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HSS and ELA/ELD Frameworks Webinar Notes

Support for Distance Learning: the History–Social Science (HSS) and English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELD) Frameworks.

Date: 5/14/2020
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Facilitators: Dr. Stephanie Gregson and Shanine Coats

Panel Members (in order of appearance):

  • Kyle Petty, California Department of Education
  • Erin Jacks, California Department of Education
  • Jennifer Elemen, Monterey County Office of Education
  • Kenneth McDonald, California Department of Education
  • Beth Slutsky, California History–Social Science Project

Presentation Content Overview
  • instructional shifts specific to ELA and History–Social Science
  • examples from the field
  • access and equity in a distance learning environment
  • resources aligned with the frameworks
English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework

Three planning considerations for distance learning

  1. Build, but not from scratch
    • Build on students’ existing knowledge and skillsets
    • Provide opportunities for self-directed enrichment
    • Identify multiple means of representation and assessment
  2. Redefine, when necessary
    • Be flexible in defining engagement and participate
    • Craft flexible timelines and deadlines
    • Communicate changing parameters
  3. Teach the class, reach the child
    • Acknowledge trauma and challenges of distance learning
    • Be attentive to social and emotional needs
    • Create and reinforce routines to create stability
    • Balance structure and clear expectations with student choice and autonomy
    • Focus on essential learning goals and objectives
Three Instructional Shifts in ELA/ELD
  1. Reading
    • Utilize multiple text types
    • Provide equitable access to materials (print and/or digital)
    • Shorten (excerpt) or modify texts as appropriate
    • Choose shorter and more impactful/high-order thinking tasks, texts, and assessments
    • Provide students with choice when possible
  2. Writing
    • Be flexible and adjust expectations when providing rubrics
    • Encourage collaboration and student choice when possible
    • Consider opportunities for students to make connections between texts and their lives and experiences
  3. Listening and Speaking
    • Set clear expectations for listening activities
    • Provide guidance, including guiding questions
    • Chunk longer listening activities
    • Vary the length, purpose, audience, and formality of speaking tasks
    • Provide multiple opportunities for practice and performance
    • Be explicit with performance expectations/provide a rubric
Jennifer Elemen, Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE)

Distance Learning vs. Virtual Learning

Providing Access

  • Printed packets
  • Hybrid of virtual learning and assignment packets
  • Broadcast lessons on local television stations
  • Allow students to check out school devices
  • Guide families on how to access internet

Providing Instructional Resources and Guidance at MCOE

  • Educational Services team provides curated lists of grade level and subject level specific distance learning resources
  • Virtual coaching, webinars, and professional learning available for educators

English Learners

  • Provide equitable access and supports for English language learners
  • Local educational agencies (LEAs) have flexibility in determining best methods for providing equity and access
  • MCOE’s Approach to Supporting English Language Learners
  • Listen and respond to what students and families need
  • Post weekly schedules for students, parents, and families on class, school, and district websites
  • Provide updates on assignments, teacher contact information, office hours, locations/times for meal and instructional material pick-up
  • Collaborate with community partners who can provide much needed resources, including health and human services and the public library
  • Provide strategies to guide teachers in implementing instructional strategies that are aligned to the ELA/ELD Standards and Framework
  • Resource: a hyperlinked Google sheet that organizes EdTech tools, apps, and instructional strategies according to ELD and ELA Standards, as well as integration with history-social science content External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Resource: a hyperlinked Google Doc that organizes early literacy and language distance learning resources External link opens in new window or tab.

Enrichment resources for parents/guardians and families

  • Options for enrichment including reading books, news articles, and engaging in online learning with virtual field trips and videos
  • Students can also create products of learning
  • Examples:
    • Monterey Bay CUE’s Earth Day virtual student film festival
    • MCOE’s “We Count, We Rise” Census 2020 art and public service announcement video contests (
  • Resource: a list of enrichment providers External link opens in new window or tab.

Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning

  • Definitions
    • Asynchronous learning happens at students’ own pace
    • Synchronous learning happens live with the teacher.
  • Both formats
    • Require that students feel supported
    • Enhanced by strong peer-to-peer and student-teacher relationships
    • Require that the learning tasks be meaningful for students
    • learning should be motivating, engaging, respectful, intellectually challenging, and integrated
    • instruction should be linguistically and culturally responsive

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Direct Instruction and Student Responses

  • EdTech tools like Screencastify allow teachers to pre-record lessons for students to watch and listen to later
  • Teachers synchronously present to students in Zoom, Google Meets
  • Students can collaborate and respond asynchronously or synchronously using various software, including Google Docs or Slides, or can respond verbally via video in FlipGrid, EdPuzzle, or SeeSaw
  • Comply with requirements/guidance under FERPA and CCPA

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Lesson Development Resources and Templates

Accessibility and EdTech Tools

  • EdTech tools provide accessibility features (e.g., closed captioning, translations, speech to text/text to speech dictation, adjusted audio, video clip playback speeds, read alouds, font adjustment/text spacing, speaking/viewing rate adjustments, etc.)
  • Resource: “Google and Microsoft for ELs” and “Scaffolds for ELs”
  • Resource: NearPod External link opens in new window or tab. has integrated learning objectives for content, language, and social and emotional learning activities that can be integrated to other platforms
  • Resource: Pear Deck External link opens in new window or tab. is another resource that teachers can use that, like NearPod, they can to embed their slide decks and guide students through interactive online learning activities

Strategies to Support ELs

  • Facilitate online distance learning with comprehensible input (enunciate, slow rate of speech, total physical response, visuals, and realia)
  • Use virtual manipulatives: fraction steps, interactive clock, etc.
  • Feature online support tools and Chrome extensions that help students read and comprehend text
  • Incorporate interaction and gamification, for example: Wordwall, Quizlet, Flipgrid, and Kahoot
  • Provide timely, constructive feedback

Professional Learning and Contact

  • MCOE Educational Services’ Language and Literacy Team are supporting educators, students, families, and the community during distance learning
  • Contact
History-Social Science Framework

Instructional Shifts

  1. Inquiry
    • Students use the tools of each discipline to investigate a significant question
    • This approach is well suited to a distance learning situation, where students often must complete tasks without direct supervision
    • Framework contains sample guiding questions
    • Resource: The table on page 552 of the framework provides an example of an inquiry-based lesson
  2. Content
    • Use the inquiry model to guide students as they investigate content (e.g., self-directed research)
    • Vignettes and sample lessons from the framework provide a model that can be adapted for distance learning
    • Resource: Page 85 of the framework provides a classroom example from grade four
    • Resource: Pages 363-364 in the framework provides a classroom example from grade 10
  3. Literacy
    • Includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking
    • Use the CCSS grade-level and anchor standards to guide literacy instruction in history-social science
    • Guidance for supporting English language development can be found throughout the framework
    • Use standards-aligned rubrics to provide support and ensure that expectations are consistent across content areas
    • Resource: A webinar on supporting English learners was previously presented by the CDE
    • Resource: A sample rubric can be found on page 553 of the framework
  4. Citizenship and student engagement and civic action
    • lessons can address the role of family/community and/or state, local, and national governments to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • such lessons should carefully address the grade level and emotional development of the student population
    • be mindful of age group, maturity level, and student interest
Beth Slutsky, California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP)

Considerations for Prioritizing Goals in Distance Learning Instruction


  • Assess technology needs
  • Make materials available to students with an asynchronous option
  • Consider an instructional approach that focuses on communication, reflection, and skill building
  • Focus on what students can accomplish independently with teacher supports

Sample inquiry lesson format in distance learning:

  • Teacher begins instruction with context (can include a brief connection to do and what they’ve covered before or background information)
  • The teacher presents the lesson question
    • Use open-ended questions that promote historical investigation and that are answerable (see framework for sample questions)
  • Teacher provides sources for students to read/view/listen to and synthesize (or provides guidance as students identify their own sources)
    • This is the work that the student does without the teacher
    • Teacher can provide check-ins or guidance as requested
  • Student completes an activity that demonstrates skill development and content knowledge in response to the lesson question

Sample Lesson: Starting Small

Broadening the instructional approach

  • Be selective with content by focusing on enduring themes and questions
    • Students should be asked to link the small pieces to the big questions and themes
    • Focus on disciplinary skills, including understanding causality, comparing and contrasting, searching for evidence to corroborate or challenge a claim, etc.
  • Narrow the breadth of the material
    • prioritize fewer sources for students to explore in more depth
    • assess their skill development through multiple modalities
    • invite students to be creative with ways to demonstrate knowledge and skill

CHSSP Resources

CDE ELA/ELD, HSS, and Distance Learning Resources

ELA/ELD Framework:

History–Social Science Framework:

  • History–Social Science Framework
  • Instructional Strategies: Inquiry-Based Lesson Example, p. 552 (Ch. 21)
  • Classroom Example: Statehood and Immigration to California, pp. 85-86 (Ch. 7)
  • Classroom Example: The End of the Cold War, pp. 363-364 (Ch. 15)
  • Instructional Strategies: Sample Rubric, p. 553 (Ch. 21)

CDE Distance Learning Resources

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 31, 2023
Recently Posted in Curriculum and Instruction Resources