Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Field Day fun.....and Freebies!

Tomorrow, our school is having field day. We have themed the field day after the Olympics, since the summer Olympics will be held this year. Each class chose a country to study in the Fall and has spent the year doing enrichment activities that help them learn about their country.

I wanted to do a little more with my ESOL students, and help them learn about the history of the Olympics and some of the academic vocabulary related to it. I also had a formal observation today done by the central ESOL office and needed to come up with an awesome activity for it. Since field day is actually tomorrow, I thought this would be a great way to connect the fun they will have to a little academic learning. I decided to create a read-and-retell activity and add in a little comparing and contrasting.

My observation went SUPER well, by the way. The observer really loved the activity and how it scaffolded the reading, retelling and summarizing. Since summer is near, and you might be looking for interesting yet academic activities to do with your students, I decided to make this activity available to ALL of you for FREE!!

The download includes four leveled readings at four lexile levels (from 590-800), as well as a comparing and contrasting activity for students to complete. Simply click the button below to download The Olympics Read-and-Retell Activity from my TpT store!




Monday, May 14, 2012

Features of Non-Fiction Foldables and Lapbook

My ELL students need to constantly reloop, review, and re-learn important concepts throughout the year. The challenge is finding new ways to review learned material. One of the hardest concepts for my students this year has been recognizing and using text features.

They're about to start their THIRD benchmark test of the year in reading tomorrow, and there are usually a lot of questions about non-fiction text features, so I wanted to review this today. First, I started out with this fun little Non-Fiction Rap:

Then, we followed that up by making this fun little lapbook full of foldables. First, I had students make the foldables and glue them into the folder. Then, I had little strips printed out with definitions for each text feature. I had students match those definitions with the correct features and glue them inside the flaps. Next, each student chose a Non-Fiction book from a selection that I had set aside for them. I set aside ones that had at least one example of each type of feature. Finally, they went on a scavenger hunt for the text features in their chosen books and filled in the information in the appropriate places in their foldables. Here are some pictures:





My students really had a blast with this lesson, and it really helped them to review the features of non-fiction texts while using an authentic non-fiction book that was appropriate to their grade level. I'm really hoping that when the data comes back for this benchmark, it will show improvement for my kiddos in this area!

Update: If you're interested in trying this in your classroom, I created a FREEBIE with complete instructions to make it a little easier! Click the button below to download from my TpT store!




Friday, May 11, 2012

Teacher Feature

Welcome to The ESOL Odyssey's Teacher Feature! Once a month, I will be featuring one amazing teacher who works with English Language Learners in the classroom. If you are interested in becoming a featured teacher, please fill in this form!

Meet Valerie Young!


Location:
Montreal, Canada

Tell us a little about your teaching career:
I have a bachelors degree in Kindergarten and Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Inclusive Education at McGill University. I have been teaching for 6 years. I have taught all grade from K-6. I am currently a resource teacher for grades 1 and 2.

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love when a student gets an "AH-HA moment" and you just know that he/she finally got it! It's a wonderful feeling!

What is your experience teaching English Language Learners?
I am a special education teacher and I teach grades 1 and 2. I work with small groups (I take them out of class one hour per day) and concentrate on teaching them basic reading skills in order for them to cope in their regular classrooms.

Tell us about the English language learners you teach.  
Most of my students are French speaking (I teach in Quebec, Canada). English is a second language for them. Their reading skills range from preschool to grade 2 levels.

How do you differentiate learning in your classroom to meet the needs of your English language learners?
I work with 4 classes of cycle one (grades 1 and 2). I test all my students' reading progress several times a year and group them according to their abilities. I have too many students who are at risk in each of my classes so I separate my time in half and give each of my small groups 30 minutes a day.

In the classroom I....
love using technology in the classroom. I feel that it is a great way to motivate students and grab their attention!

Outside the classroom I....
I have been married for a year and a half. I am a mother of a 3 year old boy and I am pregnant with my second son (due any time). I love spending time with my son and enjoy giving him as many real-life learning experiences as I can!

I bet you didn't know that I....
I was a cheerleader for 10 years!

Share your links with us: 

My TpT Store
My Facebook


Thanks, Valerie, for being part of the Teacher Feature! I hope to hear from and about many more of you!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!


As you know, today is the big day for teacher appreciation day! Today ONLY, my Settings and Characters Activity Cards are FREE! This is to say thank you for all that you do as a teacher! Without dedicated individuals like yourself, our students would be lost!

Click the button below to go to my Settings and Characters Activity Cards, and download your free copy! Please enjoy, and if you love it, don't forget to rate it! 05/07/2012 Update: The Settings and Characters cards were free for a limited time only and have returned to their normal price of $4.25. BUT, they are on sale until Wednesday, and you can grab them for $3.40, and then take an additional $0.34 off at checkout by using code TAD12- making them $3.06 until Wednesday!!



In addition to that, all the items in my store are 20% off from today, May 6, through Tuesday, May 8th. TpT is offering an additional 10% off.....this totals 28% off each item because I think teachers like you are SO AWESOME!

TAD250x120

Thanks again for all you do, and enjoy Teacher Appreciation Day (week)!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Jackpot


As you all know, next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and Sunday, May 6th is sure to be your lucky day! I'm super excited to announce the very first Teacher Appreciation Jackpot, an amazing "blog hop" event involving over 150 bloggers!
We wanted to show our appreciation for you in a BIG way, so we've all agreed to give away one of our fabulous TpT products each for free on that day! Each free gift will be valued at between $3 and $8, so the total jackpot amount is estimated to be over $500! The actual amount will be posted on Saturday, May 5th.

Because so many bloggers are participating (that means lots of FREEBIES!), this event will be divided into three grade level groups. Each of those smaller events is being coordinated by one blogger as shown below:
I can't share any more details just yet, but be sure to check back each day this week to see the events unfold! Watch for blog posts today from your favorite bloggers to see who is participating in this one-of-a-kind event!

 And truly, sincerely......Thanks so much for all you do! We appreciate your commitment to your students and your dedication as an educator! I know that I would not be where I am today without all the amazing teachers who helped and supported me- and now all of you who continue to support me and my (sometimes crazy) ideas!

I'm participating in the 3-6 Jackpot- so check on the linky below to see who else is participating at this level!

Jackpot Day Update: Today ONLY, my Settings and Characters Activity Cards are FREE! This is to say thank you for all that you do as a teacher! Without dedicated individuals like yourself, our students would be lost!

05/07/2012 Update: The Settings and Characters cards were free for a limited time only and have returned to their normal price of $4.25. BUT, they are on sale until Wednesday, and you can grab them for $3.40, and then take an additional $0.34 off at checkout by using code TAD12- making them $3.06 until Wednesday!!


Click the button below to go to my Settings and Characters Activity Cards, and download your free copy! Please enjoy, and if you love it, don't forget to rate it!