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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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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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Digital Newcomer Vocabulary

Digital Newcomer Vocabulary

Learning basic vocabulary will help newcomer students improve in all areas of English development. Students with basic reading skills can benefit from reading simple sentences and matching pictures with words. Google slides is one format students can use the practice new vocabulary. Learn more about teaching newcomer ELLs.  Accessibility Tools For students that are not able to read in English, having a screen reader can help them improve their English. Read Aloud: A Text to Speech Voice Reader– This extension…

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An Overview of Teaching Reading to ELLs

An Overview of Teaching Reading to ELLs

Learning how to read is a complex process for all students. When you are teaching reading to ELLs, there is the added challenge that they are learning the vocabulary of English as they learn how to read. Some ELLs have the benefit of knowing how to read in their native language. This is helpful as many of the same skills will transfer over as they learn how to read in English. For young ELLs they are learning to read for…

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Word Sorts with ELLs

Word Sorts with ELLs

Word sorts are one way to help students learn spelling patterns. Students are able to focus on two or three patterns instead of trying to memorize a list of words. They are then better able to apply those spelling patterns to new words that follow a similar pattern. Here are some ways to set up word sorts with ELLs. Small Group The small group might be a word study group, where all of the students are at the same developmental…

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Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Labeling Pictures to Support ELLs

Students at the beginning stages of writing need support with vocabulary development. One way to give this is to have students label pictures. This supports English Language Learners and beginning writers in learning new vocabulary and using beginning sounds. Here are some benefits of having students label pictures before they begin writing. Vocabulary Support As students label a picture they are getting practice writing the vocabulary word. For ELLs, they might not know what all of the objects and actions…

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Rhyming and Word Families with ELLs

Rhyming and Word Families with ELLs

Teaching rhyming and word families are simple ways to include phonemic awareness and phonics activities. Recognizing and producing rhymes is one aspect of phonemic awareness. This is a skill that emergent readers experience through games, listening to stories and nursery rhymes. For older ELLs, rhyming often does not come as naturally. Rhyming ability is one predictor of reading success. It is not necessary to spend a large amount of time on rhyming activities. Short exposure is just as beneficial as…

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Winter Holidays for ELLs

Winter Holidays for ELLs

Holidays are a great opportunity to teach students about different traditions and infuse fun into learning. For some English Language Learners, they might be unfamiliar with the winter holidays that their classmates have celebrated for years. It can be helpful to go over basic holiday traditions and facts before the holiday begins. For American holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, Groundhog Day, or Veterans day most students will celebrate them (though it is important to be aware if this…

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Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELLs will have celebrated Thanksgiving their entire life.  These students will be able to share their family’s traditions around the holiday. Other students will have never experienced the holiday before and will benefit from a basic overview of what the holiday is. Here are some ideas for integrating the topic of Thanksgiving into your November lessons. Include Multiple Perspectives As you teach students about Thanksgiving, here are resources to…

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Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Sentence Starters and Frames for ELLs

Using sentence starters and sentence frames are 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 ELLs. Support Newcomers & Emergent Readers Simple sentence starters allow students to…

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