Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Nonfiction Spanish Books for ELL Students

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Jun 15, 2017 3:12:00 PM

ELL students in the reading classroom face two important objectives: they must learn how to read in accordance with the Common Core, and they must also learn how to read in a nonnative language.

In efforts to improve English fluency, some ELL classrooms focus their efforts on grammar and language skills. While no one denies that it’s difficult to read English without knowing English, repetitive language exercises prevent young ELL students from gaining knowledge through reading. As they miss out on the real world- and subject-specific knowledge gained through books, the achievement gap between ELL students and native English students widens.

Hameray’s Spanish titles allow ELL students to simultaneously gain content knowledge and improve their English. Mundo Real, Fábulas mundo real, Zoozoo En la selva, and Zoozoo Mundo Animal all feature Spanish nonfiction texts that deepen readers’ knowledge of the world around them.

For example, when Spanish ELL students read about gorillas and doplhins n a familiar language, they can learn important information. Then, by reading the English counterparts from Zoozoo Animal World, their comprehension and understanding of the English language deepens.


For very young ELL students, Zoozoo En la selva offers simple yet humorous texts. For older ELL students, Mundo Real and Fábulas Mundo Real contain longer, more grade-appropriate information about social studies and science.


One of the fundamental, often forgotten truths is that ELL students are just as bright, inquisitive, and impressive as any other student. Their unfamiliarity with the English language shouldn’t prevent them from extending their real-world knowledge!


Click the images below to download information about Hameray's many Spanish series. 

 Zoozoo Mundo Animal Sales Sheet  Zoozoo En La Selva Sales Sheet  

Fabulas y el Mundo Real Sales Sheet  Mundo de los Cuentos Mundo Real Sales Sheet

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Topics: Zoozoo Mundo Animal, Spanish, ELL, Nonfiction, Fabulas y el mundo real

New Spanish Fables & Paired Texts!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Mar 21, 2017 3:31:00 PM

Do you know about Hameray Publishing's newest series?

We're excited to announce Fábulas y el mundo real, the Spanish equivalent of the popular Fables & The Real World series. ELL and dual language classrooms will benefit from this 40-book paired-text series. The fables, such as La tortuga y el conejo [The Tortoise and the Rabbit] and El zorro y el chivito [The Fox and the Goat], impart universal lessons that are relevant in any culture.


The nonfiction titles are designed to support the Common Core State Standards in Informational Texts. Titles such as ¿Es un lobo o un coyote? and La energia del sol y del viento teaches comparing and contrasting skills (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.9). Each book also includes captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, and other informational text features (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.5).


With a variety of topics such as weather, community markets, and showing gratitude, Fábulas mundo real allows ELL teachers to include content area subjects into their literacy lessons, too.

Visit the Fábulas y el mundo real website to browse all the titles and view sample books.¡Vamos a leer!



Click this link to view sample books from Fábulas y el mundo real. Click the image below to download an English series highlights about Fables and the Real World. 

New Call-to-Action


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Topics: Spanish, ELL, Fables and the Real World, Paired Texts, Fabulas y el mundo real

Language Assessment Using Wordless Books

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Jan 10, 2017 3:07:00 PM

 January presents a great opportunity to authentically assess your students’ literacy skills. After a few weeks of vacation, how many literacy tools have your students retained? By conducting assessments, you’ll get a clear picture of which lessons students remember from last semester and which concepts still need reinforcement. 

English Language Learners have most likely spent their winter vacation with their families, speaking little to no English. An assessment of their language skills will help you tailor your future literacy lessons.

The Oral Language Development Series Teacher’s Guide states, “Listening to students talk is one of the most powerful formative assessments you can use. Capturing and analyzing brief snippets of students’ oral language is a crucial component of supporting their language development. Teachers should listen to, record, and analyze student interactions in a variety of settings: whole group, small group, one-on-one, between peers or with a teacher” (8).

If you don’t have much time to individually assess each student, the wordless books in the Oral Language Development Series will help you quickly and easily analyze language skills. Each wordless book contains relatable photographs that will stimulate any student’s creativity.


What is happening on this page?

The following passage from the Teacher’s Guide explains how to prompt students and record their language skills: ‘“Tell me what’s happening on this page.’ Record exactly what the child says for each page. Once you have a sampling of the child’s output, you can analyze it to see what structure that child holds independently... You can use any wordless book to assess a student’s language structure. The key issue is to have a natural conversation about the topic and see what language the child generates” (8).


Remember, oral language skills go hand-in-hand with reading and writing skills. To access the assesment rubric and learn more about the importance of oral language, download our Teacher’s Guide for free at the bottom of this post!


Click the image below to download the Oral Language Development Series Teacher's Guide for FREE!

Oral Language Development Series Free Teachers Guide 

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Topics: Oral Language Development, ELL

Oral Language Development: Instructing English Learners, Pt. 1

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on May 9, 2013 8:15:00 AM

Yesterday's post covered a little bit of why focusing on oral language development is important for reaching the eventual goal of literacy. Today, we will explore that topic in greater detail, using the brand-new Oral Language Development Series as a guide.

Developed through a collaborative process between the New Teacher Center and Hameray Publishing Group and written by a team of reading specialists and teacher trainers (Barbara Allen, Allison Briceño, Adria Klein, Bee Medders, Deb Nemecek, Nicki Smith, and Susan Wray) the Oral Language Development Series filled a gap that existed in resources available to teachers and reading coaches.

As the authors describe, "the Oral Language Readers were born of a need to better serve English learners and their teachers. As mentors at the New Teacher Center, we often hear teachers say that they knew what the student’s language level was, based on a formal placement test, but didn’t know what to do to help develop the student’s language skills. They wondered what type of instruction to use, what they should focus on first, and how they could track progress." The language readers are the solution to this problem.

The way that the language readers are leveled is that each topic contains a wordless book to be used for assessment and then language structures that increase in complexity from 1 all the way up to a maximum of 7 in some topics. Here is a sample of a book from the My Family topic, leveled at Language Structure 6:

Today, we will focus on use of the wordless book from the same topic—how it is intended to be used in assessment, and a couple of other ideas for activities using the book as a focal point.

For assessment, you will want to focus on determining which language structures a child already possesses in his or her oral laListening to students talk is one of the most powerful formative assessments you can use. From the teacher's guide: "capturing and analyzing brief snippets of students’ oral language is a crucial component of supporting their language development. Teachers should listen to, record, and analyze student interactions in a variety of settings: whole group, small group, one-on-one, between peers or with a teacher...there are a variety of ways to capture student talk. In addition to using paper and pencil, teachers have been recording student talk with their phones, video cameras, iPad, iPod, digital recorders, and so on. The method used to capture talk is up to you."

The New Teacher Center has developed an app for iPad that is specially designed for this kind of assessment, but paper and pencil works just as well. The image below shows a screenshot from the app in use, and can give you an idea of how to structure your chart if you will be using paper or a spreadsheet.

OLR My Family

In the above assessment exercise, the instructor shows the student the indicated page from the book and prompts the student to describe what she sees. Below are the corresponding pages from the book (images and page order has changed slightly since the above screenshot was taken):

Hameray My Family LS Entry v2 7Hameray My Family LS Entry v2 4describe the image

describe the imagedescribe the image

Aside from simply asking the child what actions can be observed in the scene, a wordless book also makes a good prompt for vocabulary-building activities. Since each of the topics takes place in a simple and likely familiar setting (especially those topics that use photographs rather images, an instructor can ask the child how many objects in each scene the child can name.

Examples from the above images include the following:

Bedroom scene: bed, picture, items of clothing, door, floor, etc.

Yard scene: ball, fence, items of clothing, etc.

Kitchen scene: pot, cupboard, etc.

Garage scene: broom, trash can, door, etc.

Another way these books could be used is to ask the child what he or she thinks the people in the picture might say. For images with multiple people in them, this might be a conversation between the two people; in other topics where there is only person in an image, it might be a comment on whatever is happening in the scene.

Giving the child more than one type of prompt can give the instructor a better idea of what language structures the child is comfortable using. While the higher-leveled language structure books describe with increasing complexity only what is happening in the scene, the wordless Entry books allow great flexibility in how they are put to use to assess and encourage oral language development.

For more information on the Oral Language Development Series, click below to download a summary of key points about the books and to view the teacher's guide!

New Call-to-Action         Oral Language Development Series Free Teachers Guide

Check back tomorrow for more information on Oral Language Development!

- Tara Rodriquez

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Topics: Common Core, Oral Language Development, Adria Klein, New Teacher Center, ELL

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