May 24, 2022

Make Summer School Fun This Year 🌞

Hello teachers ~


 Are you ready to make Summer School FUN?

With the end of the school year upon us, it’s time to start talking about summer school! Summer school doesn’t have to be an extension of the school year, instead, I challenge you to find ways to make summer school FUN! This post features fun resources to help you do just that. 

Check them out.πŸ‘‡

One of the great things about summer school is the freedom to have a little more fun than you normally would during the school year. Give yourself the permission to enjoy teaching this summer and to give students hands-on learning opportunities. Allow students to learn through play and interaction with the material. I promise it’ll make this year’s summer school one that will be unforgettable. 


We know that summer school still requires math and reading to be taught, so what engaging ways can we expose students to that content? Let’s dive into some activities!



Summer School Math Activities:


πŸ’« Number Sense - Are you looking for fun and engaging Number Sense Vocabulary games and activities for kindergarten and 1st grade? These number sense games and activities will provide preschool, kindergarten, and 1st-grade students with a fun and engaging way to practice building number sense vocabulary.

Great hands-on math games and activities for essential Number Sense math vocabulary words that build a foundation of math understanding. This is great practice for ELL students!



πŸ’« Reading Two-Digit Numbers - Students love game boards! This resource has students reading and writing two-digit numbers while making their way around a gameboard to be the winner! Let students compete while practicing math and literacy at the same time!


πŸ’« Addition Vocabulary Activities - Looking for activities to help students practice addition vocabulary terms? This resource has 7 different games for students to play to practice including:

🌟 Match It Up!
🌟 I Know the Word

🌟 Tic Tac Go!

🌟 And the Answer is...

🌟 Word Association

🌟 A Game of 20 Questions

🌟 Concentration

Students will know these terms front and back by the time they finish playing these games! The picture cards included also give students an accompanying visual for each term!



πŸ’«Skip Counting by 10s Flipbook - Available by 5s and other numbers here in my flipbook bundle, these skip counting flipbooks give students hands-on practice as they flip through the book and practice counting! Have students do the activity “Inside-Outside Circle” and rotate through reading to different classmates. 


Summer School Reading Activities:

πŸ’« June Word Wall & Activities - This 47-page resource features 50 summertime vocabulary terms with corresponding activities to allow students to practice using them! Students will practice learning vocabulary and practicing hands-on by playing these games:
            πŸŒŸBean Bag Toss
            πŸŒŸSlap It
            πŸŒŸChant the Wall


πŸ’« Tongue Twisters - What kid doesn’t love a good tongue twister? This resource features 30 tongue twisters to help students practice pronunciation and isolate sounds. Featuring a gameboard, students can move their way around the board as they practice these tongue twisters. This is great for all elementary students, especially ELLs. 


Extras! Extras! 

πŸ’« Cross-Content Gameboards - We all know gameboards are a hit, and these are especially versatile for ELL students! This packet contains gameboards for math and literacy, while also containing blank game boards that can be used with any resource! Here are some topics the pre-created boards cover:

🌟 Colors
🌟 Numbers

🌟 Letters

🌟 Fractions

🌟 Counting

🌟 Vehicles

🌟 Animals


Your scientists will have so much fun with this jam-packed ‘Growing Kidney Beans’ unit for science.

This resource is perfect for Summer School! ‘Growing kidney beans’ provides a science-based experiment that gets kids excited to learn. This Science unit teaches basic science concepts, vocabulary, and language.  Perfect for ESL students and all K-5 elementary students, even the youngest of learners. 


I hope that summer school this year is fun for you and your students. By tossing the routine, boring learning out the window and putting hands-on activities in front of your students, I believe it’ll be a summer filled with learning and laughter.


Happy Teaching! πŸ’œ

May 17, 2022

🌹Make Math Fun with Fact Fluency for ELLs

Hello teachers ~

Today we are going to be diving into all things related to math fact fluency. Fact fluency is a skill that students especially English Language Learners need to develop in order to be successful with math. This post will unpack what fact fluency is, any misconceptions, activities to teach it, and how to make it work for your ELLs. Let’s dive in! 😁


⭐What is math fact fluency?

πŸ’§What is 6 x 1?

πŸ’§What is 5 x 2?

πŸ’§What is 4 x 3?

If you are able to recall the answer to these questions in 2 seconds or less, you may have developed something called math fact fluency

In simple terms, math fact fluency occurs when a student instantly recalls the answer to a basic math problem. As students repeatedly practice simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations, they commit the answers to their long-term memory. When students are able to recall these answers instantly, they have achieved math fact fluency.

However, math fact fluency is also more than that. In order to possess this skill, students need to feel comfortable with numbers and enjoy working with them. Completing multiplication drills is monotonous and boring for students, but participating in fun activities can help them build their math fact fluency in meaningful ways. 


Math fact fluency vs. Math fact automaticity

The internet is filled with terms related to math facts. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what the difference between them is! Two common terms that can easily be interchanged are math fact fluency and math fact automaticity. Let’s discuss the difference below.

πŸ‘†Math Fact Fluency - the ability to solve math problems quickly and fluently. Fluency in math refers to being able to manipulate numbers to find an answer quickly. For example, if you posed the question, “how could I solve the problem 3 x 4?” students with fact fluency may know the answer is 12, but their basis in visualizing and manipulating numbers is what has caused them to possess the ability to solve this problem so quickly.

✌Math Fact Automaticity - being able to automatically provide the answer to a question without thinking.

While automaticity is a part of math fact fluency, we want to instill a desire to love math and number manipulation, not just spewing out an answer like a robot.


Lesson Plan

Looking for a way to teach multiplication fact fluency to your students? Take a look at the lesson plan below!

Math fact fluency can only be built once students have foundational skills. To teach students multiplication fact fluency, you must first teach students how to multiply. Great ways to do this include visual activities like arrays, repeated addition, or creating equal groups with manipulatives. These activities will get students’ minds turning with the understanding of how multiplication works. This is vital for students to understand before they move into fact fluency.

Wondering how to build a background for ELL students? Vocabulary is the cornerstone of learning for language learners. Pull a few keywords from the topic and teach them to students before beginning your math unit. This ensures that students know and understand the language needed to interact with the topic. As students learn, play games with students to reinforce the vocabulary. Need help getting started? My math vocabulary bundle in English and Spanish includes keywords and pictures for several topics.

If your students already have a strong foundation of how multiplying works, you can move them into fact fluency. To practice fact fluency, we must give students repetitive, engaging opportunities to practice solving equations. 


There are several activities that I LOVE for teaching multiplication fact fluency. Let’s explore one of them together.

For math games and activities, I especially enjoy using flashcards and game boards. We use both for the multiplying game from my Multiplication Fact Fluency Games Bundle that we are going to explore in this lesson.

First, each student takes a game board, like the one below. (I have several printable game boards in my resource.)

Next, students take turns drawing an equation from the pile of facedown equation cards in the center of the table. Example equation cards are below:

Once students draw their equation cards, they read the equation aloud and try to determine the answer. As they are solving, their group mates try to solve the equation as well to be sure that the student who is answering the question gives the correct answer. Once the student solves the problem, he or she looks to see if the answer is on their game board. If it is, they cover the answer with the equation card itself. If it isn’t, they put the equation card in the discard pile. Play passes to the next player. The game ends when a player has filled his or her entire board with equation cards. 

Students love playing this game because they have the opportunity to compete against their group mates to fill up their board first! What student doesn’t love trying to be the first to win? This game helps build math fact fluency because students are practicing math in a meaningful way. Students are engaged as they repeatedly attempt to solve math equations with their group mates.

Have ESL students in your class? Because fact fluency is primarily number-based, the skill itself requires little language. As long as students know the basic vocabulary surrounding the topic, students at all language levels, newcomers included, can participate in these math games with ease. This is also a great unit to have newcomer students practice number vocabulary in English during small group time. 

Get this game and many others in my multiplication bundle. This resource also contains timed tests and other multiplication worksheets and activities. Covering numbers 0-12, this unit is all you need to keep your students engaged during math small group, whole group, or as extra homework practice within your multiplication unit! 

Your students are right around the corner from achieving math fact fluency. Let this resource help them practice in a meaningful way!


Click the pictures below to take a peek at my resources. πŸ‘€


Happy Teaching! πŸ’œ

May 11, 2022

Using Songs and Chants in the ELD Classroom

Ready to engage your English Language Learners?

Songs and Chants are a dynamic part of an ESL lesson. Songs/ Chants set the stage for the lesson and help focus English Language Learners - ELLs - on the vocabulary and grammatical structure you are teaching.

Here is a simple lesson plan to use to get your second language learners - English newcomers to advanced language learners singing and focusing on all of your language lessons!  

GROUPING: Whole class
OBJECTIVE: To introduce a song/chant
• Student copies of the song/chant
• The song/chant written on chart paper

• Sing or chant the song first to your students
• Focus on pronunciation
• Anchor your student’s attention by teaching your students to always “look at my mouth.” Help them make the correct mouth and facial movements as you help them pronounce words correctly
• Hand out mirrors and see if your students can make their mouth “look like yours” when pronouncing new words or difficult sounds

VARIATION: Gesture as you sing Sing one part more than once

I hope you have fun with students while engaging them in every lesson you teach using Songs and Chants!

Happy Teaching!
Need more lesson plan ideas?  Click here!

May 5, 2022

Scaffolding Instruction - What is it?

 Hi everyone!

Scaffolding Instruction

What is it?  How do we do it?

Scaffolding instruction is essential when working with English learners in the classroom or in ESL and intervention groups.  English newcomers to early advanced speakers need this support at some level.

Scaffolding instruction:

When teachers break learning into smaller chunks and give students temporary 
  • support
  • structure
  • and tools to work with 
we call this scaffolding.   

Scaffolding starts with:

high temporary support.  This support is gradually taken away until the learner can produce the work on their own.  

Scaffolding includes:

a variety of essential techniques or steps that helps move the learner toward higher levels of understanding and independence when learning. 

Scaffolding can be used: 

in a broad range of content areas and grade levels.  Let’s look at a few of my favorite scaffolding strategies.

Shared experience:

To access and build common background knowledge begin with a shared experience:
       a video
       a shared reading

Graphic Organizers:

       Venn Diagrams and Double Bubble Charts to compare and contrast information
           Mind Maps help show relationships, note taking and book summaries

Flow charts to show processes

    Rubrics that show what is expected on an assignment

Task Cards:

   Task cards are given to students that 
   frame a topic or subject.



  Vocabulary Lists

  Target and signal words and vocabulary lists with definitions that are content-specific.  Provide lists of transition words and conjunctions.   Add new words to the lists as you use and discover them.


   Topic or content sentence frames

   Use sentence frames, sentence forms, and sentence starters to support the use of complete sentences in writing and spoken discourse.  Use these for both whole group and partner discussions.
support written ideas. Begin with simple sentences and build to compound sentences.

Provide visual word walls 

- add new words as you go along.

What are some of your favorite scaffolding techniques?  Which do you find work best with second language learners?

Happy Teaching!

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