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Category: writing

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 is that students 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. For older students, some may be more comfortable writing down ideas before speaking. Integrating speaking and writing provides English Language Learners with additional and opportunities for vocabulary development….

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Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

Using Patterned Texts with ELLs

Patterned texts can be a helpful tool to use with students. Some of these books use words that are difficult for students to decode independently. This means that these books are not the best choice for beginning readers to use in a guided reading lesson until they have learned the phonics skills and sight words to read the majority of the words. Instead, try using patterned or predictable books for read alouds, shared reading, and writing lessons. Find suggestions for…

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Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day with ELLs

Help students learn to appreciate the environment around them and learn new vocabulary. You can also use some of these resources to create text sets for students. Using multiple texts will help to build students’ background knowledge and increase their vocabulary as they read or listen to new texts. Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Day with ELLs. These are also great activities to get students outdoors and/or learning about the world around them. Learn About Climate Change Earth…

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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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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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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 for ELLs 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 aware of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending on the…

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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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Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to use in writing. They can be used to help students generate ideas.  Visual vocabulary support is built into a high quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based on photographs. Writing about pictures is a simple way to introduce content information to students. Lable Photographs with Newcomers Label objects in the photograph. Provide students with a list of objects found in the picture and have them label it. Write…

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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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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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