English Language Learner Toolkit » Section 2: Welcoming Newcomers

Section 2: Welcoming Newcomers

Resources to welcome & engage students and families who are
new to our  community
*For more, please look under Section 3 Resources for Teachers 
Description of Resources
1. BPSD Newcomer Guide 
for Teachers
First Days of School
Teacher friendly two page resource that features goals and possible steps for the first days of schools for newcomer students. Also features a note section to write observations of students' strengths, needs, and next steps. 
2. Welcome to our School!
Customized School Information Sheet 
For Parents and Students
Student & Parent Friendly School Fact Sheets that includes customized school address, phone number, school staff and leadership information, and Teacher name and Room #. Please click to edit.
One page printable communication table of basic phrases that students may need in the classroom setting. Includes picture support.
For Students
Six page list of basic survival English Words and Phrases on the classroom/school context with picture support.
Three page printable resource that lists commonly used school items in English/Spanish to communicate in the classroom setting. 
 Two page document of simple phrases in English/Spanish teachers can use to welcome and introduce classroom routines to new students (classroom setting).
One page table features basic phrases in English, Spanish, Korean, and Tagalog that can be helpful to communicate in the classroom setting. Can be left as resource in the classroom and/or handed out to parents.
One page table features basic phrases in English, Spanish, Korean, and Tagalog that can be helpful to communicate in the school office setting.
Can be left as resource in the front office and/or handed out to parents.
for Teachers
Two page parent questionnaire in English, Spanish ,and Korean teachers may give to parents. The purpose may be to better understand parent's view of students's abilities, language needs, and questions or concerns they may have. 
10. How to Create a Welcoming  Environment 
Two page article that features 13 ways you can make a newcomer in the classroom feel welcome. From ColorinColarado.org
11. Creating a Welcome Book
A welcoming activity where students watch a video about refugees and migrants followed by a series of questions about newcomers to the community. Gives ideas on how to create a welcome book.
One page coloring sheet which you can write a teacher's name, Room #, and Buddy’s name. Features English and Spanish.
One page coloring sheet that has blanks to write teacher name, Room #, and Buddy’s name.
Printable classroom activities to welcome newcomer students. Gives specific directions for Elementary, Middle School, and High School students.
Includes printable activities titled:
  • Welcoming Stories
  • Literature Circles
  • “Where is our Nation From…”
  • Where does your Name Come From
  • Friendship, Music, and Games
  • Dreaming Together
This comprehensive document is a guide to introduce and implement Community Circles in the classroom. Circles can help to create an open and inclusive environment where students feel validated and heard. Divided into chapters including:
Chapter 1 Introduction to Classroom Circles
  • Part One: Skills of Circle Keeping
  • Part Two: Varieties of Circle Formats and Circles for Community Building
  • Part Three: Teaching Skills and Setting Things Right (includes Lesson plans)
16. Fostering Empathetic Children
This two page article from Talkingislearning.org that shows 6 ways adults can foster empathy in students.

This chapter discusses why and how school contribute to the development of newcomers social emotional well being. Topics include

  • Relationships between social emotional well being and student success
  • Culturally appropriate supports for newcomers
  • Ways to develop their social emotional skills
  • The role of informal social interactions
  • Sage learning environments
  • Adult and student-led supports
  • Integration of social and academic programs
This is Chapter 4 of Newcomer Toolkit created by the U.S. Department of Education. This chapter describes supports schools provide to create inclusive school communities. Also features what newcomer families need to know about schooling and school systems to support their children’s learning.
Three page article that features how to notice signs of adjustment difficulties and/or show signs of trauma. Also features ideas and strategies on how to help students who are struggling at school. 
Two page article on how to better create welcoming social and physical environments, engage students. Provides pointers to for school leadership on partnering with families.
This printable resource gives you tips on things teachers can consider for newcomer students, how to pair buddies, and examples of what students can do with buddies.
Printable student-friendly guide teachers can hand to buddies on how to introduce themselves, guide conversations, and ideas on activities they can do with a friend that is new to their school. Also features a Recording Sheet where they can write down concerns or questions buddies may ask.
Printable Ideas on how to create a Newcomer Folder. Includes tips for teachers how to set up the folder and buddies, as well as recording sheets that includes buddy activities on get to know each other, including conversation starters.
24.All About Me Poster
One page printable poster that students can write and create to introduce themselves to the classroom community.
In this ten page article, the authors describe some of the social and linguistic issues that face newly arrived ELLs, such as culture shock and the silent period. Suggestions are given for helping newcomers access content in the classroom, establishing connections to parents, and recognizing the assets that newcomers bring.
26. Feelings Charts
Identifying and naming feelings is foundational to socio-emotional development. According to 2017 CA EL Roadmap Policy, socio-emotional development of our students is critical to identity formation and learning.  
Student friendly feelings charts 
27.Growth Mindset Resources 
 Developing and practicing Growth Mindset has shown to have positive relationship to social and academic development. 
Student friendly colored chart of Growth Mindset sentence stems contrasted with fixed mindset stems
Two page student and parent friendly article about how the brains works. Provides foundational information to Growth Mindset and how our brains work. Available in English and Spanish.
Packet of Growth Mindset resources that includes an introduction to GM, sentence stems, and student goal setting sheets that can used as anchor charts or handouts.
28. Basic English Phrases and Word Bank with Picture Support

PDF bank of Basic English phrases for students who are newcomers with picture support. Includes:

  • Greetings
  • Asking for permission
  • Needs
  • Other useful phrases
  • School/classroom vocabulary

29. ABC & Handwriting Practice Links


Document with links to different handwriting practice documents for print

Printable alphabet practice sheets by letter with dot trace on lines as well as identifying letter practice.

Print friendly Sight Words cards with mode sentences on each card 


Printable comprehensive list of all Fry and Dolch sight words for practice. Explains the different between Dolch and Fry Sight Words.


33. Kindergarten Readiness Packet

Print friendly comprehensive packet of primary skills including alphabet skills/practice, and letter recognition, color, numbers and more!

34. Sentence Starters - Words and Phrases 1 page checklist/wordbank of sentence frames and vocabulary for different  types of thinking and purpose (i.e. sequence, connectors, point of view..etc)


Reflection & Goal Setting Sheet- Spanish


Reflection & Goal Setting Sheet- Korean

Coming Soon

Goal setting is a research proven strategy that facilitates ownership of learning. (Universal Design for Learning Practices)


One page reflection sheet for students to list strengths, needs, and set and monitor goals. 
36. Academic Language Scaffolds
37. Vocabulary Scaffolds
38. Dialogue Scaffolds
ELPAC Testing Resources for Students and Parents
*For additional resources for parents, click on Section 6 "Resources for Families."
1. Overview of ELPAC for Students
 Coming Soon!
CA State website that features ELPAC Practices tests and writing rubrics per grade level on elpac.org
3. ELPAC Information for
Teachers & Parents
FLYER for Parents about accessing Practice Tests on ELPAC.org
ELPAC Assessment Fact Sheet for Parents (Printer Friendly)


A Parent Guide to Understand the ELPAC (Printer Friendly)
How to Read the ELPAC Summative Score Report 
4. ELPAC Summative Score Overview