Friday, January 20, 2012

Go Fish!

I am guilty of not blogging! School and life have gotten crazy lately!  This year I have a student that is an English Language  Learner.  He has been in our country for two years now.  He speaks and understands English pretty well and he is amazing in math.  It is so frustrating because if I read him a story and then ask him comprehension questions he can answer about 80% of them.  Sadly, he can barely read in English so he is has been getting extra help at school.  I have also been working with him one afternoon a week all year.  We practice sight words and reading fluency.  I have learned so much from him and he is such as sweet child with a huge desire to learn.  I thought I would share some strategies I have been using.  We do sight word flashcards to increase the number of words he can read.  We also talk about what those words mean and try to use them in a sentence.  For some words, we selected pictures from ClipArt and printed them off.  We practice matching the words to the pictures.  We do word ladders and he loves to use white boards to practice writing his words.  I have also used some old SRA reading kits a teacher had in her room.
   My favorite activity to use with him is Go Fish! This was inspired by my four year old niece who recently learned to play this game.  I used index cards and wrote sight word on them.  Since a number is in a deck of cards four times, I wrote each sight word on four different cards.  We mix up the cards and deal out five apiece.  Then we play Go Fish and try to make matches.  This means he has to read  a word to ask for a card and read each new card he draws.  He also hears the sight word and has to recognize it in writing when I ask for a word.  At the end, we go through and say all the words as we put the deck back together.  He took the cards home and played with his entire family! They are all learning English and I think they had fun playing together. I plan to add more words to our deck soon.  This idea can be used with vocab words and in a station for younger grades.  If you have any more sight word games feel free to share!


  1. Welcome back! I know how busy life can get!! I had an ELL student at the beginning of the year straight from English...none. She was precious..same as yours, very good in Math with little help. We worked and worked...I used Google Translate alot...of course we worked on English but if she had the "I totally don't get it" look on her face, I typed it up on that and either translated it for her to listen or she could read it. If you haven't used this sight it is wonderful!!!! Sadly she was only here for half a year but was entirely fluent by the time she left....amazing!!! Good luck:))

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. Go fish is a great idea! I have 8 ell students in my 4 th grade class, but only one of them is limited English proficient. Of the 8, 7 are Hispanic and 1 Asian. The Nchor charts we use to post our objectives and strategies for our lessons are very helpful. Also, our basal gives lots of suggestions and strategies to use with ells with each skill.

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