January 15, 2021

Vocabulary ELLs need to know to understand Math

Vocabulary ELLs need to know to understand Math

Vocabulary ELLs need to know to understand Math
Do your English Language Learners (ELLs) struggle with understanding Math?  Many ELLs do.  If you are working with English Language Learners (ELLs) studying Math here are a few things to make sure you cover!

Common English Words in Math

First let's look at the many English words that have totally new meanings when used in Math.  Here are just a few:
  • positive and negative
  • times
  • cone
  • mean
  • net
  • bring down
  • area
  • face
  • plane
  • tree
Before each lesson, take a moment and look for the Math vocabulary you are using in your lesson and identify which words you want to point out and make sure to explain.  For example, students should think 'multiplication' when a word problem uses words like times, every, double, and per.

Prepositions in Math

Make a point to teach, explain, review and practice prepositions.  Prepositions can signal the operation in a word problem.  Make sure your ELLs understand these important words in Math:
  • by
  • with 
  • to
  • into
  • from
  • and more!

Teach ELLs Content Words

All students benefit from using a Math Vocabulary Journal, but it is essential for the ELLs in your Math classes.  Before each unit present the Math vocabulary that will be used in that unit.  Pre-teaching Math Content Words and using a Math Journal will set your ELLs up for success.

Math Prefixes and Suffixes

Don't forget word parts that have keys to the meanings of the words you use in your math lessons.   Here are a few to get you started:
  1. bi
  2. tri
  3. poly
  4. oct
  5. gon 

Passive Voice

Many ELLs are unaccustomed to hearing and understanding the Passive Voice, yet many math word problems use it.  The word by gives you a clue to the passive.  In the passive voice, the action is performed on the subject.  ELLs have problems understanding statements such as:  seven multiplied by 6.  Point out and explain the passive voice to your students when it occurs in Math word problems.  

Vocabulary that is associated with mathematical operations

According to 'Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students'  A Supplemental Resource to the K-12 Mathematics Standards of Learning Enhanced Scope and Sequence  Virginia Department of Education Division of Instruction April 2004  in order to understand mathematics, students must:  

Know that mathematical operations are associated with many different words.  EXAMPLES: 

Addition: add, plus, and, combine, sum, total of, more than, increased by, greater than  

Subtraction: subtract, minus, less, less than, fewer than, decreased by, difference, lower, take away, from, shorter  

Multiplication: multiply, times, product, as a factor, twice, double, triple, groups of  

Division: divide, divided by, quotient, separated into equal groups, shared equally, over, into, how many groups  

Equal: is, are, result, make  

Here is a quick list from www.englishstudyhere.com

These are some ways to help your English language learners excel in Math!
Happy Teaching,

January 2, 2021

Terms for ELD, ESL, EFL Teachers

Terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

Terms for 


Updated from a previous post!

Do you ever find yourself confused with the terms for ELD, ESL, EFL that teachers use when speaking of the components of ELD?  Do you sometimes wonder about exactly what we should be teaching in English Language Development (ELD)?

If your answer is 'YES' don't feel alone.  

Many of us need a refresher on these categories.  Here is an easy guide that will clarify the components of great ELD teaching when teaching English Learners.   Share this with your colleagues at your next ELL, ESL, or ELD  meetings so teachers are all using the correct vocabulary as you discuss lesson planning. 

Components of ELD

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL
Phonology terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

The sound system of English.  This basically is the study of speech sounds.

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL

Pragmatics terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFLSituational appropriateness of language use.  I think of it as the ability to take turns in a conversation correctly or organizing written text.

Morphology terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

The forms and formation of words, that include prefixes, affixes, suffixes, root words, and inflections.

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL

Syntax terms for ELD, ESL, EFL 

The structure of language, including the rules that govern phrases and sentences.  The ability to arrange words and phrases to make meaningful sentences.

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL

Language Functions 
terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

The purposes of language.  The broad categories we use to express ourselves.

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL

Language Forms and Structures terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

Grammar and language structure.  The grammatical structure we use in sentences to create clear communication.

Terms for  ELD, ESL, EFL

terms for ELD, ESL, EFL

The meaning of language.  The meaning of words, phrases, and sentences both oral and written.  This includes vocabulary and academic language.


I hope you find this helpful,
Happy Teaching!

January 1, 2021

πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ Happy new year! Welcome 2021πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Happy New year everyone!  πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

2021 is finally here~

Are you ready for a freebie for the new year!   

πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’¬πŸ’ƒHere it is!

the help you need when you have a new ESL student that does not speak English! This free sampler unit will give you examples of the hands on, engaging ESL activities included in our ESL Newcomers Units

This free ESL 34-page English Language Learner pack demonstrates the lessons and activities in our ESL Newcomer Units that cover early English language acquisition and literacy skills in students at the beginning or early intermediate stages of English.

Try this sampler packet with your ESL Newcomer. Lesson plans are provided to assure your English language student (ELL) is engaged and learning from the very first day!
Click Here for your freebie!

ESL Newcomer Pack Unit 1 includes the following lessons to acquaint you with our ESL Newcomer units. This freebie includes lessons and activities for: Basic phrases
Basic vocabulary
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ESL-NEWCOMER-PACK-Unit-1-Freebie-3552579Unit 1 is designed to provide an understanding of basic English phrases and vocabulary and basic foundational skills in vowel sound recognition and writing for students who are unfamiliar with the English alphabet. Students will also learn some everyday vocabulary associated with each letter of the alphabet. Check out all our ESL Newcomer units that build English skills at the beginning or early intermediate level of English

Click Here for your freebie!

You get lesson plans, activities and black lines for: 
•sentence Flip Books for the basic phrases -beginning sentence construction/respond to questions
• word wall cards for basic vocabulary 
• sentence starters for basic phrases
• flap fun books for 4 colors and basic vocabulary 
•vowels with pictures (color and B&W)

Please note that some pages are in color only, but print fine as black and white!

Rest assured that your ESL Newcomer is learning English from the very first day, building a strong language base with engaging and explicit language instruction!

Have funπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

!Click Here for your freebie!

You can find all of my resources for English Language Learners that provide engaging, independent practice for your newcomer or beginner level ESL, older ELLs or adults. 

Combine this with my
ESL Newcomer Pack Unit 2
ESL Newcomer Sentence Starters


 Happy New Year. πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ
Happy Teaching!

December 17, 2020

Teaching Vocabulary? What you need to know.πŸ’ƒ

Teaching Vocabulary?  

What you need to know.


Hello everyone,
I updated this post, which I wrote sometime ago.  I hope you like it!πŸ’•

As elementary teachers, we are always looking for and finding activities to teach English vocabulary to kids.  We want our students to broaden and deepen their understanding and ability when reading, speaking, listening, and writing.  
We know that when a student, especially an English Language Learner (ELL), can distinguish between the shades of meanings of related words, they are more precise and imaginative in their writing.  This is a strong and proven way to increase vocabulary.

Shades of Meaning~

Shades of meaning are the small differences among words that are related to a specific topic or idea.  The Common Core Language Standard L.5 requires students to distinguish shades of meaning among words beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through elementary grades.

Semantic Gradients~

Semantic gradients are powerful tools 
Vocabulary Graphic Organizer
to teach elementary students the differences between related words and increase their vocabulary.  This graphic organizer improves reading comprehension and works with both English Language Learners (ELL) and native English speakers.  Graphic organizers for shades of meaning offer classroom teachers and ELD teachers a vehicle to reach the needs of all students. This type of gradient helps students distinguish between the subtle nuances of the meaning of related words and broadens their understanding of connected words, polar opposites meanings, and synonyms.  Furthermore, semantic gradients show all students how to use vocabulary precisely when expressing themselves in speaking and writing.  Semantic Gradients are great graphic organizers when you are looking for synonym activities, antonym activities, or teaching English to kids!

What does a Semantic Gradient look like?

I offer a free copy of the black line of the gradient that I use in my classroom!

Semantic gradients are lists of related words that have similar meanings placed on a continuum moving from one word to its polar opposite.  It is a continuum that orders related words by degree. 

These gradients use anchor words (words and their polar opposites) at each end of the gradient.   The vocabulary words used in between gradual shift in meaning.
For example, cool and sweltering would be the anchor words for a semantic gradient of temperature words that included the following:  cool, warm, hot, roasting, and sweltering.

How do you use a Shades of Meaning graphic organizer?

•      Identify your 2 anchor words by choosing a word and finding its opposite. 
•      Find synonyms for each of those words and order them to create your word list. 
•      Students then order the words to create a gradient or continuum.

Vocabulary with Shades of Meanings

Let me know if you use semantic gradients or other vocabulary activities to teach shades of meanings with your students when you are teaching English to kids!  

Happy Teaching,

December 1, 2020

πŸ‘€Don't miss the sale at Teachers Pay TeachersπŸ‘€

This is my biggest sale of the year. Starting November 30th you'll save
up to 25% off  on all my products

 Thankfully, you can transform the overwhelm into action with the help of a great sale on all the products that take you from feeling frustrated to feeling like it is Fun To Teach

You'll save hours of time and increase student
engagement with these Fun to Teach products on sale starting November 30th! 

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Happy Teaching and shopping!

 I am so excited about my line for ESL newcomers.  

Here is the first resource to help get your newcomers writing!
I am so excited about the ESL Newcomers packet Series.  If you are looking for a  systematic instructional curriculum resource to offer your ESL Newcomers, this is it.  
Click to follow me on the blog or TPT and be the first to know of available products.


Click here to go to my store!

Click here to go to my store!

Click here to go to my store!

November 23, 2020

🌻Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey - Guided Reading/lesson plan/Unit 🌻

🌻 πŸŒ»Hello everyone!

Are you looking for an engaging book study to celebrate this time of year?  Well here it is!

This Thanksgiving literature unit for Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley consists of 10 pages. It can be used during the Thanksgiving holiday season for Guided Reading or a book or unit study. 

The printable black lines in this Thanksgiving book study focus on before, during and after reading activities to engage students and deepen reading comprehension and vocabulary.


There are printables to guide students through prediction, vocabulary, glossary work, alphabetizing, setting, characters, beginning, middle and end of story, connecting story to personal experiences, graphic organizers for comparing and contrasting, reflection and interpretation. 


 πŸŒ» πŸŒ» Click over to the Fun To Teach store and grab your download of this great product!

Great printables to excite and interest your students while reading this great Thanksgiving book!

Happy Teaching! 

Lori πŸŒ»

Check out our newest ELD Thematic Unit Bundle!

Click here to get yours now!

November 17, 2020

πŸ‘€Using Thematic Units for English Language Development

Hi everyone I am glad you are here❣️

As classroom teachers we know the value of thematic units when teaching young learners.  These units motivate children and engage students in learning.  But did you know that English Language Development (ELD) instruction is best delivered using this same tried and true teaching technique?

What is Thematic Instruction?

Thematic units lessons differ by the manner in which instruction is presented.  Instead of teaching in subject areas, the curriculum is organized around themes or topics. Reading, math, writing and science is integrated into an exploration of a broad subject area.  Children learn in a way that is natural to them.
In ELD instruction Thematic units are used to integrate the language skills of oral language and reading, writing, speaking, listening.

Benefits of Thematic units:

Teaching thematically offers the teacher a natural way to offer ELD instruction while building on students’ prior knowledge, incorporating oral and written language, building a natural scaffold for student learning, engaging students in the learning, using cooperative learning situations.  Thematic teaching allows the ESL teacher to focus on individual needs within the classroom while offering an in-depth study of one concept area and the language and vocabulary that surrounds it.
Let’s take a look at what you can integrate by teaching thematically.

How to use a theme to teach your ELD Lesson:

1. Choose the language function(s) you need to teach at each language level.
2. Brainstorm the language forms that fit that function(s) at each level.
3. Choose a topic or theme that supports the language being taught.
4. Select a song, video, book or poem that supports your topic or theme.
5. Create a list of verbs, nouns adjectives and/or adverbs that support the theme,         function and form.
6. Gather pictures to support your lesson.
7. Create a simple pre and post assessment geared toward the language you will         be teaching in the unit.
8. Choose several activities that will promote oral language practice throughout             your theme.
9. Gather a writing project that will support your function, form and theme.
10. Find a project that fits your topic and language objectives to make in class and         send home for practice.

Integrating a theme into teaching English Language Development is a perfect fit.  If you have second language learners in your classroom, thematic units easily present curriculum regardless of language level.  

Click here for a free unit on vehicles “Things that Go”

Click here for a free unit on vehicles “Things that Go”.  

This is a perfect unit for your advanced level language speakers!

Follow these simple steps and get going on some great ELD instruction that will engage your students and provide them with some rigorous language development

Do you use thematic units in your ELD lessons?  Share with us your best units!

Happy Teaching,

November 6, 2020

ACADEMIC LANGUAGE versus Academic Vocabulary

Happy November everyone,

I am so glad you are here!  Ready for a little ELD conversation?  
Let’s get started.

Here is the question:
ACADEMIC LANGUAGE versus  Academic Vocabulary are these 2 terms the same or different?

Have you noticed that these terms are often used interchangeably?  To understand the differences between these two words let’s take an in-depth look at the precise meaning of each word. 

Delving into these 2 terms it becomes apparent that the overarching concept is ACADEMIC LANGUAGE.

the specialized language of academic discourse and textbooks.

Many researches insist that proficiency in ACADEMIC LANGUAGE is the most important predictor of academic success for individual students. Students must learn the many skills that are interwoven into the notion of ACADEMIC LANGUAGE

Academic Vocabulary is an important component, it is only one cog on the wheel we call ACADEMIC LANGUAGE.  

ACADEMIC LANGUAGE is a complex concept and requires teaching students: 
     the phonological features of English
     academic vocabulary and word formation rules (Lexical knowledge)

Here is a little more detail on each of these important areas:

     Phonological Features include the sound patterns and intonation of English.

     Vocabulary and Word Formation includes teaching: 
            o prefixes, suffixes and roots
            o tier 1, 2, and 3 words (here is where academic vocabulary comes in)
            o parts of speech
            o multiple meanings of words 
            o the grammar rules that apply to word formation and usage.

     Grammar comprises: 
            o the correct use, rules, and understanding of the parts of speech
            o word classes
            o inflections
            o increasing word complexity
            o understanding complex sentence structures
            o syntax

     Discourse entails: 
            o the ability to use words 
            o to organize knowledge 
            o to exchange ideas

     Cognition encompasses: 
            o the mental action of:

As you can see Academic Vocabulary is just a small part of the intricate concept of ACADEMIC LANGUAGE.

These two words should NOT be used interchangeably. 

 Click here for a graphic that helps organize the components of ACADEMIC LANGUAGE.

September 14, 2020

Reyes Family Fire Relief Fund

Looks like the link is broken.

Here it is again.

Click her to donate to Reyes Family Fire Relief Fund 

 Our community working together!

https://gf.me/u/yyc38gHappy Teaching!