New Job!

Hi everyone,

I am excited about my new job for the upcoming school year. I will be a part-time Parent Coordinator and part-time EL teacher. I loved my job as an ELL Resource teacher but could not pass up the opportunity to work with parents and the community more.


I hope to add some ideas about teaching middle school here this upcoming school year. Happy Back to School!

Using Anticipation Guides with ELLs

I like using anticipation guides in my guided reading groups because it allows my ELLs to have an idea about what the story will be about and also sets a purpose for reading!


Flying Start Informational Text M


Anticipation Guide 

My steps to using an anticipation guide:

  1. Intro book’s main idea – table of contents skim and scan
  2. Front load any important vocabulary
  3. True/False Anticipation Guide- Set a purpose for reading
  4. Read for fluency and comprehension
  5. Thumbs up if you find information from the anticipation guide and monitor your comprehension
  6. Fill out After/During Reading and change any Falses to Trues with new information

Let me know if you use anticipation guides and like them for previewing the text to your ELLs!

Low-prep Effective Vocabulary Strategy!

Today, I am going to tell you about a quick, easy, low prep, engaging, effective strategy for practicing vocabulary! I learned about this through Bringing Words to Life and it is called a Word Line Continuum. Once you have selected your Tier 2 vocabulary words, you draw a number line on the board and make up some scenarios with the words. As you can see below, my target words were tend, make ends meet, and preserve. I drew a line and made my two ends least surprised and most surprised. Then, I made up some scenarios that may be unbelievable or crazy! The key is to pick scenarios that the students would want to discuss. Then, the students think what they would be most or least surprised by and place it on their own line or put the numbers in order and then they have to justify it- ie. ” I was most surprised with the dog tending to the baby because a dog would not be able to take care of a baby.” IMG_0058

I love using this because it shows me if they really understand the word or not, they are using the target words in another way rather than making sentences or definitions and they enjoy it! Below you can see another one I have done with the vocabulary words on the side.


I hope you can try this in your classroom for an engaging oral vocabulary practice!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am sorry I have been absent for a long time. This school year is super busy but I can’t believe it is already time for Thanksgiving break. There is one more night and one half day of conferences separating me from break! I hope everyone has a restful and blessed break. I am so thankful to God for my health, job, and my awesome family and most of all for the relationship I can have with Him because of Jesus!

The Best Part of Me Opinion Writing

Today I will be writing about a pretty popular writing activity based on the awesome book The Best Part of Me. It is a great mentor text for poetry, opinion writing, or even descriptive writing! I decided to use it with my ELL’s to introduce Opinion Writing and I wanted to show you some things you could incorporate into your lesson.



The way the book is set up is each page has a black and white image of a student’s body part and then a poem/descriptive paragraph on the page next to it describing why it is the best part of them. It is written by students for students!

I started the week with just reading some poems to them before sending them back to class and asking them to think about what the best part of them was.

Then, after a few days of exposing them to the text and discussing it I did a Writers Workshop mini – lesson on opinion writing. You could see the mini-lesson statement below.


As a small group, we read one the neck poem and then identified the opinion, which was easy, since it was just the writer’s favorite body part. Then, we looked for the reasons they used to support their opinion. After modeling, the students received the poem about the hands and they had to highlight the reasons they could find. I added the reasons they found to the anchor chart. This is a great time to go over some academic language that usually signals opinion (because, due to this, for this reason..)


After this, they made a web with their favorite body part in the middle and started brainstorming their reasons. Once they had all their reasons, they wrote their rough draft while I took pictures of the part they identified. Once I printed the pictures, they wrote their final copy under it! I love how it turned out, the students enjoyed it, and it was a great first exposure to opinion writing and reasons/evidence in a student-friendly way!


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have read this book and used it for a writing lesson 🙂

How I use Raz-Plus/Reading A-Z in the ELL classroom

Reading A-Z or RAZ- Plus is a resource a lot of schools offer but it can be overwhelming to navigate! There are so many great books, activities, and lessons that it is hard to pick what will work best for our ELL students. I have explored it for the past few years and am here to tell you what works for me!

I have a subscription to RAZ- Plus ELL edition. When I enter it, I go under ELL Leveled Reader Packs and see what topic I want my book to be about.


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My favorite feature of the ELL Leveled Readers is the vocabulary folder and the vocabulary cards. I print these out and the students use them throughout the week to study with and to play games with. As you can see, they are under day 1. I use the attached lesson plans or graphic organizers sometimes, but even if I do not use them, I glance at them to see what skills could be taught using these books!

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Here are some ideas of how I actually use these in my room with the unit I am working on with my newcomers now.

  1. Students take them home to study their vocabulary
  2. Students categorize them (as seen in picture below)
  3. Students use them as flash cards to quiz each other by showing the person the visual while covering the word
  4. Students form sentences using the words
  5. Students with higher language proficiency can connect two words together by saying ______ and ______ are connected because ________________.



Here students are studying the seasons and adding the words that go under each season

These are just some ways I like to use these vocabulary cards! Let me know if you have any other ideas of how you would use them.

Thanks for reading,


Labeling in the ELL classroom

Labeling has become my best friend this year in my groups. It is such a simple thing but I know it is an effective strategy for all ELL’s. Today, I am going to give you some ideas of how you can use labeling with newcomers as well as students who are level 3 -4’s. I use Jen Jones products for these labeling activities. It is easy to find your own but I like it all in one product from TPT.



As my newcomers come in, I have the picture of the day on the board.  They get their folders and they have their own packet where they have the image. They start labeling it with whatever words they may know. Sometimes they may know just the colors and body parts, since that is what we are working on, and that is OKAY! Then, we brainstorm together and I introduce new vocabulary to them, like grass, rocks, trees, etc.

The labels then become our word bank and we write a caption for the picture. For now, they start with the sentence starter, “I see…”  and they try their best to form a sentence using the words from the word bank. I listen to their formation, and then respond with the correct formation and write it down. They copy down this caption under their own! As the year goes on, we will add more labels to the pictures such as adjectives, verbs, and different sentence starters for the caption!

I love these activities because they build the student’s Tier 1 vocabularies, provide opportunities for writing, provide background knowledge, and even incorporate some informational text features (caption, labels).

More Proficient Students


With my more proficient 4th graders, I use Picture of the Day from Jen Jones as well. The concept is similar but it incorporates some reading strategies. The students also come in and label the image but then we make observations and inferences based on the image. You can see some of the examples that they came up with with our first picture. I like this activity because it allows the students time to interact. I have them turn and talk to a partner about the observations and then also about the inferences. After we share them, they pick one each to write down in their notebooks!


Let me know if you love labeling and using images as much as I do! Thanks for reading 🙂



My ELL Resource Office!

I am so excited to share my new space for the upcoming school year. Last year, I shared a room with another ELL teacher so I am excited to have my own office. Here are some pictures of how I designed it. I am not done since I do not know my caseload yet! Once I know exactly what I will focusing on, I will be putting up tons of visuals and anchor charts!


Right after I took out my desk- still a big mess!


I have a guided reading table and a circle table for students and I will utilize one of them as my desk as well.


The space in front of the whiteboard! I will meet here with most of my groups.


My Picture of the Day bulletin board. Loving yellow this year! Also, space for language and content objectives 🙂


A little idiom of the week display I found online!


This is kind of my desk area where I have some personal stuff as well as whiteboard for students and writing materials for students!


My library area!

Thanks for reading. If you are an ELL teacher, do you share a space or have your own?