In response to the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, the sudden shift to remote learning (and the strong potential for continued remote learning through Fall 2020 and beyond) has posed an enormous challenge for mathematics teachers of all students. There are also a number of specific considerations that teachers of English Learners (ELs) must take into account during the transition to and continued employment of remote instruction and hybrid classroom models. Mathematics teachers are searching for meaningful ways to provide access to core content through prioritizing key concepts, competencies, and practices. At the same time, they are figuring out how to plan for formative assessment, embed ELs’ home language in instruction, and determine what instructional supports are needed. When additional instructional supports are needed, the questions become: at what precise times should these supports be provided, and how does one provide them within a remote environment?
Although conditions are far from ideal, there is an opportunity to combine what we already know about teaching ELs with emerging practices from educators in the field to facilitate cognitively demanding math instruction for ELs remotely. Well-designed instruction facilitated by online resources, guided discussion, and teacher support can give students ample opportunities for rigorous content learning and productive struggle.
This resource was developed using research-based strategies for engaging ELs in mathematics instruction, structured interviews with practitioners and experts in the field, and survey data from teachers and administrators across the nation who have transitioned to remote learning for ELs. Each of these steps was imperative to highlight the voices and experiences of educators, and identify common themes specific to math instruction.