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Category: writing

5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to ELLs

5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to ELLs

Sight words are one tool for helping students learn how to be fluent readers. The challenge for English Language Learners (and all students) in learning these words is that the majority of sight words and other high-frequency words, do not have visuals that are easily associated with them. This can make it more challenging to give meaning to these words. Teaching sight words in the context of a phrase or sentence allow students to better remember them. Here are some…

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How to Fold a Mini Book

How to Fold a Mini Book

Creating a mini book is a simple way to quickly make a large number of books for reading and writing. You can teach students how to fold a mini book with simple to follow directions. Students can then use blank mini books for drawing and writing. Mini books are also a simple way to add to the number of simple to read books that students have access to. Learn how to fold a mini book with these step by step…

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Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Setting Language Goals with ELLs

Goal setting is helpful for students to reflect on their learning. Students can set goals at any point in the year. Setting language goals is particularly beneficial at the beginning of the school year, at the beginning of the calendar year, and before beginning WIDA or other language testing. For English Language Learners, setting a language goal helps them to become of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending on the student’s age and…

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Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Creating a Writing Center for ELLs

Students becoming better writers through practice. At the beginning levels,  ELLs benefit from copying words with pictures, making lists, and using sentence frames to write simple sentences. A writing center is one way to tools that support students writing. Picture Support A writing center is a great place to add in picture vocabulary support. You can use a poster, word wall cards, or a picture dictionary. A simple way is to set out a vocabulary folder and blank writing paper….

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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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Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Integrating Speaking and Writing for ELLs

Speaking and writing are two components of language development. With elementary-aged students, the typical progression I see is that they progress more quickly in speaking than in writing.  This is most likely due to the fact that all students at that age are learning writing, while speaking is a natural way that children socialize. Integrating the two provides English Language Learners with additional speaking practice and helps improve their writing. Here are some strategies for integrating speaking and writing. Start…

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Writing Poetry with ELLs

Writing Poetry with ELLs

April is National Poetry Month, which makes it a great time for writing poetry.  Any point in the year is also a great time to have students write poems. For English Language Learners, writing poetry can be a welcome change from other forms of writing. Many of the traditional writing conventions are not as strictly enforced in poems.  Students can use fewer words to convey powerful messages.  Poems are a fun way to play around with language. Here are some…

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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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5 Ways to Teach Main Idea and Details to ELLs

5 Ways to Teach Main Idea and Details to ELLs

Finding the main idea and supporting details is a reading comprehension skill that students are expected to understand starting in kindergarten. By third grade, students are expected to do this with more complex texts independently. This can be a challenging skill for all students. For some ELLs, they have the added challenge of not yet reading grade level texts independently. Here are 5 ideas to support students learning about main idea and supporting details. Sorting One simple way to introduce…

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5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

5 Ways to Use Task Cards that will Keep Your ELLs Engaged

Task cards are a great tool to support English Language Learners. There are many leveled sets available, making it easy to differentiate. There are cards with short reading passages, grammar practice, writing prompts, speaking questions, and more. Take a look at these five ideas for using task cards with your ELLs that will keep them engaged throughout the lesson. 1. Play a Game Kids love playing games. You can keep the game simple and print out a basic game board….

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