Describing Characters & a Freebie

I’ve been working with my first grades on using adjectives to describe characters.  They did a great job of using evidence from the books to describe their answers.  Even my lower language students were able to participate.

We read two books: Llama Lama mad at mama & Yoko.






First I showed students pictures of character emotions.  They shared examples of when they felt various emotions.  Then as I read the books they would identify how the character was feeling and tell why.

Get these as a part of my Illustrated Vocabulary Words








As a follow up students will fill out a graphic organizer after reading one of their guided reading books where they identify how the characters are feeling and show why.

Free: Describing Characters Graphic Organizers

Dialogue Journal Writing Prompts

There never seems to be enough time to fit everything in.  One way I am attempting to fit in writing and grammar instruction into my ESOL groups is through using a dialogue journal.  Students have a writing prompt that they respond to.  I then will write back with a question or comment.  Students have the options of continuing to write back a response.

I am also integrating short grammar reviews into the writing prompts. This allows student to focus on a skill and immediately apply it in their writing.

Mentor Sentences in ESOL groups

This year I have started using mentor sentences.  Overall I am very happy with them.  If you haven’t heard of this strategy it is basically where you take a sentence from a text and have students study the sentence structure and vocabulary of the sentence.  They also write similar sentences.

With my ESOL pull out groups I have been doing a modified version of this.  I typically have two or three days a week that I can devote some time to mentor sentences. Sometimes I use a read-aloud that also contains a comprehension strategy that we will be focusing on.   Recently I have started using poetry or short texts as well.  This allows me to still show students the sentence in context but doesn’t take up as much time as reading an entire book.

$25 TPT Giveaway & First Week of School

I’m joining with some other bloggers to host a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaway.  Details about how to enter are at the bottom of this post.

School has officially started.  The kids came back this past week.  I spent most of the time giving a WIDA assessment to kindergarten students. This week is when I will start actually seeing students.  I’ll be working with 1st and 5th grades this year.  This is one of the first times that I only have two grade levels to support.  I’m excited to be able to focus more on the grade level content compared to when I am working with 5 different grades.


Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),

Co-hosts: An Apple for the Teacher, A World of Language Learners, Kari Hall (Karied Away in First Grade), Amanda Kristofferson, Rebekah Sayler, Schoolhouse Treasures, Just Jacob Teaching, Sweet Dee’s Science Shop, Simone’s Math Resources, Sarah Griffin, Life As I Know It, and Jackie Crews.

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 8/19/16 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media? Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$10 TPT Gift Card Giveaway & New Products

Back to school is just around the corner.  I go back to work next week and students start the following week.  The summer has been great, I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family.  I’ve also updated/added some products on my TPT page including:

This is my final summer project.  They should be updated by September with additional task cards and a cleaned up design.  Download now before the price goes up!










To start off the year, I am giving away a $10 Teacher Pay Teachers gift card.  You can enter through the rafflecopter link below. The contest ends Sunday at midnight.

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

ESOL Assessments

Assessing students language level is an ongoing process.  My county uses WIDA assessments when students enter the county and in the winter for a formal language level.  Throughout the year we use formative assessments to determine students language progression.

This past year I developed a number of formative assessments to help me with this. The assessments are linked to science or social studies topics when possible.  There are separate primary and upper grade level assessments.  I found them helpful when I was working with a large group of students and want to get a picture what they can do without the usual assistance they are given on typical assignments. These assessments are designed to help prepare them for the academic language they will encounter when taking standardized tests such as the WIDA ACCESS assessment.

Writing: Students respond to a writing prompt.  A graphic organizer for planning is included along with a scoring rubric.
Reading: The assessment are tiered so that students stop if they reach frustration level. 
Listening: Students listen to a script that the teacher reads. They have picture or words on their answer sheet.
Speaking: The speaking assessment starts off with basic identification questions and becomes more complex.


$25 TPT Gift Card Giveaway

I am partnering with An Apple for the Teacher and other TPT sellers/bloggers to give away a $25 TPT gift card.  You can enter by clicking here and filling out the Rafflecopter. Additional details are below.
Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 
 Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 8/19/16 and is open worldwide.
Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway