In the recent ELPS Professional Development session, there was some discussion of graphic organizers. They can be part of the support and scaffolding that teachers supply to students. Many graphic organizers are used in various academic endeavors so it is important that students get familiar with them.
The Teacher’s Blog has a new link category on the left sidebar called “Web Tools- Graphic Organizers.” Please take a look and you may find the perfect template to use as is or one that you can customize for your lesson. The first link for Teach-nology is of special interest because within the list of graphic organizers is a link to
Students come into our classrooms with varied levels of knowledge, experience, and motivation. With differentiated instruction, the teacher plans and carries out varied levels of instruction in response to this variety of needs.
This article obviously is targeted towards the secondary level teacher, but there are many strategies included here that apply to adult learners. It includes specific examples of differentiated activities.
Differentiating Reading and Writing Strategies for the Classroom
shorten a lengthy text
Provide visuals along with the text
Write words instead of complete sentences
Write a fewer number of sentences
Create an illustration to demonstrate comprehension
Use a word bank for cloze activities
For a dictation activity, (lower level), have students write the beginning letter of the word, while the higher level students write the complete word
Differentiated Learning Stations
Open ended activity. Example: Students draw a picture to illustrate a story. Beginners can write key words, other students can write sentences. The video demonstrates using thought bubbles for this activity.
From simple to complex. For example, in the Memory Game, the higher students use vocabulary words, while the beginner students use pictures and letters.
Back in1956, Benjamin Bloom, along with other psychologists and educators, created a system of categorizing educational goals. Updated in 2001, this framework, consisting of six categories, has been applied by teachers and college instructors for decades now. It is organized from simple to complex, and concrete to abstract. It helps the teacher see where the student is, and what the expectations are for the next level. Bloom’s can help you, the teacher, write learning objectives and assess student learning.
Now, imagine connecting Bloom’s Taxonomy with modern day apps, websites, and technology! It has been done, and it’s called The Padagogy Wheel! And, it’s a beautiful thing! The Padagogy Wheel links apps/technology to these five categories:
The New American Horizons organization is a wealth of resources for ESL teachers. They have multiple videos for ESL teachers that demonstrate teaching techniques and tips. Today we’re going to focus on vocabulary instruction for lower level students. There is a link to a video included in this post at the bottom of the page.
Some key points from the video:
TPR is a great way to introduce vocabulary! Why? It includes multiple skills and senses, such as watching, touching, speaking, and listening.
Teach the vocabulary in context.
Begin with explicit instruction.
Recycle the vocabulary through diverse activities.
Use the vocabulary in new ways.
Connect the new vocabulary to real life.
Questions that come up during the lesson.
If they are related to the current lesson, then deal with them at that moment.
If they are not related to the subject, address them later. (For unrelated questions, I usually have a “parking lot” list for things to address after the lesson.)
Classroom routines are important to support learning. Use the same games and activities for each lesson. Students focus on vocabulary practice rather than learning a new game. Use these activities to assess learning and where the gaps are. For example, students might be able to identify a word on the page, but can they spell it, or actually use the word?
Examples from the video:
Bingo-play first with pictures to associate the sound/picture relationship, and then next, with words.
Spelling activity-teacher dictates, students listen and use letter tiles to spell the word
Line up activities (by alphabetical order, birth date, etc.
Use the different activities to assess learning and where the gaps in learning are. For example, the students may be able to identify a word, but can they spell it, or use it? Watch this video for more details!