Blogs

silver stopwatch

With pre-beginning and beginning level English classes, it can be an ongoing struggle to get everyone speaking English at the same time. Rather than trying to firmly restrict the use of the first language throughout the entire class period (which can be exhausting and counterproductive), set “English Only” periods where you ask the students to speak only English for a set amount of time while they complete a communication activity, such as a mingle, a walking dictation, a dialogue, or a gap fill.

“It’s learning for my heart.” This is how LaRue Unglaube describes her experience as a math tutor at English Learning Center in Minneapolis. LaRue’s philosophy is reflected in her creative, encouraging and patient ways as a teacher.  

 

Hands holding up letters to spell the word tips in capital letters

Purpose:  To help beginning level learners develop phonemic awareness and increase spelling skills with a fun and interactive activity designed to get them out of their seats!

Preparation Time:  10 minutes to create a word list and letter cards

Materials Needed:  A word list with 6-10 words and letter cards (each card will have one of each letters from the word list).

Procedure:

Summer Snapshot #1, A VISTA at Park Avenue, is the first in a three-part series written by Minnesota Literacy Council volunteer Henry Hietala.

A blue W with hands, feet, and a smiling face

Purpose:  A wrap-up activity that gives learners a chance to reflect on what they learned during the lesson and think about how they will use what they learned outside of the classroom

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None

Procedure:

  1. Students think about their responses to the following prompts and write their answers independently on a piece of scratch paper:

What did we learn today?

The new program year for Literacy VISTA is underway! Twenty Literacy VISTAs are now going through on-site orientation, getting to know to their host sites, learning more about the communities in which they will serve and beginning work on their projects. The VISTAs will be serving at a variety of different host sites on a variety of projects, helping Minnesota literacy programs to expand their scale and reach or to enhance their effectiveness in providing high-quality literacy services to low-income communities.

Here is the list of our 20 Literacy VISTA host sites and a brief description of each host site's goal for its 3-5 year VISTA project.

American Indian OIC

Goal: To increase the number of American Indian OIC adult basic education students who attain their GED. The VISTA’s work will be twofold: 1. Examine barriers that prevent current students from attaining their GED and develop solutions to mitigate those barriers and 2. Expand the visibility of AIOIC’s ABE program so that other programs that provide services to similar populations will refer their clients to its campus to attain their GED.

Anoka County Library

Goal: To offer new programs for children, from cradle to graduation, focusing on youth who are not library users / lack library cards,  who are living in poverty, and/or face barriers to library use. The VISTA project will identify programs that can be impactful and sustainable in multiple libraries within the Anoka County Library system.

Dick Anderson brings levity to the Adult ESL classrooms at Vietnamese Social Services. When asked to describe himself in three words, he responds with “aging, hipster, doofus”. But students and staff at Vietnamese Social Services might describe him this way: “attentive, dedicated and appreciated.”

 

four multi-colored stick figures with arms upraised

Purpose: Many students with limited literacy skills or learning challenges benefit from kinesthetic activities. Hands-on activities are minds-on activities.

Ideas:

blue and white stripped circle with red stars and the word vote

Thanks to Meredith Sommers for creating and contributing this great resource!

Thousands of students who are taking English, Adult Basic Education or Citizenship classes are, or will be, eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. Even if students are not eligible to vote, they can encourage and coach others on the voting process. They also have values and opinions that they can express to friends or family who are eligible voters.

green ribbon that reads mental health awareness

This free, online course was created by PANDA: Minnesota Adult Basic Education Disability Specialists in order to carry forward the mission of their organization: Providing Minnesota Adult Basic Education programs with disability support, knowledge and resources to increase academic opportunities for students. 

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