Whether you have one English language learner in your classroom, or hundreds in your school, there is little doubt meeting the needs of these students will be at the top of most schools' agendas for professional development for many years to come.
Stella Villalba has advice about connecting nonfiction, young English language learners, and the Common Core.
Max Brand finds standard assessments don’t always give him the information he needs when working with kindergarten English language learners, so he develops his own tool for analyzing book handling skills.
Stella Villalba confers with first grader Jocelyn about the information text she is writing about bunnies. Jocelyn is an English language learner, and this conference demonstrates the value of oral rehearsal for young ELL writers.
We've all experienced that moment in a parent conference. You finish your spiel, which includes assessment data, charts, and an anecdote or two about the child. And when you're finished, the parent asks, "But how is my child doing?" Melissa Kolb explores the reasons why there can be a mismatch between our sense of useful information in parent conferences and a parent's expectations.
Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners.
Maria Caplin describes how she integrates word study with intermediate students in writing workshops.
Stella Villalba scaffolds the language development of her first- and second-grade English language learners during read-aloud by highlighting vocabulary and providing a tool to assist with a partner retelling activity.
Max Brand explains how movement activities in classrooms with young learners can be so much more than a brain break or “getting the wiggles out”: movement can forge potent connections between mind, body, and story. The essay includes two video examples.
Ellie Gilbert is deeply moved when her high school student connects to a text in a startling way. It’s one of those magic moments that keeps teachers coming back to classrooms, but is nearly impossible to share with others.
Max Brand describes why wipe-off boards are such a valuable tool for work with young English language learners in small groups. The article includes a video demonstration.
Max Brand takes two kindergarten English language learners from reading a familiar book to exploring a new text, and explains in the debrief how he targets specific reading skills.
Melissa Kolb writes about the importance of time and patience in meeting our goals with young learners — in this instance, a child who struggles to speak in her preschool classroom.
Stella Villalba incorporates more speaking and listening activities into her primary classroom for English language learners.
Melissa Kolb explains how she supports many languages in her preschool classroom through the thoughtful use of volunteers and other resources in this three-minute video.
How do preschool teachers help their young students seem themselves as writers? Leslie Woodhouse explains how she works with students early in the year, and provides many samples of starting points for three- and four-year-olds.
English language learners may have some of the quietest voices in schools. In this poem and narrative, Stella Villalba shares the power of finding ways to bring those voices out in your classroom.
Stella Villalba shares practical tips for helping young English language learners collaborate with classmates and receive feedback during writing workshop.
Melissa Kolb explains the social and academic value of morning sign-in for preschoolers.
Andie Cunningham confers with Vita, an English language learner whose first language is Russian. Vita is in the silent period. Notice how Andie coaxes communication from Vita, and manages to convey a sense of delight at her work, an acknowledgment of Vita’s importance in the classroom community, and some guidance for future writing.
Franki Sibberson shares some of her favorite new titles for young English language learners.
Erin Ocon discovers a surprising tool to help her middle school English language learners develop their writing and oral language skills — Powerpoint presentations. Erin shares some practical tips for using presentation software to support English language learners.
Teachers Melissa Kolb and Andie Cunningham help preschoolers use the thank you writing center in this quick two-minute video.
Robin Heist is an elementary teacher looking for books for her older English language learners who are reading below grade-level expectations.
Stella Villalba explains how her poetry cafe program brings families together for a festive event, and helps English language learners develop reading and fluency skills at the same time. This is the first installment in a two-part series.
Stella Villalba explains how her poetry cafe program brings families together for a festive event, and helps English language learners develop reading and fluency skills at the same time. This is the second installment in a two-part series.
How can teachers promote good independent reading choices for English language learners? Stella Villalba has suggestions.
It can be especially difficult for young children from impoverished homes to understand academic language and the demands of school. Andie Cunningham observes the sophisticated ways a preschool teacher helps her students adapt with invitational language.
Finding high interest books for English language learners in the upper elementary grades can be a challenge. Franki Sibberson shares some of her favorites.
What is the starting point for building community in a preschool classroom where almost every child speaks a different first language than their teacher? Melissa Kolb writes about how she gently guides her preschool students early in the year.
People around the world celebrate the holidays in different ways, and that diversity provides wonderful learning opportunities this time of year. Stella Villalba shares literary holiday projects and a booklist around the themes of “peace” and “wishes” that might help students find common ground in family traditions.
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