MORE Favorite Resources for Teaching English Learners!

When I was a brand new teacher, I thought the quality of my teaching was ultimately tied to the quality of my resources, so I spent hours searching for great materials. I believed that if I had quality resources, ones that my students enjoyed and were engaged with, then that would make me a good teacher. Well, I still believe that having quality resources is extremely important, but over the years I've also come to realize that being a good teacher is SO much more than the tools in my toolbox. Everyday has a million moving parts that need our constant attention, focus, knowledge and skills of best practice. So even though I now believe that being a good teacher is more than the quality of my teaching materials, knowing that I have a good variety of  kid tested and teacher approved resources at my fingertips allows me the time and energy to focus on other aspects of my teaching day.

Setting Language Goals with English Language Learners

Do you set academic goals with your students? What about language goals for your English learners? I compare goal setting with creating a road map. We are at point A and need to get to Point B. So, we identify and target an area of need, then systematically work towards improving that area, tracking progress along the way. For students, this "road map" provides purpose. They know WHAT they need to do AND identify specific steps for getting there. Let's look at how setting specific language goals can help get ELs to the next level in their language acquisition journey.

Modified Guided Reading for ELLs: Strategies that Support Language

Guided reading is an important component of a balanced literacy program. It is when individualized reading instruction is provided to a small group of students. The group size is typically between 4 to 6 students, and each lesson is approximately 20 minutes. The teacher meets with each group several times a week, and provides targeted instruction on reading skills and comprehension strategies.

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 ...