ELL Newcomers welcome opportunities to feel connected and engaged with their classsmates. I love using Inside-Outside Circles to give all my students the opportunity to talk and share with each other. It can be use used in so many ways! So what is it?
Purpose: To develop oral language through interaction with class members.
- Students are divided into 2 groups.
- Half of the students make a circle looking out (inside Circle). The other half stands in front of someone in the inner circle.. ( Outside Circle).
- The teacher asks a question.
- Students in the inner circle answer first while the outer circle students listen.
- Then the outer circle answers and the inner circle listens.
- The teacher gives a signal.
- The inner circle stays in place while the outer circle rotates one person clockwise.
Ideas to Use!
Getting to Know You
As a beginning of the year activity, your students can share all about themselves. I have given my English Language Learner Newcomer sentences stems to help them. My name is __________. I am from ________. I have ___ brothers and sisters, etc. This goes well with My First Week of School Activities!
Before you begin a new science or social students unit, pre-teach vocabulary. Have the inside circle share the meaning of the word and the outside circle say it in a sentence. Find My Match is another great Vocabulary activity.
My first grade ELL Newcomers review words that begin with a letter. After teaching the letter Tt the inside circle names a word that begin, with Tt, and then the outside circle names a word that begins with Tt. They rotate one person and do it again until you see your students running out of words to say. This can be used with digraphs, blends, vowels and the list goes on!
Likewise this ELL newcomer strategy is a fun and interactive way to review content in preparing for an assessment. Ask the students a review question and have them answer. Afterward, they rotate and you ask another question. This helps with speaking and listening skills as well.
By now you can see the possiblilities are endless. I like this strategy because it requires very little preparation and can be done when you have a few minutes to fill to keep your students engaged and active. Reply in the comments on how you have used it!
I made this ELL Strategy resource to keep handy if you need it. It helps me remember to use fun strategies.