Elementary ESL/ESOL Classroom Setup

5 Essential Elements to a Classroom Setup

Setting up my classroom so that my students WANT to be there is always a goal, but even more important is setting up so that I want to be there. I like to incorporate elements that bring me joy, like bright colors, lighting, functionality and organization. As an elementary ESOL teacher, I typically don't have a classroom, or "space," to call my own, but I've been very lucky the past several years, so let me show you my 5 essential elements to setting up a classroom. ✨

Math Instruction with English Learners: Filling in Gaps

Filling in Number Sense Gaps

It's sometimes necessary to fill in gaps WHILE teaching grade level content. I often have 5th and 6th grade English learners with interrupted or inconsistent schooling who come to us several years below grade level, yet who are expected to learn the grade level math curriculum. They dive into the content, which is already fast paced, learning skills that they don't yet have the foundational skills to support, all the WHILE learning a new language. That can be overwhelming, to say the least! So how can we support students in closing some gaps?    

Weekly ELD Lesson Format for K-1 Groups

An ELD Lesson Format That Makes Planning Easier

Are you looking for lesson plan ideas that incorporate all four language domains for your kindergarten and 1st grade English learners? I have a weekly system that makes ELD lesson planning easier, provides quality lessons and keeps students engaged throughout the year. 

Tips for Teachers of English Learners


Why do teachers need tips for teaching English learners? Students who are learning a new language while simultaneously learning grade level curriculum require supports to navigate the two successfully. The bonus in knowing what these supports are is realizing that what's good for ELs is good for ALL students.

ESL Teacher Tips for Starting a New School Year

Top 5 ESL Teacher Suggestions for Starting a New School Year

I remember when I was a new ESL teacher, I really had no clue where to begin. Thank goodness I had an amazing mentor and roommate; without her I would've been completely lost. Each school district is different, so you may be required to do certain tasks at the start of each year, but as a seasoned ESOL teacher, here are my top 5 suggestions for starting off the school year strong.

Tips for Setting Up Successful Push-In ESL Support and Co-Teaching

Push-in ESL support and co-teaching can be powerful for both students and teachers alike. I've found that when general education teachers are open to "sharing" their class and planning together, the results can be truly awesome for all involved. ESL students benefit greatly from this kind of collaborative environment, as do non ESL students. However, it's not always easy to navigate. I've worked with teachers who've had a hard time with this experience. They saw my role more as an "instructional assistant,' which I was not, and in turn the impact of two teachers in the room had minimal benefit. Here are a few tips for establishing a positive co-teaching experience. 

Tips to Make ESL Lesson Planning Less Stressful

Let's be real, planning weekly lessons in the ESL classroom can be an overwhelming task. Factors include caseloads and the sheer number of students/small groups serviced. Also, heterogenous groupings with a variety of language levels make it difficult to target specific language needs of students. Perhaps you're a new teacher and simply haven't had the guidance yet on planning ESL lessons. Here are a few tips to help make planning less stressful.