How to Create Vocabulary Folders for ELLs

How to Create Vocabulary Folders for ELLs

Creating Vocabulary Folders for ELLs

Vocabulary folders are a convenient way to organize vocabulary pages. I used illustrated vocabulary sheets to help my English Language Learners speak and write about new vocabulary. They are also helpful for younger students with spelling. These folders are simple to set up.

Creating vocabulary folders for Ells

Vocabulary Folders Set Up

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All you need are:

Vocabulary Folder Materials

file folders with brads (or a 3 ring binder)

sheet protectors

Vocabulary sheets

Using a file folder with brads or a 3 ring binder gave me flexibility if I wanted to change how the pages were organized or add in additional pages of vocabulary.

Vocabulary Folder Materials

At the beginning of the year I set up 6 folders, which was enough for most of the small groups of students I worked with. I added in pages for the alphabet, letter sounds, character traits, and seasonal words. I also included some empty sheet protectors in the back of the folder so that I could quickly add in new vocabulary pages during the school year.

Vocabulary Folders

Using the Vocabulary Folders

My ELLs used these vocabulary folders in a variety of ways. For newcomers I could take out the pages about food or nouns and the student could point to an object as a part of a group discussion. As their language increased they felt comfortable saying and writing down the vocabulary words.

The seasonal sheets and character traits helped to expand my students vocabulary and increased the variety of answers they gave to questions. When students were writing they used the vocabulary sheets to help them with spelling. Some of the first grade classroom teachers had vocabulary binders set up in their classroom for students to access. All of the students knew where they were located and they could take one to their sheet during writing time.

I loved that these folders were portable. When I would go into classrooms I took at least one folder with me. That way I could easily support my ELLs with pictures even if something unexpected came up since I had a wide range of pictures available.

I have additional tips on how to support vocabulary development for ELLs.

Premade Illustrated Vocabulary Sheets

Illustrated Vocabulary Sheets

I have sets of premade illustrated vocabulary sheets available in my TPT store. You can get them separately or as a part of a money savings bundle.

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