Alhambra Unified created opportunities for elementary math teachers to participate in a “Unit of Study” team that includes a group of teachers and a math instructional specialist.
The team meets monthly to plan a standards-based lesson together, paying attention to the language demands of the lesson. They all teach the lesson (including the instructional specialist), observe each other teach (in person or on video), and meet to share insights. During their meetings, they discuss the extent to which the lesson was accessible to English learners and consider how the lesson could be improved.
In Alhambra Unified, all ninth-grade students are enrolled in an A-G approved Integrated Math I course. The district offers differentiated course sections to support their English learners. Teachers receive specialized professional development from the Orange County Department of Education to provide Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) sections for newer English learners. And at two of the district’s three traditional high schools, long-term English learners often take an additional support class that “shadows” the main section.