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Suggestions for teaching spelling to students with LD

Tip From: Susan Bubp, Adult Learner Services Mentor

Many of our students struggle with spelling issues; they are frustrated by their inability to spell even the simplest words. Although many of them will never become expert spellers, we can help them to feel that they have a better understanding of the complexities of English spelling by following some of these excellent suggestions found on LD Online.

Provide systematic phonics instruction that incorporates teaching of phonemic awareness. Although this kind of instruction alone will not be enough to make students flawless spellers, phonemic awareness and phonics knowledge form an essential base for accurate spelling in English.
Teach common irregular words from the earliest stages of spelling. It is virtually impossible to generate a complete sentence without common irregular words such as of, what, and were. Therefore, it is important to begin teaching these kinds of words early, as one part of a more comprehensive spelling program. Multisensory techniques involving repeated tracing and saying of words can be especially helpful for introducing irregular words.
Teach useful spelling rules. Although many English words do not conform to consistent rules, some generalizations are very helpful to students, such as rules for adding endings to words with a silent e (make, making) or to closed syllables that end in a single consonant (sit, sitting).
Teach spelling of important grade-appropriate words. Because many English words cannot be spelled solely through the use of rules or phonics knowledge, spelling instruction also should include studying a corpus of important words needed for accurate spelling at each grade level.
Emphasize activities that involve writing or building printed words with letter tiles, not oral spelling. Oral spelling activities, such as traditional spelling bees, usually are not […]

By |January 2nd, 2017|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Suggestions for teaching spelling to students with LD

Tech Tips for Teachers Blog

There are many educational technology blogs with great tips for using technology in the classroom, but the Tech Tips for Teachers Blog is unique in its focus on adult education. This blog is run by the folks at World Education, and features many great tips, lessons, and ideas for using technology in the adult education classroom.

The main website is: http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/

Some great articles include:

Using Discussion Boards in the Classroom – http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/blog/using-discussion-boards-in-the-classroom

A Revolution: Adding Activities to Any YouTube – http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/blog/a-revolution-adding-activities-to-any-youtube – How to use the free Zaption.com website to add discussion questions and interactivity to any YouTube video – great for class discussions and flipped classroom video lessons.

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |December 30th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Tech Tips for Teachers Blog

Look – Remember – Tell

Tip From: Chris Powers, ESL Mentor

All students need and want to increase their vocabulary. It takes many times of seeing words before they can be used by a student. The more activities and way to recycle vocabulary the better!

This activity is good when presenting a new story or topic. It allows for individuals to absorb as much or as little as they can but increases active time with the vocabulary as it is discussed in small groups.

Choose 10 to 15 words from a reading or topic that you will be working with.
Scramble the words on a piece of paper and give each student a copy face down.
When you say go have each student turn the paper over and study the words. Usually 15-20 seconds depending on the number of words and level of the students.
Next have the students individually write as many words as they remember. Then ask them to write words they think go with the words that they remembered.
Working in pairs or small groups have the students talk about what they think the reading will be about and if the level and time permit write a few sentences on the topic.

Give out a copy of the text to each student and allow time for them to read. Discuss which words they find hard and which words they think the scramble will help them to remember and why.

Remember that the number of words you use to scramble will depend on the level of your students and the length of the reading you will be presenting.

By |December 28th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Look – Remember – Tell

Multimedia Resources for Projects

When using multimedia in student projects, classroom materials, or class websites, it’s important to have appropriate permission to use them. Here are a few resources to help find clip art, photographs, videos and music with usage rights that allow their use in your classroom.

Open Clip Art – http://www.openclipart.org – A collection of clip art images that have all been released into the public domain.

Pixabay.com – Vector art and images in the public domain (beware of the first row of sponsored Shutterstock images above the free images)

Royalty Free Music – http://www.incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/- Royalty free music clips – great for multimedia projects. Search by style, tempo, etc.

National Park Service B-Roll Video – http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/video/index.html Video of landscapes, flora, fauna and more from US National Parks – all in the public domain.

Stockfootageforfree.com – Free to use video clips of various subjects

Would you like to have a discussion with your students about copyright? Common Sense media has a free lesson that can spark some great student discussion. Just register with the site for free to have access to the lesson materials: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/copyrights-and-wrongs

Tip from Tiffany Brand

By |December 15th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Multimedia Resources for Projects

Five Minute Activities

Five Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities by Penny Ur and Andrew Wright, Cambridge University Press, 1992, is a little gem. These activities not only are good warm-ups, but also they contain ideas that could be expanded into full lessons by a creative teacher. Although some of the ideas are a little silly, others are truly inspired. In this thin volume, you’ll find 100 ideas that can really spice up your ESOL or even your ABE classroom. This is a great little volume to keep in your school book bag or in your desk at school. The activities are just right when you’ve finished the lesson early or when you’re waiting for some stragglers to get to class.

Tip from Susan Bubp

By |December 7th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Five Minute Activities

Tech Tips for Teachers Blog

There are many educational technology blogs with great tips for using technology in the classroom, but the Tech Tips for Teachers Blog is unique in its focus on adult education. This blog is run by the folks at World Education, and features many great tips, lessons, and ideas for using technology in the adult education classroom.

The main website is: http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/

Some great articles include:

Using Discussion Boards in the Classroom

Using YouTube to Encourage Adult English Learners to Read with their Kids

By |December 5th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Tech Tips for Teachers Blog

A few close reading tips

Teaching your students to be close readers doesn’t have to be complicated if you teach them a few strategies at a time. Learning this process will enable our HiSET students not only to deepen their comprehension of difficult texts, but also they will learn to cite and refer to text for their persuasive essays.

When we do a close reading activity, we do little in the way pre-reading activities with our students. In fact, it is even recommended that the teacher does not pre-teach “unknown” vocabulary prior to a close reading. Rather, the student becomes a detective and ferrets out the meaning. The teacher sets the specific purpose for the reading and asks the students to read.

But modeling your own close reading of a text must come before students are asked to do this on their own. Showing students how you would “attack” an article that you wanted to absorb is crucial. Show them and narrate every step of your thinking as you mark up a text. For many students, marking up a text is a foreign concept, so start by simply numbering the paragraphs. Next show how the article can be “chunked,” that is how several paragraphs may form idea units. For instance are the first three paragraphs introducing the author’s thesis? Are the following three showing the evidence for the claim, and the last two summing up?

Next, circle new vocabulary, key terms and key words—those that are repeated again and again or those ideas that are defined by the author. Another part of marking up the text is underlining. Teach students to underline only the ideas that they want to take from the text. This will take lots of practice because in some texts, […]

By |November 30th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on A few close reading tips

Word Cards Get Students Moving

A fun way to get students up and moving, practicing reading and listening while capitalizing on kinesthetic learning is to give each student a stack of several words, each written on a separate card. You read a sentence and the student(s) who has/have one of the words in the sentence you read must come to the front of the room and arrange themselves in the same order as the sentence you said while holding their word card in front of them. To make this fun, use new vocabulary words or give the dictated sentence unusual word order so there is a bigger challenge. Another variation of this game is starting the sentence with a short phrase. Students who have a word that would make sense after the initial phrase come up one at a time to complete a sentence. For instance, you might say or write the phrase THE OLD CAR and students must find words to make it into a complete sentence such as: THE OLD CAR DROVE SLOWLY DOWN THE CROWDED STREET. Don’t forget to include punctuation mark cards in the sets.

Tip from Susan Bubp

By |November 23rd, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Word Cards Get Students Moving

Different Ways to Teach and Reach Struggling Math

Check out the following manual for practical information and new ideas about looking at different ways to teach and reach struggling math

www.nald.ca/library/learning/mathman/mathman.pdf

A Manual for Teaching Basic Math to Adults: Changing the Way We Teach Math by Kate Nonesuch
A free 117 page PDF file
Chapters include: Hands-On Learning, Group Work, and Activities for Students

Tip from Denise Reddington

By |November 15th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on Different Ways to Teach and Reach Struggling Math

HiSET Website

More and more information is becoming available about the On the ETS website, www.HiSet.org, there are many new items for both students and teachers. Now available is an informative 10 minute test overview video and a 10 page study companion for students. Students can find interactive practice tests that provide immediate feedback as well as free practice tests. If you work with HiSET students, be sure to check out this site.

Tip from Denise Reddington

By |November 8th, 2016|Mentor Tips|Comments Off on HiSET Website