GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design)
|Cognitive Content Dictionary (this is a photo from when I was teaching third grade)|
I was introduced to GLAD at my previous school (last school year). While I have not officially attended one of their trainings and become ‘GLAD Certified’, I had the opportunity to see first had the implementation of many of these strategies around my school. I, at that time, used a couple of their strategies here and there and I was really pleased with both the response and engagement of my students. Before I go on and let you know my take on GLAD, I feel I should give you a quick intro as to what GLAD is.
-Project GLAD is an instructional model aimed to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement
-This is a model for teaching all students, especially those who speak another language other than English (should I say more!)
-It is not just another ‘teaching’ tool. Project GLAD is backed up by research and proven results
So, you may wonder why I am talking about GLAD when I am not certified. Here is why:
This year, I am at not only at a new school (dual language/Spanish-English) but I am also teaching a new grade level. I am one of a few new teachers at the school; therefore, professional development has been a BIG part of our training. Our Summer Institute was packed and one of the strategies that was modeled A LOT was GLAD. Two teachers had attended GLAD training and they both came back and reported all they had learned. As a staff, one of our goals was to try some of these strategies (and get out ‘feet wet’) by the end of this calendar year, and implement an entire GLAD unit by the end of our school year.
What have I done so far?
I was already familiar with the use of a Cognitive Content Dictionary, so this was a strategy I implemented from the start. I think vocabulary is HUGE and GLAD definitely targets language acquisition. As a teacher at a dual-language school, every student in my classroom is a language learner. Spanish speakers learn English and English speakers learn Spanish – this is happening all the time. It made sense to use a model that was designed to teach ‘all students.’
|Another example of a Cognitive Content Dictionary|
|Observation Chart – Students look at pictures and record what they see or know|
|A closer look at my student’s writing|
|Sample of a Process Grid (I love them!)|
At my previous school, this model was used to really target English Language Learners and their needs. However, the model “teaches to the highest” (GLAD website), making it ideal for use in the general education classroom.
Now, at my dual language school, GLAD has become a teacher’s best friend. I finished a unit on the California Regions using at least 4 strategies from GLAD and I was so happy with the outcome. ALL my students were using academic vocabulary correctly and talking about academics in a level that made me ‘really’ proud. For this unit, I used the Cognitive Content Dictionary, a Pictorial, and a Process Grid. Now, I am ready to tackle another unit – this time on California Native Americans.
I will keep everyone posted as this unit progresses. I will capture as many images as possible and let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I cannot emphasize how great this model is and how it can truly be a life saver when teaching children whose primary language is not English.
Have you used GLAD? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear.