Nearly 50% of our students were brought to the United States from refugee camps around the world. For many this is only their first or second year in the county as well as their first or second year attending school in a formal education setting. Our students are not just learning the same required content as those native-English speakers, but they are also learning to speak and read the English language as well as learn the local culture. Our ESL students are hard working and knowing that they were brought here for a better life, their determination and grit is admirable.
Mixed in with the EL students are urban students from underprivileged backgrounds whose need for instruction in English is sometimes as great as those who are new to English.
My students need extra practice writing grammatically correct sentences. The lap boards will allow them to collaborate with a seat partner as they study vocabulary and create sentences showing they can use the words correctly.
My students will be able to practice writing topic sentences for their paragraphs.
They can write a sentence, then share it with a partner before they share it with me. Writing thesis statements is another skill my students need a lot of practice with. We can work on an essay together and my students can practice writing an interesting thesis statement. They can share with a partner, with a small group, and with me by using a lap board. The informality of the lap board will allow my students to quickly write, edit, and correct sentences for themselves and their peers.
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