Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate Lissette Lara’s website review for EDDN 639 – Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition

Assignment Purpose TESOL STANDARD 3: PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTION 3.e. Candidates use and adapt relevant materials and resources, including digital resources, to plan lessons for ELLs, support communication with other educators, school personnel, and ELLs and to foster student learning of language and literacies in the content areas. Analysis and implementation into teacher practice of websites specific to TESOL Field.

Lissette Lara earned her Bachelor Degree from City College of New York in Bilingual Childhood Education. Currently, she pursues her Masters in TESOL at Touro College. This is her third year teaching 5th grade in a bilingual class.

Assignment Purpose TESOL STANDARD 3: PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTION 3.e. Candidates use and adapt relevant materials and resources, including digital resources, to plan lessons for ELLs, support communication with other educators, school personnel, and ELLs and to foster student learning of language and literacies in the content areas. Analysis and implementation into teacher practice of websites specific to TESOL Field.

Lissette Lara’s website collection and description for classroom activities:

Website  – Go Noodle –

This website provides SEL and Mindfulness, Sensory and Motor Skills, Curricular, School Life videos that usually last about two to four minutes.  These videos require exercising or dance and sing along with the songs. Or help the students with skip counting are reading strategies.  The students can take a yoga or breathing break.  Gonoodle offers kids an opportunity to act silly or learn the coping skills they need in life. The bottom line is that it helps the students relax and focus on classroom lessons.   “The benefits of physical fitness and relaxation on learning are well documented, and GoNoodle provides teachers with a fun, interactive way to get students moving” (Common Sense Education). One of the weaknesses of Gonoodle that if you don’t have steady internet connection it won’t work.

I use these videos early in the morning when students arrive from lunch or any time the schools need a mental break.  When I play the videos, I turn on the closed caption so that my ELL are able to read along with the song.  I have also noticed that this helps them understand what is being said.  After several times of listening to the song, they can sing along with the song.  I believe this activity helps students because they practicing different parts of language such as speaking, reading and listening.  It is stated that  “watching short videos on art, music, dance, science or other relevant themes reciting rhymes, jokes, and poetry using music, rhythm, songs, tongue twisters, or a mnemonic device that reinforces the meanings of challenging words” help develop language skills for Entering and Emerging students (Best Practices for Teaching ESL: Speaking, Reading, and Writing).  These practices are beneficial for all students who would need to take The New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) because there are listening and speaking components on the test.

Flocabulary –

Flocabulary is one of the websites I use the most in my classroom. Flocabulary videos are “hip-hop videos and creativity tools give teachers new ways to captivate students while engaging them in academically rigorous content” (  The website includes learning videos in different areas of content.  Teachers can find lessons on math, reading, writing, science, social students and vocabulary content.  These videos are a great tool to connect with prior knowledge or to reinforce topics covered in class.   Along with the video lesson, the website a list of vocabulary, a reading passage related to the video lesson and lyrics to the songs, which could be printed for students.

I utilize these videos during my lesson to build understanding or connect with students’ prior learning.  For example, in 5th grade, our first unit in math is place value.  The student have prior experience with place value (one, tens, hundreds, thousands…) but not right of the decimal (tenths, hundredths thousandths). Before my lessons, I would hand out the vocabulary words to my ELL and struggling students, review with them to ensure they understand.  Then I would play the video reinforcing what I just taught my small group students.  By using these strategies of pre-teaching vocabulary, I’m setting up my students for success. “SIOP teachers increase attention to vocabulary instruction across the curriculum so students become effective readers, writers, speakers, and listeners.   My students who are learning the language will have an entry point because they will able to use the vocabulary words in their writing and speaking with peers.   In addition, prior visual support for students who may different learning styles and need another point of view of the content being taught.

Reading A-Z –

Reading A –Z that offers leveled text for students. This program offers on-line text with comprehension questions.  Students are able to read along with the text using the audio feature the program provides. Teacher enter their students’ name and assign them with a user name and password.  Students can log on at school or at home.  Teachers can track students’ progress, review the comprehension question scores.  Once have read and pass test, the program automatically levels the student to the next level. One of the benefits of this program is that they can use a range of device to use it, for example, it can be downloaded to PC and Apple computers, tablets and phone.  One disadvantage of the program is that the student needs internet at home to access the program.

As an educator of ELL and different levels, using this program during reading ensures that every student is reading. Most of my students are reading between M-U reading levels, however I have two students that are entering student and are reading at D and K levels.  In my school, we dedicate one hour for independent reading.  During this time, I designate a place in my room where they can go with a computer (each) log on and read. Students are encouraged to read English text, but they can also read text in Spanish.  I believe that listening to the text more than once and reading the text to each helps with comprehension, pronunciation and development of language. I also use this program because it prepares to for future assignments and test they will need to take in the future.   “Audiobooks also help students engage in text and gain exposure to more words, ultimately improving vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking skills.” (Moran). In addition to practice their reading, this students begin to develop independency and ownership over their learning.

CommonCore Lit –

I accidentally found this website late last year when looking for text for my small groups.  I believe its’s a new website.  This website offers different types of text such as essays, poems, short reads at grade level. One of the features of the website is that you can select text based on grade, genre, and common core standards.  Teachers decide whether to assign text to the whole class or to individual students.  The time I’ve used it, I search for text that address standards my students are struggling.  The website also offers text in Spanish for ELL students.  A weakness of the website the need to add more text for 5th and 6th level.

Like I mentioned earlier, texts are accompanied by common core aligned questions.  The main reason I use it is that my students will be taking the ELA State Exam.  The structure of the questions are similar to the ones on the state exam.  I believe that if the students have opportunities to practice these questions and become familiar they will know how to answer the question on the test.

I try to incorporate text during science, social studies, read loud and small groups.  I model for the class how I close read the article, keeping in mind what the question is asking me to answer.  I give the students the opportunity to discuss and explain their thinking with their partners.  I believe that giving children a chance to discuss because answer allows them to explore answers.

Brain Pop – 

Brainpop is a website that offers animated video on a range of topics which include quizzes, games and additional activities.  The topics are geared for grades 3-12 in areas of ELA, math, science, social studies, health, art and technology. The main characters of the videos are Moby and Tim. Teachers or students search a topic and an animated video (three –five minute) explains describes or analyzes the topic. Some of the activities Brainpop offers are sorting tasks, vocabulary review and interactive games.  Just like many of the websites mentioned earlier, teachers can search video using state common core standards.  Brainpop has several subgroups that are more specific to students’ needs. For example, Brainpop Jr, Brainpop Espanol, BrainPop ESL.

In my class I usually utilize Brainpop to provide additional information for my students on a topic we are learning in class. I usually play the video three times to ensure we understand the topic.  The first time, I tell the class we are just watching to get an overview on the topic.  I put prompts that promote discussion (What was this really about, what makes you think this, What in the video makes you think this?)  The second time, I have the students take notes on certain parts of the video, during this time the students are practicing their listening and writing skills.  Once they have finished the video, I ask the students to turn and talk again.  However, this time around they need to share what new information have they learned. Again, displaying prompt to encourage discussion (Before I thought,______ now I know _______,  I realized that __________).  The last time we watch we try to make connection throughout the video, or practice summarizing skills.  I would send the students back to their seats have them writing about the topic.  I believe the more opportunities ELL practice reading, writing, listening and speaking language the higher chances they will have to develop L2.

Kahoot –

Wow, finally my favorite website to use with my students.  Kahoot is highly engaging and interactive. This program offers quizzes or teacher-specific made quizzes in which students compete one on one or in teams. Teachers create a free account and search through quizzes on related topic or standards.  Once teacher selects the quiz, teacher displays quiz pin. Students need a laptop or tablet to join the online quiz.  Next, students create a username and enter the game.  Teacher begins the game when all students have logged on.  The question is displayed on the smartboard for all students to read with four possible answers.  Students use their computers to enter their response.  Once all students have answered, the score board displays who is in the leading, and shows the correct answer.  If I were to say the only negative thing about Kahoot is that teacher needs to have enough laptops or tablets for all students or enough for students to share.

I use Kahoots during all content area, but mostly in math.  Using Kahoot is a quick assessment that I can use to identify who are my students who need extra help.  For my entering and emerging ELL I have them work with partners at the beginning, but usually by the end of the year they are playing independent.  I choose quizzes which address heavily tested standards in math and ELA.


Gonoodle Review For Teachers, Ericka D

Best Practices For Teaching Esl: Speaking, Reading, and Writing,

Components Of the Siop Model,

7 Ways Audiobooks Benefit Students Who Struggle with Reading, Kimberley Moran –