Free Resource Friday: Seven Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have

  1. Discovery Zone
    • Displays examples
    • Provides a central focus
    • Students record observations
    • Students use the recorded data
    • Supplies: Arts & crafts materials, books & magazines, cameras & video cameras, games, puzzles, instruments.
  2. News Zone
    • Display learning target
    • Display class-work prompts
    • Display homework
    • Supplies: Assignments, calendars, community news, holidays, birthdays, events, weather, world news.
  3. Supplies Zone
    • Share reference materials
    • Creates a hub for student work
    • Provides a place for lost & found items
    • Supplies: Paper, pencils, pens, markers, scissors, sharpeners, glue, etc.
  4. Community Zone
    • Evaluate progress
    • Clarify &/or correct misconceptions
    • Take notes
    • Plan ahead
    • Provides a place for student empowerment
    • Essential Skills: Ask questions, make connections, discuss, listen, present, reflect, share, collaborate, etc. 
  5. Quiet Zone
    • Separate chairs & tables
    • Establish a “library quiet” expectation
    • Essential Skills: Independent time, make-up work, reading, reflecting, testing, writing, etc.
  6. Teacher Zone
    • Defined professional space
    • For teachers & other adult visitors
    • Supplies: Files, folders, calendars, photos, references, etc. 
  7. Subject Zone
    • Provides examples and resources for connecting subjects
    • Adds visuals
    • Provides context for new vocabulary
    • Supplies: Anchor charts, flashcards, games, notes, manipulatives, resources, timelines, etc.


Link to Reproducible: edutopia-lopez-7classroom-learning-zones

Free Resource Friday: Strategies to Support English Language Learners

  1. Speak slower, not louder.
  2. Provide outlines, advanced organizer, or visual guides.
  3. Write down key terms on the board.
  4. Integrate games.
  5. Read written instructions. Repeat.
  6. Write key concept vocabulary on a Word Wall.
  7. Integrate listening centers.
  8. Model new skills.
  9. Extend test time.
  10. Don’t rescue ELLs when they try to speak – smile, relax your feet, face, and hands, and wait (it’s hard to be tense when those body parts are loose).
  11. Think-pair-share.
  12. Let students use their home language in the classroom to solve work.
  13. Use pictures, sketches, and graphic organizers.
  14. Make videos or presentations for ELLs to replay if needed.
  15. Liberally use checks for understanding.
  16. Pair up ELLs with strong oral and written English skills.
  17. Share a picture glossary.
  18. Teach with cooperative learning.
  19. Provide opportunities for low-stakes writing.

Link to Reproducible: Strategies to Support English Language Learners