Colorín Colorado Blog: Helping ELLs Succeed

Welcome to our Colorín Colorado blog!  This blog is focused on helping English language learners (ELLs) succeed in the classroom, with a special focus on strategies and tools that that support the use of college- and career-ready standards (such as the Common Core) with ELLs.

The blog includes updates from the ELL field about topics such as language proficiency standards and assessments, as well as practical tips for developing academic language, helping ELLs tackle grade-level content, and collaborating with colleagues.

For related content, see our  Common Core and ELLs resource section.  You can also browse blog posts by topic.

We’d like to start off the new year by sharing an example for developing text dependent questions for ELLs in the middle grades. We have selected a 6th-8th grade exemplar text in the category of Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics and Technology titled “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag” by Henry Petroski.

In this blog post written for Colorín Colorado, Rhode Island administrator and WIDA trainer Julie Motta walks through a read-aloud activity for first grade and highlights how she engaged the students with the story, brought in content-area connections, and included informal assessment to check comprehension.

In our last post, we shared information about the new Teaching Channel ELL video series based on Academic Conversations (2011) by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford. This week we’d like to delve deeper into these resources and provide strategies for building the oral language skills of ELLs across content areas that are framed around four practices.

Following our recent series on using Socratic seminars with English language learners to build oral language skills, we learned about an exciting new video series from the Teaching Channel focused on academic conversations with ELLs featuring…you guessed it!  A Socratic seminar.

In the first two posts in our series about using Socratic Circles (or Socratic Seminars) with English language learners (ELLs), we provided an overview of the activity and offered some ideas for how to do a close read of Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Now that you’ve prepared your ELLs, it’s time to implement the Socratic circle.

In part one of this three-part series, Diane shares some strategies for fostering English language learners’ (ELLs) oral language as part of Common Core-based instruction. Her focus is be on practical strategies for including ELLs in Socratic circles (also known as Socratic seminars).

More new resources that will support ELLs with instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This time, the new resources come in the form of Resource Guides for scaffolding the instruction of ELLs. I’ll tell you what the Resource Guides are, how they were developed, and I'll highlight some features of each.

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