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Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for Teaching ELLs

Language Learning Strategies for English Language Learners English is a difficult language for native speakers to learn. I am amazed watching my toddler learn English as her first language. She picks up new vocabulary rapidity and experiments with language. She makes grammatical mistakes when she overgeneralizes grammar “ruler” that she has naturally picked up through listening to others speak and read English. For English Language Learners they go through a similar  process but have to navigate through additional challenges. As…

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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. 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. Go Outside Look for ways to take lessons outside. Going outside is great for student engagement. A recent study described in Psychology Today describes the benefits of outdoor learning. Here are some activities to try outside. Go on a scavenger hunt…

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Spring Teaching Ideas for ELLs

Spring Teaching Ideas for ELLs

Integrating seasonal topics 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 many live feeds available. Students can make predictions about when the eggs will hatch. You can also…

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5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to English Language Learners

5 Strategies for Teaching Sight Words to English Language Learners

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 because the majority of sight words do not have visuals that are easily associated with them. This can make it more challenge to give meaning to these words. In summary teaching sight words in the context of a phrase or sentence allows students to better remember them. Here are some specific strategies for teaching…

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Goal Setting with English Language Learners

Goal Setting with English Language Learners

Goal setting is helpful for students to reflect on their learning. They can set goals at any point in the year. This can be done at any point in the year, but can be 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 this includes being aware of how they are progressing learning the English Language. This can look different depending…

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Writing About Photographs With English Language Learners

Writing About Photographs With English Language Learners

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 around photographs. Writing about 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 simple sentence frames. (I see _______. I…

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Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for ELLs

Thanksgiving Tips and Activities for English Language Learners Thanksgiving is a wonderful time 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. Speak and Write about…

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Describing Characters & a Freebie

Describing Characters & a Freebie

I’ve been working with my first grades on using adjectives to describe characters.  They did a great job of using evidence from the books to describe their answers.  Even my lower language students were able to participate. We read two books: Llama Lama mad at mama & Yoko.           First I showed students pictures of character emotions.  They shared examples of when they felt various emotions.  Then as I read the books they would identify how the…

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