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Category: ELLs

16 Thanksgiving Books for ELLs

16 Thanksgiving Books for ELLs

There are Thanksgiving books on a range of topics to share with students. One theme I like to focus on around Thanksgiving is gratitude and being thankful.  Students can read and listen to what others are thankful for and then write and talk about what they are thankful for. Families have many unique traditions around Thanksgiving. Immigrant families often add in their own cultural traditions to this holiday. Books are a great way for kids to learn about some of…

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Halloween Tips and Activities for ELLs

Halloween Tips and Activities for ELLs

Many children look forward to Halloween each year. For English Language Learners (ELLs) that are newcomers, they may not have experienced Halloween in the past or celebrated it in a much different way. These students will benefit from a basic explanation of what the holiday is and the different ways that it is celebrated in their community.  This will help alleviate the confusion that may come up otherwise. Here are some Halloween tips to use as you introduce the holiday…

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Digital ESL Assessments

Digital ESL Assessments

Like it or not more and more of student learning and assessments are done on the computer. In the short term, this is in large part due to virtual learning. More long term though this is still the trend. Many standardized assessments students take are given digitally. This includes the WIDA language assessment. It is important to give students the opportunity to practice navigating digital ESL assessments before they are expected to take a high stakes one. This will allow…

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Diverse Back to School Books for ELLs

Diverse Back to School Books for ELLs

The beginning of the school year is a great time to read books about starting at a new school, culture, respect, names, and identity. Books with a diverse range of characters allow students to see their own and other cultures represented. It is especially important for ELLs to read and listen to books where they see characters similar to themselves represented. Here are some great books to use a read aloud at the beginning of the school year. Many of…

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Phonics for ELLs

Phonics for ELLs

Teaching phonics is an important aspect of a balanced literacy program. This is especially true for ELLs. Phonics is the relationship between sounds and the letter or letters used to write it. Phonics helps students learn specific sounds in the English language. For newcomers that have a background in a language that does not use the Western alphabet, phonics is a way to help them learn the letters and sounds of the alphabet. For older students, it is important to…

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Teaching Syllables to ELLs

Teaching Syllables to ELLs

Syllables are one component of phonological awareness. A syllable is part of a word that has a vowel, or vowel sound. Here are some ideas for teaching syllables to English Language Learners. Introducing Syllables One way to teach students how to identify syllables is to have them close their mouth and say a word. They then count how many breaths of air they take to say the word. That is the number of syllables. You can read more about this and…

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Diverse Student Name Books

Diverse Student Name Books

You can use student name books to help explain to students the importance of correctly saying the names of their classmates. Here is a list of student name books from a diverse selection of authors. They are great at back to school time or anytime during the year when a new student enters the class.  For ELLs, it can be especially frustrating when a teacher or classmates do not pronounce their name correctly. Taking some time at the beginning of…

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Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

Summer Learning Tips for ELLs

This summer is sure to be a different experience for everyone. Here are some summer learning ideas to help kids have fun and keep learning whether they are able to get outside or need to remain inside their homes. Many of them can also be completed virtually using materials that are found around the house. STEM Activities The summer is a great time to incorporate more hands-on learning. STEM activities are engaging and great for language development. Stick Fort Building–…

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Diverse Leveled Readers for ELLs

Diverse Leveled Readers for ELLs

It is important for children to be exposed to diverse books as they are learning how to read. Many teachers are examining their classroom library and adding more diverse books to their collection. Guided reading is also an important component of a balanced literacy program. Some teachers are lucky to teach in a school with a well-stocked book room. In other cases, many of the books at the lower levels are not age-appropriate for older ESOL students and do not…

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Solving Math Word Problems with ELLs

Solving Math Word Problems with ELLs

You may have heard that math is a universal language. This is not the case when students are solving word problems. Many students struggle to solve word problems, they can be particularly challenging for ELLs. Here are some strategies for solving math word problems with English Language Learners. Academic Language Teach students the important vocabulary for the type of word problems that they are solving. This will help students to begin to figure out that how many more might mean to…

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