Videos and Other Resources

Hey There Fellow ELL Advocate!

Thanks to everyone who has sent requests lately for specific videos and resources to support your students.   Most of the videos I use for trainings can be found at this link: VIDEOS.  The most requested video is the one below of Gerson:

This is the one that could help you motivate your ELLs or your teachers.  This is powerful because it helps us realize what is possible.  Gerson read an hour a day and did a lot of language practice. We don’t expect all of our students to gain this much fluency in 7 months, but they should know that their rate of learning their second language has a lot to do with how much they want to work at it.  If they read more, they will be able to read more.  If they speak more, they will be able to speak more. As teachers, we just need to provide the support for them to be able to do it.

If you like that one, you probably would love to see how he is doing now (2016/17 school year).  Here is a quick 20 second update clip.  Notice he tells us that things get MUCH easier after your first year in a new country.

This sparked a shared essay about what traits Gerson has that we have.  Then some of my students sent messages to Gerson (emails and quick videos) and so there was even more authentic English being produced around this.  So great!  Thank you, Gerson!

Teachers also requested the information about the Social Contract that I have in my room.  This comes from Capturing Kids’ Hearts.  What is recommended is that you allow your students to create the norms for the classroom.  Those norms are created through lots of discussion around their responses to these 4 questions:

Social Contract Questions

  1. How do you want to be treated by others?
  2. How do you think others want to be treated by you?
  3. How do you want to be treated by the Teacher
  4. How do you think the teacher (me) is treated

I  love this strategy by the Flipin Group.  The way we do this is that we only offer ONE of these questions at a time.  Students talk it through with a partner and then with a group and then they find someone else to share their thoughts.  We throw out a few of their ideas but ask them to be more specific about things like “respect” so we can all be on the same page.  Then they offer suggestions and I start to script the norms on the board.  If EVERYONE agrees on something it goes on the social  contract.  Here are a few from my class and Joseph Maurer & Natalia Mendoza’s Algebra classes:

Last but not least, I have promised to re-post the Kahoot Printable Template for planning a Kahoot.  This image will take you to Kahoot’s dropbox where you can download a PDF of the document.  If you run into any  problems email me at and I’ll email you a copy.

This planning page is fantastic for raising the cognitive level of thinking.   Any level of language learner can do this.  Sometimes their writing is in their first language, but we can fix that up pretty quickly with Google translate as a start.  I usually ask the students to do just one question and I compile them and make the Kahoot.  But your students may be at a level where they can get online and make a kahoot on their own.  Also! Kahoot has a LOT more resources for you on their PD website.  

I’m proud to be an ambassador for Kahoot.  It is an honor to share the ways my students inspire me to use the free resource.  In fact, if you are in Austin any time March 6-9, please come to the JW Marriott one of those days at 10:00am.  I will be with the rest of the K!rew modeling ways to use Kahoot to inspire language production.  SXSWEdu is going on at that time but the Kahoot Activity Space is free to everyone so come play!

Here are a few other posts I have done on ways we use Kahoot in my classroom:

First Kahoot of the Year and a Bonus Language Experience

Kahoot with News in Levels

Day of the Dead Kahoot -Use Any Time of Year

Holidays Traditions Selfie Kahoot (AMAZING OUTCOMES)

Kahoot with Bonus Activity

For newcomer teachers, here is a quick video of how I worked with newcomers to support their English practice the day they arrived.  Many new kiddos on this day but they were having fun and happy to try to read in unison as we reviewed the social contract for my class:

Please reach out if you have any requests or questions.  Or things to share!  We are all so much better together.

Have a great day, Teaching Rock Star!  I know you’re a rock star because you are on a site looking for ways to support your language learners.

Stay Awesome.


2 thoughts on “Videos and Other Resources

  1. Dear Carol,
    First I wanted to tell you that your session at the WIDA Conference in Tampa was a “game changer” for me. I could have sat in that little room all day and listened to you talk about your students and the things your were doing in your “classrooms” (I now know you travel from class to class). I’m very disappointed that I didn’t stay to introduce myself after the session.

    I have shared your blog with many other teachers and recently showed the one of Uri to a class of secondary content area teachers to give them another perspective. I also love the video of Nabil reading your letter. Each time I share it with someone else I get to experience again the joy of hearing him read for the first time and share the experience with them; it never gets old. Thank you for the reminder that teaching does NOT have to be complicated and is truly an imperfect journey of attempts, successes, missed opportunities and discovery. Thank you for your dedication to your students, your passion for teaching and your desire to invest and speak into the broader community of educators. Thank you for blazing the trail and making us all better. I’m extremely thankful for you.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Wow, Carrie!
      Thank you for this heart warming comment! It was my first time to attend the WIDA conference. There were so many positive outcomes from the week and your comments here are among the most profound for me. I am honored that you would share the videos forward. I tell my students that their words matter. I tell them that what we record and put out for the world could make a difference for other learners. I’m so grateful for your comment because I can share it with the kids so they can see that they are truly teaching all of us.
      I appreciate your grace as well because my instruction is not perfect by any means. So I LOVE the way you explain our profession as an imperfect journey of attempts, successes, missed opportunities and discovery. Just like life! If I can model that for teachers and students- I can relax that we are all on the journey together and we are all growing together. Isn’t THAT powerful?? I am sad that earlier in my career I spent so much time worrying about what my students were unable to do. Now I focus on what IS possible and I know that the other is only what we have not yet taught them. It is usually what they are unable to do… yet.
      Sorry for my very long response but I’m thrilled about how you are sharing! Thank you for your passion and your desire to share forward your own gifts and belief in every child.
      I’m grateful for you too!
      Happy Thanksgiving,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *