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 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 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 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 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!


September 15, 2012

Some of my favorite sites!

I just wanted to share some of my favorite sites!
These sites are great for second language learners and native speakers alike!
Happy Teaching,

Happy Teaching! Lori

September 5, 2012

Prepositions ~ Sing it!

Click to go to our Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

Our prepositions unit is packed with word and picture cards, songs, word wall cards and more. 

Here is a fun song from that unit to practice early advanced prepositions!  Sing it to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or as a call back.
Have fun with it!

A bit closer
A bit farther
A bit higher
A bit lower
A little to the left
A little to the right
Not quite in the middle
Within an inch…or a ????

Happy Teaching!

August 18, 2012

GLAD Resources from SAUSD

Hi everyone,
Santa Ana Unified School District website is a terrific resource for GLAD strategies and units!
They have K-5 units, about 3 per grade level.  There are links to pages for GLAD strategies which were not working when I visited, but said "coming soon".

Check it out!

SAUSD logo

Click here to go to SAUSD

Happy Teaching!

August 6, 2012

The Art of Teaching Second Language Learners

The 4 D's: Demographics/Definitions/Decrees/Development
Demographics: Did you know that English language learners (ELLs) comprise approximately 10% of the students in the United States? That's over 5.1 million students!

Definitions: Although each state creates its own exact definition, the federal government gives us this general definition: An ELL is a student who comes from a language background other than English and whose limited comprehension of English is sufficient to create academic difficulties.

Decrees:  According to NCLB ELLs must meet two criteria: 1) learn English and 2) meet grade level content requirements.

Development: It takes two to tango! Classroom teachers are responsible for the content learning of their ELLs. English Language Development teachers are responsible for English proficiency. More specifically, ELD teaches the English that students need to be successful in schools but will not learn during the rest of their school day.

Here are some tried and true strategies from both the content teacher's and the ELD teacher's point of view:

Student Interaction: Kids need to talk!

Content teacher: Provide authentic opportunities for your student to express their learning.

ELD teacher: Provide structured language practice that practices specific structures in English.

The 4 Modalities: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Content teacher: Reading and writing provide the bulk of instruction with speaking is the culminating event: a speech or presentation

ELD teacher: Speaking provides the bulk of instruction with writing is usually the culminating event.

Classification: Our brains are pattern seekers.

Content teacher: Graphic organizers are the best of the best practices. Use them as often as you can!

ELD teacher:  Organize your instruction by function, form, and classes (vehicles, bathroom vocabulary, prepositions).  When the classification is built in students have a framework for the new vocabulary and grammar structures.

Routine:   Create a learning environment.  Students are ready to learn when they know the schedule.

Content teacher: Be predictable!  Set a schedule and stick to it.  Teach routines and procedures.

ELD teacher:  With routines and procedures well rehearsed your students will be ready to learn and you will make the most from your precious ELD time.

Visuals and Manipulatives:  Concrete and image based teaching makes the content accessible to ELLs.

Content teacher: Use math manipulative materials, word walls with pictures, real objects (realia), provide pictorial cues along with word cues, graphics, maps, photos, word banks,

ELD teacher: Make it visual.  Oral language development and visuals go hand and hand.

Native Language:  Use native language when possible.

Content teacher: Partner same language students to help with translation, send homework in the native language when possible to connect school and home.

ELD teacher: Cognates, cognates, cognates.  Also see which idioms occur in both English and the students’ native language.

Educating English Language Learners is a team effort.  When the classroom teacher and the ELD teacher collaborate great things happen.

Happy Teaching
Lori Wolfe

Click here to see all my products!

August 3, 2012

Fun To Teach on Pinterest!

Hi everyone,

Fun To Teach is on Pinterest and we would love to have you click on over and check out our boards! 

I am always adding new stuff as I find it!  Come check out the boards~

Click here!

Happy Teaching! 



July 20, 2012

Bathroom Vocabulary Freebie for you!

Hi everyone!

Check out this freebie and all of our great curriculum at the Fun To Teach store on Teachers Pay Teachers:
Click Here  To get your unit free!

Happy Teaching!

ESL Games In The Classroom Make Learning ESL Math Fun!

As we implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Math, many teachers are wondering where games fit in. We know that children discov...