6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2011 10:23 PM by cmelicher RSS

Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?

mso Novice
Currently Being Moderated

Hello everyone,

How exciting, it seems we have had a burst of new members since December, and I thought it might be a good time for everyone to get to know each other!  Please, if you have not introduced yourself to the group, take a moment to share a bit about yourself and your interests in Reaching ELLs.  What can we do to make this site meet your needs?  Don't be shy, obviously we have somethings in common and the better we know each other, the stronger we become as a collective group.

Of, course all members are welcome to update us on their activities and interests at this time, as well!

Winter break is just about ended for me, my district is in northeastern NJ...and I am grateful that we didn't lose any days off, since my daughter was depending on me to do some babysitting this week! (taking care of an 18 month old, sure kept me on my toes!)

I am currently rewriting my district's ESL curriculum...major task with all standards revisions...is anyone else involved in curriculum writing?

Thanks for your participation!

Marie (mso)

  • Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
    pceron New User
    Currently Being Moderated


    I am Paul Ceron and I work at Roosevelt Elementary in Lynwood, CA (woo hoo!) I am currently our school's "Instructional Lead" which is *misleading*, because my work is mostly facilitating our Federal and State Programs.  I work a lot with our parent councils, but also have some opportunities to address ELD issues through collaboration with our teachers. 


    Our community is over 90% Spanich speaking and our ELD curriculum has not been effective in meeting the needs of our students.  That's what really attracted me to THIS group.  I'm a brand spanking new member of THINKFINITY and look forward to using the resources offered and sharing them with our teachers and community.


    • Re: Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Welcome, Paul...

      What an exciting position - Instructional Lead - you probably have much expertise that you can share with us, as well!

      Be sure to check out our groups's documents - especially mathematics resources, since March's discussion topic is math related.  Remember, you can add to this list of resources, as well.  We are always eager to see new perspectives.

      Of course, you will find a wealth of interactives and visuals that appeal to our special students, who rely so heavily on those visuals that Thinkfinity's partner sites offer.

      Have you exlored the Bobbie Bear activity that I just posted?

      Once again, welcome aboard!

      Marie (mso)

  • Re: Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
    teacherandstudent New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello everyone,

    I am a full time graduate student pursuing elementary/special education certification. I am also a part-time substitute teacher. Thank you for providing this group!


    I was drawn to this group due to the presence of ELLs in the classroom. How frightening (and exciting!) it must be for them to be in a new country with a new language, culture, and customs!  It's important that ELLs feel welcome in the classroom community and able to understand the content.


    What are some strategies you use to engage your ELLs? How do you make them feel like a part of the learning community, and how do you ensure that they are able to be successful?



    • Re: Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
      mso Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi teacherandstudents,

      Thanks for your reply, you certainly are a busy person, juggling those two roles...good for you! 


      One important suggestion for working with ELLs is to maintain a line of communication with their family members or guardians.  This is such a necessary component, since often you are the "safety net" and primary link to school functions and activities.  Also, provide family support for homework, in any content area, since homework requires understanding the new language, so the ESL teacher is the one resource that family members go to in order to help their children.


      Making vocabulary come to life by building a reportoire of items/gadgets/miniatures of concrete vocabulary helps to reinforce those terms, such as:

           replicas of various animals

           doll house furniture pieces for household items

           doll clothes for clothing vocabulary

           lifelike replicas of fruits and vegetables...(certainly, the real thing, when possible)

           examples of things that are hard (rocks, bits of wood), soft(cotton balls, ribbons), sharp (nails,pins)...etc..

      ESL teachers have classrooms cluttered with all kinds of "visuals"...

      Of course, I am so thankful for partner sites such as national geographic, smithsonian and science netlinks that make so many objects come to life for ELLs. 


      Hope you find these ideas helpful...good luck to you and welcome, again

      mso (Marie)

  • Re: Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
    Imme New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi, teacherandstudents,


    Welcome aboard!  You've taken your first step in help your ELL's feel welcome--you've put yourself in their spot.  I personally can't imagine going to a foreign country myself, much less making my son adapt too.


    At any rate, on the first day, please make sure you can pronounce the names correctly of your ELL's.  That may mean asking the student, even, but please don't butcher their names.  As the ELL teacher, I often feel I'm the only adult during the day that knows their full name and how to pronounce it.  My maiden name was German and people mumbled through it all the time.  My married name is much easier, but my experience brings home to me how important it is to get the name right.


    Study up on the countries from whence they came.  Get a calendar that will tell you their holidays.  Find an adult teen who's able to act as a translator when you have to explain procedures or rules.  If mom or dad or guardian speak English, make contact with them--or have a translator/interpreter help you.  Explain procedures and routines to the new students.  Don't assume anything.  How does a student get to go to the restroom?  What if s/he doesn't feel well, etc.


    These are just a few starters.  Good luck in your endeavors, and welcome aboard.

  • Re: Welcome new members, what attracted you to Reaching ELLs?
    cmelicher New User
    Currently Being Moderated



    I am an ELL teacher at an elementary school in West Fargo, ND. We have over 20 different cultures represented at our school. We have a very diverse community and I am always open to ideas that I can use to reach these children in the classroom. I am very excited to hear what all of you have to offer. And I hope to have some to offer as well.



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