December 31, 2012

Really Good Stuff Blog Article

Hi everyone!
If you are interested in reading an article I wrote about Tips to Help Your ELLs Soar, click on over to Really Good Stuff I am a monthly columnist for them and October's post was all about Tips to help you help your ELLs!

Tips to Help Your English Language Learners Soar by Lori Wolfe

Photo by mrsdkrebs/flickr
by Lori Wolfe, Monthly Columnist
We are knee deep back at school and looking good!
October is the perfect month for teachers with second language learners to take a moment and think about their classroom set up and its connection to student achievement...

Click here to read!

Happy Teaching!

December 27, 2012

Hey Oregon Teachers! Check this out...

Hello everyone,  I was recently looking through the ODE site and found this monthly e-newsletter that we can sign up for.  It is specifically geared to ELL teachers.  This is a list serve that mails out newsletters of state updates and is open to all of us to sign up for.  The URL to register is here:  ( Click here ) The following is the blurb the state put on their website:


About ORSLTeachers
English (USA)
The Oregon Second Language Teacher Update is a monthly e-newsletter that provides teachers and other educators with information about professional development opportunities, teacher and student competitions and awards,lectures, concerts, and exhibitions. Distributed by listserv, the current issue and past issues are posted here. To learn about subscribing to the Second LanguageTeacher Update, please visit the Content Area Teacher
Newsletters web page.

I clicked on the archive link and there weren't any.  I believe this is a new addition to their site.  Does anyone know about this newsletter?  I signed up, so I will keep you posted on what I receive.

Happy Holidays and Happy Teaching! 

December 22, 2012

Really Good Stuff Blog Article

Hi everyone!
If you are interested in reading an article I wrote about Common Core Standards:  ELLS and the Language Strand, click on over to Really Good Stuff.  I am a monthly columnist for them and September's post was all about the Language Standard of the Common Core!

Common Core Standards: English Language Learners (ELLs) and the Language Strand

Photo by Rachel Grimes
by Lori Wolfe, Monthly Columnist
We are off and running with common core as we approach full adoption in the 2013-14 school year. With this in mind, have you checked out the Language Domain of the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards? This great domain elevates the importance of English grammar, conventions, vocabulary in the classroom. It is essential for classroom and ESL teachers to understand this important strand.

As you know, the strands or domains of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts include:

Click here to read!

Happy Teaching!

December 19, 2012

Really Good Stuff Blog Article

Hi everyone!
If you are interested in reading an article I wrote about Smooth and Effective Transitions, click on over to Really Good Stuff.  I am a monthly columnist for them and November's post was all about Transitions!

Smooth and Efficient Transitions

by Lori Wolfe, Monthly Columnist
“If only I had more time in a school day…”
Have you ever caught yourself uttering this phrase? You can easily add those instructional minutes to your day by explicitly planning for your transition times. Carefully considered transition times offer the key to maintaining an optimal learning environment, minimizes disruptions and behavior problems while maximizing instructional time. By providing the structure of predictable routines, procedures and behavioral expectations, teachers offer their students, including second language learners and those who struggle with poor attention and impulsivity, an avenue to success during transition times.
Arts include:
Click here to read!

Happy Teaching!

December 17, 2012

Really Good Stuff Blog Article

Hi everyone!
If you are interested in reading an article I wrote about semantic gradients, click on over to Really Good Stuff.  I am a monthly columnist for them and December's post was all about gradients!

Semantic Gradients and the Common Core Standards

Photo by Lori Wolfe
by Lori Wolfe, Monthly Columnist
As elementary teachers we are always looking for and finding strategies to use with our students that broaden and deepen their understanding when reading. We know that when students, especially second language learners, can distinguish between the shades of meanings of related words, then they can be more precise and imaginative in their writing. Shades of meaning are the small differences among words that are related to a specific topic or idea. 

Click here to read!

Happy Teaching! Lori

December 14, 2012

Using Photos With English-Language Learners | Edutopia

Hi everyone,
This is a great article from Edutopia about different ideas and strategies to use with photos during an ELD or classroom lesson.  The lessons are easily connected to the Common Core and Blooms Taxonomy.  Kuddos to Larry Ferlazzo and Katie Hull Sypnieski for a well done article!

Using Photos With English-Language Learners

"A picture is worth a thousand words."
-- Unknown
Though the origin of this popular adage is unclear, one thing is clear: using photos with English-Language Learners (ELLs) can be enormously effective in helping them learn far more than a thousand words -- and how to use them.

Read more by clicking the following link.  It is worth the read!

Using Photos With English-Language Learners | Edutopia

December 12, 2012

12- 12-12

Hi everyone,
I just had to post on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 2012th year!

Here is a great article I found on Busy teacher that has some fun activities for prepositions!

7 Super Easy Activities for Teaching Prepositions of Time

Try These 7 Super Easy Activities for Teaching Prepositions of Time




This article is written by:
by , 2323 views
Susan likes to enjoy every day to its fullest whether she is freelance writing, teaching homeschoolers, or developing her special talent of instigation. When she is not imagining sand castles or catching others off balance, she cooks, sings, reads and takes walks in the sunshine. She earned an M.A. from the University of Delaware in Linguistics and an M.A. from Trinity School for Ministry in Youth Ministry. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband and her three cheepy cockatiels.

 Happy Teaching!

December 9, 2012

GLAD strategies and links!

Hi everyone!
A colleague from Hillsboro sent in this great glad resource.  It is a link to Everett School District in Washington state.  If you are interested in GLAD strategies and resources, grab a cup of tea, sit back and click on!

Thanks to Laurie Howard for this gem!
Happy Teaching!

December 5, 2012

Using Songs and Chants in ELD lessons


Songs and Chants are a dynamic part of an ELD lesson. Songs/ Chants set the stage for the lesson and help focus the learner on the vocabulary and grammatical structure you are teaching.
Click cover to go to my TPT store!

Songs and Chants help students hear the cadence and intonation of English.  They give the teacher an opportunity to help with pronunciation and articulation
You can use songs introduce grammar structure, vocabulary, or create an anticipatory set. Songs engage students because they are so darn fun!
Look at the benefits:
  • Anticipatory Set
  • Engagement
  • Affective Filter
  • Cadence and Intonation
  • Vocabulary and Grammar Features
  • Pronunciation and articulation
Make sure you pick songs that contain the vocabulary and or sentence structure you are teaching.  Songs will help students learn these words and expressions, as well as, other words of high frequency.
Don't forget that singing helps students  acquire a sense of rhythm and facilitates memorization of a linguistic item.
You can use a song or a chant to teach children the sounds and rhythm of English to reinforce structures and vocabulary or as a Total Physical Response activities!

Try this activity with your favorite song~


This is an excellent and fun way to open a
lesson. Students practice vocabulary through
songs and chants with very varied voices.

GROUPING: Whole class
OBJECTIVE: To practice vocabulary

• Song/chant

•Sing the song/chant with very varied

Mouse squeak
Opera singing
Robot voice
Whisper voice
Deep voice
High voice
Hold you nose voice
Growling voice

Add some very varied actions to
your very varied voices.
Suggested Actions:
Movie Star kisses/waves
Dribble and Shoot
Jumping Jacks
Weight Lifting

Happy Teaching!

November 22, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!


TeachersPayTeachers Is Having This Wonderful Sale!  
I'm offering 20% Off of Everything and then with the TPT Code, CMT12, you will get a total of 28% Off of everything!

Pop on over to my store and start shopping!
Happy Teaching!

November 19, 2012

Teaching Idioms

Hello everyone!

This is a picture of an interactive idiom board  for the whole school to participate in.

Idiom Bulletin Board - Step by Step Instructions
By []Lori Wolfe

This easy, fun and creative bulletin board makes you look like a pro as you develop student vocabulary and language skills. This bulletin board works great in a classroom or hallway for the whole school to be involved with. I wanted a way to involve my school in language development and used this idea. Follow these quick steps and you will be on your way!


4-5 idioms and simple definitions
Computer/word processor
Images to represent the idioms and the definitions
Construction paper
Scissors/paper cutter

Step 1:

Decorate the Bulletin Board with colored Butcher paper of your choice as a background. Use a contrasting borders that complements the color you chose.

Step 2:

Choose a theme for the idioms you will use. Some popular themes include:
Bees, horses, weather, dogs, tired.

Step 3:

Choose 4 idioms. Take care in choosing the idioms. Idioms for intermediate language level students should be idioms that give a hint to the meaning. An example of this is "it's raining cats and dogs". The word "raining" is a clue to the meaning. Early advanced language learners can work with idioms such as, "you're pulling my leg" which doesn't give the learner any clues to the meaning. Choose which language level you want the students to work with.

Step 4:

Collect 1 picture per idiom that displays what the words say and another picture that shows what the idiom means. Use your own classroom images for this or do a quick Google search for "idiom images".

Step 5:

Type up and print the idioms. Glue the typed idioms and the images onto colored construction paper. Cut to size.

Step 6:

Place the 4 idiom images that display what the words "say" at regular intervals across the top of the bulletin board.

Place the text under each picture.

At the bottom of the bulletin board place the image of what the idioms "mean" in random order.

Step 7:

Staple a piece of yarn under the text of each idiom long enough to reach to the image that shows the true meaning of the idiom. Tie a loop in the end of the piece of yarn so children can attach the yarn to the correct meaning.

Step 8:

Stick a pushpin into the bulletin board above the random images that shows the true meaning.

You now have an interactive bulletin board where students can match up the idiom to the image of its meaning by attaching the looped yarn to the push pin above the image of the true idiom meaning! Watch your students have fun and learn about idioms!

Lori Wolfe is an ESL - ELD teacher in Ashland, Oregon. Lori is also an author, ESL workshop presenter, and blogger. Her company, Fun To Teach produces innovative curriculum for ELD, ESL, grammar, Math, Reading, and more. Go to or stop by the Fun To Teach Blog for ESL ELD teachers: []

Article Source: [] Idiom Bulletin Board - Step by Step Instructions

Happy Teaching! Lori

November 16, 2012


Hi everyone,
Here is a link to a great list of ideas to use with second language learners. 

Twenty-Five Quick Tips for Classroom TeachersTwenty-Five Quick Tips for Classroom Teachers

by Judie Haynes
Put any five of the following tips into practice and your English language learners will benefit from the improved instruction.

Thank you to:

Laurie Howard
ELL Specialist
Brookwood Elementary

for sending this list my way.  She also shared a great email signature which I added to the list of email signature tips on the side bar.

ELL Tip: ELs who have IEPs need MORE scaffolding, modeling, guided instruction, direct instruction, language structures, questioning (checking for understanding), prompts/clues/signals, frontloading,  and building of background knowledge.

She pulled this from an ELL/SpEd/RTI course given by Dr. Julie Esparza Brown @ PSU this summer.

Happy Teaching!


November 12, 2012

Listening Comprehension Lesson

Hoops and Yoyo

I love using Hoops and Yoyo manners videos for listening comprehension lessons.

Here is a basic lesson plan for

Listen to the video 2 times.
Ask the students the following questions.
Name one of the 6 tips for brushing your teeth.
How often should you visit a dentist.
What does he have to learn how to do? 
Make sure students answer with complete sentences.
Happy Teaching!


November 7, 2012

Graphic Organizers!

 Hello everyone,

I was looking for a variety of graphic organizers and stumbled upon Thinkport.
Thinkport. Think education. Think Maryland.
They offer a collection of graphic organizers that you can integrate into activities and lesson plans or use by themselves. 

They offer three different formats:
  • HTML, which is viewable with any browser
  • PDF which is viewable with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Word, which is viewable using Microsoft Word®

Check them out!

Happy Teaching!

November 4, 2012

Math Vocabulary

Hello everyone,
I was searching the web recently and found an awesome site for Common Core Math Vocabulary.  

Granite School District in Utah has some of the best resources for Common Core Math Vocabulary and they are ready for you to download and print for FREE!

They have a great website that includes vocabulary cards that are kid friendly.  Each word has 3 cards. The first is the word only, the second includes a graphic representation, and the third also includes a definition.

This site is packed with resources for building math vocabulary including
 games such as this one:

Talk a Mile a Minute

Materials: Word lists, timer Instructions:

1. In this game, students are given a list of 6 words that have been organized into categories. One player will give the clue words while the other player tries to guess the word on the screen within a 60 second time limit.

2. Divide the class into pairs. Player 1 and 2 sit together facing each other. One player faces the screen and the other player has their back to the screen.

3. The player facing the screen will be the “talker” and is provided with a list of words on the screen. The talker tries to get their partner to say each of the words by quickly describing them. The talker may not use gestures, rhyming words, or any variation of the word on the list.

For example, in the first list below, the talker must not say the word shape when giving the clues. For the word square, the talker might say something like, “It has 4 equal sides, AND 4 equal angles.”

Rectangle Square Circle Triangle
Right Triangle Trapezoid
Units of Measure
Inches Meters
Hours Square Yards

4. The talker keeps giving clues until their partner identifies the first word in the category. The talker then moves to the next word in the category until all words have been guessed the set time ends.

5. Players change places and a new round begins with the other player now designated as the talker. 

If you are looking to add to your instruction of Math Vocabulary...this great site has it all.


October 24, 2012

Prefixes on Utube

Hi everyone,
I wanted to share some great YouTube videos for teaching Prefixes.  Stay tuned for some rap and rock and roll!

Happy Teaching!

October 22, 2012

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to thank everyone who attended Friday's workshop in Portland.  We shared knowledge and learned about the Common Core connections to  ELD.  Oregon ELD teachers rock!
Happy Teaching!


October 15, 2012

Have you heard of Lanternfish?

Hello everyone:

Lanternfish ESL
This is a great site for ELD teachers:

It has Worksheets, lesson plans, games and more.  This site has printable resources for free!

My favorite page is the ESL Game Board Page.  It has a ton of game boards and they can be edited to suit your needs or  ready to print!

ESL Game Boards

Check it out and let us know what you found on this site that is helpful!
Happy Teaching,

October 6, 2012

Ready for a freebie?? Possessive Pronouns

Hello everyone!

Possessive Pronouns Complete Package- Lesson Plans - ESL ELD

This 15 page ESL ELD unit provides the strong foundation from which to build schema and expand students' knowledge of possessive pronouns. We provide all you need to teach the English your Beginning and Early Intermediate language learners need to practice and perfect Possessive Pronouns.

Included in this unit:

-Picture Cards
-Vocabulary Word Cards
-Game Cards
-Lesson Plans and Ideas
Perfect for ESL/ELD classes and great to use with native speakers of English or ELL second language learners. Have fun and watch your students sing themselves to better English grammar!

Please go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a free unit on Possessive Pronouns!
Click here for Possessive Pronouns free!


October 3, 2012

Martha The Speaking Dog!

Great website for Vocabulary Building!

Do you know Martha the talking dog!  Martha can help you kids increase their vocabulary in a fun way.  This site has games that enrich vocabulary through play.

According to PBS:
The goal of Martha Speaks is to increase oral vocabulary, the words we use when we talk. The shows are not trying to teach kids how to read. They are designed to help kids understand what words mean when they hear them; words like retrieve, sprout, and craveMartha Speaks is designed to teach up to 20 words in each show. And how better to get kids excited about learning and trying out new words than with a talking dog, who just can't stop talking?!

Click here to check it out!

September 29, 2012

Freebie! Prefijos de los numeros

Hi everyone,
As teachers we know how important it is to have a firm understanding of prefixes. Research shows the importance of building students’ vocabulary. When students learn and review prefixes they see relationships between and among languages. Many prefixes have a basis in Latin – also the basis for Spanish. Unknown words or new vocabulary can be figured out by students when they use their knowledge of prefixes.

That being said, check out this great freebie:

This 27 page game packet increases your students' abilities to identify number prefixes in Spanish and gain meaning of unfamiliar words through play. By playing the 3 games included in PREFIJOS DE LOS NUMEROS students become familiar with these great prefixes. They learn that simply understanding and recognizing number prefixes can help them interpret the meaning of unfamiliar words, both mathematical and non-mathematical. This game package includes black line masters for:
-Bulletin board number prefix introduction sheets
-Game board
-Game cards
-Concentration cards.
-A variety of games
-Activities to send home
-Easy to use teacher's guides
-Easy game assembly

Check out this site for more game and activities for teaching Math Prefixes in any language!

Math Prefix Activities

Happy Teaching,

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September 27, 2012

Ore. Wins Federal Grant for New English-Language Proficiency Exam - Learning the Language - Education Week

Hi everyone,
This announcement came out this week.  Who knew Oregon was leading this effort?

It seems that the language proficiency and the Common Core will be linked.  Read this article for more information.

Ore. Wins Federal Grant for New English-Language Proficiency Exam - Learning the Language - Education Week

Happy Teaching,

September 26, 2012

Connect with your colleagues!

Remind your busy colleagues of the strategies that work best with ELLs with every email you send by using these ELL tips under your signature ~ name and title!
Lori Wolfe
ELD Teacher
Ashland School District
ELD Tip: 
Make lessons comprehensible to your ELLs by using graphic organizers during your lessons.

  • ELL Tip: Draw pictures to increase ELLs comprehension during your lesson.
  • ELL Tip: Wait time for ELLs gives them langaguage processing time.
  • ELL Tip: Make lessons comprehensible to your English Language Learners by using Graphic Organizers within your lesson.
  • ELL Tip: Provide opportunities for your ELLs to practice language during each of your content lessons.
  • ELL Tip: Did you offer your ELL a supported opportunity to speak in class today?
  • ELL Tip:  Key vocabulary for each lesson should be emphasized:  Introduced, written, repeated, and hightlighted for students to see.
  • ELL Tip: Provide opportunities for your ELLs to practice language during each of your content lessons.
  • ELL Tip: Key vocabulary for each lesson should be emphasized: Introduced, written, repeated and highlighted for students to see.
  • ELL Tip: Make lessons comprehensible to your ELLs by using graphic organizers within your lessons.
  • ELL Tip: Draw pictures to increase ELLs comprehension during your lessons
  • ELL Tip: Your partner doesn’t like repetition but your ELL students do.

Happy Teaching!

September 19, 2012

Language acquisition versus language learning!

Acquisition is subconscious, informal and implicit, and

tends to be unstructured. 

Learning is conscious, formal, explicit, often grammar

based, and tends to move from

simple to complex language.

Second Language Learners need both! 

Happy Teaching!