Fun With Writing

I have been having a great time with writing with my 3rd graders.  With a lot of modeling and practice, even my level 1 language students have been really successful.  This has been amazing to see and hear the stories that are within them.  They are working so hard and are excited to see what they publish.

Here they are working hard on typing in Googledocs.workinghard

We use organizers and strategies to help them succeed.  I am lucky to have an amazing co-teacher.  We have about 17 students working with us who are levels 1-4.  It is so inspiring to see what they do.


What were the results?

I was so pleased with the effects of increased modeling of writing in the bilingual classroom.

Students appeared to be more confident with something to refer back to.  This also increased their independence during the writing process.

It has also helped to model with more simple and familiar topics before going more academic.

This is something I definitely plan on continuing and revising to make it even better.

Here is some of the second grade writing!


Mondays are an exciting beginning to the week.  This week my goal is to try something new with my students.  I am trying more modeled writing with my 2nd grade bilingual group.  My hope is that I can then release this process to them with more confidence and success.  We are comparing and contrasting.  Ready!  Estoy lista:)

Get Them Talking


These images sum up two important points when working with English language learners…

1.)  Set up situations where students can be successful in speaking.  Give them the structure to be able to speak in complete sentences and thoughts.  Give the structure to everyone.  Those who need it will use it (this includes native English speakers) and those who can independently produce the complete thoughts will not.  

2.)  Be ready to teach and hang resources everywhere.  Hence, the posters on the blinds. They are convenient to look at there and students sure do notice them.  I want students to be able to refer back to our resources whenever needed.  They can use them whenever needed without pulling something out of their desk.


Students need to be comfortable enough to take risks in a language classroom.  Therefore it is important to get to know students and make sure they feel safe.  I love to see when students who have been in the country less than 6 months start acting a little silly and really being themselves.  This shows me that we can move forward with more English and taking more risks.  The students are comfortable in the group and that makes me so happy for them.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been frequently reflecting on my teaching, one of my goals, which has of course turned into additional goals.

One goal is to share more ELL strategies with all teachers to improve student success and help teachers feel better in meeting the needs of all students.

This is what I have been reflecting on lately.

  • Working in a team is so helpful, love getting and sharing ideas and responsibility
  • Meeting the needs of everyone can feel really overwhelming, feeling effective feels awesome
  • I love when I can see my students understanding
  • Students who misbehave often have something else happening that is leading to this misbehavior, so assume the good

Finally Starting

Well this past week and upcoming week, I am finally starting to really have groups and provide instruction.  This is very exciting for me.  I am excited to start giving these kids the differentiation they need and deserve.

Here is a strategy:

Teachers are hesitant to use it because they think it is giving the answer.  If you have a level 1 or 2 writer, it is NOT.  It is helping the student to express ideas given the language that he or she has.  So use sentence frames.  Here are some examples.

I want to  _________________ this year.

I predict  ________________________ will happen in this book.

Have students complete the frames and then read them.  They get used to reading and talking in complete sentences and can express their ideas.

I just want to teach…

Paperwork overload!  I am repeating the paperwork I did in my old district at the end of the year, but for my new district now.  I can’t wait to work with the wonderful kids I have met.  It reminds me how much I really love teaching!

Grateful on Day 1

First official day of work, no kids yet.  I did meet a few at an after school event.

Today I am grateful for…

-welcoming staff

-new beginnings

-helping students new to the country feel more comfortable

-loving what I do!