3 Weekly ESL Activities that Do Not Require Planning Time

Let's face it, when planning weekly lessons, having a few "go-to" activities on deck can make the task of planning much easier. These are not just "fillers," but tried and true activities that are meaningful, fun and effective at building language. Here are three weekly language building activities that do NOT require planning time.

Math Strategies for Beginning English Language Learners

I teach 5th and 6th grade math to beginning English language learners. This post shares 3 critical strategies that support ELLs in the understanding of math concepts AND in the language of math. These are three "must haves" for any math classroom with ESL students, especially those with newcomers!

Teaching Beginning English Language Learners How To Retell

Once my beginning English language learners have built some vocabulary and are able to decode their emergent level books, it is time to tackle the skill of retelling. It truly is the basis of reading comprehension. Plus, it's an excellent way to build their oral language skills!

An Awesome Translating App for the Classroom

I recently found this AMAZING translating app and I just had to share it!

I work with English language learners, and I have quite a few who are brand new to English. I recently got a couple of new students from Japan, so my broken Spanish was of no help. I needed to communicate some basic information to them and was thinking about how I could do this. One evening at dinner I was talking to my kids about it and my ninth grade son, who is taking a foreign language class, told me about this app he found. It's called Microsoft Translator, and it's FREE! Let me highlight some it its awesome features for you ...

Top 5 Favorite Resources for Teaching English Language Learners

If I could only use 5 resources when planning and teaching my English language learners, what would those be? Easy! These 5 are definitely ones that I would not want to do without...

Setting Reading Goals with English Language Learners

Do you need to set a reading goal for your "newcomers," aka, beginning English language learners, that measures a certain level of growth by the end of the school year? Some teachers, if not most, are asked to create SMARTR goals for student progress: S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Attainable, R=Relevant, T=Time-bound. So, what is a realistic amount of growth for students who have not yet acquired basic communication or literacy skills in English? And what can we do to maximize their growth?

Teach Reading Comprehension Skills Using Short Films

I love using short films to teach reading comprehension skills, and my students love watching them!

Why do I love using them?
Show a short film and students are engaged! Visual learners and students who typically struggle with reading comprehension, including English language learners (ELLs), have greater success practicing comprehension skills with shorts. Most shorts do not have dialogue, they're all action. My students, regardless of their level of language proficiency, "get" the lesson more easily because the shorts are visual.