Hello and Happy Spring!
For our April post, we are kicking off with some wise words from Mr. Einstein and the animal kingdom as we hurtle headfirst into testing season! More on testing, stress, and spring in a bit, but first, let’s start with some updates.
As always, we've included a lot of helpful resources- just click on the green links which will take you right to an article, video, or product you can use after you leave a comment below.
BILINGUAL LEARNER UPDATES
- Our Spring eblast is coming! If you aren't already on our enewsletter mailing list, sign up by filling out the form on this webpage to the right. Then, we can send our newsletter filled with free counseling/ESL/EFL resources right to your inbox!
- This update isn't actually one of ours, but it’s so important, it made our headlines! ASCA has a new doc that includes a snapshot of all the existing data studies that show a need for PSCs in boosting student achievement- this is a must-share for counselors when meeting with your administrators.
- We are continuing to churn out our newest teaching guide, ESL in the Middle: Lessons Guide for Teaching Intermediate Students. A sneak peek and freebie downloadable from this intermediate ESL/EFL teaching guide is now available on the left side of our homepage!
EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES FOR THE ESL/EFL CLASSROOM
Speaking of our latest ESL/EFL teaching guide, we want to share a fun colors activity from this guide called Color Me Verby in celebration of spring and all the wonderful colors that come with it! This activity works well in strengthening student application of past tense verbs, while utilizing color vocabulary. In Color Me Verby, students use color cards to show if a sentence is in the past tense and what point of view the subject/verb takes in the sentence. To see and download this free engaging activity, click on Color Me Verby here!
In keeping with the theme of spring, we thought we’d also share some fun Earth Day activities that you can do with your ESL/EFL students. The Bogglesworldesl site has a whole section devoted to spring activities for use with ESL/EFL classes. We especially like the spring poems Wake Up and Cherry Blossom Rain; Wake Up would work well as a follow up to our Bilingual Learner Color Me Verby activity described above since the poem also uses color words. Our favorite Earth Day activity on this site is the spring flash cards and the spring captions. We would add some of their spring flashcards into our own Bilingual Learner vocabulary card warmup (example here) and then use their spring flashcards to fill in the spring captions. While this caption activity works well as a written exercise, we would use it verbally to help strengthen our students’ listening and speaking skills, as is always our ESL/EFL focus here at Bilingual Learner. To do this, we would put the Spring flashcards on the word wall (explanation of word walls here) and then have students work in partners to caption each spring pic using the vocab in the spring flashcards. After students felt comfortable working in pairs on the captioning, we’d call on individuals to go to the word wall and say each spring picture’s caption using the spring flashcards on the word wall.
TESTING AND STRESS MANAGEMENT
Anxiety and stress tax all of our body systems and inhibit performance, whether that takes the form of not being able to speak fluently during an oral language exam or not performing to one’s best ability on a state, national, or international exam.
Thankfully, there are all kinds of ways to alleviate the effects of stress caused by test anxiety (or any kind of anxiety, really). Because so much of test anxiety is linked to a fear of failure, it’s very enlightening for students to watch this fabulous Michael Jordan commercial that views failure from a completely different (and better!) perspective. Showing this commercial is a great way to kick off a fab discussion about how a test is just a test and how test failure today can lead to academic success tomorrow.
Moreover, you can show students the Famous Failures poster of how some the world's most accomplished superstars faced a lot of failure before they made it big.
Here are some of our other favorite anxiety calming resources:
- If you teach/counsel littles, here's a great music video on belly breathing featuring famous musicians Common and Colby Caillet!
- Here's a super article from Edutopia on supporting your ESL students during testing season : Survive and Thrive During Testing Season.
- Kidshealth.org has wonderful anti-anxiety resources in Spanish and English for kids and teens.
- Our Bilingual Learner spring guidance lesson on battling test stress and general anxiety gives students simple and effective calming strategies.
- Testing Miss Malarky and Salt in his Shoes are two of the best picture books on this topic. Plus, the language is simple enough that even your intermediate ESL/EFL students will enjoy it!
- Our Bilingual Learner game (and accompanying calming self-talk activity), No Worries BINGO, lets students have fun while they learning anti-anxiety strategies.
Well, we hope all the goodies above can help get you and your people through this testing season. You can also look for our new book this summer to get you through NEXT year’s testing season: Stress Blasters: Group Counseling Sessions Guide with Activities. It will be an 8 session counseling guide for running a calming, anti-anxiety group. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter (links below) to find out when it is available. And if all else fails, just show your students this supercool testing version of Bruno Mars Uptown Funk video.
…and just 'cause it makes us so happy here at BL and gets our toes tappin’, here’s the original Uptown Funk for your viewing pleasure!
That brings us to the end of this month's post. Catch up with us again the first Saturday in May for our next post on self harm prevention and Memorial Day ESL/EFL activities. And don't forget to check out our Bilingual Learner FB page today to get your FREE guidance lesson and/or FREE ESL/EFL lesson in celebration of our 200+ followers! If you haven't done so already, like us at one our Facebook page below to become one of our Bilingual Learner followers where you will have access to this freebie lesson and all our other free downloadables! As always, you can find out about our latest promotions, free stuff, or our counseling/ESL adventures by following us on our Facebook Page or Twitter Page or Pinterest Page.
Wait!! Did you find this post helpful? Then...One sentence! That's all it takes to show that our hard work helped you out! If you found a great resource here, please show us your love and comment about it below!