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2014 ESOL Conference Minutes
Day 1: May 19th, 2014 -- OPI Office, Helena
4:00 PM: Introductions
Carol Flynn and Margaret Bowles welcomed attendees Joanna Stratman, Margie Munts, Shelly Freese, Bobbi Kandarian, Barb Warner, Bernie Braden, Nichole Cartwright, Judy Emerson, Desiree Holt, Ellen Guettler, and Katya Marandino Irish.

4:10 - 4:40 PM: ESOL Data Discussion
ABLE State Director, Margaret Bowles, welcomed the group and shared ESOL Targets for 2014. She acknowledged the outstanding efforts and gains in MT ESOL data. Margaret encouraged ESOL staff to continue target monitoring on a monthly basis. She reiterated the important role that ESOL instructors play in state funding outcomes.

4:40 - 5:10 PM: Dinner break for pizza and cookies.

5:10 - 6:10 PM: Skype
Katya introduced Skype, and conference participants learned the basics of Skype as an interactive and communicative tool that will be used next year for monthly PD meetings. The experience level of the group with Skype varied, so it was beneficial to practice establishing a user account, logging on, and learning how to navigate the site. A calendar with 2014 dates for ESOL Skype meetings will be sent by July.

6:10 - 6:20 PM: ESOL WIKI
Katya reviewed the key aspects of the ESOL WIKI site to the group and the myriad of instructional supports available through the WIKI. She encouraged teachers to engage in the WIKI in the future by posting student work on the student pages, typing comments on the discussion pages, as well as exploring the thematically organized links to ESOL online resources. She pointed out that the WIKI provides links for the USCIS Naturalization forms and process as well as the MT. Driver’s License study materials and additional resources for online PD offerings. Katya encouraged all participants to email her for WIKI access and passwords to post student work on the WIKI site.

6:25 PM: Conference Closure

Day 2: May 20th, 2014 -- Elk Horn Room Holiday Inn Downtown, Helena

9:00 AM: Welcome
The following participants were in attendance: Joanna Stratman, Margie Munts, Shelly Freese, Bobbi Kandarian, Barb Warner, Bernie Braden, Nichole Cartwright, Judy Emerson, Desiree Holt, Ellen Guettler, and Katya Marandino Irish, and Margaret Bowles. Shannon Davis attended via Skype for the afternoon of the conference. Mariah from Butte Literacy also joined the conference mid-morning.

9:05 - 10:15 AM: Project Based Learning Demystified
Joanna Stratman and Katya Marandino Irish shared their collaborative Project Based Learning PowerPoint on The Naturalization Process. Katya presented the standards based planning guide for Project Based Learning to the group and detailed the step by step process for PBL implementation. The students form Bozeman and the Great Falls sites worked on Skype to communicate and construct their project over the past two months. Bozeman ESOL worked on Steps 1-4 while Great Falls completed Steps 5-9 of the Naturalization process. Joanna and Katya then shared their slides and the process by which they developed the Civics project. Questions and answers ensued to clarify the process. It was an outstanding presentation by Katya and Joanna that clearly demonstrated the many 21st Century Skills gained by implementing PBL.

10:15 - 11:00AM: Collegial Sharing of Favorite Lessons and ESOL Strategies
Ellen shared an ESOL strategy handout as well as a website for easy dialogs. Bobbi shared how to integrate a song into ESOL instruction. She discussed the benefit of songs as great instructional tool for vocabulary development, reading, writing, and speaking practice. We all sang the lyrics to “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” and incorporated body movements as well. It was really fun! Katya shared a YouTube clip of the song as well. Desiree shared a strategies handout incorporating vocabulary development, speaking, reading, writing, Survival Bingo, and journaling lessons she uses regularly in her class. It touched on everything we need to teach! Shelly shared a wonderful Fruit Salad lesson plan that integrated grammar, vocabulary development, and lots of fun. Judy shared several Listening websites including Randall’s Listening Café from the ESOL Wiki site.

11:00AM - 11:30AM: Round Table Discussion of ESOL Topics
The last half hour in the morning was spent discussing pertinent topics in ESOL instruction.

11:30 - 12:30 PM: Lunch Break

12:30 - 1:30 PM: TABE-E Presentation
Mike Johnson, McGraw Hill Sales Rep., gave a comprehensive presentation on all aspects of TABE-E.

1:30 - 3:10 PM: TABE-E Group Discussion and Survey
Margaret led a group discussion regarding the TABE-E pilot programs conducted by Katya, Judy, and Shannon. Shannon shared the pilot program’s compiled data from the three sites. Each pilot tester shared challenges and strengths of the TABE-E. Margaret then shared the input from phone calls with Indiana and Arizona. Finally, after a period of questions and answers, conference participants were asked to fill out a survey on ESOL assessment recommendations. Margaret shared that the information will be aggregated and emailed out to the field in July.

3:15 PM: Conference Closure
The conference closed with acknowledgments of the pilot testers (Judy, Katya, and Shannon) and the conference facilitators (Katya, Ellen, and Joanna). All participants were thanked for their attendance and enthusiastic participation in the VI ESOL Conference.