Posts Tagged 'ELL'

50 Best Blogs for Literacy Teachers (and a brief update)

[tweetmeme]Wow! The month of April flew by with hardly an extra moment to blog on Literacy is Priceless! This has been an incredible month between:

Now that I have a moment to sit down and write, I want to extend a huge thank you to Online University Reviews for including Literacy is Priceless on their list of 50 Best Blogs for Literacy Teachers. This is definitely a list to bookmark! In particular, make sure to check out two of my favorites on the list:

To great travel, interesting education conferences and literacy!


Founder, Bon Education


Bon’s on Facebook!



ELL Resource: Colorín Colorado

While walking to the gym recently, I saw an advertisement for the New York City Public Libraries’ Summer Reading 2008 website on an MTA bus. This evening, I finally got around to checking out the site and found it quite useful, in particular the libraries’ list of of “Great Websites for Families“.

On the list is a link to Colorín ColoradoColorín Colorado is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs).

Take a look at Colorín Colorado’s strategies for teaching ELL students reading (K-12) here. I particularly like the site’s suggested cooperative learning strategies to help students build literacy skills and content area knowledge. For example, have you ever tried having a class tea party or writearound?

  • Tea Party: Students form two concentric circles or two lines facing each other. You ask a question (on any content) and students discuss the answer with the student facing them. After one minute, the outside circle or one line moves to the right so that students have new partners. Then pose a second question for them to discuss. Continue with five or more questions. For a little variation, students can write questions on cards to review for a test through this “Tea Party” method.
  • Writearound: For creative writing or summarization, give a sentence starter (for example: If you give an elephant a cookie, he’s going to ask for…). Ask all students in each team to finish that sentence. Then, they pass their paper to the right, read the one they received, and add a sentence to that one. After a few rounds, four great stories or summaries emerge. Give children time to add a conclusion and/or edit their favorite one to share with the class.

Thanks WETA for sponsoring Colorín Colorado!


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Free ELL Literacy Resources on the Web

While reading the latest issue of T.H.E. journal, I came across a very useful article about online resources for ELL teachers and students. In the article, ELL Spoken Here, I learned about the following resources:

  1. Childtopia-This site has a ton of educational games in multiple languages to help children develop literacy and writing skills. I like the Learn to Draw the Letters Game.
  2. ESL Flashcards-In need of flashcards, but don’t have time to make them or care to buy them? This is a great site to bookmark!
  3. Kindersay-My favorite resource mentioned in the article! This site has a ton of free videos to help develop vocabulary in young children and ELL students! Try it here.

Thanks Neal Starkman for writing ELL Spoken Here!


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Great resource for ELLs

Colorin Colorado is a great resource for educators and families of English language learners. Of particular interest are their Reading Tip Sheets for parents available in 11 different languages for Pre K- Grade 3.


Thanks to Mary Ann Zeher for another informative post on her blog Learning the Language. Through her post, I learned about Lingro. Using Lingro, English language students can look up definitions of unfamiliar words on websites in just one click!

Lingro’s about page states:

Lingro was conceived in August 2005, when Artur decided to practice his Spanish by reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofál. As a competent but non-expert speaker, he found that looking up new vocabulary took much more time than the reading itself. Frustrated with the how slow existing online dictionaries were, he wrote a program to help him translate and learn words in their original context.

Lingro’s mission is to create an on-line environment that allows anyone learning a language to quickly look up and learn the vocabulary most important to them.


Doing What Works

Today I received EdWeek’s “Learning the Language” newsletter. From that I learned that yesterday the US Department of Education launched Doing What Works. As the site explains on its FAQ page:

“Doing What Works is a website dedicated to helping educators identify and make use of effective teaching practices. Doing What Works relies primarily on the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate and recommend practices that are supported by rigorous research. Then, Doing What Works provides examples of possible ways educators might apply those research findings, but these are not necessarily the only ways to carry out these teaching practices.”

Click here for a video tour of the site. The website is still in its early stages, but it does have a nice beginning collection on “Doing What Works” with ELL students. I like the sideshow on Warfield Elementary’s Intervention Program for ELL students. Also, check out the video on ELL Vocabulary Instruction. -Anna

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