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Using a Sound Wall with MLs

Using a Sound Wall with MLs

A sound wall using speech lips to match the articulation of speech sounds/phonemes to the letters/graphemes that represent those sounds. Many sound walls only show the letter sound and lip pictures. Others also include the picture of a key word that has the target sound. Less frequently, teachers combine a word wall with a sound wall. In this case, the word she would go under the digraph sh, and not under s. The benefit for Multilingual Learners (MLs) is that a…

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Picture Phonics Assessments

Picture Phonics Assessments

When English Language Learners are practicing phonics skills, it is important to add in vocabulary instruction so that they know what the words they are learning to read and spell mean. One simple way to accomplish this is with pictures. Keep reading to get a FREE short vowel picture phonics assessment. Use picture and word cards for students to read the word and then match them to the picture. As a spelling assessment, you can hold up a picture and…

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Supporting Elementary Newcomers

Supporting Elementary Newcomers

Newcomer students receive some support from an ELD (English Language Development) teacher in most elementary schools. The majority of their time is spent in their grade level classroom. Here are some strategies for supporting a newcomer student both in their grade level classroom and areas to focus on during targeted language development lessons. Create a Welcoming Environment Helping the student feel safe and comfortable is your main goal. Teach survival vocabulary at first so that the student can express their…

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Author’s Purpose with MLs

Author’s Purpose with MLs

Teaching author’s purpose help to understand why a text was created. There are three main categories, to inform, to persuade, and to entertain. Sometimes additional categories are added, including to explain and to describe. Sorting Activities A simple way to introduce author’s purpose is to have students sort books, sentences, and short reading passages. Sort picture books- First, review fiction and nonfiction. Pull a selection of picture books and have students sort them into fiction (to entertain) and nonfiction (to…

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Cause and Effect with MLs

Cause and Effect with MLs

Cause and effect is a reading comprehension skill where students identify why something happened (the cause) and what happened next (the effect). Very young children experiment with the concept of cause and effect (such as when a baby dumps over a plate to see what will happen next.) This concept is more formally taught in reading during upper elementary. In a story or nonfiction text, students must first identify the important details. Then they have to decide if those events…

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Prefixes and Suffixes with MLs

Prefixes and Suffixes with MLs

Teaching students the meaning of prefixes and suffixes is a great way to increase their vocabulary. When they know basic prefixes and suffixes they are better able to use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. This is true for all students, but it is particularly helpful for Multilingual Learners (MLs), as they may not be familiar with some of the words that have affixes from past exposure. Some suffixes can make changes to words such as tense,…

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End of the Year Activities for ELLs

End of the Year Activities for ELLs

Sometimes at the end of the school year teachers have a little more flexibility with lessons. It is easier to spend time on projects. At the same time student are often full of energy and need highly engaging activities. Here are some activities for ELLs to try at the end of the school year. Alphabet Book Creating an alphabet book is a great way to have students share what they have learned during the school year. Depending on the age…

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Newcomer Phonics

Newcomer Phonics

Phonics is an important component of teaching students how to read and write. Phonics connects sounds with letters and combinations of letters. In the English language, there are 26 letters and 44 sounds (called phonemes). A grapheme is how to spell each sound with either a single letter or letter combinations.  It is part of both structured literacy programs and balanced literacy programs. Teaching a newcomer phonics has many similarities to teaching a native English speaking student phonics. Use a…

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Books for Jewish American Heritage Month to Share with MLs

Books for Jewish American Heritage Month to Share with MLs

Jewish American Heritage month is during the month of May. Read about famous and everyday Jewish people from throughout history and present-day.  To learn more about the month, visit jewishheritagemonth.gov. A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day– Learn about the life of children’s book author Ezra Jack Keats, who grew up  Brooklyn, N.Y., to Jewish Polish immigrants. Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909– Read about Clare…

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Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

Spring Teaching Ideas for MLs

When spring is in the air, take advantage of the nice weather and integrate seasonal topics into your lessons. Learning about springtime is a fun way to help Multilingual Learners (MLs) learn about the environment around them.  Here are some fun spring teaching ideas for MLs. Teach about Animals Animal life cycles are great for teaching transition words. One fun activity is to show students a video of an eagle or other animals with eggs or newborn babies. In the…

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