September 28, 2015

Idiom Bulletin Board!

Hello everyone!
Elementary teachers, are you looking for an easy way to make and creative an interactive idiom bulletin board that builds vocabulary and appeals to all students?    Here it is!  This is a great activity for your classroom including your ESL, ELD, and at-risk students.
Idiom Bulletin Board-Step by step
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.  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.  Use a contrasting border 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.

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.

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!

September 23, 2015

Wednesday Quote!

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday!

There is just no disputing this fabulous quote.  Another one I am going to make for my classroom!

Happy Teaching! 

September 19, 2015

The Language Strand of the Common Core Standards and English Language Learners

Hi everyone,
I wrote this article as a blog post last year for the REALLY GOOD STUFF BLOG.  It is still relevant and I thought I would post it again!  Let me know what you think!

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:
·      Reading Foundational Skills
·      Reading
o   Literature
o   Informational Text
·      Writing
·      Language
·      Speaking and Listening

Let’s take a closer look at this important language domain.  The broad Language standards for K-5 are comprised of 3 subcategories: 
1.    Conventions of Standard English

2.    Knowledge of Language

3.    Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Furthermore, each grade level has specific standards under these three categories, which are hierarchical in nature. These standards define what a student should know or be able to do at the end of each grade level.   The following table shows the essential skills within each of the 3 categories of the Language Standards, Kinder through 5th grade.  This table lists the progression of language skills by grade level.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the chart.

Here is a glimpse of the Language skills that I found of particular interest in each sub category.  Many of these require continued attention over grade levels.

Conventions of Standard English
·      Plurals: Regular and Irregular
·      Nouns:  Possessive Nouns, Collective Nouns, Abstract Nouns
·      Pronouns: Possessive, Indefinite, Reflexive Pronouns
·      Verbs; Past, Present, Future Verbs.  Irregular past tense verbs. Perfect tense verbs
·      Complete Sentences

Knowledge of Language
·      Formal and informal uses of English
·      Choosing words and phrases for effect and to convey ideas

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

·      Root words, prefixes and suffixes
·      Connect words to categories
·      Antonyms, synonyms and homographs
·      Shades of meanings of related words
·      Figurative Language: similes, metaphors, idioms

It is great to see language as one of the domains of the ELA Common Core Standards.  We all know that language is interwoven with speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Language now has an elevated importance in the classroom with this Standard of the ELA Common Core. 
Happy Teaching!
Lori Wolfe
Fun To Teach

September 16, 2015

Collaborating to Plan a CCSS Lesson Video

Hello everyone!

Video time.  Check out how 2nd grade teachers collaborate to create lessons focusing on language and classroom academics!

Let me know your thoughts!
Happy Teaching!

September 12, 2015

Great Quote!

Hello everyone,
I don't know how many times I have said to students, "It's supposed to be hard!"

I think I will make a classroom poster of this great quote!

Happy Teaching!                         

September 9, 2015

Talk Moves Video

Hi everyone! This short video on Talk Moves is a great strategy to share with classroom teachers as we collaborate with colleagues on reaching and teaching English Language Learners Let me know what you think!

Happy Teaching!

September 2, 2015

Project Based Learning Video

Hello everyone, This is a great 3 minute video on Project Based Learning. Take a break and take a peek. Let me know what you think!

Happy Teaching!