Best Practices for ELLs

Based on 7 Steps to Building a Language Rich Classroom

Content Objective

I will demonstrate how to use QSSSA in my classroom to build academic language.

Language Objective

I will speak using the following sentence stems:

  • One way I can build academic language in my classroom is...

Academic Conversations


Please rank the level/frequency of academic conversations occurring in your classroom on a daily basis.

A. Students rarely participate in academic conversations..

B. I see pockets of implementation.

C. I often observe academic conversations.

D. My students have academic conversations on a daily basis.

What is QSSSA?

  • Q (Question): The teacher asks a question.
  • S (Signal): The students give the teacher a response (determined by the teacher) when they are ready to answer.
  • S (Stem): The teacher provides a sentence stem to frame structure language.
  • S (Share): Students are asked to share their responses with one or more peers.
  • A (Assess): The teacher assesses the quality of discussion by selecting a few students to share their answers with the whole class.


Q- How can you support ELLs in your classroom?

S- One way I can support ELLs in my classroom is...

- In addition,

- Finally,

S- Stand up and push in your chair

S- Roving Paragraph

A- Wheel Decide or Virtual Dice

Exit Ticket- Plan a QSSSA that you will use in your classroom next week. Write your question from your QSSSA on a post it note and place it on the Exit Ticket Poster.

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QSSSA Planning Post Its Example

Click here for the responses from the QSSSA Exit Tickets.

QSSSA Template

Teachers can use this template to plan a QSSSA.

Exit Ticket Poster

Click here for a link to a printable Exit Ticket Poster.

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