Sunday, May 2, 2021

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with These Deals & a TpT Sale!

"I'm embarrassed every time I look a teacher in the eye,
because we ask them to do so much for so little."
-- Phil McGraw

(Updated Monday, May 3, 2021)

This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is being celebrated while some teachers in the U.S. and throughout the world are still teaching students remotely and some teachers have returned to in-person classroom teaching.  Whatever your particular situation, the 2021-2021 school year has been been like no other.  Hopefully, educators and students can return to a semblance of normality at the start of the next school year.

For flyers, certificates, and social media images to promote Teacher Appreciation Week, check out the National PTA materials on their website.

Only a few of the chain restaurants that used to offer deals during this week did so last year but there are more this year.  Given the huge economic losses restaurants faced (and still face), I think it's really nice they are giving some special deals to educators in 2021.  You can find a list of some restaurants and other businesses offering special deals below.

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with special offers! source: The ESL Nexus

Many businesses offer discounts to educators throughout the year but I did not include them in this round up, except for one which I saw for the first time today.  Just click on the green links to go to their websites for more information.  (I looked at all the websites to verify the info and it was accurate at the time I wrote this blog post.)

Breugger's Bagels
What: a) a free medium drip or iced coffee with any purchase b) $10 off any catered order over $75
When: May 3rd - May 7th
How: Use promo code TENOFF75 when placing your order

Buffalo Wild Wings
What: 20% off dine-in or take-out orders at participating restaurants
When: May 5th
How: Show your school ID

Huddle House
What: Teachers get a free meal an beverage
When: May 3rd - May 7th
How: Show your school ID

What: FREE Regular Size Caramel Brownie McFlurry
When: May 4th
How: Scan the offer code in the McDonald’s app (this freebie is for everyone) 

Sonic Drive-In
What: Free large drink or slush with any purchase
When: May 2nd - May 9th
How: Use promo code TEACHERS at checkout online or with their app

Taco Bell
What: Buy-one-get-one Big Zax Snak Meal, while supplies last
When: May 6th
How: Show your school ID

What: Free crunchy taco
When: May 4th
How: Order online or through the app anytime, or purchase in-store from 8:00 - 11:59pm (for anyone, not just teachers)

Other Special Deals
Below are a few more ways teachers are being recognized.

Carson Dellosa Education
What: 25% off online purchases
When: May 2nd - May 9th
How: Use discount code AWESOME at checkout

Headspace for Educators
What: Free annual subscription for educators in the US, UK, Canada & Australia
When: Apparently anytime, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week
How: Create an account and then access meditation, mindfulness & sleep tools

What: 15% off everything, including sale items
When: All the time, not just Teacher Appreciation Week
How: Use your Michael's Reward Card; click this link to enroll

TESOL International Association
What: 20% off TESOL self-study courses; TESOL members also get 30% off all TESOL publications (click here for info about publications)
When: May 3 - May 31, 2021
How: Use discount code LOVE20 at checkout

Find great Spring and End of Year resources at The ESL Nexus
Also, I am pleased to let you know that TeachersPayTeachers is having a sale on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 4th and 5th, 2021.  For the past several years, TpT has had a sitewide sale during Teacher Appreciation Week and this year it is again.  In fact, many of the teacher-authors, including me, have been converting existing resources and creating new ones to try and help teachers out in this new normal.  As usual, all the resources in my store will be 20% off.  Please use the promo code ThankYou21 for an additional 5% off at checkout, which means you can purchase all my resources at a 25% savings.  Other TpT stores will also be on sale for up to 25% off, depending on the store. 

Finally, here's Shonda Rimes' tweet from last year expressing her appreciation to teachers.  I think it's still applicable!

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 with a TpT Sale & these deals! | The ESL Nexus
Got that right!  source: @shondarhimes

Wishing you all a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week!


Monday, April 5, 2021

Spring Into Savings with a TpT Sitewide Sale!

Just a quick announcement that TeachersPayTeachers is having a sitewide sale starting tomorrow, Tuesday April 6th and ends on Wednesday, April 7th.  All resources in my TpT store, The ESL Nexus, will be on sale at 20% off.  And you'll save an additional 5% at checkout by using the promo code FORYOU21, for a total savings of 25%.

Click HERE to go to The ESL Nexus TpT store

Grab great deals on my Boom Cards & bundles, print & digital resources, and language & content products!  Many of my resources focus on integrating language teaching with academic content material.  They’re intended for English Language Learners in mainstream or regular ed classes who need some extra support with the curriculum but they can also be used by native-English-speaking students as well.  A lot of my resources are about Social Studies topics but there are some that deal with Science, Language Arts – especially writing – and Math.  Other resources focus on teaching about U.S. or other cultures, using short reading passages, word searches, and crossword puzzles to engage students. 

Ramadan and Earth Day are coming up later this month so you might be interested in my resources about those holidays.  In the U.S., Ramadan will begin on April 12th in the evening and end the evening of May 12th.  My Ramadan Activities product includes a reading passage explaining what the holiday is about, a few mini-posters with holidays greetings, task cards with questions about the holiday, and a crossword and word search puzzles.  You can find it here.  It includes a print version and a Google Slides™ version.

Click HERE for more info about this resource
Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22nd.  I have 3 resources that help students learn about the holiday.  The first one is FREE!  It's a poster in acrostic poem format that explains what the holiday is about and offers a few suggestions for how students can protect the environment.  You can find it here.  The other 2 products are vocabulary based.  The Earth Day Word Search & Crossword Puzzles resource includes both print and digital versions; you can find it here.  The picture below shows what the poster looks like when it's put together (which is easy to do).

Grab this Earth Day poster HERE.

The Earth Day Boom Cards resource includes the same vocab words as the puzzle product but is formatted for the Boom Learning℠ platform.  When you purchase the resource through TpT, you'll get a PDF with background info and a link to the Boom cards in my Boom store.  You can find my Earth Day Boom resource here.

Grab these 2 resources & the Earth Day poster HERE.

A few resources are aimed more directly at ELLs; those teach aspects of grammar.  There are some classroom d├ęcor resources, which may not be what you need right now if you’re not teaching in-person, unless you are looking for Zoom backgrounds, of which there are a few.  (They can be used on other platforms, too.)  As well, there are a couple professional development resources for educators.  The custom categories listed on the left of my store’s home page can help you find what you need or you can just browse through the listings on each page.

So head on over to The ESL Nexus to find some great resources for you and your students.  Happy Shopping!


Thursday, March 18, 2021

We Need to Stop Hate Against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Now!

 "From caring comes courage."

~ Lao Tzu

Whether or not the murders in Georgia are ultimately classified as a hate crime, the fact remains that most of the victims were Asian or Asian-Americans and to me, that just isn’t a coincidence.  Hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination against AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islanders) have noticeably increased since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago.  As someone who has lived and worked in Asia, including Wuhan, China, where Covid-19 was first identified, and who has family and friends who are Asian and Asian-American, I am horrified and saddened at what is happening.

Find a free resource about Wuhan HERE; source: The ESL Nexus

I’d like to share a link to resources about anti-Asian violence that another TpT seller made me aware of.  There are links to articles about violence against AAPI people throughout the U.S., to resources with statistics about violence against AAPI people, resources for allies that explain how they can be supportive, and more informative resources.  One important link is to the Stop AAPI Hate website where people can report incidents of anti-Asian hate.  Reports can be made in English and 10 other languages.  Another link to report hate crimes is Stand Against Hatred.  The Stand Against Hatred website also lets you report incidents against other people of color, women, religious minorities, and LGBTQ+ people.  Please share this widely with your family, friends, and colleagues!  You might also want to diplomatically share these resources with the parents of your AAPI parents, if you think that would be useful.

Find links to resources HERE; source: Anti-AsianViolence website
I’d also like to offer you a suggestion.  I was concerned about a Chinese friend of mine, who ironically I first met in Wuhan but now lives in the same city as me in Arizona, but didn’t know how to ask her if she had experienced any hate or harassment.  I didn’t want to put her on the spot in case she was uncomfortable talking about the subject.  

So last week, when we were out hiking, I broached the matter sideways: I asked if she had heard of any incidents of harassment in the Asian community here or among her friends.  I figured that gave her an opening to tell me if anything had happened to her or anyone she knew or if she had heard of anything in general.  Fortunately, I found out, she had not experienced anything herself.

I think it’s important to show our support so if you have been hesitant and wondering about how you to do that, I hope that the way I did gives you an idea of what you can do.  Asking a general question about the local community lets people decide how much or how little to share about themselves, while still showing them that you are interested and care about how they are doing.

Last February, I wrote a blog post about my time in Wuhan.  I mentioned that I’d created a free resource of photos of the city and the surrounding area, to counter the negative press that Wuhan was getting then.  It was just a small thing I could do to show my support as an AAPI ally.  I encourage you to use it to show positive images of China.  You can find it HERE.



Monday, February 8, 2021

What is DoK and Why Is It Helpful for ELLs?

" Do the best you can until you know better.

Then when you know better, do better."

-- Maya Angelou

What is DoK? That’s what I asked myself when a review of one of my TpT resources referred to it.  There are so many acronyms in education and this was a new one to me.  A quick search online revealed it stands for “Depth of Knowledge.”  Intrigued, I explored some more.

Learning about the Depth of Knowledge Framework
Find out how DoK can be used with ELLs; source: The ESL Nexus

Depth of Knowledge is a framework for evaluating how rigorous a task is.  It was developed by Dr. Norman Webb in 1977 in reaction to Bloom’s Taxonomy.  The Depth of Knowledge framework is related to Bloom’s Taxonomy but is not a replacement for it; rather, DoK works in tandem with it.
DoK ranks an assignment according to the type of thinking required to complete it.  There are 4 levels of the DoK framework, which are:
* Level 1 = Recall and Reproduction.  This involves remembering information and how to do something.  Another way to think of this is that it has to do with acquiring information.
* Level 2 = Skills and Concepts.  This involves understanding information.  Another way to think of this is that it has to do with applying knowledge that is acquired.
* Level 3 = Strategic Thinking.  This involves using the information in some way to do something.  Another way to think of is that it has to do with analyzing information.
* Level 4 = Extended Thinking.  This involves synthesizing information.  Another way to think of this is that it has to do with amplifying the information and applying it in a broader or wider way.

From my admittedly short dive into what Depth of Knowledge is all about, it seems that DoK is concerned with how deeply students must comprehend information in order to apply and transfer that knowledge to another context.  It’s more to do with actually using knowledge than with the kind of knowledge being used.

The Depth of Knowledge framework can be used to determine the level of complexity of an assignment or assessment.  That’s apparently what the reviewer of my TpT resource did.  She said, about my Martin Luther King Day Vocabulary Boom Cards, “A must have resource for sequence of and DOK of the events of MLK Jr. Life!”  Level 1 certainly applies to that resource because it asks students to match definitions to vocabulary words.  I think Level 2 can also apply because a recommended extension activity is to use the target vocab words to write about Martin Luther King, Jr.  Possibly Levels 3 and 4 could apply as well, depending on how the resource was used with students.

After learning about the Depth of Knowledge framework, I can see how it can be used with some of my other TpT resources.  For example, the African-American History Biography Task Cards, the Famous and Important Women in American History Biography Task Cards, and Women Around the World Biography Task Cards can be used to address Levels 2 and 3.

These 3 resources, which are also available in money-saving bundles (HERE, for just the 2 resources about women, and HERE, for all 3 resources) will be on sale during TpT’s sale on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9th and 10th.  As usual, everything in my store will be 20% off and when you use the promo code FebSale21 when checking out, you’ll get and additional 5% off, for a total savings of 25%.  Other stores will also be on sale and offer discounts of up to 25%.

Use promo code FebSale21 to save up to 25%!
All resources in The ESL Nexus TpT store will be on sale!

A common issue when teaching English Language Learners is how to maintain rigor in the subject matter while simultaneously simplifying the language demands needed to access the content.  The Depth of Knowledge framework seems to be a helpful way of meeting that need.  As I continue to create resources, I’ll keep the DoK framework in mind.