data, think-pair-share, KWL (K-knows, W-wants to know, L-has learned), charts, and brainstorming exercises are some good examples. For instance, my co-teacher and I teach 5th period, right after lunch. When discussing macromolecules, we asked students to share what they had eaten for lunch. We were able to connect macromolecules, such as proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates to their favorite foods.
Contextualization: Teaching via the senses. Students can rely on other parts of their brain to learn concepts, in addition to the language center. When I use models (e.g. a model of a cell or a DNA model) or demonstrations, or when students participate in laboratory experiments and investigations, students are presented with content in a way, which is more meaningful and comprehensible to ELs.
Schema Building: Teachers connect background knowledge to help ELs establish connections across concepts. Flow charts, Venn diagrams, jigsaw readings with groups, and maps are examples of this. For instance, students are provided with Venn diagrams when comparing and contrasting eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Students also use a modified version of the Frayer Model when learning new vocab words.
Metacognitive Development: Teachers help guide students in thinking and learning how each student learns best. This can be achieved through informal individual conversation and surveying students asking them which activities, lectures, projects, etc. they learned best from.
Text Re-presentation: Students apply their newly acquired learning to new understandings and formats. Any exercise that asks students to express themselves in their own words assesses text re-presentation. For instance, when students share an essay or a definition of a new vocabulary word in their own words, they are using text-representation.