August 11, 2015
by Jake Salazar
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Ninety English Learners Tell Their Stories of Challenge and Triumph in 2015 Summer Program

Poetry, rap songs and vivid videos filled the airspace at the Neutral Zone on Thursday evening, July 23, when 90 English Learners performed their stories of challenge and triumph for more than 250 families, community members and educators.  The Summer ESL Academy (SESLA) program, is designed to support English Learners to expand their academic English skills and prevent “summer slide” and was designed and taught be 18 ELMAC interns, and 8 AAPS ESL teachers.  The program is coordinated by UM faculty members Debi Khasnabis and Cathy Reischl and included fourth through eighth grade students from Mitchell, Carpenter, Pittsfield, Allen, Burns Park, Pattengill, Dicken Elementary Schools and Tappan and Scarlett Middle Schools. 

Overview of the program: What did you learn during SESLA?

Overview of the process of making 4th and 5th grade rap songs

Overview of the process of making 6th- 8th grade rap songs

Click on the following links to see and hear other samples of student work.

4th and 5th grade poetry

6th and 8th grade poetry

Jose Poem

Zombie Bullies in Middle School

Taking a Test

Hobby Hour

Challenges in Friendships

Three Mean Girls

Jose’s Business

August 14, 2014
by Melissa Stull
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2014 Scarlett Summer ESL Academy in AAPS News

This year’s theme for the Summer ESL Academy (SESLA) was “Making a Living/Making a Life.”  To learn more about the SESLA program and how 4th through 8th grade students, AAPS teachers, UM interns, and UM professors worked together, click on this link:



May 16, 2013
by Melissa Stull
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Students, Teachers, and UM Interns Benefit from Cross Cultural Exchange

One of the goals of the Mitchell Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative is to create meaningful projects that benefit all stakeholders: students, teachers, and interns.  This extended day project met these criteria.

UM intern works with Mitchell third graders on their New Zealand powerpoint presentation.

UM intern works with Mitchell third graders on their New Zealand powerpoint presentation.

Beginning this past February, 20 Mitchell third graders met weekly after school to engage in a cross cultural exchange with third graders from Hamilton, New Zealand.  In its second year, this project was organized and facilitated by Mitchell teachers, Beth McCready and Anne Reader, and two UM interns, Leah Askew and Erin Streyle.

Building on students’ cultural and geographic curiosity, the teachers purposefully crafted writing activities that built students’ confidence and skill in writing.  Students wrote weekly to their pen pals, often with a focus on building cross cultural awareness about life in New Zealand and the United States.   For example, students wrote about objects they treasure, created timelines of their lives, described how they feel pride, and shared summaries of interviews they had conducted with family and Mitchell staff members about life in the U.S.

Although writing is the core activity, this project also built students’ skills in computer literacy, research, and presentation.  The culminating activity involved students researching an aspect of New Zealand life, such as sports, celebrations, or daily life; creating a slide show presentation based on this research; and, then presenting their slide shows to their families and Mitchell community on Monday, May 13th.

Mitchell third graders work on their powerpoint presentations about daily life in New Zealand.

Mitchell third graders work on their powerpoint presentations about daily life in New Zealand.

In addition to building students’ writing skills, this extended day project also provided UM interns, who have been working at Mitchell all year, with the opportunity to enhance their skills in working with small groups of students.  Having a chance to work with students outside of the regular school hours and curriculum was also a valuable learning experience for these interns as well as for the veteran teachers.

Click on the following links to view student work:

- Final project on New Zealand sports:
- Student interview about the pride a Mitchell teacher feels:
- Student treasure box:
AAPS News also had a piece about this partnership project: