TeachME Professional Development

Understanding, Supporting, and Engaging Newcomer Students and Their Families

Chapter 1: Who Are Our Newcomers?

1. Newcomers, who are any foreign-born students and their families who have recently arrived in the United States, play an important role in weaving our nation’s social and economic fabric, and U.S. schools play an integral part in helping newcomers adapt and contribute as they integrate into American society.

A. True B. False

2. According to the authors, the challenge of integrating into their new home is compounded for newcomers who attend school, since they must not only learn how to function effectively in an education system and with language that typically differs from their prior experience, but also how to:

A. Meet increasingly rigorous academic standards B. Overcome personal obstacles C. Navigate a new culture socially D. Think critically in the school and the community

Newcomers’ Contributions to American Society

3. The very presence of immigrant students provides a rich opportunity for all students to expand their cultural knowledge and their capacity to participate fully in a multicultural democracy, and allows for becoming engaged with a world that is increasingly:

A. Dynamic B. Interconnected C. Diverse D. Heterogeneous

How Schools Can Support Newcomers

4. Newcomers and their families have four basic needs, which include a welcoming environment, high-quality academic programs designed to meet academic and language development needs, encouragement and support to engage in the education process, and:

A. Access to data-driven systems that monitor progress B. The inclusion of curriculum that highlights immigration in the United States C. Social emotional support and skills development to be successful in school and beyond D. Partnerships with other immigrant families that incorporate cultural and community connections

Vignettes 1-4

5. As the newcomer profile vignettes suggest, considerations that school staff should be aware of include:

A. What strengths can these newcomers bring to the classroom? B. What structures need to be in place to ensure that new students feel safe in school? C. What assumptions may teachers and students make about immigrant students, and what may the consequences of these assumptions be? D. All of the above

Chapter 2: Welcoming Newcomers to a Safe and Thriving School Environment

6. In most cases, the challenge of negotiating, navigating, and becoming part of a school falls equally on the newcomer and the school community.

A. True B. False

7. For all newcomers, it is key to be welcomed by school representatives who communicate in a language the students and parents understand and who:

A. Are culturally competent B. Can serve as advocates for the students C. Can build on student and family strengths D. Provide social-emotional support

Implementing Best Practices for Welcoming Newcomers

8. Which of the following is NOT one of the primary support areas incorporated into schools with successful newcomer programs?

A. Knowledge about students, including their prior schooling and life experiences, and program structures to support students’ learning B. Communication with students and their families and parent/family engagement in the school community C. Peer leadership and integration D. Cultural, language, and community integration

It Takes a Village Academy (ITAVA)

9. One newcomer program that prioritizes communication is It Takes a Village Academy (ITAVA), where content area teachers are fluent in students’ home language, and where bilingual education is prioritized.

A. True B. False

Process and Practice Components of Newcomer Programs

10. Practices to help newcomer students and families include providing extra learning time through after-school, summer school, Saturday school, and/or vacation institutes, determining student and family needs and designing schedules and structures to meet those needs, and optimizing student engagement, learning, and effort through creative scheduling and rigorous coursework.

A. True B. False

Recruit, Place, and Retain Qualified Teachers and Provide Ongoing Professional Learning

11. All teachers of newcomers and ELs should have access to high-quality professional learning that provides differentiated instructional strategies, promotes the effective use of student assessment data, develops skills for supporting second-language acquisition across the curriculum, and helps provide and understanding of:

A. Engagement and discussion opportunities that socialize students B. The impact of early life trauma on the developing child C. Students’ unique cultural skills, background, and knowledge D. How to group students for learning and production

12. When collecting and analyzing student and program data to drive continuous improvement, implementation of extensive summative assessments practices in classrooms is recommended to inform instruction.

A. True B. False

Framework for Safe and Supportive Schools

13. The Safe and Supportive Schools Model proposes that a positive school environment incorporates appropriate facilities, well-managed classrooms, available school-based health supports, and:

A. A clear, fair disciplinary policy B. A focus on good citizenship and character C. A system in place to help students transition to college and career life D. A forum to discuss issues and concerns openly

Family Engagement School Scenario: School #1

14. In school 1, staff implicitly understand the importance of caregivers as strategic partners in the education of their children, and see it as their responsibility to teach students how to empower their parents in this role.

A. True B. False

Characteristics of Effective Practices to Engage Newcomer Parents and Families

15. Newcomer policies and practices that focus on an assets orientation encompass each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Building partnerships that listen to and hear parents B. Striving to meet high expectations, aspirations, and hopes C. Building capacities to engage parents as advocates and supporters of their children D. Drawing on newcomers’ culture, language, knowledge, and skills

Chapter 3: High-Quality Instruction for Newcomer Students

16. Newcomers who need to develop English proficiency require instruction that addresses the simultaneous development of English proficiency and:

A. Continuous practice with academic language B. Decoding and phonics techniques C. Fluent reading and writing skills D. Grade-level concepts and skills

Cultivating Global Competencies

17. Newcomers bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and global perspective to their education in U.S. schools, and their cultural backgrounds, linguistic resources, and prior knowledge provide a foundation for new learning.

A. True B. False

18. Which of the following is NOT one of the four skills outlined by The Global Competencies Matrix to help all students navigate a world of increasing social, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity?

A. Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment B. Recognize perspectives, both others’ and their own C. Learn engagement as a values and skill set D. Take action to improve conditions

Guidelines for Teaching English Learners and Newcomers

19. When working with ELLs and newcomers, teachers must initially focus on overcoming students deficits, so that they can move on to future-oriented goals.

A. True B. False

Framing Principles

20. One key principle that encourages high-quality instruction for all students who need to learn English and meet rigorous, grade-level academic standards is that instruction should leverage ELLs unique approaches to learning and their social-emotional diversity.

A. True B. False

Key Thoughts

21. Both newcomers and ELs may learn concepts in each core subject through simultaneously engaging in subject-specific analytic practices and related language practices, and engagement and expression should evolve as students learn English.

A. True B. False

22. In order to construct meaning from texts written or spoken in a new language, newcomers use:

A. Purposeful strategies B. Metacognitive strategies C. Recall and recognition strategies D. Re-reading and re-thinking strategies

Common Misconceptions About Newcomers

23. Common misconceptions about newcomers include:

A. Newcomers must develop significant language proficiency prior to participating in disciplinary learning and students need simplified content and language as they learn English B. Students can learn only one language at a time, bilingualism is counterproductive, and the use of a student’s home language will negatively affect academic and language learning C. Not all educators working with ELs or newcomers need to be specially trained, and if teachers speak English, they can teach English D. All of the above

Key Elements of High-Quality Educational Programs for Newcomers

24. High-quality educational programs for newcomers should include agreed-upon educational pathways for students that promote coherence across grade levels or school settings.

A. True B. False

Checklist for Teaching for Global Competence

25. When selecting a topic that promotes global competence, teachers should ensure that the topic encourages deep engagements, embodies local and global significance, and that it invites:

A. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary grounding B. Cohesion across subjects C. Socio-emotional well-being and autonomy D. Rigorous learning opportunities

Chapter 4: How Do We Support Newcomers’ Social Emotional Needs?

26. Positive emotional well-being correlates with higher rates of academic engagement, a sense of belonging and connectedness in school, and academic motivation, and may reduce conduct problems, drug use, and violence.

A. True B. False

Social Emotional Skills Development

27. According to Stavsky (2015) competencies central to social emotional development include perseverance, goal-setting skills, external motivation, and healthy peer and adult relationships.

A. True B. False

Adult- and Student-Led, Formal and Informal, Social Emotional Supports for Newcomers

28. Examples of adult-led informal social emotional supports for newcomers include:

A. Collaborations with culturally relevant community-based organizations and faith-based institutions B. Advisory programs or a daily advisory period in which student checks in with a homeroom teacher or another adult every day C. Opportunities for students to have access to linguistic support and opportunities to interact with others from the same cultural background D. Opportunities for newcomers to speak in informal social situations that are led by adults

10 Teaching Practices for Social Emotional Development

29. To be effective at student-centered discipline, teachers need to use disciplinary strategies that motivate students to want to behave in the classroom, and that:

A. Incorporate logical consequences B. Are consistently applied C. Are developmentally appropriate D. Encourage student reflection

Core Stressors for Newcomers

30. Core stressors for newcomers may include trauma, acculturation challenges, resettlement factors, and isolation.

A. True B. False

Tips on Responding to Discrimination in School

31. Experts recommend that the most effective way for parents to respond to incidences of discrimination in schools is to immediately address the issues at the district level, as this is the most effective way to protect the victim from repercussions.

A. True B. False

Chapter 5: Establishing Partnerships With Families

32. Since not all newcomer students arrive with their parents, upon enrollment, the school should identify who is responsible for the student and work with families to determine the child’s language proficiency.

A. True B. False

33. Which of the following is an accurate statement about the four stages of immigrant parent involvement?

A. The four stages are cultural legacy, cultural novice, cultural adapter, and cultural conductor B. The level of involvement depends on the parent’s needs, skills, and interests C. The amount of time in the United States generally determines a parent’s stage of involvement D. All of the above

Addressing Cultural Barriers to School-Newcomer Family Partnerships

34. Research shows that it can help students thrive when schools and parents establish partnerships that focus on student achievement and school improvement, shared responsibility, trust building, and respectful home-school relationships.

A. True B. False

Processes and Strategies to Facilitate Effective Newcomer Parent Engagement

35. Effective newcomer parent engagement programs start with attention to the goals and motivation of parents who send their children to your school.

A. True B. False

36. In order to promote continuous improvement in engaging newcomer parents, strategies should be identified so that newcomer families can enrich the school community’s culture by:

A. Sharing their personal and cultural assets B. Contributing to their children’s academics and behavior C. Incorporating their values and beliefs into the school community D. Exercising leadership roles

The Important Role of Parent Centers

37. Parent centers are valuable tools for engaging and supporting newcomer parents and families by offering a welcome environment, serving as a hub for information and communications, and modeling and supporting parents’ engagement with their child’s learning.

A. True B. False

The Three As

38. Strong family engagement programs for newcomers incorporate the “three As” of assembly, assistance, and attention.

A. True B. False

Handout A: Organizing Family and Community Engagement for Impact

39. When organizing family and community engagement around the use of resources, such engagement should include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. A link to social services B. A connection to adult education C. Information and access to school and community resources D. Skill development resources

40. Strategies to help newcomer families support academic success include personal outreach by teachers and integration of family engagement into the fabric of teaching and learning.

A. True B. False


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