Saturday, November 28, 2015

It’s Time for the Cyber Monday Sale

I have to be honest for a moment. I am not a fan of Black Friday. I don’t like the crowds. I don’t like the chaos. I don’t like being manipulated into giving up time with my family to save a couple of dollars. It’s just not worth it to me.

But Cyber Monday, Cyber Monday I love. I can stay home, put on a movie for my boys, and get the majority of my holiday shopping done while still getting great deals. Plus, all of the stuff gets shipped to me, so I have a bit of a delay between the time I shop and the time I have to try and find hiding spots for gifts.

At the same time I am using Cyber Monday to get the holiday shopping taken care, I always stop by Teachers Pay Teachers and stock up on stuff I’ll need to teach come January. This gives me the piece of mind to not stress about what I need to buy or make in order to teach well, and gives me additional time to get in that holiday baking and movie watching that the boys and I like so much during the holiday season.

If you’re like me, and you enjoy Cyber Monday, you’ll be excited to hear that my Teachers Pay Teachers store will be on sale 20% off on Monday and Tuesday (Nov 30th and Dec 1st of 2015), so that you get a double discount. Here are a few of the deals you can find:

 Teachers Pay Teacher’s Site Wide Sale - All About Me ESL Vocabulary Unit


Teachers Pay Teacher’s Site Wide Sale - Differentiated Calendar Books

Teachers Pay Teacher’s Site Wide Sale - Word Wall Card Year Long Set

Teachers Pay Teacher’s Site Wide Sale - Year Long Differentiated Spelling and Vocabulary Packets

Teachers Pay Teacher’s Site Wide Sale - Year Long Writing Journal Bundle

What’s in your shopping cart this Cyber Monday?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Do You Use Khan Academy for ELL Students?

Khan Academy has been an inspiration for me in so many ways. Their videos gave me a jumping off point when I began using the flipped classroom approach. (Read more about that in this old blog post – Have you flipped your classroom?) Watching their videos encouraged me to make some of my own, which you can now find on my YouTube Channel. But more recently, these videos have given me a chance to immerse my children in French and Arabic.

If you aren’t aware, I am currently a homeschooling mom. (You can learn more about our homeschooling adventure at my RV blog – RVing with the Rakis.) I left the classroom after 9 years in the classroom to stay home and homeschool my children when we left Morocco. I did this mainly so that my sons could continue to learn French and Arabic as they had been in Morocco. So we do reading, writing, grammar and math in French and Arabic every single week. What they have been lacking is immersion. They aren’t in a classroom with a bunch of other kids listening to the teacher speak in their target language all day. So recently we started looking around for videos to use as immersion. One place we especially struggle is Math vocabulary. My kids know how to do all of the work because we have covered the skills in English. However, reading the directions and word problems is much more challenging because Math can have such specific vocabulary. So off to the internet I went to find French and Arabic Math videos. Lo and behold I learned that Khan Academy has their videos translated into many, many different languages including French, Arabic, Spanish and Russian. You can use this link to find links all of the languages offered by Khan Academy

Using Khan Academy to Help Your ELL Students to better understand Math

Now I know that my situation is unique, but these links could easily be used to help our English Language Learning students with their Math and Science. Here are a few ways:

1.) ELL Center or ELL Homework - Give these videos to your students so that they can learn the material in their home language, while learning the vocabulary with you in class. This way they get the best of both worlds and can improve much faster.

2.) Share with your students’ parents. Khan Academy videos show the “American” way of doing Math, no matter what language they are in. So for example my sons learned a different way of subtracting and dividing when they were in Morocco. (I explain these differences in this old blog post – How do you divide?) So they were surprised when they started watching videos in Arabic showing strategies that they are used to seeing in their English materials. This could provide a great way for you to connect with the parents of your ELL students, as it could show them how you are teaching in a format that they can easily understand.

3.) Give your non-ELL students an “immersion” experience. Native English speakers can be rather rough on their ELL counterparts because they don’t understand how difficult it is to learn a new language. Help students understand by playing one of those videos in Russian or Arabic or Spanish to the whole class. Take time to talk about the things students did and didn’t understand and how they felt while watching the video.

For more blog posts about teaching ESL or ELL students, check out a series I used to run called Tips for Teaching ELL Students.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources