Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Freebie!

Hello everyone,
It is Friday and time for a freebie!

Are you ready for a fun and free Venn Diagram with a bit of a twist?  Well here you go!
Click here! Square Venn Diagram - Graphic Organizer
Students use this 2 squared graphic organizer to respond to literature. Compare and contrast 2 characters in a story, 2 different settings, or 2 events. Use this great Venn Diagram before, during and after reading to solidify student comprehension

Graphic organizers are great group or individual work activities as a response to literature during independent reading, interactive
reading, or shared reading.

Graphic Organizers help students develop higher level thinking skills and promote creativity. They are handy tools for classroom use that guide students through the process of organizing information. Graphic organizers make logic out of language and help students summarize and interpret text. Graphic Organizers are excellent tools that promote high-level active thinking in the classroom.

Critical Thinking and Active Learning materials for:

-Reading Comprehension
-Social Studies
-Conflict Resolution

Graphic organizers make content area information more accessible to second language learners. The Venn Diagram can change complex language into language that is comprehensible. This is a perfect visual tool that helps ELLs and all students understand and organize information.

Click here for your freebie!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 Grammar Mistakes

Helllo everyone,
I found this fun post over on We are Teachers.  It talks about 10 common grammar mistakes and fun games and activities to help your students overcome them! 

You know those grammar errors that students make in second grade ... and third grade ... and are still making in high school? Here are 10 lesson ideas that just might make the grammar rules stick, by WeAreTeachers blogger Erin Bittman.

Here is my favorite:
I vs Me Grammar MistakeLESSON: Drop "_____ and"
The easiest way for students to know when they should use I versus me in their sentences is to drop the "_____ and." For example, You and I went to the store versus You and me went to the store. Which sounds correct? I went to the store or Me went to the store? Another example is with a name: The dog followed Mason and I or The dog followed Mason and me. Drop "Mason and," and which sounds right? The dog followed me. To turn this into an educational activity, designate two corners of the classroom, one for I and one for me. Read a sentence using a blank where I or me should be inserted. Students go to the corner with the correct word (I or me). You could also play this on the playground so that students could run to the correct word. Write the words I and me in huge letters on the blacktop. Split your class into two teams. Two students come up at a time. After you read a sentence with the missing word (I or me), the students run to the I or me. The students who stand on the correct word get a point for their team.

Click on over to We Are Teachers to read about all the activities!  Let us know which is your favorite!

Happy Teaching!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Towns & Cities

My name is Peter and I am one of the co-founders of Towns & Cities Hip-Hop English Mobile App.

I’d like to thank Lori for providing us with an opportunity to talk about Towns & Cities. Lori is working hard to provide original resources and a community to discuss ESL and math instruction that is both innovative and effective and it’s an honor to introduce what we do.

Towns & Cities is a hip-hop English language mobile app designed for iPhone and Android. The app works as a supplemental language-learning tool for English learners around the world – of all ages - and uses original hip-hop music as its main channel for communication and engagement. Towns & Cities provides resources for strengthening grammar, conversation, pronunciation, and listening comprehension.

Feel free to preview a few of our songs on our Soundcloud account: Feel free to use any of these songs in your classes or with your students! The inspiration for Towns & Cities comes from various experiences drawn from our combined educational backgrounds as teachers, learners, and researchers, along with our creative pursuits in music and art.  We originally established our educational paradigm of “Hip-Hop English” in a primary school outside of Madrid, Spain. While working as a language assistant in 1st to 6th grade classrooms, I was approached by my lead teacher with a proposal to collaborate on a hip- hop track to use as a teaching and learning tool. After some initial in- class interactive performances with 2nd grade students (along with subsequent edits and tempo changes!) the first song turned out to be a hit. That first song eventually grew into what Towns & Cities is today.

We are aiming to expand this collaborative effort and idea to a global platform of English language learners at all age groups and proficiency levels. The music is all original music that we’ve created, and the lyrics aim to reinforce learning through rhyme, rhythm, repetition, storytelling, and other mnemonic devices. Additional content for each unit includes auto-correcting, interactive visual worksheets, written worksheets, and flashcards. Towns & Cities is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Our first version includes 18 units, and we’ll be uploading new batches of content throughout the coming months.  For updates 
follow us @townscitiesapp on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud for info and updates.

Please feel free to contact us by email at We are happy to discuss the app with anyone who is interested in using it or would like to suggest new ideas.

Thanks again to Lori and to you for taking the time to learn about Towns & Cities!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Language Objectives for MLK Day!

Here is an email I send out before MLK Day to our classroom teachers.  
Many of them used it!  
Always trying to get those language objectives included in every classroom lesson!  

Here it is:

Hi everyone,
If you are looking for a language objective for MLK day, this might work for

Beginners and Early Intermediate Speakers:
TSWBAT orally explain what MLK means to them using correct pronouns.

Intermediate and Early Advanced Speakers:
TSWBAT orally or in writing explain what MLK means to them using past tense

What does MLK mean to you?
Why is MLK important to you?
____means _______ to me.
___ is important to me because____.

MLK is important to me because _____________.
MLK is an important figure in U.S. history because________.

Happy Teaching! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A mother's love...

Hello everyone and Happy Mother's Day!

I watched this video last January and still think of it.  I thought this is a great day to rewatch it and send out a hope that everyone tells their mom "I love you" today!

Happy Teaching!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Words we use in ELD!

Hi everyone,
Happy Thursday!  Many teachers ask what the definition is of many of the words we use in English Language Development (ELD).  Here are the definitions of a few I would like to share with you today.  What are some of the words you get asked about or words you want defined?
Happy Teaching,

Academic Language:  Formal language that is usually found in assessments and text books.  It is the part of language associated with literacy and uses precise and specific vocabulary and technical terms.

Academic Words:  Words specific to a particular content or concept.They are the words a student must understand in order to access the curriculum of a certain academic content area.

BICS:  Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

Cognates: Words in different languages related to each other by the same root.

Descriptors:  Broad categories of behaviors that students can demonstrate when they have met a standard.

False Cognates:  Words from different languages that sound alike and are similar in form but are unrelated in meaning.

Fluency:  The ease of comprehension in listening and reading and production speaking and writing.

Forms: Building blocks of language

Functions:  the reason to communicate