Monday, June 27, 2016

How to Make Your Lessons Understandable to ELLs

This is the third in my book study series on Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners.  I have tagged each of these posts "Comprehensible Content" so if you miss a post or two, you can easily find them. 

The third component of the SIOP model is called Comprehensible Input.  Effective teachers match their rate of speech and vocabulary to their students' level of English.  They clearly explain academic tasks with modelling, visuals, and completed sample tasks.  They communicate in many different ways through gestures, anchor charts, and graphic organizers--to name a few.  They use repetition because students need multiple exposures to new vocabulary words.

In the online version of this class, one of the instructors taught a lesson in Mandarin.  She used the techniques in this chapter to emphasize how important rate of speech and gestures are to learning something in a different language.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Quote of the Week -- June 26, 2016

"Some books you read.  Some books you enjoy.  But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul."

Joanne Harris

Have a good week,

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Student's Sestina Poetry Printable

A sestina is a poetry form with six stanzas of six lines each and a short three lined stanza at the end called an envoi.  Each line ends with one of six words.

I wrote "A Student's Sestina" about a student who would rather ride a skateboard than study.  When I shared this with students, some said, "I didn't know that poetry could tell a story."  We analyzed the poem for the elements of story: characters, setting, problem, and resolution.

To download a printable copy of "A Student's Sestina", please click here.

This poem is in School Poems for Poetry Notebooks. This eBook contains thirty-seven original poems.

School Poems for Poetry Notebooks is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
School Poems for Poetry Notebooks is also available in my Teacher's Notebook store.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

The Star Wars franchise has about 260 official books that tell more about the characters and story world of the movies.  Most of them are more suitable for adult readers. Star Wars: Jedi Academy is a series by Jeffrey Brown is perfect for the elementary age Star Wars fans.

Roan dreams of attending the Pilot Academy, but when he applies he is rejected.  The Jedi Academy contacts him and tells him that he is strong in the force, but his early attempts are unsuccessful.  Comics, journal entries and letters tell Roan's story with humor and empathy.

For an explanation of my rating scale, click here.
Find me at Goodreads.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Building Background for English Learners

This summer I am reading Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners and sharing my thoughts here on Artistry of Education.  The second component of the SIOP model is Building Background. Building Background happens in two parts: making connections with the student's life outside of school and making connections with previous learning.

When a student has been in school for a year or two, it's easier to find out about their previous experiences inside and outside of school.  I can have conversations about family and hobbies.  I can ask about traditions and celebrations.  I can walk down the hall and find out from a previous teacher what the child learned the previous year.

When a student has just moved to the U.S., it may be more difficult.  I started using online images with one student just to help him choose his lunch everyday.  This grew into communicating with pictures about other events.

This year, I used Google Translate with a student about key words -- both academic and non-academic.  She had attended school for several years in El Salvador and had many skills that would transfer.

In Making Content Comprehensible, the authors include word lists to prioritize vocabulary to be included in lessons.  They distinguish between academic and social language.

What experiences have you had building background with English Learners?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Quote of the Week -- June 19, 2016

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.  The worst thing you can do is nothing."

Theodore Roosevelt

Have a good week,

Friday, June 17, 2016

Have Fun with Terse Verse

What is another name for dandelion fluff?

Weed seed

Terse Verse is a riddle that is answered by two rhyming words.  I have written hundreds of these and my students love to read and figure them out.

To download the free sample of Terse Verse Volume 3, click here.

To purchase the full 105 Terse Verse Volume 3, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store or Teacher's Notebook store.

Happy Friday!

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