STELLA stands for Story-retelling and higher-order Thinking for English Literacy and Language Acquisition. It is an evidence-based, science-infused literacy curriculum for grades K-3, offering child-centered learning experiences with diverse literature to build strong academic vocabulary, oral and written language skills.
A one-way dual language curriculum, STELLA nurtures children’s natural curiosity of the world around them and includes Directed Maker Spaces and 21st century entrepreneurial skills development. STELLA is designed to make learning natural with cross-linguistic transfer and increased retell fluency.
STELLA uses repetition for listening comprehension effectively so that children can use their understanding of previously learned material to scaffold their understanding. STELLA addresses social-emotional and academic development with positive reinforcement, organization of thought, inductive thinking, goal-setting, reflection, and shared learning practices.
Integrating literature and science, STELLA is organized into 28 five-day lesson plans which include:
research-based ESL strategies and higher-order level questions
explicitly and implicitly taught academic vocabulary in the content area of science and social science
language practice opportunities through story retelling, academic writing opportunities, and Directed Maker Spaces
21st century entrepreneurial skills development
STELLA includes the following components:
Teacher Guide, Dual Language
12″ Lauri Laces Strands
Teacher Toy car
28 Trade Titles
Student Workbook, Dual language
This K-3 curriculum has proved to be highly effective across multiple randomized control trials conducted over the last ten years. Benefits of STELLA include:
Acceleration of English learners’ oral English acquisition
Promotion of strategic first language clarifications to support Spanish
Enhancement of students’ self-esteem in English language acquisition
Enhancement of students’ performance in state English proficiency assessments
Students exposed to STELLA outperformed their comparison peers in story grammar elements in both English and Spanish and on state standardized assessments in reading in English.
Here are two sample research studies for the STELLA program:
The Journal of Educational Research
Integrating Literacy and Science for English Language Learners: From Learning-to-Read to Reading-to-Learn Tong et al (2014)
Journal of Research in Reading
The effect of a structured story reading intervention, story retelling and higher order thinking for English language and literacy acquisition Quiros et al (2012)
Materials to develop scientific concepts and 21st century entrepreneurial skills include: Teacher Guide, Interactive Student Workbooks, AOWL Cards, Vocabulary Cards, Anchor Charts, Handouts, Manipulatives and over two dozen Trade Books.
Teacher Guide Features include:
English teacher talk in blue
Spanish clarifications in green
Alignment to learning standards
Scope and sequence of lessons
Interactive Student Workbook Features include:
Aligned to the Teacher Guide
Vocabulary reiteration in English and Spanish
STELLA was developed by the Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition (CRDLLA) in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. The Texas A&M System, through one of its member commercialization offices, Innovation Partners, licenses educational curriculum created from research.
STELLA was developed by Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio, Dr. Beverly J. Irby, Dr. Fuhui Tong and Dr. Cindy Guerrero, in partnership with Frog Street Press, LLC, an early childhood education publisher.
“Students loved having their own books and knowing the routines and structure of STELLA. They loved how each day they ALL participated and practiced listening and speaking to each other using real academic vocabulary through engaging "book talks". I could see each student grow in oral language development at all levels through the everyday guidance and practice using vocabulary and sentence stems."
- Magnet school elementary teacher, first grade
"As a teacher I was very impressed with the lessons and the detailed lesson plans that were provided which met the needs of all of my students in the class. Scaffolding through their picture vocabulary cards was a big plus for my second language learners as we began each lesson. Not only was this program enjoyable for my students but it also produced significant improvements in their Reading and English scores.
- Public school elementary teacher, second grade
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