Monday, June 27, 2016

What Books About Teaching Should I Read On My Vacation?

"Summertime and the livin' is easy."
-- George Gershwin,  1898 - 1937
Book reviews & recommendations are offered in the link up to help teachers find books for professional development during their summer vacation.
George Gershwin, composer; source: Wikimedia Commons
Maybe for some people but not really for teachers: Most if not all of them spend their summers working another job, preparing for the upcoming school year, and/or (mostly and) engaging in professional development to enhance their teaching skills. To help with the latter, I’d like to offer a link up of books that educators have found useful in their teaching practice. 

Looking for some professional books to read during your vacation?  Check out the reviews and recommendations offered in this linky party.
Not that there's anything wrong with some time at the beach!  Source: Pixabay
They undoubtedly won't all be easy beach reads or the next blockbuster page turner but they will be something better – books that other teachers recommend because they have helped them become a better educator in some way.  I've suggested three books that are very different from each other but which I have found very useful.  One book provides detailed information about schooling in other cultures, another offers information about teaching reading to English Language Learners, and the last book deals with teaching strategies that are particularly helpful for ELLs.

Looking for some professional books to read during your vacation?  Check out the reviews and recommendations offered in this linky party.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Favorite Tech Tools for ELLs: June Twitter Chat

Please join co-host Laurah from Tools for Teachers by Laurah J and me for June’s #ELLEdTech Twitter chat.  The topic is Favorite Tech Tools.  
Join the #ELLEdTech Twitter chat on June 19, 2016, and share your favorite tech tools for ELLs
Join us this Sunday for June's Twitter chat!
Schedule and Questions
7:00 = Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #EllEdTech
7:05 = Q1: What is the name and purpose of your favorite tech tool you use with ELLs? #ELLEdTech
7:13 = Q2: How does that tech tool benefit ELLs? #ELLEdTech
7:21 = Q3: What do teachers need to know before they use that tech tool? #ELLEdTech
7:29 = Q4: What is a tech tool you would like to try but haven’t yet used? #ELLEdTech
7:37 = Q5: Where can teachers find recommendations for good tech tools to use with ELLs? #ELLEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05 @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, or to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet . If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:
1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked.
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, administrators--may see what you tweet.)

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us as well know about it. We can't wait to chat with you on Sunday evening!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sympathy & Sorrow and a Vacation Announcement

"Why go on vacation when work is so much more fun."
-- Taylor Hawkins, 1972 - Present
Love conquers hate--sympathy and sorrow for the victims of the Orlando tragedy | The ESL Connection
Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters; source: Wikimedia Commons
I don’t have words other than platitudes to express my sorrow and sympathy for the tragedy in Orlando this past weekend.  So I created the picture below and used a phrase that James Corden, the presenter at the Tony Awards, said.  I thought the photo of the Taj Mahal, a symbol of enduring love, was an appropriate image for conveying my sentiments against the violence and bigotry that struck the Pulse nightclub.

The ESL Connection will be posting irregularly for the rest of June and July
Love conquers hate; source: The ESL Nexus
On another note... I’d like to let readers know that between now and the end of July, I’ll be taking a vacation from posting weekly, which I've been doing for over a year now.  There are many good reasons for taking a vacation and you can read how a vacation promotes health, creativity, happiness, productivity, and an improved home life here and here

Monday, June 6, 2016

Celebrating Ramadan and the Newsletter with 2 Freebies!

"Ramadan Mubarak!"
-- Traditional greeting in Arabic for the start of Ramadan
Read about why haste makes waste when it comes to working on TpT!  Enjoy a 20% discount at The ESL Nexus and grab a freebie resource for Ramadan while it lasts. (Limited time only.)
Source: The ESL Nexus
Yesterday and today sure have been busy!  I woke up to discover that one of my freebies was spotlighted in TpT’s Sunday newsletter.  I was thrilled and decided to put my entire store on sale for the next several days.  I quickly made a banner announcing the sale and then set up the sale.  Or so I thought...  Some hours later, I discovered the sale hadn’t gone into effect after all.

Boy, did I feel bad.  Here I’d gone and advertised all my products at a 20% discount but anyone who browsed my store couldn’t have taken advantage of the reduced prices.  As soon as I realized my mistake, I corrected it.  My store is now on sale and will be through Saturday, June 11th.  I’m not happy about the snafu but I definitely relearned that I shouldn’t rush to do things.  Here’s the product that was featured in the newsletter, by the way:

Grab this FREEBIE by The ESL Nexus and enjoy a 20% discount on all products in her TpT store in celebration of this resource being in the Sunday newsletter and reaching 350 followers.
Download this freebie HERE
Meanwhile, I had already decided to create a new product for Ramadan, which started yesterday or today, depending on where you live.  Having lived and traveled in several Muslim countries, I wanted to design a resource that would both inform students and offer some fun activities while learning about this major Islamic holiday.  I spent most of Sunday and all of today working on it.  I didn’t even stop to eat lunch today and last night I ate dinner around midnight!  You know how, when your students are so involved in a task that they don’t want to stop, even when the class period ends (usually when they’re doing something online)?  Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling.  :-)

So here is my just-finished Ramadan product.  It’s a collection of resources designed to supplement teaching about the holiday.  There’s a reading passage with background information about Ramadan, task cards with questions related to the holiday, a crossword puzzle and four word search puzzles that are differentiated by level of difficulty.  Answer keys are also provided where needed.  In addition, there are posters with Ramadan greetings in six languages which are suitable for a bulletin board display.

Let students learn about Ramadan with this resource by reading about the holiday & answering comprehension questions; they can also celebrate the holiday with posters that say "Happy Ramadan" in 6 languages and use the task cards, crossword puzzle & word searches to extend their learning!
Free for the next 48 hours!  Grab your copy HERE
To celebrate the start of Ramadan, this product will be available for free in my TpT store until midnight Eastern on Wednesday, June 8th; that is, Wednesday going into Thursday.  After that, it will become a paid product.  Enjoy!

Wishing you and your students ~
Ramadan MubarakHappy Ramadan!