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5th and 6th Grade ELL Teacher

I also find sentence framing

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I also find sentence framing to very helpful in building student confidence. This year was the first year I had two students from Mexico. They had limited English and were 6th graders. Using sentence framing gave them the confidence to start writing their thoughts in English.

Connecting with ELL Students

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Larry,

Thank you for the fantastic suggestions for how to connect with ELL students. This year I had a student who did not speak more than 3 or 4 words of English at the start of the year and we had trouble connecting. While he would not be able to do any of the written work we could try a lot of your suggestions verbally and then build up. By the end of the year we would be able to write letters to each other. I also had 11 LEP students so the weekly reflections in particular could really help them, as could the writing letters. I also loved the idea about describing my thoughts of the classroom to the students, it gives me the time to reflect on my lessons and helps model reflection for my students. Thanks for the great ideas. I hope to be able to implement them at the start of next year.

Gretchen, thanks for the suggestions about "sentence framing." It sounds like it would really help the students gain the confidence that is necessary for a number of them to be able to communicate in a second language.

ELD elementary teacher

I have taught a class of all

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I have taught a class of all English language learners for the first time this past year. My third graders came from all over the world and there are at least 11 native languages in my class of 27 students. I have learned that carefully constructed sentence frames have been the key to gaining and maintaining communication between my students and myself. In a class meeting, a sentence frame allows the newest students to give me some information about who they are and what they like. The frames give them confidence and from there it only grows. Nevertheless, the challenge of forming a whole class community can't be understated with this population. The first half of the year, the small groups of same native language students would cluster together and the bond between them was primary and their relationship with me was secondary, then whole class was tertiary. Once the students gained some basic English, I found that light humor became important to the growth of the student-teacher relationship.

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