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Impact Stories

Maria Ruelas talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant Claudia Garcia talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant Elaine Lambino talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant Elsa Carter talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant Les Albritton talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant Judy Evans talks about the benefits to her ELL class of the Listo grant
"When I transferred to Pre-K last year it was the first year that the Bilingual Pre-K position was open. During the summer when I went to what was to be my classroom.  As I took everything in, I noticed that not a single poster, book, puzzle, or interactive material was in Spanish. Then heaven sent was an email from Dr. Carole Walker with a LISTO! mini-grant proposal application as an attachment. The prior year I had been informed of the LISTO! Grant towards the end of the school year.  But as I opened the attachment I was ecstatic at the idea of this amazing opportunity to order developmentally appropriateBilingual material. I immediately begin to fill out my application and went through all my books and other materials in order to compile a list of items that were needed. On my list were thematic books, math manipulatives, culturally appropriate music, literacy development games, linking cubes, and charts. The best part of all was that everything on my list was in Spanish!"

This excerpt from a longer teacher story by Mrs. Elsa Carter makes visible the impact of the twenty plus action research mini-grants funded through the OELA funded Listo! grant during the past two years. Rather than receiving supplementary instructional supplies ordered for them, the teachers in the elementary immersion classes in Greenville ISD and secondary sheltered-instruction classes in Garland ISD wrote action research proposals for mini-grants focused on increasing the engagement and achievement of English learners. The acquired resources were used in a series of lessons or in classroom projects.Along with achievement data, students' self-reports of the levels of engagement and artifacts documenting engagement were periodically collected. Teachers reflectively used these data to determine the effects of the interventions, displayed these findings on documentation panels, and shared their conclusions in poster sessions at the end of the school year.

The action research process prompted these teachers of English learners to try out promising best practices that resonated with their classrooms and experience. They moved from knowing best practices for those acquiring a second language to actually using them. Results of the AR projects funded through a series of mini-grants not only revealed gains in student achievement but also showed that the teacher-researchers were good at teaching and loved doing it.