Fall opens holiday discussions
As the fall season settles in, it's time to start thinking about all opportunities to share holiday traditions with our English language learners!
A great way to start the discussion on Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Winter Break is through themed BINGO games!
TeachersPayTeachers offers a number of free Bingo sets on themes like Halloween or Holidays!
Don't miss the opportunity to share American holidays with your students, open cultural discussions, and bridge celebrations.
Encourage student participation by passing out regular conversation cards.
This activity can be as simple as typing up a list of questions related to current topics (1 unique question per student) and handing out slips of paper, or as fancy as questions posted on index cards with space to write a response on the back. Either way, it's a great go-to!
This is a great way to get students talking and engaging with one another. I also suggest taking this activity outside of the classroom; the movement and action of standing and speaking and rotating is complimented by being in a different environment.
ESL Marketplace has a set of fall themed conversation cards, ready to print and use!
Start with class diagnostics
After reading through the class syllabus, what is there to do in the first days of a new course? Students, and teachers, are adjusting to new schedules, readying class materials, and getting into a learning mode.
Consider using one or two class sessions to run a few non-credit diagnostic assessments. These diagnostics can be as simple as write a paragraph about your family, or as formal as using a term final/midterm exam. Either way, documenting a start-point with each student establishes a foundation in which to build off of.
Take a class period to have students produce work that can be used to determine current skill set, as well as, used to present a student start-point.
Need a few diagnostic ideas?
The new school year is coming FREEBIE
The summer is already coming to a close, and to kick off thinking about classroom goals, here's a goal chart graphic organizer to help inspire!
This is a great graphic organizer for all ages and levels, and allows space to clearly identify steps to completion in any given project.
Writing and speaking with story dice
A great way to break away from traditional writing is to bring in picture or alphabet dice. This is a great easy go-to activity that can be used in a variety of ways. My go-to are Rory's Story Cubes (pictured to the left, and available here on Amazon). I've used these story cubes with ESL learners at the middle school, high school, and adult levels.
The Rory's Story Cube website shares ways to play using the story cubes. I've used these cubes in both writing and listening/speaking classes. They can be geared to individual, group, or classroom focus - which is great! For example, in a small listening/speaking class, students can gather in a circle to tell a story, rolling a die and adding one part each turn.
There are numerous activity templates/directions online, and here are a few *free* story cube writing templates available to download from Teachers Pay Teachers.
Here's also a free Rory's Story Cubes Reflection worksheet from ESL Marketplace!
Check out this freebie!
Download our free Simple 3-Paragraph Essay Rubric for ELLs! It's a great way to set clear writing expectations, and it uses direct, easy-to-follow language. Hand out this rubric before a writing assignment so that students feel prepared to turn in their work! Visit us each week for a new Tips and Freebies post.
Teaching in Summer?
Summer can be a hard time to be in the classroom, and keep your students motivated. Take the opportunity to learn more about the cultures in your classrooms by organizing a game day!
Ask students to bring in a game from home (think card games or dice games or even self-made games) with directions written in English. You can have students work in class on the directions, or have it be a take-home assignment. Be open to bringing in a few card decks or dice in case students don't have access to these resources.
After having students participate in the games in small groups, the class can reflect on a number of aspects: how easy or difficult it was to play some of the games based on the directions on hand, what new games did people learn about, and so on. Plus, the teacher gets a chance to participate and share!
Here's a quick link to a game board search on TeachersPayTeachers
Here's a quick link to a simple game board template for free download at TimVandevall.com