Positive effects of culturally relevant teaching

Hey Gate City folks,

check out this recent story about the effects of culturally relevant teaching.


Understanding our students’ lives

GC community, here’s a nice story and link to a video that NHSSouth students made last spring.  The UNHM student was a NHSS grad and student of one of your GC members–Lisa Y!  It’s great to highlight student voices and lives –they are the true teacher educators!

nick take 1[1]

myCourses Online Resources

Starting this semester, UNH will be using a new system, myCourses, in replace of Blackboard. As we all get prepared for the new semester, some of you may have questions about myCourses and how to use it.

To help you get started, here is a list of resources for you to use. These websites will help you familiarize yourself with myCourses and its features:

1. Workshop one: Welcome to MyCourses by Canvas

An online training course for students. Here you will have access to several different online videos, articles, and tutorials on how to use myCourses.

2. Canvas Overview for Students (Video)

If you do not have time to go through the entire training course listed above, this seven-minute video will give you an overview on myCourses and its basic features.

3. Canvas Student Guides

The Canvas guides address many of the questions that students may have, including how to post an assignment, view grades, and change your settings.

4. myCourses Support Form

Use this form to ask specific questions about myCourses. When you submit this form, you should get a response from IT support within one business day.

5. myCourses help

In addition to websites listed above, there is also help feature in myCourses. When you log into myCourses, you will see an icon with a question mark on the lower left-hand side of the screen. If you click that icon, a pop-up will appear with more resources to help you with any questions.

Life for ELLs after NCLB

Migration Policy Institute’s commentary on the impact of the new reauthorization of the ESEA on English language learners.

NCLB is about to become the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). How will this affect ELLs?   A number of commentaries are coming out this week and I’m sure more will come.  How do we start this conversation in NH?


Here’s the 2016-2017 handbook! We have printed copies for everyone too!

Oct 2015 ENGL 994 GC Handbook

Spanish Conversation Classes with Professor Rolon

On behalf of Professor Rolon, here’s a fun opportunity for you:

Hola a todo el mundo,
Espero que hayan descansado un poco este verano y que sus classes van bien este semester.

As I (Tony) mentioned during the summer, I am starting conversation classes this fall at Consuelos in Manchester. The class will be Thursday evening from 7ish to 8ish, depending on how much Sangria you consume, (je, je), that’s Spanish for ha, ha. There will be 9 sessions from Oct. 1 till Dec. 3 with Thanksgiving off. You already have the books we will need and the cost is $100. I am going to try to limit the class to 10 students, so first come first serve. This will be a nice pressure free environment and it should be a lot of fun.

Also, I will be running a beginner’s class on Tuesdays beginning at 7 running from Sept. 29 till Dec 1st. I am going to ask all of you to spread the word in case there might be other interested students who might want to take advantage and learn some Spanish in a relaxed atmosphere. You all know me and you know the good people at Consuelo’s, so spread the word.

I hope to run three sessions a year, the next session starting in January for 9 weeks and the last one starting the end of March and finishing in May. This will be an excellent opportunity to maintain and build upon the skills you have.

Please email emeritorolon@comcast.net if you are interested and I’ll reserve a seat for you.

Muchisimas gracias,

Profe Rolon
This conversation class is open to anybody (adults that is) except current UNH students. So if you know of anybody who might be interested pass the word.

Intro to Understanding by Design

Understanding by Design Intro

Here is the introduction (pp. 1-12).  It is posted on bb and as soon as everyone is on bb, we will take these readings off the blog.  If you see a teammate, please ask them if they’ve seen the documents –either through an e-mail or could access them here.



Welcoming week events

Sept 12-20 is National Welcoming Week in the US.  A time when communities across the country host a variety of events to create a welcoming environment for newcomers. There are some great things happening in Nashua, Manchester, Concord and more.  Check them out!

Nutrition Connections — Final Project, Nashua

Kim Sousa and Kristen Donahue


Nutrition Connections is part of the University of New Hampshire’s cooperative extension. It is a federally funded program whose mission is to educate limited-income seniors, bilingual adults, refugees, children and families with children through in-home visits and group gatherings. People who qualify for Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid or other state or federal assistance may qualify to participate in the program. Their goal is to inspire and empower participants to save money on food, eat healthier, comprehend food labels, plan and cook meals, prevent foodborne illnesses, and exercise.

We chose to work with a staff member from Nutrition Connections because their work directly affects the students and families we work with during the school year. We wanted to know what programs are offered for Nashua residents and how these programs impact their lives.

We worked with seven individuals from the Nashua community to prepare a healthy meal. We helped cook orange oatmeal pancakes and made smoothies to go with them. We also put together bags of measured ingredients for the participants to take home to recreate the meal themselves. After eating together, we sat with the group as the instructor led a group discussion on the healthy choices that they made that day, in addition to how they could apply what they learned to cooking at home.

The participants also shared their cultural backgrounds with us, and they were from Puerto Rico, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic. Some were also children of immigrants. What we noticed was that almost everybody in the program was bilingual. It was interesting to see them communicating in both of their languages. One woman brought her one year old grandson, and she was speaking to him in both Spanish and English. Although he didn’t speak back, he responded to her requests in both languages. She told us that she wants him to know both languages, and it was awesome to see her preserving her culture while teaching him English. Cookbooks were also provided for participants in Spanish, which encouraged bilingualism.

A part of our conversation with the participants that was interesting was their discussion about how food in America is not healthy, so it is easier to eat unhealthily. One participant commented that in Puerto Rico, you can pick out your chicken running around and then eat it—no preservatives are added because it is fresh. They also discussed the struggle to pay for healthy food because in America, the healthy food is much more expensive.

Although there were a small number of people that we had the chance to interact with, it opened our eyes to the home lives of families in Nashua. Taking the time to get to know families like we did will help us to be better teachers. Throughout our graduate class, the importance of bilingualism has been highlighted, and we were able to work with bilingual members of the Nashua community. We were also able to hear their stories, which helps us to make connections with our students, which is the most important part of teaching English language learners.


Place and identities update: NH markers?


Thanks to the wonderful group at today’s community as curriculum institute, part 1.


Thanks to Judy L and Lorna for the  pix!  I’m on to the Tree Streets!!  And as a follow up to “Where I’m from,” came across the following:

29 Signs you were born and raised in NH

What do people think of this list? right on? offensive? half and half?

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