Monday, November 10, 2014

fall in first grade...and a freebie!

Don't be shocked...a blog update. :)

One of the things that I've had to adjust to in my new school is having a large population of English Language Learners. In my previous school, I had one student in five years that was bilingual (and he was truly bilingual). In my new school, more than a third of my class speaks another language in addition to English! It's really cool. However, for some of my students who are less proficient with English, I'm having to figure out ways to scaffold language for them so that they can access the curriculum as fully as possible. 

One of the things that I've been doing with a few of my kids is an interactive alphabet notebook. One of my newer students didn't attend kindergarten full-time last year and I have another student who is coming to us from a culture that uses a completely different alphabet. Plus, I have a few non ELL students who need some work with letter sounds and letter recognition. I bought this set from Color Me Kinder and we are loving it! The prep couldn't be easier and what I personally really like is that I get to introduce some vocabulary at the same time that the kids may not know. 

Another "ah-ha!" that I had was that for this particular group of students, providing them with familiar texts to read at home might be extra helpful for them. Our new reading series came with a set of vocabulary readers that I tried to use with these students, but what I'm finding is that the readers are not on their instructional level. So, I'm resorting to scavenging the Internet to find easy little readers that have appropriate vocabulary and controlled sight words to keep them from getting frustrated. This week I got extra crafty and made a little book for us to use during guided reading. I also included some vocabulary cards to use with them to preview and review the vocabulary words before we read. I uploaded it to my shop and it is free, so if you're interested head on over there and download! 

Tomorrow we're off for Veteran's Day but I'll be hard at work on a conference presentation! We are also up to grand things next week in first grade, but I'll save that for another blog post!

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