Thursday, March 10, 2011

Supporting the Elementary School ELL in Content Area Classes

ELLs show up in classes throughout the year. This is quite different from the majority of EOs who show up at the start of the school and stay with a teacher until the end of the school year. So the question is this. What can a teacher do to meet the needs of students (ELLs) who enter the class 3 months into the school year? How much time can be devoted to them without losing sight of the traditional students? Must a choice be made between the two or can accommodations be woven into the class so that all students feel that they can succeed? Teachers grapple with this every day. It is never an easy call. Though "worksheets" seem like an easy out, they are definitely not the most effective way to deliver language and deliver catch-up content to ELLs.

Here the internet is a great resource to tap. There is quite a bit of material out there which a teacher could bring into the class to provide an ELL with creative activities and practice in the subject area and that would enable an ELL to build crucial background knowledge or establish a strong foundation in the academic subject matter so that the ELL could more actively participate in classroom activities with their EO counterparts). One such site I just found is Kids Know It.Com

This site covers all content areas through several different formats: "movie", games, worksheets, comics, funnies, learning activities, etc. The subjects addressed here are animals, astronomy, biology, chemistry, dinosaurs, geography, geology, history, human bios, math, memory, and spelling. There is an activity for every interest and skill level and most importantly, ELLs (and other struggling students) will enjoy "studying." Teachers can also create worksheets or use ones already there. No charge.

This generation processes almost everything through technology ELL or not. If a teacher works through the student's strength, the teacher will see the student take to learning like fish to water:)

I hope you enjoy it. Feedback is always welcome!


1 comment:

  1. Though this is geared to elementary school children, ELLs in higher grades could use the site for language practice. The game format would definitely attract them:)