Back to top

Ellevation Strategies in Action

In a previous blog post, we introduced our new Ellevation Strategies videos and gave you a sneak peek of our most popular activity in action. Now, we are excited to take a deeper dive and share what teachers are saying about some of the activities we have featured in our videos.

Last fall, a few members of Ellevation’s Instructional Product Team were fortunate enough to travel to Elmhurst Community School District 205 and spend a few days in the classrooms of some extraordinary teachers. We brought along the film crew from Awake Storytelling to capture nine of our activities from Ellevation Strategies in action.

Meet the teachers and hear what they are saying about the impact of Ellevation’s instructional activities with their students!

Claudia Valencia - Inside-Outside Circle and Triangle Circle Square

As a third grade teacher in Conrad Fischer’s Bilingual Elementary School and a native Spanish speaker herself, Ms. Valencia has always been able to connect and communicate with her ELL students who mostly speak Spanish. But introducing Ellevation activities this year has expanded her impact, by ensuring her students with diverse linguistic abilities understand her lessons and are able to engage with class content. 

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 9.49.30 AM_0.png

“Inside-Outside Circle allows them to have discussions with multiple partners at different levels and not be intimidated by a whole class participation. With some particular students who are reluctant or struggling, they can borrow language from another student who might know a little more about the topic or have a little more language for it.​”

Maritza Santana - Guided Notes

Maritza is a Reading Specialist who supports struggling readers- both ELL and native English speakers - across the grade levels at Conrad Fischer. Having access to the activities in Ellevation has allowed her to integrate new instructional strategies into her reading lessons and see real results.


Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 9.50.53 AM.png

“The students love the guided notes. Its a strong tool that you can use that can be beneficial for all the students in the classroom and I think it just helps the kids stay focused, organized, and holds them accountable for their learning. It can also help them improve their oral comprehension skills, which I think is such an important piece.”

Cindy Villalobos - Anchor Charts and Bricks and Mortar

In years past, as the 6th grade Bilingual Math and ELA instructor, Ms. Villalobos worked with her EL students during specific pull-out periods of the day. This year, she has had the opportunity to team teach with content teachers. Bringing Ellevation activities into her classes has helped all students better understand and practice their grade level math and reading lessons.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 9.51.45 AM.png

“We use Anchor Charts every day! You’ll see the kids often reference them as we’re talking or looking back to what vocabulary content we’ve been doing. They look back at it if we’re ever working independently or in partners, they know that is a piece of reference that they can use."

Roopa Desai - Hanging Hashtags and Directed Discourse

Mrs. Desai has years of experience supporting ELLs in classrooms
K-5. This year at Emerson Elementary, she really appreciates the way she is able to use Ellevation Strategies during her small group instruction but also share with the classroom teachers she works with.

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 9.52.24 AM.png

“We get some rich content about how are their hashtags connected, what are some similarities, some differences - and then get excited about what we’re going to learn.” “If I’m giving them an image, they can use what they see and what they know and put that together, and create a hashtag. So everyone gets to participate in this.”

Elizabeth Kawa - Vocab Go Fish and Interactive Reading Notebooks

Ms. Kawa loves having a diverse second grade class and continuously strives to provide language-rich learning into every lesson, every day. She felt Ellevation made it so much easier to do this year, all while providing appropriate differentiated support suggestions. Both she and her students love the new opportunities that engage them in powerful learning activities. 

Screenshot 2023-05-04 at 9.53.04 AM.png

"Playing Vocab Go Fish makes it more of an impact, and makes you realize that it's actually really helping them in a way that's fun for kids. They don't wanna just sit there and read it, they wanna be able to kind of really interact with it. Yeah. So playing Vocab Go Fish helps the kids learn it a lot better, because when they're sitting at their desks and just reading words off of a page, they're not really building any connections, and it's not really making strong meaning for them."