Hey, Everyone. It's Lori from Your Teacher Assistant. Today I'm blogging about how I have managed to keep my primary ESOL emergent readers motivated and excited about learning and reading at this point of the year.
I'm not sure about your school, but our school has been extremely focused on various assessments including DRAs, SOLs and report cards lately. Quite frankly, we are all pretty exhausted--teachers and students alike. My ESOL students have begun to master some sight words, and it has been a tedious process, due to all of the assessments, special school days, field trips, and things like that. I needed to come up with a way to keep reading fun and exciting for these emergent readers. It is important that they retain their levels of acquisition.
One way that I have accomplished this over the years has been to have my students create their own books. Something magical happens when a student reads a book that they have personally written and illustrated. I had made books with my emergent readers in past years, but I had not tried this with my primary ESOLs as of yet. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
The sight words being reinforced with this example book were: can, you, see. First my student read an easy reader that focused on these words in the phrase 'you can see'. Next, she read the same sight words in another reader with the phrase 'can you see'.
This particular reader introduced sea animals so to develop the student's vocabulary we Googled each animal that she was not familiar with to find a real life photo of the animal. We did this mostly so that she could see the animals in their natural habitat and to learn what color the animals were since the reader she had been reading was in black and white.
Once the student gained knowledge about the sea animals in the reader, it was time to make a cover for her own book. She loved the sea turtles so she used these on her cover.
Next I had my student write about her favorite animals in the reader using the same sight word phrase pattern as in her reader. ESOL students need lots and lots of repetition to acquire the English language.
She also needed to review her color words so I had her use a color word in her sentences as well.
Once my student finished writing her book and adding her illustrations, I had her practice reading it a few times for fluency practice. For her final time, I recorded my student reading her book on video. Boy was she ever proud of herself. She was so excited that she shared the video with her teacher. Take a look at her finished product:
Having my ESOL student become the author and illustrator of her own book has really increased her confidence as a reader. She was so excited to share her video of herself reading her own book to her teacher. Both her teacher and classmates cheered and clapped loudly and my student beamed from ear to ear. #OneProudTeacher
I would love to hear about how you keep your students motivated readers at this point of the year when reading can sometimes become tedious and a challenge for some students. Please share in the 'Post A Comment' box below.