Educreations is an interactive whiteboard and screencasting app. It’s simple to use and easy for students to create short instructional videos explaining their understanding of various types of content.


Students can annotate, animate, and narrate almost any type of content and explain it aloud. This gives them the opportunity to show their learning by speaking. ELLs can use visuals to show their thinking when they do not have all the words yet to explain their ideas.




BrainPop is a great resource to introduce or review lesson content. It breaks down the content into sections with questions and answers students may ask. These might include unfamiliar words or questions about the topic which the video then proceeds to answer. Additionally, captions are available for all the videos. Using the captions option is helpful for ELL students but all learners can benefit from seeing the words as they are spoken to make connections in their brains. BrainPop can be used in the upper elementary and in the MS or HS. BrainPopJr’s content is geared towards lower elementary with simpler concepts and language being used.


BrainPop videos are short summaries (almost like the Cliff notes) of large topics. The captions and simple explanations of complex concepts or topics is one way to engage the listening domain of language learning. The added visuals of pictures and words help to connect ideas for learners.




Fishbowl is an interactive game useful for practicing content vocabulary. It allows students a chance to describe and identify words. The words can be generated by the teacher or student. This strategy can be used at the beginning or end of a unit to formatively assess student learning and understanding of content related words and concepts.



Play the video above to get a full explanation of how to play the game of Fishbowl in your classroom. Some additional information and helpful tips can be found on the Atlas Rubicon – ELL Toolkit site.

WIDA CanDo Descriptors (Key Uses Edition)

Recently the WIDA Consortium published their new cando descriptors.  Check them out and/or print yourself a copy! Early Years, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grades 2-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12.

If you’re wondering how you can use these with your curriculum, here’s a brief description of their purpose:

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.47.00 AM

If you want a more in-depth look, talk to any of the EAL teachers/coaches at SIS, tweet us @sis_eal and/or email us @

Biscuit App

Check out the Biscuit App!  As you read text on the device, you can highlight unknown words and it will automatically translate it for you and/or give a definition in the language you prefer. It will also save those words and definitions as flashcards! 

Here’s the info:


ES Level Resources for Reading

ES Level Resources for Reading (from Gwen B. @gblasesis)

The SIS ES library has links to Tumblebooks (online, animated books), and Storynory, as well as other resources:

Request a subscription to RAZ Kids.  Use Scholastic Book Wizard to help choose correctly levelled books here: 

List of audio-bookwebsites:

  1. Audible (through Amazon)  (The first book is free, and then a monthly membership is $15)
  2. iTunes
  3. Open Culture
  4. Free Classic Audio Books
  5. Loyal Books
  6. Storynory
  7. Librophile!/audiobooks/popular/free 

Why ELL Strategies Are So Important

Earlier this week, the EAL team shared this video with the SIS staff. We’d like to invite you to take a look.

What are your initial thoughts?

Can you identify with the teacher in the video? Is this a scenario you’re all too familiar with?

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for educators in international schools to know ELL support strategies.  Whether your role is to support a class, teach a subject or lead a classroom, ELLs will be immersed in your student groups, sometimes identified as needing support, sometimes not.  So how can we make sure that we know best practices to support our English language learning students?

Join the SIS EAL team for our conference where we will be sharing essential strategies to support ELLs of all ages and proficiencies.  Today marks the last day of early registration, take advantage and register today!

Eventbrite - SIS EAL Conference

If you’d like to collaborate with our team, share what your school is doing to support your EAL populations, email  ( or tweet us (@sis_eal).  We hope to hear from you and see you in November!

The Elements of ELL Support

This year’s theme will be a continuation of our last EAL conference, The Elements of ELL Support.  There are three elements that are integrated into the support provided to English  language learners at various international schools.

eLearning has become a transformative pedagogical tool at SIS.  The tools used by teachers and learners have allowed for language barriers to come down and challenge students to learn new strategies in regards to their language acquisition.  Within this element,  we will address what our role is in supporting learners with all this transformation and redefinition happening around us.

Assessment has often been a topic of conversation in the area of language acquisition.  What are the most relevant and effective tools to ‘measure’ academic language acquisition and proficiency?  We will be exploring the use of WIDA and the Can Do Descriptors, as well as SIS’ implementation of the framework as a formative assessment tool.

Literacy is the basis of language development in all subject areas.  Strong literacy skills are necessary for academic success in any and all subjects, and ELLs need to develop these skills in order to be independent and self-guided learners.  The conference will showcase literacy experts who have vast experience in teaching differentiated groups with a range of learners of English.

These elements will all complement our expert keynote Dr. Virginia Rojas, leading language acquisition expert.  Check back or subscribe to our blog to continue getting updates on the conference throughout the summer.

Please join us for this great professional learning experience.  Early registration is now open!

Eventbrite - SIS EAL Conference