Weekly Facts 2003-2004

October 22, 2003 Weekly Facts



| Joint Information | Elementary Information | Secondary Information |

Joint Information


NEW Section on Website:

In order to assist you with the administration of the TEAE and MN-SOLOM, we have added a section with information on these assessments. We have added all the documentation we have received on these items. Also, there is a feedback form that allows you to voice your comments and feedback on these assessments. The MDE has asked for teacher imput on how to better this process in the future. If you have have any comments, please feel free to post them there. Again, thanks for your help in this process. We know it is a heavy burden. For more information, you can go directly to the TEAE/MN-SOLOM section.

Bilingual Tutors Wanted

The Title I Migrant Education Program is seeking bilingual (Spanish) ELL teachers or EAs for the secondary afterschool tutoring program in Harding and Arlington schools. The program is 2-4 hours a week of BST preparation after school. Days and times are flexible. Salary for teachers is $19.48/hour; for EAs, the same hourly rate you receive during the school day. If interested, please call or email Mary McGill at 767-8159, mary.mcgill@spps.org.

Embedding Hmong Culture into the Social Studies Curriculum

Teachers will:

  1. Learn about the richness of the Hmong culture.
  2. Examine Hmong culture sample lesson plans as it relates to the Saint Paul Public Schools Social Studies Standards.
  3. Receive a grade level Hmong Culture Kit containing a Teacher's Handbook, teacher resource books about the Hmong, children's literature, Hmong dolls, children's games, and traditional Hmong music.
  4. Make and take samples to include in the culture kit.

For more information, you can go directly to the Embedding Hmong Culture page. Please help advertise these sessions by posting this flyer as this is a professional development opportunity for K-3 mainstream classroom teachers.

Letters About Literature

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. The deadline is December 6, 2003.

There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 - 12. Winners receive cash awards at the national and state levels.

Participation guidelines and other information are available at: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/letters.html

Ramadan Begins Next Week

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is during this month that Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties. Ramadan this year runs from approximately October 26, 2003 to November 23, 2003.

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan. Expect your student to be absent for a minimum of one day and possibly three. The holiday typically lasts three days.

Also take into account that Ramadan may not be the most opportune time to test Muslim students due to the fact that the students will be fasting.

Hmong Celebrate First Anniversary of Ground-Breaking Hmong American Anthology

MINNEAPOLIS: October marks the one-year anniversary of Bamboo Among the Oaks, the first Hmong American anthology published in the U.S. On Saturday, November 1, 2003 at 7 PM at the Open Book (1101 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415), the Hmong American Institute for Learning (HAIL) will celebrate this landmark book and ground-breaking anthology. Contributors, community members and teachers will discuss the impact of Bamboo Among the Oaks on themselves and in the community and classroom. Read the rest of this news release in the Current Events Related to ELL Population of the website.

Cancelled Session: Teaming with Bilingual Educational Assistants (October 22)
Next Session: October 29

Participants will analyze and evaluate best models for working more collaboratively with paraprofessionals in the classroom to better serve all students. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Teaming with Bilingual Educational Assistants page.

Family TIES Meetings

There will be several Family TIES community events this week. They are listed on the ELL Calendar and more information can be obtained by clicking on the link for each event

We would appreciate your help in advertising these events. Bilingual EA help would also be appreciated in contacting families to inform them of the events. If you have any questions, please contact Abdisalam Adam, Sylvia Pérez, Bee Lee or Mai Vang. Alternatively, you may contact Arty Dorman in the Family and Community Involvement Office at 293-5960.

Vocabulary Building Strategies for English Language Learners (October 30)

Help your ELL students build their speaking vocabulary and understanding of related content skills. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Vocabulary Building Strategies for ELLs page.

A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today’s Somali Life (Session 1: November 10)

These sessions will help district staff have deeper perspectives into the history, culture, and civil war experiences of Somali immigrants in Minnesota. A comparative overview of the past and present Somali life will be provided. Sessions will also cover what attracted the Somalis to Minnesota and how they have adapted to their new setting. Video clips and slide presentations will be presented depicting various aspects of Somali life. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today’s Somali Life page.

Classroom Management for Diverse Populations (Part 1: November 11)

Participants will learn how relationship-building techniques such as morning meetings, goal setting and model/practice support English language learning. We will discuss student choice and classroom rules as “can do’s.” Teacher language and clear expectations will be a focus. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Classroom Management for Diverse Populations page.

Elementary Information


Power of Language--MATH (November 12)

Comprehension of word problems in mathematics is more than simply a function of reading skills. Participants will learn what makes story problems difficult for English Language Learners and how to minimize these difficulties in order to make math content accessible. Participants will also be able to adapt the Everyday Mathematics curriculum to better serve the needs of English language learners. This workshop is for K-6 classroom teachers. Please post and share with your staff. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the page. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Power of Language--Math page.

Writer's Workshop

The ELL Department is pleased to announce that, in addition to all ELL teachers, we are opening these sessions to ALL teachers K-6 that are part of the Project for Academic Excellence. We encourage staff to join in teams.

We have extended the writer's workshop registration to Oct. 17 for the K-6 sessions to give you an opportunity to register if you haven't and are still thinking about it. This is the same training offered by the Center for Academic Excellence to teachers.

We are able to offer 3 inservice credits or 2 Hamline semester graduate credits at $95 per credit for this training if you would prefer credits instead of the stipend. The stipend is $16.40 per hour. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Writer's Workshop Registration page.

Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers

ELL Elementary Circles are back with a new name: Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers.

Participants will be provided with an opportunity to come together to read, share, and discuss professional articles and their implication for teaching in a large urban public school district. Participants will be required to read assigned articles on educational issues prior to the meetings. The dates of the Study Groups are:

  • November 12, 2003
  • January 14, 2004
  • February 19, 2004
  • March 17, 2004
  • April 15, 2004

Participants should plan to attend all sessions and will receive a stipend.

Please register with Mai Vang


Secondary Information


Professional Development Opportunity for Secondary Teachers

The Minnesota Writing Project is offering: Grammar Matters: a workshop designed for middle and high school teachers.

Monday, December 8, 2003 - 9am to 3pm at the Minnesota Humanities Commission, 987 E. Ivy, St. Paul

Participants will:

  • gain rationale for teaching grammar (including an awareness of the new state standards)
  • practice strategies for learning skills and mechanics within the context of literature and writing
  • learn ways to develop peer editing skills

Presenters include U of M faculty and MWP teacher consultants.

For more information, contact the Minnesota Writing Project at 612-625-6323

To register: send your name; your school; school address; e-mail address and $75 registration fee to:

Minnesota Writing Project
227 Lind Hall
207 Church Street, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

ELL Secondary Study Groups

November 5 from 3:00-5:00 at Humboldt JUNIOR High School

We will meet for the 2nd session of the 2003-2004 ELL Secondary Study Groups at Humboldt Junior High in Deb Armstrong's room. If you attended the last session, please come with your book and BST Writing Rubric. If you didn't make it last time and you want to join us this time, you are more than welcome. Please let Anne Lowe know via email or voicemail of your intent to attend. (We will send have directions to Deb's room at Humboldt Junior in the next weekly facts.)

See you there!


Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625 | 360 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55102|651-767-8100|communications@spps.org