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Category: English Language Learners

Spring Teaching Ideas for ELLs

Spring Teaching Ideas for ELLs

When spring is in the air take advantage of the nice weather and integrate seasonal topics into your lessons. It is a fun way to help ELLs learn about the environment around them.  Here are some fun spring teaching ideas for ELLs. Teach about Animal Life Cycles 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 spring there are…

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Cut Apart Sentences for ELLs

Cut Apart Sentences for ELLs

Putting together cut apart sentences (cut up sentences or sentence scrambles) is a simple way to help students practice a wide range of skills. They need to read the words, think about the structure of a sentence, and reread the sentence to ensure that it makes sense. Sentence Structure When students arrange words into a sentence they need an understanding of English grammar and sentence structure. There are 5 types of sentences, Wordly gives a basic description for each. Cut-up…

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5 Fun Phonics Activities for ELLs

5 Fun Phonics Activities for ELLs

Phonics is an important component of teaching students how to read. For ELLs it is important to include pictures when possible to help with vocabulary development. Stay away from nonsense words. Here are some phonics activities to use with your English Language Learners and emergent readers. Build the word For these phonics activities use magnetic letters, letter tiles, or simply pieces of paper with letters written on them. Have students practice building words that have the phonics pattern that they…

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Engaging ELLs in Virtual Learning

Engaging ELLs in Virtual Learning

Virtual learning is both highly engaging (think TV shows) and highly unengaging (staring at a screen for hours on end). Here are some tips for engaging your students during distance learning. Build Relationships Building relationships with students is important any year. If you are teaching virtually it is even more important…and for many students much more challenging. Share your own interests. If you are teaching from your house show students your pet, a favorite mug, or other anything that is…

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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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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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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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