WHAT IS DIGITAL ENGLISH?

Digital English is an effort to address the need for both quality standards-based instruction and highly effective professional development to improve student achievement.  Many teachers grapple with interpreting what exactly California’s English-Language Arts Content Standards mean, and, more significantly, how to teach them.  Digital English provided an opportunity for expert teachers from across Merced County to collaborate with colleagues and increase their understanding of standards and how best to teach them while designing specific grade level focus lessons that can be shared with other teachers digitally.

WHAT ARE THE DIGITAL ENGLISH FOCUS LESSONS?

There are a total of 66 Digital English lessons for English-Language Arts Content Standards, grades kindergarten through fifth.  Each brief lesson consists of several components: a detailed lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation, student graphic organizers and/or worksheets, a student assessment, a list of additional resources to help teach the specific standard, and a video of the focus lesson being taught by one of the participating teachers.  All of these resources are available on this Digital English website.

WHO DEVELOPED DIGITAL ENGLISH?

The Digital English project was developed by Merced County Office of Education and coordinated by Program Specialist, Robin Hopper. Robin holds Multiple Subject, Reading Specialist, Language Development and Education Administration credentials, and she is completing her Masters degree in Education Administration. Robin taught bilingual Spanish and Hmong classes in grades one, three, four and five, and reading intervention classes for 13 years before joining the Merced County Office of Education in 1999. Here, she directed staff development and served as a consultant to districts and schools within Merced County in the area of English-Language Arts. In addition, Robin is a Reading First content expert for the Regional Technical Assistance Center, a trainer for AB 75 and AB 466, and was president of the Merced Area Reading Association for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 terms.

WHO PARTICIPATED IN DIGITAL ENGLISH LESSON DEVELOPMENT?

The educators who participated in Digital English were chosen by county office, district and/or site administrators as exemplary teachers of the English-Language Arts standards, as measured by standardized test data and classroom observation. Thirty-six participants were involved in the development of Digital English, including classroom teachers familiar with effective strategies for teaching English Language Learners, reading specialists, literacy coaches, special education teachers, and library media teachers. They represent seven school districts and nineteen school sites from across Merced County.

HOW WAS DIGITAL ENGLISH DEVELOPED?

Digital English is a combination of both process and product. A model process of collaborative professional development was piloted, through which standards-based focus lessons were developed for kindergarten through fifth grade. For each grade level, 10-12 lessons on reading comprehension and writing strategies were designed. These two strands were chosen for the focus of Digital English after an analysis of countywide California Standards Test data for grades two through eleven determined they were the two subtests of English-Language Arts with the lowest number of students scoring in the proficient or advanced ranges.

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE DIGITAL ENGLISH PROJECT?

The specific objectives of the Digital English project were to

  • create a model professional development process that participating teachers could replicate at their individual school sites;
  • enhance participants understandings of grade level standards through professional dialogue and collaboration on lesson development;
  • develop a minimum of 10 focus lessons per grade level K-5 on specific reading comprehension and writing strategies standards;
  • provide demonstrations of effective teaching methods using the designed lessons;
  • provide a standards-based resource for teachers, parents and students to assist in raising student achievement;
  • use technology as the delivery vehicle to facilitate easy access.

We hope that you find Digital English to be a valuable and effective resource and that it will further your understanding of the California English-Language Arts Content Standards and how to best teach them.

WHO MAY I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

If you have questions, would like more information, or would like to give us feedback about Digital English, please contact

Educational Technology Center
Merced County Office of Education
media@mcoe.org
209-381-6643