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clocks with figures above showing daily routines

"Routines are the backbone of daily classroom life. They facilitate teaching and learning…. Routines don’t just make your life easier, they save valuable classroom time. And what’s most important, efficient routines make it easier for students to learn and achieve more."

Learning to Teach…not just for beginners by Linda Shalaway

 

Routines are a lifesaver to ESL teachers and learners of all levels. A good routine provides numerous benefits to teachers and learners, including:

Purpose:  A vocabulary card provides students with a variety of approaches for learning new words.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes per vocabulary word.

Materials Needed:  index card or sheet of paper for each student. Pens or marker.

Preparation:

(It is important to do this ahead of time. You will NOT be able to come up with ideas in the heat of the moment!)

1)  Choose vocabulary words to be introduced. Introduce no more than 2-3 per session.

Front cover of the CCRS for Adult Education Booklet

We like to say that if there is something to support ABE instruction that hasn’t been created yet, MN ABE will make it happen! Continuing the amazing history of homegrown Minnesota resources, the Minnesota Literacy Council and ATLAS have responded to requests for videos with a project that will benefit all ABE teachers, no matter what level of ELA you may teach.

children's classroom poster of words that start with B

Learners connect familiar words from their own vocabulary with specific sounds to help them with strengthening their spelling associations.

Materials Needed: whiteboard, marker

  1. Choose a vocabulary word from the week’s unit.
  2. Write the word on the whiteboard, then go through the word letter by letter.
  3. For each letter, ask the learner/s to tell you what sound the letter makes.
  4. Have the learner/s verbally generate a list of words that start with the same sound.

Example: During the unit on community:

ESL teacher watching adult learner review vocabulary

Encouraging very beginning level learners to speak English and participate in classes can be a challenge, but setting speaking routines and planning activities that allow for lots of interaction can give even the lowest level learners opportunities to build their speaking skills. The new video Adult ESL Literacy Level Instruction: Building Speaking Skills features a pre-beginning level adult ESL class moving through a high-energy level speaking lesson.

Purpose:  This variation of "Number of the Day" is a great way to help students develop procedural fluency with the math operations they have learned.

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  paper, dice (optional)

Procedure:

hand holding a marker up to a whiteboard

Purpose:  A structured and supported way for beginning writers to develop their spelling skills while practicing vocabulary and writing full sentences.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  handouts with a photo printed on the top part of the paper and lines for writing on the bottom half (see attached example below)

Procedure:

line drawing of four wrists and hands

Purpose:  A simple kinesthetic way to help learners count syllables and practice word stress  

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  a list of weekly vocabulary words

Procedure:

finger tracing the capital letter A

Wondering how to get started with phonics instruction? The Orton-Gillingham Approach to phonics instruction is a multisensory method that incorporates listening, speaking, images, writing and movement into basic phonics instruction. This approach was originally developed to support dyslexic students improve their reading ability, but it has also proved to be successful with adult ESL learners who are learning to read and write for the first time as adults.

What is your name? Audrey Dombro

Where do you volunteer? I work as a community outreach intern [at the Minnesota Literacy Council] and I volunteer at Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative.

What is your volunteer role? Classroom assistant in a low-level literacy class.

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