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Creating Your Own Kindergarten Assessment

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.

Rehearsing Informational Writing: Conferring with Jocelyn

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.

Do You Have Any Questions? Conferring with Families

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.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Max Brand describes how he uses images to build reading and writing skills among his kindergartners.

Weaving Word Study into Writing Workshop in 5th Grade

Maria Caplin describes how she integrates word study with intermediate students in writing workshops.

Integrating Vocabulary and Retelling Strategies into Read-Aloud

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.

Linking Movement, Minds, and Literacy in Kindergarten

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.

My Name Is Not Julie

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.

Using Wipe-Off Boards with Young English Language Learners

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.

Guided Reading with Kindergarten English Language Learners

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.

I Have Two Pictures of Cindy. . .

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.

Hearing Carlos: Helping Young English Language Learners Develop Speaking and Listening Skills

Stella Villalba incorporates more speaking and listening activities into her primary classroom for English language learners.

Preschool: Learning in Many Languages

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.

Writer’s Launch

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.

Without Answers

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.

Are Your Writers Talking During Writing Workshop?

Stella Villalba shares practical tips for helping young English language learners collaborate with classmates and receive feedback during writing workshop.

Preschool Morning Sign-In

Melissa Kolb explains the social and academic value of morning sign-in for preschoolers.

Conferring with Vita: Working Through Silence

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.

Book Matchmaker: Texts for Young English Language Learners

Franki Sibberson shares some of her favorite new titles for young English language learners.

The Power of Powerpoints for 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.

Preschool Thank You Writing Center

Teachers Melissa Kolb and Andie Cunningham help preschoolers use the thank you writing center in this quick two-minute video.

Book Matchmaker: 5th Grade English Language Learners

Robin Heist is an elementary teacher looking for books for her older English language learners who are reading below grade-level expectations.

A Poetry Cafe Celebration

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.

An ESL Poetry Cafe Celebration (Part II)

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.

Raising Readers: Independent Reading, Choices, and Intentional Reading Practices

How can teachers promote good independent reading choices for English language learners? Stella Villalba has suggestions.

Classroom Gifts from Carlos: Helping Young Students Learn Academic Language and Routines

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.

Book Matchmaker: Texts for 5th Grade English Language Learners

Finding high interest books for English language learners in the upper elementary grades can be a challenge. Franki Sibberson shares some of her favorites.

Preschool Book Browsing Time

This five-minute video from Kelly Petrin's preschool classroom shows the value of book browsing time. Kelly explains the skills children develop in language, book handling skills, and literacy independence during this time.

Drawing to Words: Conferring with Luis

In this four-minute video, Andie Cunningham confers with Luis during writing workshop. Luis is a six-year-old English language learner whose passion is drawing.

Preschool Writing Center

In this video from Melissa Kolb’s preschool classroom, children work in the writing center. Melissa explains how she routinely changes the supplies in the center to spark interest in students and make connections to their experiences.

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