Monday, June 8, 2015

Everything ESL: More Tips and Resources for Working with ESL Students.

As many of my followers know I spent the last 10 years of my teaching career as an Elementary ESL Resource Teacher/Specialist for the Anchorage School District. I taught the most limited English Proficient students at my home Elementary school 5 mornings a week in my Learning Center and worked with other limited ELLs in the afternoon at my home school and 4 other schools in our district. This past January I found out that 3 new to the country Korean girls had entered my grandson's school and 2 were in his 4th grade class. You can see the 3 of them in the picture above. I was so excited and offered to come in and work with them several mornings a week. Their teachers were so happy and since they knew my background I was able to work with them in a small room with my own materials. There are very few ELL students at my grandson's school so resources were very limited. At that time their teachers were doing a lot of test prep for state assessments and their teacher's had a very limited time to work with them. They had access to Rosetta Stone and were able to read 1st grade level books on AR (Accelerated Reader). The girls were so happy to find out that I had lived in Seoul, Korea and new a little bit of Korean. At first they were really shy and quiet, especially the twins. I found out that they had only studied English with a private tutor for a few months before coming to Tallahassee.

One day the guidance counselor came to talk with me. She was new to working with ELLs and was trained to give them the IPT Oral English Language Proficiency Test. It is one that I administered more than 1,000 times over 10 years. All 3 girls were Non-English Speakers. You can find out more about this test by clicking on the image below.
Tips about Placement Tests:

  • They are usually given within the first few weeks of entering school. 
  • Students who are very limited or non-English speaking are usually very shy and may be experiencing "culture shock."
  • They must be reliable and valid. (ex: IPT Test of English Language Proficiency)
  • Administrators must be "trained"!
I have found that throughout my years of administrating these tests that after a month or so of being in school, many who test as Non-English Speaking start to feel more comfortable and safe to take risks. If the test were administered again they would probably be at the Limited English Proficiency Level and not Non- English Proficient. I found this to be true with the 3 Korean girls I began to work with as well. As I worked with them, they started talking more and more. It truly helped that I knew so much about their country and culture so we could talk about Korean food, holidays, customs, and school. Here is a picture of me with the girls after we played the Korean game of Yut which they play on Lunar New Year. They were so surprised that I had the game and knew how to play it.
In just a few short months their teachers were amazed at how much more they were talking and progressing. Soon they were able to read and answer questions in complete sentences and even sequence a story. Here are a few samples of their work.

Here are the twins with their biography report.
If I can share one important tip with all of you who have students in your classrooms like these 3 girls try to speak slower  especially when you are talking with them. They need lots of wait time to process what you say and when you speak at the same pace as you do to the whole class they probably only hear the first few words and the rest goes right over their heads. The girls told me over and over again that they could understand the material when I taught them because I spoke slower and gave them "think time." It may not seem like much but it is.  

Since my last Everything ESL Post I have added 3 New Beginning Speaking Lessons to my store.
You can check them out by clicking on each image below.

You can get a free ESL Beginner Speaking Lesson and get more tips and resources by clicking on the image below:
I have one more free resource for you. I just added this Free ESL Reading and Writing Lesson to my TpT Store. It is a great companion to my ESL Beginning Speaking Lesson: The Four Seasons. I hope you will leave feedback. 

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.
Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE You may also like my Everything ESL Pinterest Board.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sizzling with Free Summer Reading Resources and Activities

Here in Tallahassee school ends on May 31st. I've put together some great ideas and free resources to help stop the "Summer Slide" for your kids and their parents. We all know how important it is to keep our kids reading and writing all summer long so I have put together a few for you to check out.

At the local level parents should check out their library for their summer reading programs for elementary students. I know I always signed my kids up each summer. Usually there is a theme and books related to the theme as well as fun activities each week.

Scholastic has a wonderful  on line reading program with printables that you can check out and register for by clicking on the picture below.
You might also want to check out Reading Rockets which has a wonderful list of activities and websites with free reading and writing activities as well as great tips and ideas for parents about other summer activities to do with your kids. You can check it out by clicking on the picture below.
I found several Free Summer Reading Programs listed that you can access for different reading levels which you can check out by clicking on the image below. has a 10 week fun program to help kids beat the summer slide. There are lots of fun literacy activities for each of the 10 weeks and all you have to do is register. It's free. To find out more you can click on the picture below.
I just revised my Hooray for Summer Literacy Activities for Grade 1-2 that you may want to check out.
There are 8 different literacy activities to include a Summer Word Sort, Summer Noun Sort, Summer Word Syllable Sort, Summer Compound Word Match and Writing Activity, Making and Writing Sentences about Summer and a few more fun activities. When you download the Preview you will get this free activity.
How about another literacy freebie?  This free packet includes 2 Summer Phrases that students can make words and then write sentences using a few of the words they made. It would make a fun end of the year activity! It can be done in pairs or individually as a time activity, literacy activity or contest.
If you would like to download your free activity packet just click on the image below.
I have lots of educational Pinterest boards for you to check out by clicking HERE. Hope you will follow me on Pinterest. 
Here is my most popular one you might want to follow.
You may also want to check out some of my other blog posts about summer for some great free activities and resources. Just click HERE.

Thanks for making a difference for all the students in your classroom this last year. I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing summer vacation and take some time for yourself.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with a Gift

It is hard to believe that there are only 4 weeks left of school here in Tallahassee. For the past 4 months I have been a volunteer tutor for 3 Korean 4th grade girls who speak very little English. I have so enjoyed teaching them but being back in the classroom has given me a whole new perspective of what it's like to be a teacher with all the new Common Core Standards and new Assessments. This year "Teacher Appreciation Week" has a whole new meaning. So I decided to make one of my products FREE starting today and during the TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale: May 5th and 6th. Everything in my store will be 20% off but don't forget to use the Promo Code: THANK YOU at check out to get 28% off your whole purchase. It's a great time to stock up on Back to School items! Just click on the image below to check out my store for great Poetry, Summer, Memorial Day, and Back to School items! You can earn additional TpT Credits when you leave Feedback on paid items so this is a good time to do that as well!
My Special "Thank You" Gift to all of you who make a difference for students each and everyday and follow and view my blog, TpT store, Pinterest Boards, and Facebook is my Back to School Literacy Activities Packet. Just click on the image below to get your free packet.
I appreciate each and every one of you! I hope you will consider following me and would love your feedback. Have a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother's Day: Free Poems, Craft Ideas, and more for Pre-K through 1st Grade

Can't believe that it's time to be thinking about Mother's Day already! For the Pre-School and K-1 classrooms making crafts and having a Mother's Day luncheon or tea are always popular activities. 

I found some great craft ideas and poems that would be wonderful for those who teach Pre-K and K-1 that I'd like to share with you, too. I got lots of comments about the Tulip Craft that I though I would share again. All the instructions and free tulip templates are included. Just click on the picture below to find out how to make it.
I also found some great earth friendly recycled  Mother's Day crafts which you also might be interested it. Just click on the picture below to check these out.
How about a cute foldable card for your students to make? This one I found at DLTK. Just click below for directions. You can also link to lots of other free activities for Mother's Day.
If you are looking for free poems I have found some at Apples4theTeacher- there are quite a few to choose from.

If you are looking for a Shared Reading Book, Guided Reading Books, and Writing Activities for K-1, you might want to check-out my "Mom's Are Special People" Packet. You can click on the picture below to download the Preview file to see the new revised Preview file and get 2 free activities.

Last but not least is a special free Mother's Day poem that I wrote. If you are planning a Mother's Day Luncheon or Special Class Celebration, this would be a great poem for your students to learn and present during your special celebration. You can also include it in a Mother's Day card.  Just click on the poem below to get your free copy.
If you are looking for some wonderful free resources and activities for Grades 2-3 please click HERE.
It has been fun bringing you all these great free resources and hope that you have found some great activities to use in your classrooms. I hope you will check-out all my all my Pinterest Boards by clicking HERE and follow me.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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 What kinds of Mother's Day Celebrations do you have in your classroom?