August 2010

Get ready to go back to school with these resources from Colorín Colorado!

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: August, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

Like you, we find it hard to believe August has arrived! We are, however, very excited to share some great new back-to-school resources, which we hope will help get your year off to a good start.

We also would love your input on our question from the Ning about advice for first-year ELL teachers — after all, you're the experts!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and all the best for the upcoming year.


The Colorín Colorado Team

This Month's Highlights

On the Ning: Ideas for First-Year ELL Teachers?

One of our Ning members has asked for tips from other ELL educators as he gets ready for his first year of teaching ELLs in Grades K-5. Any ideas? Share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on the Colorín Colorado Ning!

Also be sure to take a look at our new First-Year ELL Teacher section, along with Reading Rockets' resources for first-year teachers.

ELL Resources for Librarians

We are thrilled to present a new section on Colorín Colorado for school and public librarians! The resources include tips for school librarians, guides for welcoming immigrant families to the library, and recommended booklists and multicultural publishers. Please share the link with your colleagues and friends at the library!

Recommended Websites in Spanish

Colorín Colorado presents a new section of recommended online resources for Spanish-speaking families! Websites included focus on information for parents and cover a wide range of topics, from back-to-school information to child development and health.

New Professional Booklist: ELL Guides

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.

Recommended Resources

The More-Than-Just-Surviving Handbook
By Barbara Law and Mary Eckes

The newest edition of this helpful handbook presents a variety of strategies for addressing daily challenges that both ESL and mainstream teachers face in the classroom, such as: How do I prepare for a new ESL student? How do I balance the needs of students at different reading levels? How do I manage difficult classroom behavior? A number of appendices and forms are included as well. An excerpt from the first chapter is available on the Portage & Main Press website.

The More-Than-Just-Surviving Handbook, 3rd edition, by Barbara Law and Mary Eckes. ©2010 by Barbara Law and Mary Eckes. Reprinted by permission of Portage & Main Press. . 1-800-667-9673.

In the Classroom

Things Your Students Need to Know

This excerpt from The More-Than-Just-Surviving Handbook offers an excellent list of practical details and logistics that ELLs need to know when starting at a new school, such as routines, rules, transportation, and classroom expectations. The list serves as an excellent reminder of the extra help ELL students and families need negotiating a new school system and will be particularly helpful for teachers new to working with ELLs.

Excerpt from "First Days—Using Chapsticks to Have a Snake," Chapter 1 of The More-Than-Just-Surviving Handbook, 3rd edition, by Barbara Law and Mary Eckes. ©2010 by Barbara Law and Mary Eckes. Reprinted by permission of Portage & Main Press. . 1-800-667-9673.

Back-to-School Resources for ELL Teachers

Take a look at our updated ELL resources for the beginning of the school year! Highlights include the following:

Books and Authors

New 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.

Book of the Month

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
By: Bette Bao Lord

Meet Shirley Temple Wong, a delightful heroine who has come from China and arrived in Brooklyn in 1947 — the year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Based on the author's own experiences, the story captures the highs and lows of coming to live in a new country, learning English, and falling in love with the Brooklyn Dodgers during moments that are both heartbreaking and hilarious. An enchanting must-read for teachers working with ELLs and newcomer students.

About the Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM and

The ¡Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM is a free monthly electronic newsletter from, created and sustained thanks to support from the American Federation of Teachers.

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We look forward to hearing from you!

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