Lesson Bragging!!!

Don’t you just love it when an idea pays off??? We won’t discuss how it has taken over a year to actually come up with the idea and implement it, yet it only took a few minutes of prep…

I desperately wanted my students to get in some speaking and writing practice. Then I remembered my tortuous days in college and how we would use VoiceThread. {Insert lightbult moment here.} Below is a sample of our thread follow-up of a field trip. Once Tyger transcribes his thread, he will have an expository piece to edit and submit. We could get really techie and attempt voice notes in Google Docs!



“Every student knows how to take notes!” FALSE!

Admittedly, secondary is not my favorite. I will be positive and add yet to that statement. My students are great; I guess it’s the newness. I do not dislike being at the middle or high school. I just feel much more at ease in the elementary schools!

Now with that out there – I fully expected students to have been given notes, received a study guide or gotten some form of knowledge frozen on paper from the teacher. {BZZZZZ! Wrong}

Upon further discussion with one of my juniors I was enlightened to the fact that high-school students are independent. The teacher lectures and the students record what is said. OK, great, I say. Let’s look at your notes. <– That was funny to my student. She stated she doesn’t know HOW to take notes. LIGHT BULB! Why would you unless someone taught you? And being ESL, no one likely spent time on this because there were other goals.

And I thought main idea was a challenge to teach 3rd graders…whew! Here are some “goodies” I found to get me started: (If you don’t follow Larry, you’re missing out!)NotetakingSkills.jpg           14497639282_c0667446a5_z.jpg


ESL Endorsement in VA

downloadIf you have ever considered adding on an endorsement for ESL, I’ve checked into a few colleges in Virginia. Those links are below. Personally, I am partial to George Mason University in Manassas because that is where I did my coursework. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is just as amazing and close to Richmond. Oddly enough the two happen to rivals on the basketball court I learned.

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He/ She doesn’t speak English!!

First: Breathe, no need to panic. IT.WILL.BE.OKAY.

Second: You likely started teaching to teach, right? This new student will absorb your teaching like a sponge, even if you do not see it readily. He or she should be a breath of fresh air – a student who actually WANTS to learn!

Third: Above all, DO NOT SAY you can’t hold their hand or don’t have time for him or her. They will read this from you, even if you try and hide it. Please do not be this person as a model for education in the US.

Last: Check out this blog postblog button_edited-1.png


I am going to be adventurous and try creating Thinglinks with my Kindergarten thru 4th graders about Spring. I can’t believe it is here already. If you are not familiar with a Thinglink, you can add notes and other tags directly to the image. Hover your mouse over the cherry blossoms image below. It’s pretty cool. I did not identify the location of the image as a talking point.

Click the link below for the website via my example.

My Spring


Virginia Teachers!!

For other states, check into your state’s TESOL affiliation. Just recently with the new ESSA legislation it was so helpful and reassuring to have a voice and be involved on the ESL end. TESOL also is worthwhile for general education teachers who have ESL students.