ESL Notes from Mike Bowden

Weeks of February 22nd to March 11th

Spring Break's Impact on Your ELL Students

What will they do during the break?

Many of your ELL students do not choose to read at home. That may not be surprising.

How sluggish will it be to get started again in 9 days without any practice with English?

Safe, Caring, Trusting Environment

Your English Language Learner may not share much about their plans for the upcoming Spring Break. They have to feel comfortable in their environment, with their teacher, to really express what their plans are.

Book Talk

Do you ask your students what they are reading for fun at home? Do you tell them about the books you are reading? When students talk with you about reading outside of school for the enjoyment of reading, they will begin to understand that reading is not just about assignments.

They Don't Have Books

Quick, while their is still time, you can fix it. We can't always fix things for our students, but we can ensure they have reading material for Spring Break.

Bag 'Em Up

If you get started today, you have opportunity to put together a bag of reading material and a log to keep up with the dates and times the student read.

You might need to put a pen in the bag. Pencils break. Who has a sharpener at home?

Pre-Teach the Reading Bag

Some of your students will read to siblings or others in the house. Some need help deciding who to read aloud with. You can always say, "I have known kids who read to their pet, or a stuffed animal, a pillow and I even had a kid who read to his shoe!"

Take the pressure off them. Help them find a way to be okay with reading out loud to no one in particular. Even a snail with shoes on.

The Reading Log or Journal

At the very minimum you want the student to record the date and the book or books read. Of course you will praise results and merely note lack of reading as a conversation point for later.

If your student will write down some words from the reading that challenged them, won't that be a great way to get into gear after returning to school? Relevant and connected.

Those of you fortunate to have a highly motivated student can provide several extensions that the student can respond to after reading. Bonus for you.

Build It and They Will, You Know...

Careful with copyright and such, if you follow.

We can be upset with student excuses and barriers and lack of initiative. They won't read, they don't read, etc.

If we pre-plan and take the excuses and barriers out of the equation, we have done our best. We have sent them off with the option and ability to engage. Just a little.

Maybe that first Monday back, and that first couple of weeks back, will be a little smoother, with a little more progress, than it might have been if we didn't prepare.

Other than the Hokey-Pokey, isn't that what it's all about?

Schedule & Availability

Monday Feb 22 - Flower Mound

Tuesday Feb 23 - Forest Vista

Wednesday Feb 24 - Forest Vista

Thursday Feb 25 - Flower Mound

Friday Feb 26 - Forest Vista afternoon only

Spring STAAR Training, Mill St Annex


Monday Feb 29 - Flower Mound

Tuesday Mar 1 - Forest Vista

Wednesday Mar 2 - Forest Vista

Thursday Mar 3 - Flower Mound

Friday Mar 4 - Forest Vista


Monday Mar 7 - Spring Break HOLIDAY

Tuesday Mar 8 -

Wednesday Mar 9 -

Thursday Mar 10 -

Friday Mar 11 - TELPAS Online Reading Test Window Opens

Contact Mike

Do you have a question or a concern?
Would you like to visit about strategies or ideas?

Could you use help preparing your send-home bags?

Let's set up a time to visit!