Purchase of smart pens to assist ELL students with lecture courses

Educator Name: Brenda Susor
School Name: Roosevelt Middle School

Through the use of Livescribe Smartpens and tablets, English Language Learners (ELL) will have access to a learning tool that will help them improve their understanding of academic concepts. The Livescribe Smartpen is a pen with a built in microphone. When the lesson starts, students record with the pen and copy notes on a micro-preforation tablet. This unit provides students the ability to copy notes and pay closer attention to the teaching of the lesson. It also has the capablity to play back the lesson so students can listen to the lesson again and record verbally when they don't understand. Then they can go back into the lesson, play and show the part they don't understand and get immediate help from a student, a teacher or an assistant. The main purpose for this idea is to help the ELL students who are New-to-the-Country (Newcomers) in the Newcomer Program. They are students who have only been in the United States for less than four or five years and are not at grade level reading because of their limited English. The reason for getting the Smartpens for these students is that after they spend two hours in my class which is modified to meet their language needs, they go into the regular classes for four hours a day. The teacher speaks quickly and students struggle to take notes while trying to listen to the new language at a quick pace and trying to tranlate and understand the lesson. My goal will be to send these units with the students to their classes, so they can replay the lesson, and get help if they don't understand. My two assistants and I would work with students to help them understand the lesson by listening to the recording and by looking at and going through their notes.

This will enhance classroom instruction because it is a tool I would use to provide me with immediate information on what the student does and doesn't know by the questions they ask. For example, when the seventh graders in the Newcomers' Program don't undertand the project assigned in Family and Consumer Economics, I would gather them together, listen to the recording and look at their notes and explain it. Sometimes ELL students are not confident enough to ask questions, but when asked if someones else didn't understand then they will ask for help. In the classroom, I would adjust my instruction to meet their needs such a building more background or providing them with text at their reading comprehension level.

I anticipate the ELL Newcomers to increase their langauage level by more than .5 (one year's growth) because of the exposure they will have to listening to the lessons more than once. The repetition of academic language will become more familiar to them and increase comprehension and language skills.

The outcomes will be measured by using the WIDA ACCESS evaluation tool. The scores would be compared at the end of a full year of using the Smartpen. More immediate feedback will come from the MAP testing by comparing fall and spring scores.