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Janet's Latest Gems

Kia ora

Latest Gems

It has been a while since I shared the latest ideas, articles, research, links and apps that I have discovered from around the world that you may find helpful as leaders and teachers of English language learners. So here are a few of my recent favourites. Please note to open some of the links you will need to subscribe first to the website but they are all free and I think worth belonging to.

ELL Specific Articles

·         Teach Empathy With Digital Immigration Stories, Sara Burnett, Edutopia MAY 28, 2015.

·         9 Ideas to Support ELs’ Social-Emotional Learning Posted on 7 May 2015 by Judie Haynes, TESOL Association

·         Reading Challenges for ELs in the Age of the Common Core Posted on 22 May 2015 by Judie Haynes, TESOL International Association

·         10 Ways to Build ELL Vocabulary Skills by  Hannah Hudson, We are Teachers.

·         Children exposed to multiple languages may be better natural communicators By Jann Ingmire MAY 11, 2015 UChicago news

·         What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Reading and writing by Debra Josephson Abrams ,Thursday, April 30, 2015, Multibriefs

·         Fun activities for prepositions of time, TEFL.net 

·         Countable and uncountable noun games, TEFL.net

·         Background Knowledge: A Key to Close Reading with ELLs Diane Staehr Fenner / February 22, 2013

·         Preparing learners: Activating prior knowledge Grades 6-8 Teaching Channel video clips.

·         Frontloading for ELL Learners:  Building Concepts and Vocabulary Before Reading

·         The GO TO Strategies: Scaffolding Options for Teachers of English Language Learners, K-12 Centre for Applied Linguistics.   This resource is a downloadable pdf.

Other Articles

·         Five-Minute Film Festival: Summer Reading for Students, Keyana Stevens, Edutopia MAY 22, 201. This includes links to  video clips to inspire students to read. 

·         Fun and Free Summer Learning Resources  Matt Davis, ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: JUNE 11, 2014 | UPDATED: MAY 19, 2015 Edutopia

·         37 Ways to Help Kids Learn to Love Reading  by Hillary Hill, Edutopia. This includes a link to a shared doc packed full of ideas.


·         Ten Great Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures - A PDF Handout by Richard Byrne,  FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2015

·         20 minute lecture on Flipped Classroom- By Russell Stannard. This webinar looks at theory and research of flipped classrooms and provides guidance on key tools to use when flipping your classroom. 

·         Tech Tools for Teachers, One Stop English. This is a new section which provides very clear ‘how to’ guides on sing tools in language classrooms e.g. podcasting , digital images, video communication, digital narratives, word clouds , video sharing, blogging etc

·         The Best Places To Get The “Same” Text Written For Different “Levels” November 16, 2014 by Larry Ferlazzo  

·         Top 12 Websites for Beginning ELLs , Judie Haynes ASCD Edge

·         ipad in the ESL classroom andhttp://ipadintheeslclassroom.weebly.com/index.html

·         Free Apps to Support Vocabulary Acquisition by ELLs MAY 8, 2013 Monica Burns, Edutopia

·         What’s APPening: 100 apps for education, eClassroom news

·         Phonemic chart and pronunciation apps, Onestop English. Adrian Underhill’s Interactive Phonemic Chart is the perfect classroom pronunciation tool, and Sounds, a brand-new app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.  


·         Instructional improvement cycle: A teacher’s toolkit for collecting and analyzing data on instructional strategies  Marzano Research Institute of Education Sciences. This toolkit provides a process and tools to help teachers use data from their classroom assessments to evaluate promising practices. The toolkit provides teachers with guidance on how to deliberately apply and study one classroom strategy over the course of one unit and systematically document and compare results to consider the effects of a given instructional strategy on student learning.

·         Toolkit for a workshop on building a culture of data use by Nancy Gerzon Sarah Guckenburg WestEd. The Culture of Data Use Workshop Toolkit helps school apply research to practice as they establish and support a culture of data use in their educational setting.  


Our Community A round-up of last weeks discussions.

·         WATESOL EXPO in Wellington, June 13th open the link for the attached programme

·         AKTESOL expo in Auckland on 20th June.

·         Leone shared how valuable she finds the LEARNZ field trips and Scholastic Story Tumbler  for encouraging writing with her students. I loved the idea of sending a small stuffed toy as an ambassador on the field trips and having the students corresponding with the ambassador.  

·         Barrie from LEARNZ who run the virtual field trips shared another link on providing opportunities for student based on using the LEARNZ resource.  http://www.learnz.org.nz/student-writing-opportunities-learnz . You can see what field trips are coming up in 2015 here. Earthquakes, Kea, Antarctica, and Watercare are all coming up along with several other topics.  If you haven’t taken a field trip give it a go.

·         He also shared our LEARNZ has great New Zealand content that links well to our New Zealand curriculum. The material can be repurposed for using with English language learners Barrie gave an example of using a picture of a Kea as stimulation for writing.

·         Meryl-Lynn from Rainbow Reading kindly shared resource to use with your students on Matariki with a FREE Reader’s Theatre script, so your students can learn about Matariki and build fluency in reading. Or you can go directly to Rainbow Reading at http://rainbowreading.co.nz/ . To download it here are Meryl’s instructions.

Writing and ELLs

Thank you to those of you who have already shared your great writing ideas particularly in response to Rowena’s request for ideas to use with reluctant writers with Foundation level English.  It would be good to continue sharing your ideas for writing with ELLs as this is something you are all involved with.

Whenever possible I think it is good to link writing to shared experiences, and to curriculum content. We need opportunity to write across a range of topics and genres both fiction and non-fiction.  Explicit teaching with teacher modelling is important for ELLs and they should be scaffolded to success with the use of writing frames etc. See the esolonline pedagogy, writing strategy page for scaffolding ideas.