Friday, August 28

ESOL Resources for Any Classroom

Today, on the 8th day of school, I had a sub. I spent all day 45 minutes away in an ESOL PLC. That's another part of my job that I rarely talk about. In my district, I am the official lesson planner for the elementary ESOL paras. I decide what they will do with the kids each day and hope that the paras follow my plans when the kids are pulled out of class.

One of items on our agenda each time we meet for this PLC is to share resources, websites, and apps that might be helpful to other teachers, so my five for Friday will be featuring 5 (or more) of the resources shared this afternoon. Maybe you already know about all of these, but maybe there are some new-to-you resources in my list.

The good thing about ESOL strategies and resources is that they are very helpful for all students, not just the ELLs.

The first one I want to share is an app called News-O-Matic. I think I've actually heard of it before, but I've never really looked at it. It's basically an elementary version of Newsela, the site that takes current events and displays them at different reading levels. There is actually an Elementary Newsela, but that site doesn't go lower than a 3rd grade reading level.

News-O-Matic is a free app if you get the "home" version. There are actually 3 different ones, so you can choose the level that matches your kids. For my classroom, I would probably download the 1-2. I would like to try that app as one of my Listening/Technology center options. I love the idea of my second graders getting knowledge of the world by reading positive or intriguing current events. It's not overwhelming; it only gives 5 articles each day to view. I believe it will even read to you.

You've probably heard of BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr., but I had no idea that there is also a BrainPOP ESL. Of course, there's also an app that goes along with this website. This looks like a GREAT resource for all your grammar and language needs. You can see somethings free, just like with the other BrainPOP sites, but to access all the greatness of this site, you'd need to buy a subscription. is another resource that was shared this afternoon. On this site, you can search to find different skill and strategy lessons and informational and literary passages. For those of you that like to use the Close Reading strategy, this would be a great site to get strong passages. Best of all, it's free.

My fourth share is LearnZillion. I actually used some LearnZillion videos I found on Youtube last Spring during our poetry unit. The videos are informational. They have tons and tons of different topics and strategies. I think that its original intent is professional development, but it's worth so much more.

I had no idea that Reading A-Z has an ELL support. Reading A-Z is an amazing resource itself, so I imagine the ELL versions are great too. Online, you can see the different topics covered in each book/lesson. These lessons and books would be great to give to a para/aide to work with students. There are also worksheets and assessments. This resource even has reader's theater scripts to build fluency.

Well, what did you think? Read about anything new you might want to try? Let me know if you have any other great resources. Thanks for dropping by!

Have a GREAT weekend!
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