English (ESL) Weblog

Teaching English Language Learners ? What every ESL teacher should know!

Are you ready to be an amazing ESL teacher this year? 


If you?re reading this, I?m here to tell you that you probably already are! 


But keep on reading because this post with all of its ESL teacher tips will get you to the top of your game as the school year happens. This post, the first in a three-part series, focuses on listening and speaking skills and the next two will explore reading and then writing and grammar.


Since you?re ready to learn, let?s get started!


What are language skills?

The four basic language skills are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Many teachers include grammar as a fifth language skill. I agree! Educational achievement for ELLs requires proficiency in all 5 of these skills. If you teach ELLs then these basic language skills should be at the very heart of your instruction. Using activities and games in your daily lessons that incorporate some or all of the 5 communication skills builds fluency and language competency. This is the key to academic success.


How do we teach these skills to English Language Learners? That is the big question. Let?s take a look at each individual skill, starting with listening and speaking

Teaching English Language Learners: Listening Skills 


Building listening skills requires amazing ESL teachers to regularly teach and practice this skill with their students.


Listening skills are the semantic aspect of a language and start with the ability to distinguish sounds, words and sentences. Discriminating sounds are the foundation to reading and writing. ELLs need to learn more than just the sounds of English. The complexities of good listening need to be taught in order to extract meaning, analyze what they have heard and be able to reply, discuss, or argue the information given.


ELLs need to be able to gain meaning from listening. They need to learn the protocol of being a good listener. ELLs need to develop the ability of careful listening and the capacity to maintain that listening in a second (or 3rd) language.

Teaching listening skills can be FUN! And you can be amazing without worrying about planning all of the lessons all of the time! Check out these bundles whether you have newcomers, intermediate, or advanced ELLs!


Teaching listening skills can be FUN! Here are 5 ideas for teaching English Language Learners in your class:

  • Play board games that focus on reading and listening. One student reads a word, short phrase, or sentence depending on language level. The player must repeat exactly what was said. If the response is correct, the player rolls the dice and moves her/his game piece. With more advanced language students use a paragraph or short article and have the player paraphrase the article.
  • Play music and have students raise their hand or stand up each time they hear a predetermined word in a song.
  • Play listen and do games.
  • Dictation where students write down exactly what the teacher says. This is harder than you think! 
  • Information transfer is a great listening skills activity. Present information orally. Students represent what they heard by making a drawing/picture, chart, or table. You can use this activity in reverse to develop oral skills!

Teaching English Language Learners: Speaking Skills

Oral/Speaking skills require amazing ESL teachers to teach and practice specific lessons and activities with their students.


Speaking skills are the phonetic aspect of a language and include what conversation looks and sounds like, including what each person will do. 


Although vocabulary and grammar are the foundation of speaking, ELLs need to learn the behavioral differences of conversations, debate, informal and formal language. Students need instruction on how to verbally ask questions, explanations, make requests, express their feelings, and disagree. The intricacies between these communications not only include grammatical forms but extends to intonation, stress, pitch, and pronunciation. Teaching English Language Learners when and how to use or not use idioms and figurative language is also imperative to include in oral and written lessons.


ELLs should be instructed on how to conduct themselves in formal and informal situations including when and where to use casual speech patterns such as; you know, so, I mean, right and kind of. Semantics is more than the literal meanings of words. Semantics reveals the culture and community by revealing subtle connotations in a unique manner. I always teach my oral language lessons by language function. We talk about where we would use this type of language and what the situation might be.


Teaching speaking skills can be FUN! Here are 8 of my favorite activities for developing oral language: 

  • Games that promote oral language
  • Storytelling
  • Reader?s theater
  • Role Play 
  • Students love to use computers. Have them video themselves giving a short introduction, giving directions, talking about what they did the night before or will do tomorrow.
  • Who is it? Great for teaching how to ask questions. Students write facts about themselves and turns it into the teacher. The teacher reads random facts and the students question each other to determine who wrote the fact.
  • I have never?
  • Describing pictures of objects or events. Great for compare and contrast language if you have 2 pictures that are similar!

Two ESL teacher tips to ensure success are to make sure to keep the affective filters low in your classroom so students feel comfortable speaking and to scaffold your speaking lessons using sentence frames and vocabulary word walls. 

And the best ESL teacher tip of all is to check out this mega bundle of activities that focuses on all four language skills!


Congratulations you are on your way to becoming an amazing ESL teacher this year. I hope you found an educational nugget or two that you can use this year teaching English Language Learners in your class!

Be Bold!

Be Great!

Be Amazing!


Your partner in ESL!


Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Unknown)
Publ.Date : Tue, 09 Aug 2022 04:01:00 +0000

The Art of Teaching English Language Learners!


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

? Albert Einstein


I might edit dear Einstein just a bit to indicate ?art of the ESL teacher? instead! Because isn?t it true that what we do as English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD) teachers is an art to awaken joy in our students? Whether you are the content teacher or the ESL teacher teaching English language learners in your classroom the goal is to encourage and to support students, and ultimately - hopefully - to awaken joy. 

There are many ways you can do that! Read on for some tried and true strategies and activities for English Language Learners (ELLs) in your classroom.  

The 4 D?s of Teaching English Language Learners

What are English language learners? The 4Ds of demographics, definitions, decrees, and development included below provide the parameters and background definitions for teaching English language learners.


Did you know that English language learners (ELLs) comprise approximately 10.4% of the students in the United States Public Schools K-12? That's over 5.1 million students! That percentage can be substantially higher depending on where you are in the US but it goes to show that no matter where you teach, there are likely ELLs in your school and your classroom (IES National Center for Education Statistics).  


Although each state creates its own definition, the federal government defines an ELL as a student who comes from a language background other than English and whose limited comprehension of English is sufficient to create academic difficulties. The Office of Civil Rights says ?ELL: English language learner. A national-origin-minority student who is limited-English-proficient.? This term (ELL) is often preferred over limited-English-proficient (LEP) as it highlights accomplishments rather than deficits.


In 1970, the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a memo regarding school districts' responsibilities under civil rights law to provide an equal educational opportunity to ELLs. This memorandum stated:

Where the inability to speak and understand the English language excludes national origin minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students.



Team work always makes the dream work! Classroom teachers are responsible for the content learning of their ELLs. English Language Development teachers are responsible for English proficiency. More specifically, ESL or ELD teaches the English that students need to be successful in schools but will not learn during the rest of their school day for any number of reasons. Read more about the responsibilities of both teachers with this free short essay.


English Language Learners Teaching Strategies

Here are some tried and true strategies for both content teachers and ESL teachers to help effectively reach and teach second language learners. These are strategies that can be included with any number of activities that you might be doing in your classroom already. 

The 4 Modalities: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking

Content teacher: Reading and writing provide the bulk of instruction with speaking as the culminating event: a speech or presentation.  

ESL teacher: Speaking provides the bulk of instruction with writing usually as the culminating event. 

Student Interaction

We know this to be true that kids need to talk! Being able to use language in day-to-day situations with other learners is a necessity for language development and reinforcement. Consider a trip to the library or the school office as a way to change space and provide more chances for a variety of authentic interactions that require different vocabulary. 

Content teacher: Provide authentic opportunities for your student to express their learning with others in the classroom and school. 

ESL teacher: Provide structured language practice that practices specific structures in English. 



Create a predictable learning environment. Students are ready to learn when they know the schedule. This year-long bundle features a full year planning guide that is organized month-to-month with a variety of lessons, games, and activities for all levels of learners.  This teacher-friendly bundle will not only establish clear routines in class it will save you hours of work so you can focus on in-class support for your students! 

TPT Back To School Sale August, 2nd & 3rd 2022! SAVE 25%


Content teacher: Set a schedule and stick to it. Teach routines and procedures. 


ESL teacher: With well-rehearsed routines and procedures, your students will be ready to learn and you will make the most from your precious ESL time. 


Our brains are pattern seekers. This means that as new information is absorbed it is being combined with previous knowledge. The brain wants to bring these parts together so it is a great idea to incorporate new material with older previously learned material. Consider your students? background knowledge before diving into something new; not just of the lesson but the activity and its components too!

Content teacher: Graphic organizers are the best of the best practices. Use them as often as you can! This also ties into routine in that providing similar organizers for different tasks will increase students? comfort over time.

ESL teacher: Organize your instruction by function, form, and classes (vehicles, bathroom vocabulary, prepositions). When the classification is built in, students have a framework for the new vocabulary and grammar structures. 


Visuals and Manipulatives

Concrete and image-based teaching make the content accessible to ELLs. This is tied to experiential learning in that experience- or task-based learning aids in the transfer of knowledge.


Content teacher: Use math manipulative materials, word walls with pictures, real objects (realia), provide pictorial cues along with word cues, graphics, maps, photos, word banks, and more. 


ESL teacher: Make it visual. Oral language development and visuals go hand and hand. This is also a great opportunity for student ownership. Students can create the visuals whether that is 2D on paper to create a display or 3D with manipulatives or even online with recordings of students? oral contributions. 


Native Language

Most ELL students are not starting their education journey from scratch when they arrive in your classroom. They will have school experience and knowledge that exists in their native language so encourage the use of their native language when possible. 


If you have ESL Newcomers then check out this bundle of activities to free up your ELL planning time. It has everything you need in one place to provide a solid English foundation. With easy differentiated options, you can get your beginning ESL students learning right away with these activities!


Content teacher: Partner same language students to help with translation, send homework in the native language, when possible, to connect school and home. 


ESL teacher: Cognates, cognates, cognates. Also, see which idioms occur in both English and the student's native language. This is a great opportunity to incorporate visuals too!


Teaching English Language Learners is a team effort. When the content teacher and the ESL teacher collaborate great things happen for English Language Learners in your classroom. Incorporating any number of these six strategies and suggested activities will encourage engagement, support learning, and most of all ?awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.?

Happy Teaching!

Check out these related articles:

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Unknown)
Publ.Date : Tue, 02 Aug 2022 08:00:00 +0000

Math Fact Fluency

Math Fact Fluency 

I hope you?re having a sweet start to your summer! Some parts of the world are already experiencing heat in the 100s. Wherever you are, I hope that you?re staying cool and rested. And if you?re teaching summer school, I hope that you find shade on the playground and engaging activities to do with your students inside to beat the heat.

Word of the Week: 


Literally: a chain or shackle for the feet

Figuratively: something that confines or restrains someone

Don?t let the fetters of last school year influence summer school or the 2022-2023 school year!

You?re buying freeze pops for your summer school class. You left your roster at home, so you decide to do some quick math to figure out how many freeze pops you need to buy. You know that you have 6 students sitting together in table groups and 5 table groups total. How many students do you have altogether? How many freeze pops should you buy? Hopefully, you know how to multiply 6 X 5 to find the answer, but your students may not! They may need a multiplication refresher. 

Summer school is a great time to review areas that students may have struggled with throughout the school year. For several students, multiplication is difficult. So why not give students more practice this summer? 

My Multiplication Fast Facts Bundle features activities with multiplication facts for numbers 0-12. Featuring timed tests with 100 problems per page, tons of games to practice multiplication keywords, a multiplication table, and a graph to chart growth, this resource is just what you need to help students practice multiplication skills. When it comes to ESL learners, teaching vocabulary keywords is so important. The games included with this bundle are not only engaging but also meaningful ways to allow ESL learners to practice using content language for math. Watch as their vocabulary and their confidence rises with these activities.

Freebie Alert!

Looking for ways to supplement for your Spanish-speaking newcomers? Try this set of 0-1 Multiplication Games in Spanish for FREE. Discover how helpful it is for your Spanish-speaking newcomers to make connections between their first and second language by using this freebie alongside the English bundle. 

Teaching newcomer students content can be intimidating, but don?t take the easy way out by giving them busy work. I challenge you to find ways for them to engage with the content this summer. It just takes baby steps. Feel free to check out any of the resources in my shop or reach out for help. I never mind pointing you in the right direction.

My very best,

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 26 Jul 2022 12:00:00 +0000

Everyday with ELLS

Hello everyone,

April over at Teacher Say Teacher Do has a great freebie to download and I wanted to share it with you!

She made a colorful visual one page reminder for teachers of the most effective strategies to use when working with second language learners.

Click here to go to her Teachers Pay Teachers store and download your free copy today!

Happy Teaching! 

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Jul 2022 10:30:00 +0000

ESL Songs and Chants

ELL Songs and Chants

Hi everyone,

I love using songs and chants during my lessons.

Much of the input students receive during ELD is visual.  Songs and Chants offer another venue for students to learn the lesson objective through music and rhythm.

As an ANTICIPATORY SET, songs and chants hook the students.  They can set the stage for your lesson and emphasize your language objectives.

Songs and Chants provide the ENGAGEMENT AND MOTIVATION all within the context of learning.  Songs and Chants give meaning to students and they relax as they sing and play.

Songs and Chants can trigger emotions and lower AFFECTIVE FILTERS.  Students socialize through Songs/Chants.  They can listen to themselves sing, and practice the reproduction of English songs while enjoying the rhythm.  Finally, Songs and Chants help second language learners express their feelings.

Songs and Chants can be a perfect addition to any lesson!
Have fun!

Happy Teaching! Lori

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 12 Jul 2022 11:30:00 +0000

Informal and Formal English and a freebie! ?????

Informal and Formal English

Summer is here, which means the school year is behind us, and rejuvenation time is happening! I know the feeling of finishing
up your end-of-year checklist and breathing a sigh of relief that you made it oh so well.

What does summer have in store for you? Are you taking a rest or are you teaching summer school? 

There are always students who need to learn and those of us who teach summer school rise to the occasion! If that?s you, you may be channeling your energy into your next project: making summer school fun but worthwhile! 

Read on to take a look at a freebie that you NEED for summer school (or the beginning of next year), a fun word to define, and an engaging
resource to help your students practice understanding where and how to speak different types of English.

Word of the Week:


To move with a clumsy tread
AKA how you?re probably moving to your couch to kick your feet up after a long school year of teaching!

Do you have newcomers in your summer school class this year? 

I?ll bet you do! Or are you expecting newcomers this fall?
This freebie is just what you need to get started on the right foot. Unit 1 of my ESL Newcomer Units is free. Download the first unit for free to see what an impact this resource will make this summer! 
Featuring flipbooks, survival vocabulary task cards, and an alphabet review, this resource covers several basic English skills exposing your students to novice-level English tasks.

Looking for other resources for your newcomers? Because ELL students learn BICS (basic interpersonal communication skills) first, they may be communicating in unpolished English featuring a lot of slang. There?s nothing wrong with that, but we want to teach our ELLs to use
the correct register when they?re in the classroom. My Formal & Informal Language resource is great for all levels of language learners. Watch as your students become engaged by discussing
the complexities of the English language by sorting, matching, and playing games with the content. Take a look at my Formal & Informal Language resource below:

No matter where you?re spending your time this summer, in or out of the classroom, I hope this summer is full of sunshine and smiles as you reflect on this past school year and prepare for the one to come, some sooner than later!
My very best,

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Jun 2022 11:30:00 +0000

Sale Time At Fun To Teach...Time is Ticking...Hurry!

All Your Favorite Teaching Resources now...on Sale!

June 21st - 24th, 2022

Don't wait...time is ticking~

Are you looking for something new to jazz up your teaching toolbox?

Check out all our elementary resources. If you are looking for Verb GamesEnglish Newcomer resourcesSentence StartersMathWord WallsSpanish Math & Spanish Verb Games, or a year-long ESL curriculum you are at the right place. Let me help you engage your students and make your prep easy.

If you teach English learners, I have a great bundle for you!

Intermediate English Language Learner Bundle!

This engaging intermediate K-5 English language level bundle is packed with essential EFL, ESL, and ELD activities for your English Language Learners (ELLs).

The 26 resources in this K-5 bundle will take you through the school year assured that you are teaching the essential foundation of English grammar and vocabulary to your intermediate second language learners.

? To make things even better it will be on sale from June 21 st through the 24th along with all the resources in my TPT store. You can save another 20% during this sale! ?

Not receiving the Fun to Teach NEWSLETTER?

You can sign up here!

Looking for ESL Curriculum that will take you through the year with engaging, effective, and time-saving ELA units, games, and activities? Here it is!

This ELL resource is your solution and provides fluency, parts of speech, vocabulary, and grammar for all English language levels. The best part is that we have done the heavy lifting for you! This ESL ELL EFL ELD ELA bundle requires minimal PREP on your end!

? To make things even better it will be on sale from June 21 st through the 24th along with all the resources in my TPT store. You can save another 20% during this sale! ?

Mark your calendar and get ready to save! Happy shopping!

Warm regards,


Happy Teaching!Happy Teaching!
Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Jun 2022 12:30:00 +0000

Summer Sale at Fun To Teach!

All Your Favorite Teaching Resources now...on Sale!

June 21st - 24th, 2022

Looking for ESL Curriculum that will take you through the year with engaging, effective, and time-saving ELA units, games, and activities? Here it is!

This ELL resource is your solution and provides fluency, parts of speech, vocabulary, and grammar for all English language levels. The best part is that we have done the heavy lifting for you! This ESL ELL EFL ELD ELA bundle requires minimal PREP on your end!

? To make things even better it will be on sale from June 21 st through the 24th along with all the resources in my TPT store. You can save another 20% during this sale! ?

Are you looking for something new to jazz up your teaching toolbox?

Check out all our elementary resources. If you are looking for Verb GamesEnglish Newcomer resourcesSentence StartersMathWord WallsSpanish Math & Spanish Verb Games, or a year-long ESL curriculum you are at the right place. Let me help you engage your students and make your prep easy.

If you teach English learners, I have a great bundle for you!

Intermediate English Language Learner Bundle!

This engaging intermediate K-5 English language level bundle is packed with essential EFL, ESL, and ELD activities for your English Language Learners (ELLs).

The 26 resources in this K-5 bundle will take you through the school year assured that you are teaching the essential foundation of English grammar and vocabulary to your intermediate second language learners.

? To make things even better it will be on sale from June 21 st through the 24th along with all the resources in my TPT store. You can save another 20% during this sale! ?

Not receiving the Fun to Teach NEWSLETTER?

You can sign up here!

Mark your calendar and get ready to save! Happy shopping!

Warm regards,


Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Jun 2022 20:59:00 +0000

Developing Oral Language with Picture Prompts

No Prep Fun Ways to 

Develop Oral Language

Strong oral language skills build the foundation for literacy and academic success.  This is true for native English speakers and English Language learners alike.  As ESL teachers, this crucial skill can be challenging to develop in shy and hesitant ELLs.

Ready for an easy no-prep way to engage your students while building oral language proficiency?

Picture prompts are fun and creative ways to get your students talking or writing!  Pictures can add engagement and fun while practicing sequencing, describing, and more. 

Here are a few of my favorites!


What are your favorite ways to develop oral language with your students?

Happy Teaching!


Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Connect with Parents

Summer is here! 

Are you looking for a way to connect with students and their parents during the summer months?  

Mailing off a list of summer activities that promote literacy and math during the vacation months might be what you are looking for. 

Many times parents ask us for ideas of things they can do at home with their children during the summer, but lose the list as summer sets in.  Mailing them a checklist of summer activities connects you with them.   

Here is a list of great weekly activities parents can choose from:

      Library Time!  Go to the public library once a week

      Old and Young! Visit a senior center once a week and read someone there a book.

      Estimate It!  Keep an estimation jar and have your kids guess the amount once a week!  Make sure they count the beans, rocks, etc. to verify their estimation.

      Clean-Up Day.  Choose a local park to visit weekly.  Pick up any trash you find and then have a picnic!

      Journal Time.  Once a week have your child write in a summer journal.  Orally review the week together and then give your child time to write about the events of the past week.

      Wrap It Up! At the beginning of the summer pick out 8 to 10 books that your child wants to read. Wrap them up in gift wrap and once a week let your child choose the book he/she will read for that week.

      Game Day!  Reserve one day a week for game day.  Gather together several games and let your children choose which game they want to play.  Young children can build math skills by playing go fish or concentration with a simple deck of cards.

      Research It!  Catch bugs and research them with your kids!  Great fun and builds investigation skills in your children.

      Put on a Play!  Once a week read a play with your children.  Dress up and act it out.  This is a great way to continue literacy during the summer.

      Local Museum.  Call your local museum and ask when they offer free hours. In the summer many museums offer free hours and days.

      Lemonade Stand!  Teach your child about money and responsibility by having a lemonade stand once a week during specific hours.  Shopping, counting change, and determining profit are all great Math skills for your child!

      Keep in Touch! Let your kid write a family newsletter once a week.  This is a great way to learn about summarizing as they describe the week's activities.  Kids can type up the newsletter, add photos and send them out to all the grandparents.

Click here for a printout of these activities you can send home!

Leave a comment below and tell us how you connect with students during the summer break.

Happy Teaching!


Grab the Free ESL Year Long Curriculum Map!


Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Jun 2022 10:49:00 +0000

English Newcomers & Beginning ELLs!

Let's talk about English Newcomers and Beginning English Language Learners!

Leave your comment below!  We would love to hear from you!

Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 31 May 2022 11:00:00 +0000

Make Summer School Fun This Year ?
Hello teachers ~


 Are you ready to make Summer School FUN?

With the end of the school year upon us, it?s time to start talking about summer school! Summer school doesn?t have to be an extension of the school year, instead, I challenge you to find ways to make summer school FUN! This post features fun resources to help you do just that. 

Check them out.?

One of the great things about summer school is the freedom to have a little more fun than you normally would during the school year. Give yourself the permission to enjoy teaching this summer and to give students hands-on learning opportunities. Allow students to learn through play and interaction with the material. I promise it?ll make this year?s summer school one that will be unforgettable. 


We know that summer school still requires math and reading to be taught, so what engaging ways can we expose students to that content? Let?s dive into some activities!



Summer School Math Activities:


Number Sense - Are you looking for fun and engaging Number Sense Vocabulary games and activities for kindergarten and 1st grade? These number sense games and activities will provide preschool, kindergarten, and 1st-grade students with a fun and engaging way to practice building number sense vocabulary.

Great hands-on math games and activities for essential Number Sense math vocabulary words that build a foundation of math understanding. This is great practice for ELL students!



Reading Two-Digit Numbers - Students love game boards! This resource has students reading and writing two-digit numbers while making their way around a gameboard to be the winner! Let students compete while practicing math and literacy at the same time!


Addition Vocabulary Activities - Looking for activities to help students practice addition vocabulary terms? This resource has 7 different games for students to play to practice including:

? Match It Up!
? I Know the Word

? Tic Tac Go!

? And the Answer is...

? Word Association

? A Game of 20 Questions

? Concentration

Students will know these terms front and back by the time they finish playing these games! The picture cards included also give students an accompanying visual for each term!



?Skip Counting by 10s Flipbook - Available by 5s and other numbers here in my flipbook bundle, these skip counting flipbooks give students hands-on practice as they flip through the book and practice counting! Have students do the activity ?Inside-Outside Circle? and rotate through reading to different classmates. 


Summer School Reading Activities:

June Word Wall & Activities - This 47-page resource features 50 summertime vocabulary terms with corresponding activities to allow students to practice using them! Students will practice learning vocabulary and practicing hands-on by playing these games:
            ?Bean Bag Toss
            ?Slap It
            ?Chant the Wall


Tongue Twisters - What kid doesn?t love a good tongue twister? This resource features 30 tongue twisters to help students practice pronunciation and isolate sounds. Featuring a gameboard, students can move their way around the board as they practice these tongue twisters. This is great for all elementary students, especially ELLs. 


Extras! Extras! 

Cross-Content Gameboards - We all know gameboards are a hit, and these are especially versatile for ELL students! This packet contains gameboards for math and literacy, while also containing blank game boards that can be used with any resource! Here are some topics the pre-created boards cover:

? Colors
? Numbers

? Letters

? Fractions

? Counting

? Vehicles

? Animals


Your scientists will have so much fun with this jam-packed ?Growing Kidney Beans? unit for science.

This resource is perfect for Summer School! ?Growing kidney beans? provides a science-based experiment that gets kids excited to learn. This Science unit teaches basic science concepts, vocabulary, and language.  Perfect for ESL students and all K-5 elementary students, even the youngest of learners. 


I hope that summer school this year is fun for you and your students. By tossing the routine, boring learning out the window and putting hands-on activities in front of your students, I believe it?ll be a summer filled with learning and laughter.


Happy Teaching! ?

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Hoke Virtual Solutions)
Publ.Date : Tue, 24 May 2022 08:00:00 +0000

?Make Math Fun with Fact Fluency for ELLs

Hello teachers ~

Today we are going to be diving into all things related to math fact fluency. Fact fluency is a skill that students especially English Language Learners need to develop in order to be successful with math. This post will unpack what fact fluency is, any misconceptions, activities to teach it, and how to make it work for your ELLs. Let?s dive in! ?


?What is math fact fluency?

?What is 6 x 1?

?What is 5 x 2?

?What is 4 x 3?

If you are able to recall the answer to these questions in 2 seconds or less, you may have developed something called math fact fluency

In simple terms, math fact fluency occurs when a student instantly recalls the answer to a basic math problem. As students repeatedly practice simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations, they commit the answers to their long-term memory. When students are able to recall these answers instantly, they have achieved math fact fluency.

However, math fact fluency is also more than that. In order to possess this skill, students need to feel comfortable with numbers and enjoy working with them. Completing multiplication drills is monotonous and boring for students, but participating in fun activities can help them build their math fact fluency in meaningful ways. 


Math fact fluency vs. Math fact automaticity

The internet is filled with terms related to math facts. Sometimes it?s difficult to know what the difference between them is! Two common terms that can easily be interchanged are math fact fluency and math fact automaticity. Let?s discuss the difference below.

?Math Fact Fluency - the ability to solve math problems quickly and fluently. Fluency in math refers to being able to manipulate numbers to find an answer quickly. For example, if you posed the question, ?how could I solve the problem 3 x 4?? students with fact fluency may know the answer is 12, but their basis in visualizing and manipulating numbers is what has caused them to possess the ability to solve this problem so quickly.

?Math Fact Automaticity - being able to automatically provide the answer to a question without thinking.

While automaticity is a part of math fact fluency, we want to instill a desire to love math and number manipulation, not just spewing out an answer like a robot.


?Lesson Plan

Looking for a way to teach multiplication fact fluency to your students? Take a look at the lesson plan below!

Math fact fluency can only be built once students have foundational skills. To teach students multiplication fact fluency, you must first teach students how to multiply. Great ways to do this include visual activities like arrays, repeated addition, or creating equal groups with manipulatives. These activities will get students? minds turning with the understanding of how multiplication works. This is vital for students to understand before they move into fact fluency.

Wondering how to build a background for ELL students? Vocabulary is the cornerstone of learning for language learners. Pull a few keywords from the topic and teach them to students before beginning your math unit. This ensures that students know and understand the language needed to interact with the topic. As students learn, play games with students to reinforce the vocabulary. Need help getting started? My math vocabulary bundle in English and Spanish includes keywords and pictures for several topics.

If your students already have a strong foundation of how multiplying works, you can move them into fact fluency. To practice fact fluency, we must give students repetitive, engaging opportunities to practice solving equations. 


There are several activities that I LOVE for teaching multiplication fact fluency. Let?s explore one of them together.

For math games and activities, I especially enjoy using flashcards and game boards. We use both for the multiplying game from my Multiplication Fact Fluency Games Bundle that we are going to explore in this lesson.

First, each student takes a game board, like the one below. (I have several printable game boards in my resource.)

Next, students take turns drawing an equation from the pile of facedown equation cards in the center of the table. Example equation cards are below:

Once students draw their equation cards, they read the equation aloud and try to determine the answer. As they are solving, their group mates try to solve the equation as well to be sure that the student who is answering the question gives the correct answer. Once the student solves the problem, he or she looks to see if the answer is on their game board. If it is, they cover the answer with the equation card itself. If it isn?t, they put the equation card in the discard pile. Play passes to the next player. The game ends when a player has filled his or her entire board with equation cards. 

Students love playing this game because they have the opportunity to compete against their group mates to fill up their board first! What student doesn?t love trying to be the first to win? This game helps build math fact fluency because students are practicing math in a meaningful way. Students are engaged as they repeatedly attempt to solve math equations with their group mates.

Have ESL students in your class? Because fact fluency is primarily number-based, the skill itself requires little language. As long as students know the basic vocabulary surrounding the topic, students at all language levels, newcomers included, can participate in these math games with ease. This is also a great unit to have newcomer students practice number vocabulary in English during small group time. 

Get this game and many others in my multiplication bundle. This resource also contains timed tests and other multiplication worksheets and activities. Covering numbers 0-12, this unit is all you need to keep your students engaged during math small group, whole group, or as extra homework practice within your multiplication unit! 

Your students are right around the corner from achieving math fact fluency. Let this resource help them practice in a meaningful way!


Click the pictures below to take a peek at my resources. ?


Happy Teaching! ?

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Hoke Virtual Solutions)
Publ.Date : Tue, 17 May 2022 08:00:00 +0000

Using Songs and Chants in the ELD Classroom

Ready to engage your English Language Learners?

Songs and Chants are a dynamic part of an ESL lesson. Songs/ Chants set the stage for the lesson and help focus English Language Learners - ELLs - on the vocabulary and grammatical structure you are teaching.

Here is a simple lesson plan to use to get your second language learners - English newcomers to advanced language learners singing and focusing on all of your language lessons!  

GROUPING: Whole class
OBJECTIVE: To introduce a song/chant
? Student copies of the song/chant
? The song/chant written on chart paper

? Sing or chant the song first to your students
? Focus on pronunciation
? Anchor your student?s attention by teaching your students to always ?look at my mouth.? Help them make the correct mouth and facial movements as you help them pronounce words correctly
? Hand out mirrors and see if your students can make their mouth ?look like yours? when pronouncing new words or difficult sounds

VARIATION: Gesture as you sing Sing one part more than once

I hope you have fun with students while engaging them in every lesson you teach using Songs and Chants!

Happy Teaching!
Need more lesson plan ideas?  Click here!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Wed, 11 May 2022 12:23:00 +0000

Scaffolding Instruction - What is it?

 Hi everyone!

Scaffolding Instruction

What is it?  How do we do it?

Scaffolding instruction is essential when working with English learners in the classroom or in ESL and intervention groups.  English newcomers to early advanced speakers need this support at some level.

Scaffolding instruction:

When teachers break learning into smaller chunks and give students temporary 
  • support
  • structure
  • and tools to work with 
we call this scaffolding.   

Scaffolding starts with:

high temporary support.  This support is gradually taken away until the learner can produce the work on their own.  

Scaffolding includes:

a variety of essential techniques or steps that helps move the learner toward higher levels of understanding and independence when learning. 

Scaffolding can be used: 

in a broad range of content areas and grade levels.  Let?s look at a few of my favorite scaffolding strategies.

Shared experience:

To access and build common background knowledge begin with a shared experience:
?       a video
?       a shared reading

Graphic Organizers:

?       Venn Diagrams and Double Bubble Charts to compare and contrast information
    ?       Mind Maps help show relationships, note taking and book summaries

Flow charts to show processes

?    Rubrics that show what is expected on an assignment

Task Cards:

   Task cards are given to students that 
   frame a topic or subject.



  Vocabulary Lists

  Target and signal words and vocabulary lists with definitions that are content-specific.  Provide lists of transition words and conjunctions.   Add new words to the lists as you use and discover them.


   Topic or content sentence frames

   Use sentence frames, sentence forms, and sentence starters to support the use of complete sentences in writing and spoken discourse.  Use these for both whole group and partner discussions.
support written ideas. Begin with simple sentences and build to compound sentences.

Provide visual word walls 

- add new words as you go along.

What are some of your favorite scaffolding techniques?  Which do you find work best with second language learners?

Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Thu, 05 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

ESL Year-Long Bundle - Getting Organized!

Hello teachers ~

ESL Curriculum all ELL Domains and all language levels!

What if I told you I could help get you prepped for next school year before summer even begins?

I know you?re probably thinking, but Lori this school year isn?t even over yet. I know that.

Watch the video to learn more.



But think about how nice it would be to already have everything organized and ready to go for your ESL students next year. We know the back-to-school season is hectic and overwhelming. We?ve all felt it before. 

So what if you got your planning done now, in May? 

How can you go about that? Let me tell you. 

My ESL Year-Long Bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers includes everything you need to teach ELL students at all language levels. With units that are differentiated based on language level, this resource can be used when working with:

            ?Newcomers             ?Beginning/early intermediate students

            ?Intermediate students

            ?Early advanced and advanced students

The great thing about this resource is how flexibly you can use it. Some ways that you can use it are for:

            ?ELD/ESL pull-out classes

            ?ELD/ESL push-in classes

         ?Title I reading 

            ?Intervention classes


            ?Independent work time

            ?Whole class lessons

            ?Small groups

When talking to teachers, I always hear that one of the most difficult parts for them is planning for students that are at different language levels, especially their newcomers. The great thing about this bundle is that the differentiation is completed for you. Students at all language levels can interact with these monthly resources. The targeted activities included in this bundle were designed to help students continue growing on their language proficiency journey.

 So what does this bundle contain?

  1. Pacing guides to last the entire school year! There are pacing guides with activities for each month! ?


  1. Vocabulary development lessons that feature cross-content vocabulary ??

  1. Sentence starter cards and writing sheets ?

  1. Graphic organizers to help students interact with the content ?

  1. Games to keep students engaged and give additional practice ?

  1. Picture cards with real-life images to help students build vocabulary knowledge ?

7. Word Wall activities to help students practice vocabulary ?

?..and much more!


I know how easy it is to countdown the days until summer trying not to think about next year. I?ve been there too. But I?ve also been the teacher scrambling to get things together when the school year begins. Take the time now to get organized and set yourself and your students up for success next school year. I promise you?ll be so thankful you did. 

If you?re shopping during the Teacher Appreciation sale, you can get an additional 25% off of this bundle, making it an outstanding deal at only $128.00.  That is for a year?s worth of lesson plans for all language levels and covering all language domains! Yay!

Don?t miss this chance to get organized and get prepared for next school year.

Click the picture below to check out this bundle and save yourself some time:

Happy Teaching! ?

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Hoke Virtual Solutions)
Publ.Date : Wed, 04 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000

June Month-long ESL Curriculum Bundle

Hello friends,
Check out this preview video to see everything inside:

June ESL Curriculum Bundle 

Are you searching for a month?s worth of K-6 ESL curriculum, ESL lesson plans, and ESL activities all in one place? Looking for elementary ESL Lesson Plans for all language levels including English Newcomers for an entire month? Wishing for easily differentiated ESL lessons that correspond to each of the language levels of your K-6 ELL students? Search no more! June ESL Curriculum and ELL activities Bundle Kindergarten - 6th is here for you!

Watch this video to find out more!

Now you have all your lessons for a month at your fingertips. Organized by language level makes planning a snap. Teach ESL, ELD, English grammar, and vocabulary with rigor and ease by using this comprehensive time-saving resource. Integrate the language skills of oral language, reading, writing, speaking, and listening!

Save over 30% with this bundle!

This ESL Bundle for June will fit the needs of all your students who are learning English. From English Newcomers to Early Advanced speakers, we have you covered.

Download the preview now to see the whole month's pacing guide!

Take a peek at what is inside this complete ESL resource bundle for June:

? FATHER'S DAY Word Wall

? Tongue Twisters

English Newcomers:

o K-1 Sentence Starters

o Beginning, Middle, End Story Organizer

o Demonstrative Pronouns

o 3 sounds of -ed Game


o K-1 Sentence Starters

o Beginning, Middle, End Story Organizer

o Demonstrative Pronouns

o 3 sounds of -ed Game


o Asking Questions with How

o Academic Vocabulary Expansion

o 3 sounds of -ed Game

o Irregular Past Tense Verbs Game

Early Advanced:

o Academic Vocabulary ? Phrasal Verbs

o Asking Questions with How

o Sentence Starters Packet

Click here to get yours now!

This ESL curriculum contains lesson plans for weeks of teaching, which are perfect for English learners! This unit is loaded with fun, hands-on activities to help your ESL or at-risk students build language, grammar, and vocabulary.

In addition, our activities and ideas provide fun and interest, so your students learn through hands-on experiences. No more searching for picture cards, prompts, or responses. These resources are ready to go to work for you!


We have the resources you need to teach English Language Learners. Whether you are:

a classroom teacher with ELLs

an ELD push-in specialist

an ESL pullout teacher

we have the products you will treasure and use over and over again with your English Learners.

What teachers like you say about our resources:

? Thank you! We use systematic ELD instruction in our school district, and your unit makes it so much easier to use with our instruction. Keep creating these great units!

? A great pack of activities which covers everything you need on transport. This will save you hours of planning! This deserves a lot more ratings!

? Thanks! This unit is so complete!

? Thank you for the easy-to-follow resource!

? Great unit for English Learners and incorporates many aspects of language!

? Great breakdown of the topic into different areas!

? Spotlights! Classifications! Games! Writing! Vocabulary and picture cards! Writing prompts! 52 PAGES! Thank you so much!

The biggest way to SAVE is to Buy the Bundle and SAVE!  Buy the bundle for the entire year!

Use these engaging resources in:

  • ELD pull out classes
  • ELD push-in classes
  • Title I Reading
  • Intervention classes
  • Centers
  • Independent work time
  • Whole-class
  • Small groups

Click here to get yours now!
Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:30:00 +0000

How to Teach Number Prefixes

Hello friends,

Helping English Language Learners with Math is so very important. We all know that ELLs struggle greatly with Math and that they consistently score lower than native speakers on Math state tests.

Teaching Math Prefixes

Math prefixes are one of the keys that will help unlock Math vocabulary. Let's take a look at one way to teach your ELLs about the meaning of number prefixes.

Prefixes and Math

A prefix is defined as a word, letter, or number that comes before another word. This ?before? word, or prefix, changes the original meaning in some format.  For example, if you use the prefix centi- before the word meter then you create a centimeter or one-hundredth of a meter. But without the prefix, a meter is a much larger measurement. Math has its own set of prefixes that are important to the operation.  We need to understand how to teach number prefixes to our ESL students in a way that they can connect with so they can understand that number prefixes tell us how many of something, like the meter.

The Beginning

Knowing where to start when teaching any kind of vocabulary is one of the most challenging pieces for teachers. This is even more true when teaching ESL students and especially true when dealing with math vocabulary. So knowing how to teach number prefixes can feel overwhelming. But it doesn?t have to be if we break it down into pieces. I like to start with a word tree. 

Word Trees

Yep, using word trees is one of the best ways to teach number prefixes. We use them all the time with new vocabulary in English class and math should be no different. For this tree, you will want to have the prefixes in one section, some base words in the middle, and then the new words in the last section. Because there are multiple prefixes that can be used with each base word you can have lots of options.

Flashcards for the Middle

Sometimes knowing how to teach number prefixes is going back to the basics, which for me means flashcards. This is what I consider the middle section of my lessons on number prefixes. Students can spread them out and match them up in many different methods. Sometimes I will use flashcards with the whole group. When I do this I will hold the card up and each student will choose a matching card to hold up. I also like to use flashcards for independent practice. The key to this step of the lesson is repetition.

Playing Games for Review

Playing games is one of my favorite ways to review any skill that we are working on. This is no different when I am teaching number prefixes. I have done the work for you in my Math Games. There are several different practice games for number prefixes, just let your students play! The games serve as a great review of everything we just learned with our word tree and flashcards. It is the best end cap for my lesson.

Teaching Number Prefixes

There is no wrong way to teach prefixes. Any exposure that you give your students to the ?before? words is excellent exposure. I hope that some of these ideas will help get you started though so that your students can expand their math vocabulary and start to feel confident in their math classes.

Grab your Prefix Pack now!

Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Apr 2022 10:30:00 +0000

What to do with ELL newcomers

ELL Newcomers

Want to see an example lesson that you can implement with minimal prep for your newcomers? Keep reading to take a peek at a lesson from my ELL newcomers bundle. ?

Hello teachers ~

We are back with the next installment of our newcomer unit: What to do when they are new. Today we will be taking a peek at a lesson from our bestselling ELL newcomer bundle. So often teachers? hearts are in the right place with their newcomer students. They want to help them learn English, but they don?t know where to begin or when they will have time to make resources. The activity below is an example of a targeted lesson that teaches your newcomers language they need to know with minimal prep for you. The best of both worlds! Read on to take a peek. ?

The main goal for our English Language Learner (ELL) students is to expose them to the language. That means that our lessons are rooted in teaching vocabulary words that will help students understand the words they are hearing, reading, and writing. Unfortunately, if we only teach students vocabulary words we are doing them a disservice. Why is that you ask? Well, we have to teach students how to use the words too. When we teach students vocabulary words we also need to give them a grammar point. This helps students be able to use the new words in context right away!  

The lesson we are taking a peek at today focuses on school supply vocabulary and the verb ?to have?. As I mentioned above, we always want to be sure we have a grammar point to go along with the vocabulary words we are teaching. Okay, let?s learn how to teach this lesson!

Start with the vocabulary words.

  1. Show students picture cards for each school supply. (A picture of example picture cards is below).

  1. Explain what each picture shows. Allow students to make connections by saying the word in their first language, if they want to.

  2. Have students practice repeating each vocabulary word aloud and using body language to convey the meaning of the word.

  3. Have students glue their picture cards onto a science board. Have students practice identifying what the pictures show and how to pronounce the words in English.

Now that students have been exposed to the vocabulary words, let?s teach them how to use them in context!

  1. Teach students how to use the word ?have? with each pronoun. Use motions to show students who you are talking about. Have students repeat each sentence with ?have? to practice.

    ?I have?
    ?You have? 
    ?He/She has? 
    ?We have? 
    ?They have?
  2. Introduce students to the question and sentence frame using ?have?. Help students practice asking and answering the question aloud by using school supply vocabulary.

    ?What do you have?  
    ?I have a ________. (eraser, pencil, crayon, etc.)

  3. Give students the sentence flip sheet.  Have them practice completing the sentence frame by using school supply vocabulary. Encourage students to write more than one example on the blanks on the bottom page of the flip sheet.

  1. Have students practice reading the questions and answers on their flip sheet aloud and review the vocabulary words on their science board every day.  Students can also take these home to practice as well! As we know, review and practice is the key to language acquisition.

This lesson showed how to teach targeted vocabulary and grammar to your students. It takes very little prep but is highly engaging and effective for your students!

Looking to continue meeting your newcomers? needs by providing them with targeted resources to grow their language? Ready to commit? Click here to buy my ELL Newcomers Bundle, which is the best value for all things newcomer! Want to try out Unit 1 for free before buying? Click here to try it out and see how amazing it is before you commit to the full bundle. Let me help you feel confident that you are teaching your ELL newcomers everything they need to know to thrive.


Happy Teaching

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Thu, 07 Apr 2022 11:00:00 +0000

????????? ?If only I had more time in a school day?

Classroom Transitions

Have you ever caught yourself uttering this phrase?  

 ?If only I had more time in a                school day...?  

You can easily add those instructional minutes to your day by explicitly planning for your transition times.  Carefully considered transition times offer the key to maintaining an optimal learning environment, minimizes disruptions and behavior problems while maximizing instructional time. 

By providing the structure of predictable routines, procedures, and behavioral expectations, teachers offer their students, including second language learners and those who struggle with poor attention and impulsivity, an avenue to success during transition times. 

Plan for the transition periods in advance.  

Take a few minutes and think about the transition times that occur in your classroom.  
Grab your free planner here!

Common transition times include: 

? entering the classroom first thing in the morning
? changing from one subject to another
? leaving or coming into the room after assemblies
? recesses or lunch, clean up time at the end of the day

The first step in planning for transition times

is selecting a signal that you will use for each transition time.  Be consistent and use the same signal for all transitions.  Make sure it is a visual and auditory signal.  Provide enough ?wait time? for students to respond.

Choose a method to instill a ?sense of urgency? in the transition

Students respond well to the feeling that their work and time are important.  By giving the situation ?a sense of urgency? students respond quickly.  Set a timer, count, or sing a song to give students that ?sense of urgency.  Often simply saying, ?Class we have 40 seconds to enter the room quietly and slowly, return to our desks/tables safely and begin reading.  Ready go.? is sufficient to instill that sense of urgency.

Always follow the same procedure

During transition times where students leave the room, teach them to put their materials away, stand up, push in their chairs, move slowly and safely to the door.  During transition times to the next activity include an activity that will help children adjust to the change.  Consider adding: 
  • a quick opportunity to stretch
  • a song that focuses on the new activity or subject
  • skip counting
  • reciting a poem.  
This gives students a break to readjust and provides slower students a bit more time to complete the transition.  Be deliberate in ending this very short brain break. Go right to work, don?t waste time here.  This creates a ?sense of urgency? and shows your students that you value their time and work.

Be consistent 


Smooth transitions occur when students know what to do and how to do it.  Adhere to your schedule.  Have work ready for students.  As students enter each morning have a plan for exactly what they will do as they enter.  Look at your morning and plan for success.  Teach students to enter the room and 
? Hang up backpacks, jackets, and coats
? Turn in homework
? Sign up for hot or cold lunch 
? Find their seats
? Begin reading, handwriting, or whichever morning activity you choose

Consider playing music or setting a timer the students can hear for the first minute students are entering the room


Be very consistent and choose the same amount of time the music ends or the timer goes off in order to create that ?sense of urgency?.  Transition times will be efficient and productive parts of your educational day when you value your students? time and work. 

Finally, good teaching of any routine and procedure is the key to success

Remember to explain the expected behavior, explicitly model the routine and procedure, practice, practice, practice, and finally provide feedback. 

 Congratulations, you are on your way to smooth, efficient, and safe transition times.

We created a helpful worksheet you can download for free.  

What strategies and activities do you use during transition times?  Please share your ideas with us!

Happy Teaching!

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000

Language Support for ESL Newcomers

ESL Newcomers

Now that you know what to expect when your ESL newcomer initially arrives, let?s talk about how you can support their language development. ?

Quick tips for supporting your English newcomer in the classroom:

        ?Allow students to use their first language to aid their comprehension

        ?Give students a buddy that speaks their language, if you have one

        ?Use pictures or gestures to help students with routines and directions

        ?Include your newcomer in your lessons, even if you don?t think they will understand the content.

        ?Have targeted work that students can do with you or a buddy during

           independent time

Now that you have a few quick tips to support your English newcomer, let?s talk about different activities that you can do to help your ESL newcomer learn English!

? Teach survival vocabulary:

Survival vocabulary terms are phrases and questions that students need to ?survive? and function in school.  Think about some of the most common phrases and questions students ask daily. Such as:

        ?May I go to the bathroom?

        ?May I get a tissue?

        ?I need a pencil.

        ?I feel sick.

        ?I don?t understand.

        ?I don?t know.

        ?What do I do?

        ?Where do I go?

These are phrases and questions that your newcomer students want the answer to also! They just may not be able to voice those concerns in English, yet. Explicitly teaching students these survival words and phrases can help them feel comfortable in your classroom while also helping them learn some basic English.

? Teach basic classroom nouns and verbs:

Think about the basic people, places, things, and actions students need to be aware of to be able to follow directions and understand your schedule. By explicitly teaching your students common classroom words and verbs, you can ease their anxiety by helping them know what to do and expect. Some example terms are:







Teach students these words using word cards and then showcase them in a place where students can see and practice them. You could build a word wall for students or have them create their own science board where they can review and practice them on their own. Review and practice are key to language acquisition. 

??Provide sentence starters:

One way to help newcomers feel successful with English is to provide them with sentence starters. This minimizes the amount of English that students must produce while also helping build their confidence in what they need to write about. Some example sentence starters are:

        ?My name is _______.

        ?I am ______.

        ?I am from ______.

Using sentence starters like the ones listed above can help students feel success with writing in English.

Teaching newcomers and creating resources for them doesn?t have to be overwhelming! If you are looking to implement some of the suggestions mentioned above but don?t have the time to make them yourself, check out these products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:


Stay tuned for the next post in the series which features a sample lesson plan from my ELL Newcomers Bundle!

Happy Teaching! ?

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Mar 2022 10:00:00 +0000

?St Patrick?s Day Idioms?

 St Patrick's Day

??St Patrick?s Day is right around the corner!  

  I love using this holiday to teach about idioms!
?St Patrick?s Day Idioms?
What is an idiom?
Idioms are words that don?t mean what they say!  They are usually a group of words, well known and used by native speakers of a language, that can?t be understood by the individual meaning of the words.

Why teach idioms?
Students develop a clear understanding of idioms with direct instruction, read-alouds, teacher modeling, and student-centered activities.  According to readwritethink teaching idioms offers students the ability to further comprehend texts that contain metaphorical and lexical meanings beyond the basic word level.

Here is one way to teach idioms:
      When presenting idioms to students, introduce a group of 4 to 5 idioms together.   It is best to group the idioms into a category, for  example; before St. Patrick?s Day teach idioms that use green in them!
      Always use stories or relate personal conversations to introduce each idiom in context.
      Use an Idiom Journal to record the idiom and the meaning.  Don?t forget a picture.
      Practice by offering students a student-centered activity.

Now you are on your way to teaching idioms!

I like these idioms for green!
      Get or give someone the green light
      Green with envy
      Grass is always greener on the other side
      To be green
      Green thumb
      Green around the gills

Here are some fun sites for idioms!
      My English Teacher
      Learn English

What are some of your favorite idiom activities!  I would love to hear about them.

Happy Teaching,

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Mon, 07 Mar 2022 11:00:00 +0000

Where to Begin with ESL Newcomers

ESL Newcomers

We have all had an English newcomer student for the first time at some point, and we have all wondered what to do with them. If that's you this year, this series is for you. Each post will provide different tips to help you feel confident about teaching newcomer students. Even if you aren't new to ESL newcomer teaching, follow along. You may learn some useful tips! Read on to learn where to begin. ?

You just found out that an English newcomer - English learner (EL) is being placed in your class. Maybe you?ve taught other English learners before, but this feels?different?scary. You have no idea where to start or what to do. ?

If you?re feeling this way, follow along with this series to find out what to do when they are new!

The most important thing you need to do is:

Make your newcomer student feel welcomed and supported! This is probably a scary time for them. Maybe they are new to the country. Maybe they have been to school, but never a school where English is spoken. Or maybe they have never been to school at all. You help set the tone for their school experience by showing them positivity, kindness, and support.

Know they may have a range of emotions:

Newcomer students may have an array of feelings as they become acclimated to their new environment. This is a normal part of the acculturation process. The emotions students may feel include:

        ? Euphoria: Students may be curious and excited about their new culture. ?    

        ?Culture shock: Students may experience grief, anger, homesickness, and resentment. ?

These reactions are normal as students adjust to their new lives in the United States. Help your newcomer students by showing them that you are there for them as they process the many different changes in their lives. 

Dig into their background info:

Just as we should try to learn basic information about all of our students, it?s important to learn about our newcomer students and where they come from. Look at students? cumulative folders to find some of this information:

        ?Where was the student born?

        ?What language(s) do they speak?

        ?Did they go to school in their country?

        ?Can they read and write in their language?

        ?Is this their first United States school?

        ?How do you pronounce their name?

Getting the answers to these questions helps you be more aware of your students? cultures and backgrounds which helps inform your instructions. Acknowledging students? backgrounds can help them feel connected to you and show them that you care. 

Determine their English language level:

Now that you know all of the basic information about your student, you need to know how much English they know. Some students know and understand a few words and phrases, while others may just be starting on their English language learning journey. Talk with your school?s English Language (EL, ESL, ELD, etc.) teacher. Your English Language teacher should already have or be working to acquire English placement test scores. Depending on your state, the entrance test that students take may be different. Your school?s EL teacher will know what program is followed for your state.

You can use these test scores to know which language domains students need the most support with. The four language domains are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Some students may need support in all four areas equally, and that?s okay! Knowing how your students scored gives you an idea of what students have already mastered and where you need to begin.

Once you have completed the steps above, stay tuned for my next blog post in the series which focuses on Language Support for ESL Newcomers.

Happy Teaching! ?

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Mar 2022 13:00:00 +0000

How to teach articles - A, An, and The

 ?A,? ?An,? or ?The?

Hello everyone!  Ever wonder about how to teach the articles a, an, and the?  You are not alone.  

Here we go - articles in a snap!

Below I have laid out some of the rules about using ?a, an, and the?.  Quick and easy!

Articles in general

We use a/an when we don?t need to say which thing we are talking about. We use ?the? to talk about a specific thing.

Remember, in order to use ?a?, ?an?, and ?the? properly, you must know whether or not a noun is a Count or Non-Count Noun.

  • A count noun is the name of something that can be counted:

        one book, two books, three books.

  • A non-count noun is the name of something that cannot be counted:

       juice, stew, freedom, happiness.

Indefinite articles:

Use ?a? before words that start with a consonant sound and ?an? before words that start with a vowel sound.

When to use ?a? and ?an?

  • with singular countable nouns: to refer to a person or a thing that you are mentioning for the first time
  • before singular nouns that are unspecified
  • before number collectives and some numbers a gallon, a million

Definite articles:

When to use ?the?
  • to identify a specific person or object
  • to indicate a noun that is definite or has been previously specified
  • with names of geographical areas, rivers, mountain ranges
  • before superlatives and ordinal numbers
  • with decades
There are several exceptions, or more complicated situations for using ?a?, ?an?, and ?the? properly, the above information serves only as a beginning guideline but, can serve us well.

Happy Teaching,

Need an easy and engaging activity for your students to practice articles?  

Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Feb 2022 11:00:00 +0000

Teaching Vocabulary with Semantic Gradients

Semantic Gradient?

Finding ways for our students to connect with vocabulary on a deeper level is one of the most important things we do as ESL teachers. After all, just being able to read a word doesn?t really help our students if they don?t know what the word means.

We want them to recognize the word and be able to apply the word. 

One of the things in the English language that makes this so challenging is that we have multiple synonyms for each word that we use. That is why strategies like Semantic Gradients are so important. 

Semantic Gradients are a map of sorts showing the progression between two opposite words.

For example, words like soggy and dry may go on each of our gradient line. Students would then order wet, soaked and damp in between to show a progression. But how do we know how to teach semantic gradients? 

What are the steps for this strategy?

Step One: Finding the Words 

The first step of how to teach semantic gradients is knowing how to choose the right words. You need to think of polar opposites. I go back to the example of soggy and dry. These words have very different meanings. These words are the anchors of your line. The rest of the words on the line should be synonyms to one of your anchor words. Depending on the size of your line and the level of your students you can choose anywhere from 3-5 synonyms for each of the anchor words.

Step Two: Give the Words Meaning 

This is an added step that I think is so important in an ESL classroom. Visuals are everything to our students as they progress in their understanding of vocabulary. When using a semantic gradient I like to provide a picture that they can associate with each word. So, in sticking with our example, I would show a person in completely dry clothes and a person who is soaked through, possibly from standing in the rain for too long without an umbrella. I like to talk through scenarios with my students about the words when possible as well so that they can make a real life connection. 

Step Three: Arrange the Words 

 In knowing how to teach semantic gradients, this is the easiest step. The students need to put the words in order between the two opposite anchor words. Once the line is complete there should be a progression from one end to the other. So in our example, the person would go from soaked to dry by becoming soaked, wet and then damp. There are so many different charts that you can use for organizing the words and making your own isn?t difficult. But I like to use this black line gradient chart in my room for simplicity. 

Step Four: Have Students Discuss 

Discussion is the only thing that truly lets us know if our students ?get it?. So this step in teaching semantic gradients is the most important in my opinion. Once my students feel confident in their line, we take some time to discuss as a class why they chose the order they did. Sometimes changes happen and sometimes they stick with their original choices. 

To Sum It Up 

enhancing Vocabulary Semantic gradients are an incredibly effective visual tool for teaching our ESL students the various synonyms of common words. There are so many ways to say the same thing so being able to differentiate the levels of words enhances vocabulary which improves both reading comprehension and writing. 

Understanding how to teach semantic gradients is not a difficult task, this is a relatively simple strategy that is easy to implement. It has quickly become one of my favorites in my own classroom.

If you are ready to try using Semantic Gradients in your classroom you might be interested in our resource for TEACHING VOCABULARY WITH SEMANTIC GRADIENTS.




Author : noreply@blogger.com (Fun To Teach)
Publ.Date : Wed, 02 Feb 2022 12:00:00 +0000