On February 29, 2012, we hosted a webinar for one of our clients, HELP Math. We have believed for three years that HELP Math has a unique and effective approach for teaching math to both ELL and Special Education students, and our beliefs have been backed up by studies.
For webinar attendees, the purpose of the webinar was the following:
- Provide a basic understanding of Sheltered Instruction techniques; how they provide the language underpinnings to teaching what would otherwise be complex topics.
- Demonstrate, using classroom examples, how teachers could use these techniques in Math instruction
- Show how educators could use these techniques themselves
- Explain how HELP Math utilizes Sheltered Instruction in its ELL and Special Education Math program
- Show how one district used Sheltered Instruction, and HELP Math in particular, with its ELL students, how they made their decisions, the implementation steps, the issues they encountered, and the results they achieved.
For the client, the goals were slightly different. They wanted to get in front of new schools and districts. By providing them with real information and value, they wanted the districts to be open to trying their product.
Sheltered instruction presents skills and concepts in a way that allows students to comprehend and learn both the content and the language used.
Our Sheltered Math expert was Lynda Franco, and our practitioner was Marcia Thompson. Marcia demonstrated how to use visuals, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and concrete examples so that language does not become a barrier to student learning. For example, the problem below is as simplified as it can be in English, but would a student who was struggling with Math language be able to understand? Would this student be able to piece together what was being asked, and how to go about solving the problem?
Your class is making kites. You have purchased 15 large sheets of paper to make the kites. You need 2/3 of each sheet of paper to make 1 kite. How many kites can you make?
Marcia showed that if you show the students what a kite is, if you demonstrate 15 pieces of paper and divide each into three pieces, you can present the problem so it is understandable to English Language Learners and Special Education students.
Below is the 1 hour recording of the webinar. The webinar actually begins about 2 minutes into the video, the video will require the ability to play a Windows Video file, and for those of you reading this in an email, you may need to go to http://academicbiz.typepad.com to play the video.
The feedback from the 90 attendees is that they were engaged and felt they were able to leave with valuable information.
On the client's side, we used MDR and emailed about 3,000 names. From this, we received just over 130 registrations, with 80 requests for demonstrations of HELP Math. During and immediately after the webinar, we received an additional 15 requests for HELP Math demonstrations.
So it looks like the webinar was a success for both the attendees and for the client.