Tuesday, November 15, 2011

English Language Learners

Today I was lucky enough to see Gail and Joan present on the Daily 5. There were many things that I took away from the day, especially thinking about barometer children and how we can build their independence.

The thing that struck me most today was that Gail and Joan are in schools that mirror mine in terms of cultural and linguistic diversity. The students at Gail's school speak 31 different languages and Joan has 12 different languages in her classroom. My classroom also has 12 different home languages and the students at my school speak 36 different languages!

I asked Joan how to start brand new English Language Learners with the Daily 5, as I have had students who come to me speaking not a bit or just a bit of English, and have colleagues in that position now.

Joan suggests picture books and listen to reading.

These students might spend their time going back and forth between only Read to Self and Listen to Reading and it is okay to only have them do these two things!

To lower their affective filter even further it'd be wonderful to have wordless books for these students to read. Two of my favorite wordless books are Flotsam by David Wiesner and (from my childhood) Good Dog, Carl.

How do you start brand new ELLs on the Daily 5 process?
What are your favorite wordless books?