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.  


Monday, January 4, 2021

Happy New Year: A Freebie & and a Sale Announcement

Here's to a Happy & Healthy 2021 and what I hope will be a much better year for all!

View of the Sonoran Desert near my home in Tucson, AZ; source: The ESL Nexus

As a thank you for supporting my store this past challenging year, I've created a free resource for you. It's 4 images you can use as backgrounds if you are teaching remotely with Zoom or Google. It may work on other platforms, too, but I'm not completely sure. If you're not teaching remotely, you can just download them, print out the images, and use them as posters in your classroom. Click HERE for the link to get the resource; you'll be asked to make a copy for yourself and then you can access it. You can also click on the image below to get the freebie.

Click HERE to get your copy of the freebie; source: The ESL Nexus

In other news, I am almost finished creating Boom Cards decks for all my holiday puzzle resources. I recently uploaded decks for Martin Luther King Day Vocabulary, Valentine's Day Vocabulary, and Presidents Day Vocabulary. I'm working on the last one, which is for St. Patrick's Day, and plan to finish it in the next week or so.

Find all 3 resources in my Boom Cards Custom Category; source: The ESL Nexus

And I am pleased to announce that these 3 resources will be on sale Tuesday and Wednesday, January 5th and 6th, 2021, for the #BoomInto2021 Sale! Normally they cost $2.00 each but during the sale, they'll be discounted to $1.00 each. Each resource has definitions of 20 words related to the holiday and students have to find the correct word that matches the definitions. The first card in every deck provides instructions that tell students what to do and includes a list of the target vocabulary words. All the definitions on the cards have audio so students with lower levels of reading proficiency can listen to them instead of or in addition to reading the definitions.

Click Boom Cards Custom Category to find my resources on sale; source: The ESL Nexus

You can also find Boom resources on sale in other stores by using the #BoomInto2021 hashtag.

Happy Teaching!