Not only do supplementary tools make teaching certain topics simple, they can also make any topic come to life. Teachers should use puppets, create characters, and other props to give the student a memorable experience, all while teaching the subject. puppets, realia (anything physical that can be used in class that relates to the content), a whiteboard, cut-outs and many other types of supplementary tools can all be seamlessly integrated with a plethora of topics. Effective prop use also aids in forming a connection with the student. Remember: Puppets can be used as characters to help make sense of conversation slides, letter magnets are good for teaching phonics, and a noisy object is a good attention grabber! Tools and props are enhanced when positioned in the camera optimally. If one tool or prop is getting stale, have a backup ready within arm’s reach.

  1. Word Bank: Make a word bank of the lesson’s or previous lesson’s vocabulary or sight words and a sentence pattern. The teacher gives hints about which word they want and the student needs to find the right word and insert it into the sentence pattern.
  2. High/Low: The teacher rolls a die. The student guesses if the next number rolled is higher or lower than the teacher’s role. If the student is right, then the teacher has to make a sentence using as many words as the number on the die shows. If the student is wrong, then the student makes a sentence in the same manner.
  3. Fire: The student is taught a sentence. Every time the teacher says “Fire!” the student should say the sentence to put the fire out. The teacher should say “Fire!” throughout the class.
Implicit Instruction The content is taught indirectly Grammar is taught through basic sentences.
Explicit Instruction The content is taught directly. Grammar is taught as part of complex sentences.

Students will need guidance when covering math (especially word problems) so it is important to understand how the teacher can make the most out of this part of the lesson. Teachers should Draw out word problems, Use props, Speak slowly, Give clear explanations, and check for understanding.

Combining Vocabulary and Sentence Patterns

Sometimes vocabulary and sentence patterns are taught together. The Substitution Method is used throughout the curriculum to teach vocabulary. Example responses to the sentence pattern “I like ____.”: “I like bananas.”, “I like monkeys.”, or “I like cars.” When multiple vocabulary words are part of a larger group, they can be substituted for each other and implanted in a sentence pattern.

The teachers’ primary focus when teaching speaking and listening skills should be vocabulary words and sentence patterns. Similar to the approach to sight words, vocabulary words are taught through memorization. A chief difference between the two is that unlike sight words, vocabulary words are also taught through picture recognition. They may be nouns, verbs, or adjectives and will usually tie into the theme of the lesson.

  1. Team Race: The teacher sets a timer. The teacher and student alternate spelling one letter of a word, trying to complete the word or multiple words until the timer runs out.
  2. What’s In the Box: The teacher has a box and objects ready. Student names objects as the teacher place them in a box one at a time. The teacher then takes objects out randomly and the student names the object.
  3. Secret Star: The teacher prepares “x” number of special cards, each with a vocabulary word. On the back of half of the cards are stars, on the other half are various awards/encouragements. Once students receive a reward in class, they get to draw a special card. They will then receive either a bonus star or an award/encouragement.


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