CDC 3 Conceptualizing Course Content

Christina Carlson


CDC 3 Conceptualizing Course Content

Hi Christina, 
I think there was some confusion here. This CDC asks you to create a mind map for your entire course. It appears that you have created one (a good one) for just one unit. It really needs to be for the whole course. I am sorry about any confusion on this. Please let me know if anything is unclear and if there is anything I can do to help. Also, please let me know when you have updated this CDC. Please be sure to do this before you start on CDC5. You might consider the map while you are finishing up on CDC4 as it could be helpful for you. –Mike 




Unit Focus: The focus of this unit is the topic of immigration. This topic is addressed throughout the sixth grade as part of the Engage New York curriculum. This theme is especially important for these students, as they are not often given a chance to discuss their immigration process, as well as cultural issues that go along with it.


Assessments: As final assessments each student that receives ESL services is required to take the New York State English As a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). This test is broken down into the four modes of communication and the students are tested on each individually across multiple days. It tests the students ability to speak, listen, read and write. This caused the breakdown of the class into the four modes with objectives to go with each.


Objectives: The objectives outlined for each mode is connected to the objectives students need to meet in order to pass the NYSESLAT. These objectives are on a short-term basis for students that are near commanding and hoping to pass the test. They are objectives beginning and intermediate students will work towards over the coming years as well for.


Selected Texts: Reading and listening have selected texts that relate to immigration. They tell the stories of both fictional and nonfictional characters. The novels selected are at varying levels, and students will be assigned one of the three texts. Additional common texts will be necessary for students to draw connections and supplement the fictional with nonfiction texts. The listening excerpts will be from the National Park Service Ellis Island websites. Students will complete listening activities that accompany these oral histories.


Strategies to be used: The unit Continues on with the strategies and routines students use for interacting with the texts throughout the year. They will be working in literature circles to promote discussion about their readings and clarify confusion and questions group members may have. There will also be a strong focus on strategies to use in order to determine the meaning of unknown words, paraphrasing and summarizing skills. They will also be producing written and spoken oral histories sharing part or all of their immigration stories as a culminating activity.


Vocabulary and Grammar: Vocabulary and Grammatical work will be done while students interact with each mode. There will be a specific focus on building tier two vocabulary words. Grammar structures in a drastically mixed ability class will be determined by student needs and small group instruction.


Demonstration of knowledge: Students will be required to take the NYSESLAT test, however they will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their understating through a portfolio they have been compiling throughout the year. The final portfolio piece will be their oral history project, or their written immigration piece.



5 thoughts on “CDC 3 Conceptualizing Course Content

  1. Christina,

    This is so helpful! I can use this as part of my actual teaching! Is your course content specifically for this unit only or does it cover the whole curriculum. Is this a course specifically for the NYSESLAT?

    • This is a tough question.. yes and no. We teach them all year in hopes that they will score at a higher language level than the previous year. If they score a commanding they are no longer required to have ESL services by law. Essentially we want to pass as many students as possible, meaning we need to teach in a way that will prepare them for this test. Do we practice and drill what they are likely to see on the test, no. If I am able to simulate writing prompts, listening scenarios, and speaking situations that are similar to the test on occasion, they will hopefully be prepared enough to do well.

  2. Christina,

    The immigration topic is great way to prepare them for the NYSESLAT at the end. I find that when the topic is personal, students will be more engaged in working on those skills they will need for the test.

  3. Hi Christina,
    Your mind map is very easy to read, and especially easy for other teachers to understand. It is really cool to be able to see each of the language skills get their own objectives. I know that you and Takiyah are both NYC public school teachers and have NY State Tests as the main form of assessment. Do you use any other forms of assessment? And the portfolios are there as well. What kind of students projects are put into the these?

    • We do use portfolios, that hold student selected work. It could be a writing piece, unit test, or anything that students feel proud of. They write short reflections explaining that selected piece of work. These portfolios are not often looked at by others (although I did take some out during parent teacher conferences yesterday). If a student is promotion in doubt, and they are unsure if they will pass to the next grade the portfolios are also taken into consideration.

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