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Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing Sentences with ELLs

Writing a detailed sentence can be challenging for students that are learning English as a second or additional language. Beginning writers benefit from explicit instruction in writing sentences as well. Here are some strategies to help students improve their writing at the sentence level. Question Words Use question words to help students practice writing sentences. Choose a topic and then have students answer questions. Next model how to take the information and put it together into a detailed sentence. Question…

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The 5 Best Cicada Books

The 5 Best Cicada Books

Introduce students to the fascinating cicada insects. These bugs emerge from the ground at different intervals. On the east coast of the US, they typically come out every 13 or 17 years. Create a text set with cicada books and videos. Friend to Cicadas is a website designed by scientists to share information with children. It has videos, a workbook, and other educational materials. Here is a list of cicada books to use with students. What to Expect When You’re…

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Phonics Writing Practice

Phonics Writing Practice

Using phonics writing activities is one way for students to practice their phonics skills. Writing helps students segment words and then write down the sounds that they hear. Students with more advanced phonics skills can practice vowel patterns, silent letters, and other letter combinations. When students are writing, they are practicing letter sound knowledge or encoding. Have students write words to practice a spelling pattern. Word Chains or Word Ladders Writing words with the same spelling pattern will give students…

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Using Poetry to Teach Reading Fluency

Using Poetry to Teach Reading Fluency

Poetry is a genre of reading that opens many doors for students. The text often flows like a song. It can be short but still hold complex meaning. Poetry lends itself well to repeated reading and fluency practice. It is a wonderful way for ELLs to practice oral language skills. When you are selecting poems to read with students make sure to include diverse poems that highlight a range of cultures and topics. Here are some tips for using poetry…

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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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Best Online Sites to Buy Used Books

Best Online Sites to Buy Used Books

I have been relying on ordering books online much more during the past few months (Boy do I miss going to my public library and thrift stores!) Amazon is probably one of the best-known sites for books. There are many others, including sites that offer used or overstock books at a low cost. Here is a list where you can buy used books online or get them for free. Online Used Book Stores Thrift Books– This site has a large…

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Why Cut Apart a Worksheet?

Why Cut Apart a Worksheet?

Worksheets are one way to give students practice with a specific skill. One way to take a traditional worksheet and make it more interactive is to cut apart the worksheet. You can then use the cut up questions in a number of ways. This can help keep some students more engaged then completing worksheets in the traditional way. Interactive Notebook After completing a worksheet how often do students look back at them? If the answer is never, consider setting up…

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Brain Breaks for ELLs

Brain Breaks for ELLs

A brain break allows students to take a short break from learning and refocus their attention. This can be particularly important to ELLs as they are not only absorbing new content but are processing a new language as well. Movement Especially for younger children incorporating movement into a brain break will help to keep their attention for further learning. Act like an animal- Name an animal and have students move like that animal. Stretching- One person can be the leader…

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Phonemic Awareness with ELLs

Phonemic Awareness with ELLs

A student’s level of phonemic awareness when they enter kindergarten is a strong predictor of how easy it will be for them to learn how to read. All students in preschool and many in the primary grades are learning phonemic awareness skills. Teaching phonemic awareness skills to young ELLs is similar to their native English peers. Older ELLs may also benefit from short and targeted instruction and practice with the sounds of English. What is Phonemic Awareness? Phonemic awareness refers…

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Digital Learning with ELLs

Digital Learning with ELLs

Here is a collection of digital learning tips and resources to use with ELLs. Teaching Online If your school is moving towards digital learning and you will be teaching online due to the Corona Virus, here are some things to keep in mind. Make plans for students that do not have access to technology. One alternative is to provide packets of work. Start with using digital tools that students are familiar with and then slowly introduce new platforms as you…

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