ESL Toolbox

Newsletter November 4th

Our Toolbox

I decided to rename our ESL newsletter the ESL Toolbox because that's exactly what it is. Each week, after reading over the newsletter, you will have new tools to use in the classroom with your students. Each tool, I hope, will be fairly easy to implement with an enormous return on student learning. If you ever have any questions about the tools, I am here to support you. I am always available during your PLC time, or after school to provide training.


Have you tried Alphaboxes? It's an activity that expands vocabulary and supports critical thinking. You can use it before, during, or after reading. Students think of words that begin with each letter of the alphabet related to the topic, or reading selection.

  • Prior to reading, students brainstorm and fill in Alphaboxes with words related to the topic.
  • During reading, new unfamiliar words relating to the topic are added.
  • After reading, Alphaboxes are shared among pairs or groups. Students justify why a word was included.
  • Unfamiliar words are highlighted and clarified to improve comprehension.
  • Alphaboxes my be used to support writing activities or assessment.

Alphaboxes (JHAT, Jr.)

ELL Tidbit of the Week

What Is Tellagami?