Overview

The English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence (Project ELITE2) implements, iteratively evaluates, and refines a response to intervention model to ensure that all students, including English learners, become proficient readers and users of English during the elementary grades. The multitiered framework includes (a) high-quality culturally and linguistically responsive core instruction, (b) high-quality reading interventions with a specific focus on language development, (c) linguistically aligned assessment practices, and (d) systematic use of assessment data in the design and delivery of instruction. This project is one of three model demonstration projects that study tiered approaches for improving the outcomes of English learners.

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Project Design

Purpose

Goals of the project include increasing knowledge about the implementation and efficacy of multitiered instructional frameworks and their components to determine whether and to what extent they (a) improve reading achievement and language development for English learners with, or at risk of having, a disability and (b) assist educators in determining whether English learners who experience reading difficulties have a disability.

Procedures

The project staff designs and implements the response to intervention model in collaboration with select schools in Del Valle Independent School District. A technical advisory group consisting of district and school leaders meets regularly with project staff members to review formative data and optimize the model for English learners. In addition, teachers engage in ongoing professional development on various aspects of effective reading and language instruction with consideration for the contextual, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of students and families.

Participants and Timeline

From 2011 to 2016, we worked with kindergarten to third-grade English learners at Baty, Creedmoor, and Gilbert elementary schools in Del Valle Independent School District.

Through a newly funded cooperative agreement (2016–2020) with the Office of Special Education Programs, we will scale up our work to grades 3–5 at the same schools.

Resources

Click the title of each resource category to reveal links to download the materials.

Effective Practices for English Learners Practice Brief Series

This series of guidance documents was developed by Cohort 5 of the Model Demonstration Coordination Center and focuses on implementing effective multitiered instructional frameworks for English learners (ELs). The goal of this series is to assist administrators, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders in implementing or refining a campuswide model for improving the academic achievement of ELs in the primary grades. The five briefs in the series address key issues in model implementation for ELs, such as assessment and data-based decision-making, core and supplemental English as a second language instruction, core and supplemental biliteracy instruction, and professional development to support a multitiered framework for ELs. You can access the series here.

Resources for Kindergarten to Grade 3

K–3 Read-Aloud Trainer-of-Trainers Materials

During Year 3 of Project ELITE, staff members implemented a trainer-of-trainers (TOT) model to build capacity among campus leaders in implementing the read-aloud routine. In addition to the professional development materials available for download under the 2013–2014 tab, campus and/or grade-level leaders can use these TOT materials to train teachers on delivering the routine to their students.

Resources for Prekindergarten

Enhancing Vocabulary and Comprehension in Prekindergarten Through a Read-Aloud Routine

During Year 3 of the project, Project ELITE staff worked with members of the Texas Literacy Initiative to adapt and modify the read-aloud tools for children ages 3 to 5. With the basic strategies and steps remaining in place, the prekindergarten routine considers the specific instructional needs of younger children in enhancing vocabulary and comprehension. Teachers can use the flip book tool to plan and deliver weekly lessons.

Prekindergarten Read-Aloud TOT Materials

In addition to the prekindergarten flip book tool, Project ELITE and the Texas Literacy Initiative collaborated to design two trainer-of-trainers (TOT) modules with developed lesson plans. Site leaders can use the modules to train prekindergarten teachers on delivering the routine to children.

Parent Session: Project ELITE Read-Aloud Routine

The Project ELITE team provided a session for parents on the benefits of reading with their children and introduced a read-aloud routine that focuses on vocabulary and comprehension. Participants had the opportunity to view and practice the routine, which was modeled in both English and Spanish. The PowerPoint presentation and read-aloud routine bookmark used during the session are available for download.

Professional Development: Project ELITE Read-Aloud Routine

Gilbert and Creedmoor staff received professional development on a read-aloud routine to enhance students’ vocabulary and comprehension during core instruction. Participants saw the routine modeled with grade-appropriate text and planned and practiced the different aspects of the routine. The presentation, the article from which the routine was developed, handouts used for the session, and a planning template are available for download.

Structured Data Meetings

A critical component of an effective response to intervention framework, structured data meetings ensure that administrators and instructional staff members meet regularly to systematically review student data to (1) identify students in need of Tiers I, II, and III intervention; (2) set student-level and grade-level goals; and (3) identify action steps in Tiers I, II, and III instruction to meet set goals.

Here you will find the materials for conducting a successful data meeting, including the meeting protocol for facilitating discussion and related forms for recording decisions made during the meeting.​

 

Here you will find materials from brief training sessions on implementing structured data meetings. These training sessions prepare campuses for meetings at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. They include an overview of the purposes, procedures, and materials needed to conduct successful structured data meetings at each point in the year.

Overview: Project ELITE (August 2013)

This presentation was delivered to the Gilbert and Creedmoor staff as an introduction to Project ELITE.

Professional Development: Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms (August 2013)

The Gilbert and Creedmoor staff received professional development on creating culturally responsive classrooms. Participants were introduced to the concept of “cultural responsiveness” and engaged in a small-group activity to record various ways to operationalize culturally responsive practices in the classroom. The PowerPoint presentation and handouts used during the session are available for download.

Professional Development: Refining the Daily Cycle of the Project ELITE Read-Aloud Routine

Baty staff received professional development on refining the daily cycle of the Project ELITE read-aloud routine. Participants watched a video of a Baty colleague implementing the read-aloud routine with a class. Participants then engaged in a facilitated discussion on what was observed and possible takeaways for implementing the read-aloud routine in their own classrooms. Finally, participants learned a new way to wrap up the daily cycle by using whiteboards. The diagram for the daily cycle of the read-aloud routine and the observation form used during the session are available for download.

Professional Development: Project ELITE Read-Aloud Routine

​Baty staff received professional development on a read-aloud routine to enhance core instruction. Participants saw the routine modeled with grade-appropriate text and practiced the different aspects of the routine. The article on which the routine is based, handouts used during the session, and a planning template are available for download.

Professional Development: Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms (October 2012)

Baty staff received professional development on creating culturally responsive classrooms. Participants were introduced to the concept of “cultural responsiveness” and engaged in a small-group activity to record various ways to operationalize culturally responsive practices in the classroom. The PowerPoint presentation and handouts used during the session are available for download.

Logo for English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence: Project ELITE

Contact Information

Leticia Romero Grimaldo
Project Director
lettigrimaldo@austin.utexas.edu -

Principal Investigators

  • Greg Roberts
  • Leticia Romero Grimaldo

Additional Investigators

  • Sharon Vaughn
  • Shannon Giroir

Funding Agency

Sites

  • Baty Elementary, Creedmoor Elementary, and Gilbert Elementary in Del Valle Independent School District