EC STEM Lab - Aug/Sept 2020 Newsletter, #15

Spotlight on Dual Language Learners

Let's Talk About It


Dual Language Learners and STEM

Read the "spotlight" on education projects focused on dual language learners (DLLs) or English language learners (ELLs) and STEM funded by the National Science Foundation.

Report by CADRE includes our SciMath-DLL project!


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Counting on Math

Tips for DLLs

Math with Dual Language Learners

Check out this article by the DREME Network on supporting math with preschoolers who are dual language learners (DLLs).


Integrating Language and Science

DLLs and Inquiry Science

Article on Supporting ELLs through Inquiry Science

Read this article to explore the challenges and benefits of inquiry science for English language learners (ELLs). Although written for older children, there are lots of great nuggets for all ages.

Opportunities and Challenges for ELLs in the Science Inquiry Classroom (Part 1), written by Rusty Bresser and Sharon Fargason and hosted on the website, Colorín Colorado.


Activity Ideas

Try It Out!

Talk about Planting

Support families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to explore STEM with plants and planting. Plants are everywhere:
  • the planters on the deck
  • the bright, colorful flowers in the park, and
  • even those green things peeking through the sidewalk cracks in the city

What's around you?

  • Take a walk around home or community to observe plants nearby
  • Talk about special plants or foods from children's home cultures and local communities
  • Use words from the home language to help children make connections
  • Bring plants or natural materials inside: draw, color, model them with clay, or even make a short video of a child with the material, talking about what she noticed
  • Find great books in the child's home language and/or those that feature characters from diverse backgrounds (see below)


Books for Kids

Some early STEM books highlight families from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds, or they may be printed in another language to support the home language.

The Ugly Vegetables, by Grace Lin

Growing Vegetable Soup/A Sembrar Sopa de Verduras, by Lois Ehlert

Como plantar un arco iris / Planting a Rainbow (Spanish Edition), by Lois Ehlert

Books for Educators

Promising Practices for Engaging Families in STEM Learning, Edited by: Margaret Caspe, Global Family Research Project; Taniesha Woods, Independent Consultant; Joy Lorenzo Kennedy, Databrary

On the Web

  • RISE Project. Videos, books, co-created with teachers and families curricula, and support to bring science, technology, and engineering to families with young dual language learners. Tufts University. 

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