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MN ABE News

A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.


CCRS Classroom Videos? You got it. Second Video Now Available!

- By Patsy Egan, ATLAS Director, and Andrea Echelberger, MN Literacy Council ESL Training Coord.

We like to say that if there is something to support ABE instruction that hasn’t been created yet, MN ABE will make it happen! Continuing the amazing history of homegrown Minnesota resources, the Minnesota Literacy Council and ATLAS have responded to requests for ABE CCRS videos with a project that will benefit all ABE teachers, no matter what level of ELA you may teach.

In the first of a series of three videos (released a few weeks ago), we observed the classroom of Jessica Jones teaching CCRS Level C reading at the Open Door Learning program in St. Paul. We hope you had a chance to view this one, and that you are ready for another!

In the just released second video, Nicki Olalde of Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) is teaching at CCRS Level A. Nicki’s class of low-beginning ESL learners are working on basic conversation and beginning literacy skills.

Some main takeaways from viewing this video include:

  • Low-level ESL students CAN do this work. It’s all about sufficient and appropriate scaffolding! CCRS skills are teachable, even at low-levels with a very low-level text.
  • A careful and intentional use of classroom routines helps facilitate a smooth, rigorous classroom experience.
  • In particular, CCRS Reading Anchor 1, levels A-B (use of question words) are built in this class in a visual, concrete way, connected with the key vocabulary of one relevant, interesting story.

No matter what level of ABE you teach or area you teach in (ESL, GED, Diploma, etc.), this video is worth watching because the expert scaffolding techniques Nicki uses throughout her lesson. She masterfully demonstrates embedded routines, multiple guided readings, peer work, and the use of volunteers at this low level of ESL. These scaffolds are valuable for every teacher to see and use!

This video project began in response to the noticeable lack of materials – particularly videos featuring real learners and teachers – of CCRS in the ABE classroom. When tackling a new teaching initiative, it’s helpful for us to observe other teachers who are implementing CCRS at similar levels. For teachers in low literacy ESL classes in particular, the current available videos of native English-speaking or K-12 classroom videos can be challenging to apply to ABE situations. This new video series will inspire ABE teachers of all levels to integrate CCRS into current instruction, through concrete examples of effective routines and academically rigorous activities.

This project is supported by the Minnesota Literacy Council and ATLAS, both part of your MN ABE Support Network. A professional video editor has been volunteering his time to produce the three videos, which will be released throughout the fall.

For the video link, go to mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos on the Minnesota Literacy Council website.