Using Mathematics Think Aloud: A Field-Identified Teaching Strategy for English Language Learners with Disabilities
Martha Thurlow, Manuel Barrera, and Kristi Liu, National Center on Educational Outcomes
April 29, 2009
The webinar connects information from two federally-funded projects conducted by the National Center on Educational Outcomes in which teacher insights on current practice helped to inform new research. One project identified teaching strategies recommended by successful middle school teachers nationwide and a second project collected research data validating one of those strategies: mathematics "think aloud." These investigations were conducted to address the growing problem of supporting standards-based academic achievement of ELLs with disabilities who have not kept pace with their peers.
Among the reasons for low test scores may be that:
schools are not teaching these students with grade-level content,
educators may not have the necessary training to address the interaction between students' language and disability-related characteristics, or
teachers may lack information about instructional strategies that support content-learning for ELLs with disabilities
The mathematics think aloud strategy is one of four research-evidenced teaching strategies designed from the practices of teachers in the fields who work with these students have demonstrated some degree of success in teaching them.
The presenters Martha Thurlow, Manuel Barrera, and Kristi Liu are from the National Center on Educational Outcomes. Dr. Thurlow is the Director of the Center and in this position she addresses the implications of contemporary U.S. policy and practice for students with disabilities and English Language Learners, including statewide assessment policies and practices, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements. Dr. Barrera is a Research Associate at the Center and Assistant Professor in the Urban Teacher Education Program at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kristi Liu is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center. For the past ten years she has worked on state and federally funded projects that focus on standards-based accountability for ELLs and ELLs with disabilities.