February Favorites: Add to the Walls

strategy tips Feb 06, 2023

Favorite Strategy Extension: Add to the Walls

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.  Bright copper kettles and…

Ah, February is a month for favorite things! 

Favorite people. 

Favorite flowers.

And favorite strategy extensions.

A favorite conference presentation for teachers is when we present a strategy with extensions that go beyond the basics.  This year at NABE and WABE we’re focusing on extending Chants above and beyond with various Add to the Walls options.   



Today, we’re focusing on using Add to the Walls with Chants.  But the process works alongside any GLAD® chart: Pictorials, Found Poetry, you name it! 

Once a chant has been processed whole class, it's time for teams, partners and individuals to interact with the vocabulary and content through a variety of menu options called Add to the Walls. This strengthens student vocabulary usage and deepens content...

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A GLAD® Goal That Brings You Joy

I admit, I’m one of those people who wait until the beginning of a new year, a new month or a new week to launch a new habit or goal. I just love that feeling of a fresh start. 

And yes, I have dozens of half finished journals around the house. Each one heralding a fresh start with a habit I’m still working on actually becoming a habit.

If you’ve been in our coaching courses or training, we will tell you, 

“Any day and every day can be a fresh start.” 

It’s true.  But there’s nothing quite so encouraging as a NEW YEAR to push the reset button. 

As educators, we get to experience the impact of a January new beginning in the middle of our school year. 

Wherever you are in your GLAD® journey, we invite you to make January a fresh start month!  The secret is to make that fresh start something that will last longer than my unfinished journals. 

This week at Costco, I ran...

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Practice Listening Comprehension with Listen and Sketch

strategy tips Dec 06, 2022

Looking for a low-prep December strategy that still packs literacy benefits? 

The classroom is a buzz of activity and energy this time of year. If you're looking to calm the energy, increase engagement, all while practicing literacy skills, look no farther than Listen and Sketch. 

Listen and Sketch is a GLAD strategy where teachers read a descriptive text in chunks. During the reading, students listen. When the teacher pauses, students sketch. The Listen and Sketch strategy practices listening comprehension and visualization.  

There is a growing body of research on the importance of oral language development and listening comprehension. The more background knowledge and vocabulary young children have early on, the better readers they will become.  

Primary reading instruction is a 2-prong model. Students learn decoding skills and comprehension and language skills. However, the same texts cannot be used for these two types of instruction...

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Can the Narrative be done electronically?

strategy tips Nov 14, 2022

Teaching through stories is a fun, engaging way to teach your standards and vocabulary. The Project GLAD® strategy, Narrative Input Chart, is the strategy we use to teach fiction and non-fiction content that embeds academic language. But some teachers find the prep to create a narrative daunting. We are often asked, "Can the Narrative be done electronically?"  

Yes! The benefits of creating a Narrative in a slide deck are ease of prep and set up, ease of sharing with colleagues, and using the narrative with small groups. You can even convert your power point narrative into an mp4 that students can play on-demand. We created this tutorial to show you how. Check it out!  

Narrative Tutorial 

Thanks for reading!

Sara and Jody


Here's what coming up Next!!


Acceleration 301: Read All About It!

If you liked learning about the Narrative Input Chart, you'll love our winter Acceleration boost. This module launches...

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Using the Extended Name Tag to Explore Student Identities

underlying principles Oct 03, 2022

Welcome to a new school year! By now your students are getting to know each other pretty well, and you have laid the foundation for your classroom culture. Part of creating an inclusive and supportive classroom community is to understand and value students’ identities.

Every person has layers that make up their personal identity. Norton describes identity as “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future.” Identity is made up of a person’s experiences, memories, values and beliefs, culture(s), and language(s).

When educators embrace all the facets of all the students’ identities it creates the equitable and supportive environment where learning thrives. When multi-cultural multi-lingual students come to school and feel like they have to leave parts of themselves at the classroom door to fit in, it creates a dissonance...

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What's Up Ahead - Keeping You in the Loop

general tips Jun 07, 2022

We experimented, we've listened, we've grown and we've changed! 

Are you already feeling the intoxication of summer vacation? Yes, we resonate with you! But really, do we stop learning in the summer? Of course not!

We may be learning different things, like how to drive a 5th wheel, or the best vacation spots on a budget, or what it feels like to read a …. novel!

As educators we’re pretty much addicted to learning.

And we’re instilling that passion for lifelong learning into our students. The last few years have had us all on a steep learning curve and our instructional flexibility and creativity has grown as a result.

We launched Next Steps with Project GLAD® just before the pandemic began, and have been right there learning and growing with you. Thank you for sharing your celebrations, challenges and ideas with us. We've been listening and asking:

  • What’s working?
  • What do you need?
  • What would be even more helpful?


We’ve taken all your...

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Monitoring and reporting the growth of our ELs: The ELD Group Frame

strategy tips May 17, 2022

Final report cards are coming up!  

The school year is about to wrap up and assessment is on everyone’s mind. We will soon report for the final time the content and skills our students learned this year.

For our English language learners, the ELD standardized test they took this spring will give scores how their language skills have progressed in listening, reading, speaking, and writing.  Unfortunately, these scores are not helpful in informing what we write on our report cards or supporting our students oral language development in these last weeks of school. 

What classroom-based assessment will help me determine my students’ oral language growth and proficiency?

The Project GLAD® strategy, ELD Group Frame, is a no-fuss, low-prep way to get a snapshot of students’ English proficiency. From this running record of oral language, we can get a record of language skills they have mastered and ones that will inform our future...

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Revising vs. Editing

underlying principles Apr 15, 2022

Our school year is steadily moving along. Spring break is over and testing season is upon us. At this time of year students in all grade levels have higher expectations for the quality of writing they turn in. 

"By the end of grade x, students will be able to..." 

If they haven't met the writing standards yet, there are only a few months left before final report cards.  

Writing can be one of the more challenging skills to master, and teachers also find it one of the more challenging to teach. In many ways, writing is subjective, yet there are rules and conventions to follow. Writing style is personal, yet correct usage is important.  

A helpful distinction we can make for our students is the difference between revising and editing.  


Have you ever had a student who thought revising meant recopying their paper?

In Project GLAD® we separate the revising and editing processes into distinct lessons with the...

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How do you motivate students who don't want to engage?

Have you ever felt completely unmotivated? We’ve all been there.  And so have our students.

All teachers struggle from time to time with engaging unmotivated students. It begs the question, why aren’t they engaged? At the most basic level, student need to have their physical and psychological needs met in order to learn. You may be familiar with the phrase, “Maslow before Bloom”.  Students who are tired, hungry, lonely, scared, frustrated… face an invisible barrier to engage fully in the learning process.

Today, we’re focusing on meeting students’ needs in one of these areas: love and belonging. 

“Feeling personally accepted, respected, included, and supported in the school environment makes students feel they belong to a school (Taylor & Sobel, 2011). Students who lack a sense of belonging are often unmotivated and non-participative.” (OCDE Project GLAD Learning Guide, 2015)

How to enhance a sense of...

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Teaching Grammar through the SPC

strategy tips Jan 03, 2022

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of teaching grammar?  Anticipation? Dread? Or just plain… b-o-r-i-n-g?

Understanding grammar is necessary for English learners and native speakers to understand, speak, read, and write the English language properly. But it doesn’t have to be complicated, dull or scary!

Simply put, grammar is the study of sentence structure.  

All you really need are a few basic guidelines and the Project GLAD® strategy called the Sentence Patterning Chart, or SPC.

Tips for teaching grammar

  1. Teach the basics

Beginning language learners need to know 3 basic grammar rules:

  • Parts of speech
  • Subject-Verb agreement (Who’s doing the action?)
  • Verb Tense (When is the action happening?)


  1. Teach what students need

Once your students have the basics, all the other grammar points and skills can be taught in any order. Yep, you heard me right. In any order.

Linguist, Stephen Krashen, developed 5 hypotheses for...

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