Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!
A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
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Back-to-School in the ELL Classroom

school children walking

It's time to go back to school! Whether you're a novice or an old pro, we have some ideas and resources to get you ready and set for a great year!

Here, we've gathered a number of resources to help you kick off the new school year with the tools and information you need to teach the ELLs in your class.

Resources for New ELL Teachers

Working with ELLs: The First Year

boy with apple

The first year of teaching can be overwhelming! Fortunately, there are a number of resources to help first-year ELL teachers with lesson planning, parent outreach, collaboration, instruction, and assessment.

Colorín Colorado has compiled this list to help new ELL teachers navigate their first year in the classroom. These resources may also be helpful for veteran teachers who are new to teaching ELLs.


We have provided the links to below for your convenience. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Reading Rockets project. Thank you for your support!

Children's Booklist: ELL Stories

These stories capture the varied experiences of learning English through a child's eyes — from the shy and nerve-wracking beginnings to the joy of a blossoming new friendship. ELL students will recognize the situations and emotions of the stories, many of which were written by authors who themselves were immigrants. The books also provide valuable insight to mainstream students and adults working with ELLs in the classroom.

Take a look at our other recommended children's books!

Professional Booklist: Guides for ELL Instruction

These books offer a great introduction to working with ELLs. Each guide covers a number of helpful topics; themes throughout the guides include getting to know your students, teaching reading to ELLs, assessment, and working with parents.

More handbooks and guides are offered in our professional books section.

More from ELL Resources

From Colorín Colorado

Colorín Colorado also offers the following resources for ELL educators and parents:

Other Recommended Websites

Take a look at our recommended websites about ELLs! One of our favorites? Everything ESL from veteran teacher Judie Haynes.

Guides & Toolkits

aft toolkit

Colorín Colorado — AFT Toolkit for Teachers

Find useful information about Latino cultures and values, as well as helpful suggestions for involving parents in the classroom. Parent workshops with handouts, plus video components in English and Spanish, focus on PreK-3 literacy development.

ELL Starter Kit for Educators

ell starter kit

Provisions in the No Child Left Behind legislation require that schools be held accountable for the adequate yearly progress for English language learners as a subgroup. Here you will find monitoring forms to make it easier for you to respond when questions arise about a student's placement, instruction, special services, and grading.

tip sheet

Multilingual Reading Tip Sheets for Parents

Try the activities and repeat the ones your child enjoys. Some of them, like "read with your child for 15 minutes each day," are helpful no matter what age your child is. To help you reach out to the parents of your ELL students, we now offer these tip sheets in a total of 10 languages!

If you're looking for even more back to school resources, visit our sister sites: