Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face is an excellent activity you can do to build background and activate schema before a lesson. It's actually not referred to as an activity in Advanced Literacy. It's called a "protocol" nowadays. Fancy. Well, it doesn't matter what you call it, it gets kids up and moving, and it establishes context for the lesson. Excellent prereading activity.
Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face: First students find a partner. They stand back-to-back. The teacher poses a question. The students think about their answer and give a thumbs up when they are ready. Then, the teacher says, "3, 2, 1, share." The students turn around to face their partner and take turns sharing. When they are done sharing, they turn around and stand back-to-back. When everyone is finished, the teacher tells them to find another partner (if there is another question). To see it in action, click on the link below:
This'll be short and sweet.
Never underestimate the power of praise. When a student answers a question in class, tell the student what they did right, instead of focusing on what they did wrong. Even if an answer is completely wrong, I will most likely thank them for trying. I might even tell them they did a great job, although the answer is not what I was looking for.
When a student is praised, the student will be more inclined to participate and less scared of rejection. Encourage your students to try. Of course, remind them to think about their answer before they raise their hand, but after sufficient thinking and waiting time, they should feel comfortable trying and possibly failing.
Take failing or losing out of the equation. You can either win or learn.
From April 9th to approximately May 31st, the ENL department in NYC public schools will be administering the NYSESLAT (New York State ESL Achievement Test).
From April 9th to May 4th, ENL teachers will be administering the speaking section of the exam to ELLs individually. They will probably not be testing on April 11th and 12th, or May 1st and 2nd because of the state exams.
From May 7th to May 18th, the ENL teachers will be administering the listening, reading, and writing exams (three booklets/three sessions/three days) in small groups. If possible, please do not schedule trips during this two week window.
From May 21st to May 31st, the ENL department will be scoring the writing portions of the exam.
Don't give a newcomer a page of English text and expect them to comprehend it and answer the questions on the board. They are going to stare at it, get frustrated, and give up. Or they might copy what another student is writing. But that's not learning.
Give them English text that they can access. Give them a smaller passage on their reading level. Translate the questions and tell them they can write their answers in their own language (or a mix of English and their home language). They should always be working alongside their classmates, but their assignment should be scaffolded so that they can actually do it.
Check out Rewordify.com. It's pretty remarkable. It can simplify text to make it more accessible to your students. You may also want to check out booksthatgrow.com.
Label everything in your classroom. Label your door, your windows, your floor, the ceiling, the computers, etc. These labels were created exclusively for The ELL Whisperer website. Or create your own!
For just $10 more, you can get the classroom labels AND ALL of the other items in my TpT store!! Visit patreon.com/ELLwhisperer to become a PREMIUM subscriber!!
Make your word walls visual. If possible, include a drawing or photograph. Use Google Images. If the word is a sight word, such as there, include a sentence below it and underline the sight word. Put it in context. The girl is over there. Maybe the sentence you've written warrants a drawing or photograph.
Here is a link to a great article about interactive word walls!
*for educational use only