Supporting ESL Teachers and Learners in Massachusetts since 2009!

Photo of Linda Schulman, 2009

History, Music, Technology, Theater, Culture, Reading, Vocabulary, and more.
We're making a difference in Massachusetts!
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12     2012-13      2013-14  
  2014-15   2015-16   2016-17 2017-18  



"Experiencing America's Early Years through Literature & Plimouth Plantation"
Middle and High school ELL students will achieve the learning standards of the Common Core for History through non-fiction and historical fiction texts specifically designed to teach the vocabulary, concepts, and content related to the period of colonial settlements in United States history.  The colonial period will then be brought to life for these students during a guided visit to Plimoth Plantation and the Plimoth Grist Mill.  Each student will choose a person who arrived on the Mayflower or a Native American and will write a journal of their adventures and their life in the colony.  To celebrate the end of this unit and to introduce ELLs and their families to the American holiday Thanksgiving, students and their families will be invited to make a Thanksgiving dinner recipe to be shared at a multi-grade celebration.
Noreen O’Brien
Billerica Middle School and High School

"Growing Confident Readers through Audiobooks"
Teachers noticed a trend of our ELLs often having large gaps in their understanding of the text. It was often caused because students felt defeated in decoding curriculum text, which led to our ELLs falling behind in class. In order to address this need, we will be purchasing used mp3 players to download audiobooks of the curriculum texts so that students can listen along as they are reading their books at home. If students are listening to audiobooks, then they are not spending as much time decoding the text, but focusing more on the plot line and comprehending the overarching themes or ideas carried throughout a text. Students can also build their oral literacy by focusing on their pronunciation, vocabulary recognition and grammar structure. Audiobooks will allow students to improve their oral literacy and enhance their learning not only in ELA class, but also in all of their content classes that encourage literacy.
Esther Jeong
Ninth Grade Academy, Lawrence High School

"Homework Hotline for English Learners"
The Homework Hotline for English Learners will provide free homework assistance in the evenings.  Students (or their parents) will be able to call a dedicated telephone number and reach a licensed ESL teacher for support with homework.  The program will also utilize existing Google-based technology to connect students with help.  The hotline will be open Monday through Thursday, between 4 and 7 p.m.  This is a pilot program in the district, and if successful, may expand to elementary and high school grades.  Some of the expected outcomes include improved homework completion; higher parent and student satisfaction; elevated student confidence and class participation; and better overall academic performance.
Rita DeOliveira
Sky View Middle School, Leominster

"Welcome to Our School"
Families face many challenges as they first transition to American life.  Helping their children with anything school related is often an after-thought in the first few months. I want to help parents feel more engaged with our school so that they can help their children to thrive socially and academically.  “Welcome To Our School,” a slideshow that will be translated into at least six different languages, will serve as a toolkit for teachers and school staff to explain, and review helpful tips and resources for newcomer families. The PowerPoint presentation, with engaging photos of familiar sights at school, will address topics from our attendance policy to the importance of checking student backpacks daily. 
Holly Fleury
STEM Academy, Rogers School, Lowell

"Using Technology to Foster Confidence in Our English Learners"
As an EL teacher, I witness how English Language Learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success every day. To engage the students and make learning fun and unique, I have incorporated a karaoke machine in my teaching and have shared the idea with EL colleagues at my current school. In order to allow all ELL students to benefit from this mode of learning, I will purchase karaoke machines for each EL teacher to use and incorporate into their curriculum. We will meet on a weekly basis to discuss ideas, lesson plans and student experiences using the device. The expected outcome is for EL students to gain independence and confidence in the areas of vocabulary, grammar, listening and reading as they acquire the English language
Michele Leduc
Woodland Elementary School,

"Seeing is Believing: Fostering a Growth Mindset in English Learners"
“Seeing is Believing” is a project with dual goals. First, through a carefully cultivated curriculum and classroom environment we will create and foster a Growth Mindset and conviction in our EL students, enabling them to adopt an attitude that they “CAN” do it (reach English proficiency) with effort and hard work.  The second part of the project will focus on improving the students’ reading fluency skills, moving them towards competency in accessing academic content through reading comprehension. This effort will be facilitated through the use of I-Pads and video recordings.  The students will “see” for themselves their successes and mistakes in mastering oral reading skills, “believe” in their abilities and grow from there.
Molly Curren
North Attleboro Public Schools

"My SLIFE Students are Seeds Ready to Sprout"
A seed needs light and water to sprout and become a stem. Teachers need the right resources to help their students grow. In this way, students are like seeds ready to sprout. There are forty such seeds at the Clark St. School in Worcester, MA who will be getting S.T.E.M.(science technology, engineering, and math) materials thanks to the Linda Schulman Grant! Two teachers will share materials such as snap circuits, magnet kits, and simple machine sets. Leveled readers on S.T.E.M. topics will also be purchased so that teachers will be able to teach S.T.E.M. content in their guided reading groups. The project will increase content knowledge while fostering academic language through activities that introduce S.T.E.M. activities in developmentally appropriate and authentic ways. The goal is  "grow" these new citizen students into S.T.E.M. loving students all while improving their English.
Shelly Hamm-Moylan
Clark School, Worcester

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"Expanding Opportunities for Learning with Tablets"
Our goal is to extend learning time by providing tablets to engage the students in learning English beyond the classroom. Substituting tablets for textbooks will allow student to be exposed to English in a variety of formats. For many students it is critical to improve their English quickly in order to get a better job, begin a job training program or start college, so there is a critical need to extend the learning past the eight hours of classroom instruction. Students in the 21st-century also need to have a certain level of technology skills.
Kevin Freeley
Asian American Civic Society

"Grow with Bowe"

Kimberly K. Chaput
Patrick E. Bowe Elementary School

"Empowering English Language Learners for Academic Success"

Cynthia Rosancrans and Laura Wyld
Lunenberg Public Schools Special Services

"Kindles for Kids"

Jason Drinkwater
Roberts Elementary School

"I Helped Craft This Binder"

Mary P. Stormon-Flynn
Revere High Schoo

"Chick Embryology Project"

Marjorie Nott & Sharon O’Connor
Rebecca Johnson Elementary School

"Kids Post Office"

Svetlana Stepanchenko
Sheffield Elementary School
Turners Falls

"Seven Hills Robotics Education Club"

Jennifer Otto
Seven Hills Charter Public School

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"Word Consciousness"
"Words Their Way," a differentiated program that involves engaging, kinesthetic sorts with different spelling patterns, can be used to introduce new vocabulary to students across different grades with different learning styles, abilities, and English language proficiency levels. I have shared the program with an ELL colleague at my current school with great success. In order to allow other students to profit from this program, I will purchase a set of Words Their Way books for a Professional Development library for all teachers to access and use with their students across classrooms and across schools. An ELL colleague and I will use the iPad Belkin Tablet Stage projection system to model and project sorts for students while engaging their technological participation in the kinesthetic word sort process.
Alicia Serafin
Whittier School

"Models of Persistence: English Language Learners Interview Successful Role Models"
Children’s ability to attain self-efficacy is greatly enhanced when they are able to interact with successful adults from their own community who have similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds.  The intent of this project is to provide grade 3 English Language Learners (ELLs) with the opportunity to engage in structured dialogue with positive role models who attended the same schools and who have developed the persistence necessary to graduate from high school and achieve college and/or work success. 
Karen Malley
Lawrence Full Service Community School

"Bridging L1 to L2 Mathematics Using Peer Mentors' Video Lessons: Giving Newcomers Access to Classroom Content"
With the guidance of an ESL teacher and math teacher, two-four bilingual (Portuguese/English) Martha’s Vineyard Regional High school students will pre-teach, build on and review mathematical concepts for their newcomer ELL peers through Portuguese video math lessons.  These pre-lessons will allow the students to access the mathematics curriculum in their English instruction math classroom.
Dianne Norton
Martha's Vineiyard Regional High School
Martha's Vineyard

"English Language Learners and the Election Process"
“Demonstrate good citizenship” is one of the core values mentioned in the Revere High School Core Values Statement. In order for students to demonstrate good citizenship a knowledge of the United States’ system of government is essential. With an election year approaching the project would focus on how someone gets elected president and how their platform affects the lives of all Americans.  ELL students should be aware of the election process and how presidential candidates affect their lives.  Students would review key vocabulary terms that pertain to civics, government and the election process and examine political issues to make decisions on voting choices.
Gerardo DeLauri
Revere High School

"Viewing American History through the eyes of Students with Interrupted Formal Education"
A full day fieldtrip to Historic Deerfield is an essential piece of our curricular unit which will focus on the early the American colonial period and the writing features necessary to write a historical biography.  On our fieldtrip our SIFE students will have the opportunity to experience an authentic 18th-century New England village in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts.  We will use this experience to inspire a research based biography writing workshop. This cross-curricular unit will serve as an introduction to American history, will prepare our students for their career at HSST, and will help contextualize their own experience by learning about America’s long and rich history as a linguistic and cultural melting pot. 

Grace Harris
High School of Science and Technology

"Kindle Fires Spark the Flames of Literacy"
Two cooperating teachers will share 6 Kindle Fire devices in class, profiting from the technological features that give readers opportunities to access information about language. The expected outcomes are for students to become engaged in reading electronically, to practice using library resources, to hear fluent reading in English, to highlight vocabulary, to practice dictionary skills, to translate words if necessary and to take notes.
Brenda McGinnes and Kathleen Sundstrom
Belmont Street Community School

"Remembrance: Human Rights and Holocaust Awareness for Secondary SLIFE Students"
Through the use of challenging, secondary level fiction and non-fiction (Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust by Allan Zullo, Maus, by Art Spiegelman) and language-based project learning, students will be given meaningful opportunity to reflect on and discuss human rights through the lens of World War II, the Holocaust, and its implications and relationship to resulting national and global issues.  Through the use of literature (including graphic novel), film excerpts (The Holocaust (BBC), Auschwitz (BBC)), research through the United States Holocaust Museum
(online), and a field trip to the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, students will be given a unique opportunity for language-based, content embedded learning emphasizing the meaning of both freedom and oppression and the importance of a global citizen’s respect and understanding of human rights.
Daniel Gay
James A. Cardonio New Citizens Center

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"Learning U.S. History on the Freedom Trail"
ELL students will achieve the learning standards of the Common Core for 10th grade history through a unit of study that will include a guided visit of the Freedom Trail in Boston and texts specifically designed to teach the vocabulary, concepts and content related to the colonial and Revolutionary periods in U.S. history.   They will use their first-hand experience on the Freedom Trail, library resources and Google Chromebooks to research key people and events of these periods, in order to complete the final project of this unit, the creation of a wall mural portraying U.S. history from the colonial period through the post-Revolutionary period.
Noreen O'Brien
Billerica Memorial High School

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"iPads for Success"
In this project, iPad Minis and an iTunes gift card will serve to enrich the delivery of the Common Core and WIDA standards to English Language Learners.   In the classroom, the equipment will be used to enhance student acquisition of the English language, expand vocabulary and develop writing skills. Students will be able to work with the iPads independently and in small groups, even when the teacher is occupied with another group of students. For individual use, there are a variety of applications available to differentiate instruction based on each child’s WIDA levels. With large class sizes, these iPads will be used to meet the needs of all students in my class.
Caroline Kelly
Brookfield Elementary School
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"Family Literacy Fun Time"
Parents of ESL children will attend a parent and child literacy and art activity twice during the school year.  Parents will learn through modeling how to actively participate in reading side-by-side with their grade k-5 child.  All families will take home two copies of the same age appropriate book to model what is learned. 
Colleen Monahan & Kara McGaffigan
Edgar B. Davis K-8 Community School
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"Using State and Country History to Teach Academic Language to ELL's"
Students will be learning the important role Boston and surrounding areas played during the American Revolution. They will be exposed to narratives and informational texts and exposed to Boston area historical sites during a walking tour. At the end of the unit, all students will present on a particular person, place, or event that had an impact on the American Revolution.
Jessica Swiers
B.M.C. Durfee High School
Fall River
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"Kindle Fire Meets Socrates' Wax Tablet of the Mind"
The use of Kindle Fire tablets will offer students immediate access to definitions, examples, and synonyms by clicking on words, thus increasing their linguistic complexity comprehension and giving them a larger vocabulary base when writing. Students will also write their open response drafts and complete graphic organizers on Google drive to receive immediate feedback from teachers and peers. The goal is for students to come away with a deeper understanding of the text, based on active participation in the Socratic Seminar, which serves as a pre-writing step in the writing process.
Megan Quinlan, Joe Santiago, Mae Waugh
Fuller Middle School
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"Photographs from Home: Writing about Our Lives"
In this writing project for elementary students, English language learners will take photographs of people and events in their lives and use the images to explore and develop a series of personal narratives. Students will practice and expand their writing skills by writing about what they know. By taking photographs of daily or “ordinary” moments in their lives, English language learners will not only find inspiration and purpose for their writing, but they will come to see the richness of their lives, as well.
Douglas St. Lawrence
Charlotte M. Murkland Elementary School
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"'Dear Families' ....Story Swap"
The "Dear Families" project is a home/school story swap. Each ELL student receives a special folder that goes back and forth between the teacher and the families. The teacher writes a letter that shares a personal story about their life and includes specific questions for the families to respond to in a letter that will be sent back to the teacher. The idea of this project is to encourage reading and writing, in English, in the home of the ELLs and to foster a stronger bond and a more comfortable  relationship between the teacher and parents.
Molly Curren
North Attleboro Public Schools, Grades K-5
North Attleboro
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"Multicultural Cookbook"
ELLs, FLEP, and 6th granders (studying World Cultures in their Social Studies Curriculum) will submit tried and true family favorite recipes and photos (optional) from all around the world for the multi-cultural cookbook. In their submissions they will write about the heritage, history, and origins of the recipes. The project will incorporate many important skills, including writing, reading, speaking, converting measurements, photographing foods, selecting recipes for the book, prioritizing, organizing, and using technology. Once finished, the book will give the students pride in their culture and will promote intercultural understanding in the school population.
Melissa Shoer
Tri Town Public Schools
Middleton, Boxford, Topsfield
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"Building Literacy for ELL's"
High school ELL students are expected to understand and create different genres of literature. In the first quarter, students learn to use literary terms of plot line to create their own, unique short stories. In quarter two, students create and analyze biographies. The third quarter focuses on Shakespearean drama and poetry. The fourth quarter focuses on primary documents and world events in the 20th century. In order for students to understand these genres and reach the quarterly expectations, they must have the accessible reading materials. This means grant will support these goals by providing leveled reading that is geared to multiple levels and interests.
Jennifer Bellavance & Asha Chana
Revere High School
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"History’s Ballad: Telling America’s Story through Music"
With the implementation of History’s Ballad: Telling America’s History through Music ELL learners will enhance their ability to assimilate into the campus community and give them strong sense of their role as critically thinking citizens.
Tiffany Probasco
Benjamin Franklin Insitute of Technology
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"Guided Inquiry Into Topics In American Culture"
The Josiah Quincy Upper School has developed a learning strategy called "guided inquiry."  The whole class reads a basic non-fiction text which introduces a topic; the teacher models inquiry as well as reading and note-taking strategies.  In order to create at least one well-developed unit for each grade level of ESL in our school, we will use a class set of a common non-fiction text and fifteen or so books for independent reading, as well as a unit planner for the teacher's use.
Jim Meyer
Josiah Quincy Upper School
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"Using technology to accelerate learning for older ELLs with little or no English"
A minimal number of copies of "Rosetta Stone," a wellknown and respected language learning software package, will be used in a pilot project to see if they improve English language skills to a level that will permit the integration of non-English speaking high school students into their peer age group in ESL courses. If the project produces positive results, the school district will invest in software for all such students.
Patricia Bagnell
Braintree High School
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"Greening ESL in the Classroom"
This project is for Academic Reading, Writing, Speaking classes.  It consists of one unit devoted to readings, writing prompts, and speaking presentations centering on gardens and food practices, past, present, and future.  In a hands-on component, ESL students will build and maintain one of the raised beds in the BHCC urban garden constellation.  A service learning element is the selecting and donating of a portion of the harvest to the community.
Eileen Feldman
Bunker Hill Community College
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"On-site Research and Observation"
The academic goal of a visit to the New England Aquarium is to give students an educational experience outside of the classroom, which will allow them to learn visually and experience some of what they learn in the classroom applied to the larger world. The field trip will be linked to a unit on research for English 1 students in which they read leveled books about penguins (previously purchased from National Geographic) and learn the skills of research (Common Core Writing Standards 7, 8 & 9).  At the Aquarium they will apply those skills to research on another aquatic animal or a species of fish. In addition, the visit will provide a shared experience that can provide rich material for students to discuss and write about.
Abby Wagner
Chelsea High School Bridge Academy
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"The McMahon Café: Coffee and Conversation about Books for Kids"
The McMahon Café aims to help families deepen their commitment to their children’s education by showing them how they can positively influence their children’s learning more directly by reading with them, initiating thoughtful conversations and inspiring imaginative play.  These activities will enrich students in several academic areas, such as vocabulary acquisition, decoding skills, reading comprehension and writing skills. The McMahon Café will take place in the school library two mornings a month, with activities provided for younger siblings who do not attend school. Families can borrow bags with books, question guides and materials for literary activities to do at home.
Janis Sokop
McMahon School
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iPods for Innovation
During the beginning stages of an ESL course in grades 3, 4 and 5, students will listen to and study lyrics that facilitate the learning of the WIDA and Common Core Objectives. Students will study songs that rhyme, repeat, are sung or spoken in various tenses, and are told from various points of view. The next step of the project is for students to write song lyrics, arrange and illustrate the lyrics in book format, and then record an audio version of their song that demonstrates dtheir fluency. Student will share their songs with others students, parents and peers in a gallery walk and night presentation.
Caitlin Shelburne
Francis M. Leahy School
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"Empowering with Words: Vocabulary Workshop for English Language Learners"
This project will provide students with explicit vocabulary instruction and access to various reading materials in different formats, including electronic. Balanced vocabulary instruction will ensure frequent encounters and practice of vocabulary words in the variety of contexts and further long-term retention and usage of academic language. The program will include observations, monthly vocabulary assessments, creative projects and data collection that will enable us to see measurable outcomes.
Anna Bashmakova
M. L. Donovan Elementary School
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"Our Celebrations!"
The objective of this project is to improve first and second grade students’ language skills through increasing their understanding of National Celebrations in America. Starting in October of 2013. The students will use Social Studies Fountas and Pinnell leveled readers to build their cognitive academic language proficiency in all four language domains and subject-matter skills, improve their language skills, and increase their understanding of American history and culture. Through Social studies lessons the children will interact with: Historical and Realistic Fiction texts, informational Texts about events and famous Americans which help commemorate American holidays.
Elisabel Calcaño and Jessica Farmer
Chandler Magnet Elementary School
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"A day in the Life of an ELL Student"
Promote students' respect for other cultures and ethnicities by learning from their peers through a photo essay or videocast based on their own daily routines and experiences.
Jennifer Bellavance
Revere High School
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"Immigration Comes Alive on a Voyage Through History/La Immigraciíon Toma Vida Através la Historia"
Build cognitive academic language proficiency while increasing understanding of American history and culture.
Hope Oliveras, Viviana Pagan, Sandra Lozko
Chandler Magnet Elementary School
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"Increasing ELL Parent Involvement through the Discussion of Reading"
Increase student interest in reading and group discussion; encourage reading and literacy as an individual and family activity in the home.
Francine Johnson
Greater Lawrence Technical School
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"Using Technology to Communicate and Learn in Multiple Languages"
Produce an annotated list of IPad and IPod applications considered useful by ELL students.
Debra Roberts
Fitchburg High School
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"SCALE Theater Arts Program"
Improve adult learners' oral skills and develop self-confidence that will enhance their academic proficiency as well as strengthen their employment skills.
Meryl Beck
Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences
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"Connecting English Language Learners to Culture: More than Authentic Material"
Produce a base of interviews on subject matter highlighting various elements of American culture often overlooked in an ELL classroom.
Cori Weiner
Senior Lecturer, CELOP
Boston University

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"Children Reading the World"
Promote literacy by having students take photographs of family and community and work in cooperative groups to develop literacy projects.
Mary Margaret Almonte,
Beebe School, Malden
Jennifer McCabe
Malden Public Schools
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"Empowering Parents through Second Language Learning Communities"
Facilitate instruction in a multi-level ESL course for parents to empower them to integrate more easily into our school community. 

Maeve Hitzenbuhler, ESLCoordinator/Teacher pre-k-12
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"Dr. Seuss for you, Dr. Seuss para mí"
Enhance bilingual learning while encouraging parents’ participation in their children’s education.
Annette Wylie
Norrback Avenue School
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"Developing Projects Utilizing Voice Thread and Building an Electronic Portfolio using Google Sites"
Allow students to improve their English, to share their school experience with their families and friends, and to acquire technological skills.
Marilyn Barrett
Nantucket High School
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