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Newcomer Decodables with Photographs

Newcomer Decodables with Photographs

Photographs are a simple yet effective tool to use with newcomer English Language Learners. They illustrate a vocabulary word in a way that a drawing can come close to but not quite achieve. Have you heard about the Science of Reading? Research shows that it is helpful to give beginning readers decodable passages so that they can systematically practice new phonics skills. For newcomers, including pictures to help with vocabulary development is also essential. I created a set of decodable…

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Using ELD Assessments in the Classroom

Using ELD Assessments in the Classroom

ELD assessments (English Language Development assessments) are an important tool to help teachers determine how much language a student currently knows. You can use them to gain information about students speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Types of Assessments Summative assessments (formal assessments) happen at the end of the learning process. High-stakes testing such as the WIDA access test is an example of a summative test. The test gives a student a score, and the teacher is not allowed to assist…

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Sentence Starters and Frames for MLs

Sentence Starters and Frames for MLs

Using sentence starters and sentence frames is one strategy to support students in speaking, reading, and writing. A sentence starter is when you give students the beginning part of a sentence and they fill in the rest. A sentence frame is when there are blanks inside a sentence that students fill in. Here are some ways to use sentence stems and frames as a scaffold to support your multilingual learners (MLs). Sentence stems are helpful for getting students started with…

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Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

Encourage students to continue learning throughout the summer. Here are some summer learning ideas to help kids have fun and keep learning to share with parents or use in a summer school program. Practice Native Language It might seem counterintuitive, but the summertime is a great opportunity for ELLs to practice their home language. International trips this year might still be postponed. Students can practice speaking their native language at home, reading books in their native language, or learning how…

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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, students 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. Play Board Games Many board games are great on their own as end of the year fun activities. If you still need to tie in more…

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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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Teaching MLs Context Clues

Teaching MLs Context Clues

Multilingual Learners often read text without fully comprehending all of the words that they are reading. Using context clues are one way to help MLs increase their overall comprehension of the text that they are reading. Many of the strategies for teaching context clues to MLs are similar to when a native English speaker learns this strategy. There are some differences though. Search the Text for Clues There are many vocabulary words where the text has clues to the words…

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Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Teaching Mood and Tone to ELLs

Mood and tone are closely connected concepts. Tone is the author’s attitude towards the topic. Mood is the overall feeling the reader gets when they are reading the text. Mood is particularly subjective. The important part is that students are able to defend their reasoning with evidence.  Here are some ideas for teaching these topics to your ELLs. Review Feelings A quick review of feelings is a great way to begin a unit on mood or tone. This can help…

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Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

Language Domains: Read Speak Listen Write with MLs

The four language domains of reading, speaking, listening, and writing are all important components of learning a new language. The domains often overlap. One area can benefit from practice on the same topic in a different language domain. A student’s background knowledge plays an important role in how quickly they progress in these domains during a particular unit. Whenever possible, create lessons that give students practice in multiple language domains. Reading  Learning how to read is complex and made up…

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