• ESL Teaching Strategies: 6 Tips for Using Repetition in the Classroom

    ESL Teaching Strategies: 6 Tips for Using Repetition in the Classroom

    This is a guest post provided by the English Skills Learning Center in Salt Lake City, UT.

    Is your desk covered in sticky notes with lists of things to do? How about your next trip to the grocery store? As literate learners, we often remember things by making a list. On the other hand, emergent readers remember things by oral repetition and all second language learners require repetition to obtain and retain new vocabulary and sentence structures. It allows students to produce more language and gives them time to think of what will come next. Especially when following through a textbook, it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking that our students have mastered a topic and the vocabulary that goes with that lesson when we’ve really only scratched the surface of their retention.

    Here are six tips for using repetition in your lessons: ...

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    Apr 11 2012
  • Trivia for Teachers: Are Immersion Classrooms the Most Effective Way to Teach ESL Students?

    Trivia for Teachers: Are Immersion Classrooms the Most Effective Way to Teach ESL Students?

    We thought it was about time that all you teachers out there got a pop quiz for a change! So go ahead, take a time out, and look over this short quiz to test your knowledge about immersion classrooms as a method for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Just a quick review: immersion classrooms are classrooms that emphasize a rapid transition to English by teaching and speaking to non-English speaking students only in English. 

    Scroll down and read over the questions listed below and then decide if you believe the answer is completely true, completely false, situational or inconclusive. Don’t worry, these quizzes will not affect your grade – we still think that if you are taking the time to learn something new, you deserve an A+ as far as teacher quality goes. Good luck! ...

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    Apr 04 2012
  • Can Phonics Help Improve a Student’s Spelling Ability?

    Can Phonics Help Improve a Student’s Spelling Ability?

    Most teachers know that despite the whole word wave, phonics and decoding strategies are essential for effectively teaching struggling readers how to read. However, some teachers are unsure about how phonics and phonemic awareness plays into a student’s spelling ability. Here is Reading Horizons Teacher Trainer and Dyslexia Specialist, Shantell Berrett, spelling it out (please appreciate my pun) for us: ...

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    Apr 03 2012
  • The Essential Need for Orton Gillingham Based Reading Instruction: Webinar Q&A

    The Essential Need for Orton Gillingham Based Reading Instruction: Webinar Q&A

    We were so excited to have reading expert Kathy Chappell-Muncy present a webinar for us! She presented on “The Essential Need for Orton Gillingham Based Reading Instruction” and did a fabulous job!

    Just so you know, Orton Gillingham based reading instruction is a systematic intervention used for struggling readers that includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic components to engage the child’s entire brain. Here are some questions and answers from Kathy’s wonderful webinar: ...

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    Mar 23 2012
  • What if a Research Based Intervention Doesn’t Work for a Struggling Reader? Then What?

    What if a Research Based Intervention Doesn’t Work for a Struggling Reader? Then What?

    One day this cute lady called us just frantic. She had been using the home use version of our product with her dyslexic son and he had improved to some degree but it just wasn’t helping him like she thought it should be. She was desperately trying to figure out what more she could do to help him. I could tell she would do anything and it broke my heart to hear this cute worried mom who felt like she had found the program that would offer him the best chance of success but it still wasn’t clicking like she had expected. How could she help her child from drowning in school? ...

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    Mar 22 2012
  • Reading Research: The Educational Benefits of Fiction-Based Texts

    Reading Research: The Educational Benefits of Fiction-Based Texts

    Lately, with their strong emphasis in the Common Core State Standards, there has been a lot of talk about informational texts. But, their cute little cousin, fiction books, are kind of starting to feel left out. So… they decided to show up strong when researchers decided to explore what happens in our brains while we are reading fiction.

    Here are some excerpts from an article from The New York Times about what neuroscientists have found happens in our brain when we read fiction: ...

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    Mar 21 2012
  • First Grade Classroom Management Tips

    First Grade Classroom Management Tips

    My grandson is experiencing a couple of firsts this year- he is in first grade with a teacher who’s teaching for the first time.

    I imagine that the first year of teaching is filled with trials and triumphs. A whole list of, “I wish I would have done that differently.”

    One message I would like to give my grandson’s new teacher is this: “Cut them a little slack. They are, after all, only seven years old.” ...

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    Mar 16 2012
  • Four Ways to Get Your Students Attention During Reading Instruction

    Four Ways to Get Your Students Attention During Reading Instruction

    Today’s students are pounded with distractions in the classroom: friends, cell phones, social media, computers, books, and papers that are screaming to be doodled upon. Not to mention internal distractions: family drama, friend drama, stress over homework, the cute boy sitting across the room, frustration over a difficult concept, etc…

    With so much constantly being thrown at your students, how can you possibly have a chance at getting their attention during your reading instruction? What can you do to help your students stay focused? ...

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    Mar 14 2012
  • 4-Step Process for Helping Students Transfer Decoding Skills to Written Text

    4-Step Process for Helping Students Transfer Decoding Skills to Written Text

    We hear it again and again: students have a difficult time taking the decoding skills they have been taught and applying them to the everyday texts they encounter. However, what many teachers don't realize is that this is rarely the student's fault; rather, it is often the result of the teacher failing to teach them an important step.

    Here is Reading Horizons Teacher Trainer, Shantell Berrett, discussing the step you might be skipping and a simple four-part process you can teach your students to help them transfer decoding skills to everyday texts: ...

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    Mar 13 2012

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