The Language Lady

Your ELL January Newsletter

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New Year Wishing Wands

Here's a craft idea that encourages children to think about their hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Make a New Year wishing wand, start a conversation circle and find out what they wish for! This is a great activity for oral language development. Click here for directions!

Children's Books for the New Year

The Night Before New Year’s. Author Natalie Wing has a series of “night before” books. This one looks at New Year’s. It’s a fun choice for kids addicted to counting down the hours.

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution is a fun choice to read if you are discussing resolutions with your students. Squirrel walks through the forest wondering what resolutions she should make for the new year, finally realizing that all her kind and helpful actions are what’s really important.
Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas. Eating black-eyed peas at New Year’s is a southern tradition signifying good luck for the coming year. When Shanté goes out to her neighbors, looking for the requisite peas, she learns all about how other cultures celebrate New Year’s. If you’ve been reading multicultural Christmas books this season, this is the natural successor.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read the book, Martin’s Big Words, to your class. After reading, have the class brainstorm Martin's big words. Using the Skitch app, create a picture of Martin and add his big words. Students can create their own picture and big words using the Skitch app. Working in pairs, students can take pictures of each other and think of their own big words they want on their picture. Have them share their words with the class when they are finished.

Different Outside, Same Inside

This is a GREAT lesson that teaches students that, although we may be different on the outside, we all have the same core. For this lesson, try to find three different colored and shaped apples that aren’t perfect looking. Examine each apple with your class (size, color, and weight) and jot down each observation on chart paper. Then, cut open the inside and discover the apples are all the same on the inside.

Winter Poetry

Poetry is an important component of a balanced literacy program. Reading poetry with your students encourages them to enjoy reading, and improve their oral language skills and fluency. You can share poetry during a read aloud, shared reading, and interactive reading. After your students have become familiar with a poem, leave it in the poetry station for independent reading. Your students will love to explore and practice reading poetry on their own, or with a partner. Leave plenty of highlighting tape, pointers, and sentence strips.

Add a New Strategy to your ELL Toolbox for 2015

Here's a new way to check for understanding. With their hands shielding their eyes, tell students to look at you to show how well they understand the lesson. Eyes wide open means they fully understand the concept and can teach it to someone else. One eye shut means they understand it somewhat, but may still need a little help. Both eyes closed means they do not understand the concept at all. Shielding their eyes with their hands keeps it confidential and fun!

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How Can I Help You?

B.B. Owen Elementary 469.713.5950
Stewart's Creek Elementary 469.713.5960