Series: Five Essential Practices for the Teaching of ELLs - Elementary

Warming Up with Rug Partners
Lesson Objective: Warm up for academic discussions with rug partners
Grades K-5 / All Subjects / ELL

Thought starters

  1. How does this strategy help students transition from recess or lunch to the classroom?
  2. What factors should you consider when pairing your students?
  3. Why is this strategy especially useful for English Language Learners?
Warming up with rug partners was a prime example of a teacher who teaches and reteaches the expectations in her class. These are little kids who knew exactly what to do. Encouraging the kids to talk at the beginning always helps get them settled for the most part. I am going to set my rug buddies up ahead of time as the teacher did. This allows those kids who really NEED to talk and communicate to have the opportunity to do so. Love it!
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Rug partners are a great idea as it allows everyone to share and be focused on the topic you are trying to teach. Everyone likes to share! Pairing ELL with english learners, helps them understand the concepts you are trying to teach. It it gives those who may be to shy a chance to quitely share, but not in front of everyone as well.Like this idea alot! Mary Bartz College Gate K-1st
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I liked when the student told his rug partner to keep the conversation going. Its a great way to get the class started.
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I love using shoulder partners when I am teaching a whole group lesson. Tlking with rug partners is a great warm up to a lesson.
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This is a wonderful way to come back into the classroom. Students are able to have meaningful discourse. I like the fact that she paired her ELL student with a student who has a strong English vocabulary.
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  • Warming Up with Rug Partners Transcript

    Speaker 1: Let's get ready for a class.

    Lot of times, when children come in from

    Warming Up with Rug Partners Transcript

    Speaker 1: Let's get ready for a class.

    Lot of times, when children come in from recess or from lunch, they're worried about the kickball game outside or if their snack fell in the yard.

    We're not playing with Velcro right now.

    They're not thinking about social studies or whatever lesson we're addressing at this time.

    Just to get us all warmed up, I want you to share with your rug partner, three facts about each symbol that we're going to show you.

    One of the strategies I use in my classroom is rug partners. And it's structured with rules of listening skills and talking norms. And the reason I do that is just to get the juices flowing.

    Start with the words, "The Statue of Liberty."

    When using this strategy, it's important to strategically think about your pairs.

    Child: The Statue of Liberty [inaudible 00:01:01]

    Speaker 1: I would say, pair your ELL's with your English-only students, so that they're able to really help each other and build on each other's strengths.

    Child: Keep the conversation going.

    Child 2: The American flag has 50 stars.

    Child: Great.

    Speaker 1: By getting them going and using that academic discourse, settles them down, gets them in, gets them ready for the lesson.

    Girls and boys, let's go to our tables.

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School Details

Lafayette Elementary School
4545 Anza Street
San Francisco CA 94121
Population: 543

Data Provided By:



Elizabeth Iwaszewicz
Kindergarten / Teacher



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture