20 Oct 2016

Useful tips

I read an article last month where it was said that the content of lessons is less important than the methodology that teachers use in an age where the access to the internet and information has an important value everywhere.   At that moment, I thought of my Primary English lessons and I did agree with that idea. Maybe because I have my personal methodology. Let me explain.
When I teach very young children I usually start lessons in a circle. We look at and greet each other through a song. After that we follow with a poem or chant they have previosly learnt through repetition in other lessons. We play to repeat words or group of words in different ways, making a line or a train,  aloud and whispering, and giving different musical versions to what we are learning as well. We have fun and students feel comfortable with the language. However, we all know that it is sometimes difficult for those who are shy or introverted. For that reason, sometimes we use mime to match the action with some words (do, listen to and say)
I want their best because my main goal is to hear my students speak English when they greet, ask questions and share some feelings among others. So, how can I manage that? Personally, I think that the clue is to reinforce students' confidence through these tips:

  • Speak English as much as possible so children can listen to the foreign language and have a good comprehension of the different messages. In this way, children will get familiar with phonetics from the very beginning.
  • Design speaking activities for everyone to succeed. Give patterns to them if the activity requires them. Make them feel confident with the activity.
  • Present short activities to keep their attention and interest. Remember that attention is the sharpest during the first 10 minutes. If the teacher speaks for more than that time, students will start to tune out.
  • When you introduce poems, songs or chants, use lots of repetition because children need to do things many times. That makes them feel comfortable and helps them to  learn.
  • Link gestures, movements and/or actions with clue words. This way of introducing the new vocabulary or structures in oral activities will reinforce children’s learning. Whenever they want to produce the activity, these clue words will remind them and they will match their gestures with their productions.
  • During your first time introducing the oral exercise, do not use any visual support. When children get used to the new vocabulary and gestures and actions, then they will be ready to see the corresponding images and spelling. 
  • Pay special attention to those students who need your reinforcement. Maybe they need to be encouraged to repeat and do the actions that the oral activity requires.
  • Use technology in some activities and upload some of them to the School English's web. Students will check and share them at home.
As a conclusion, I would say that the goal of teaching oral language skills is to improve students’ communicative skills, because in only in that way, students can express themselves in the foreign language. In addition, lots of research underlines the importance of play, especially in the early years of life. When students play and have fun, there’s motivation to create a safe place, which inspires good sharing and can stimulate learning.

19 Oct 2016

Nothing has changed...

This video is so inspiring.
It should reach to governments.
"Do we prepare students for the future or for the past?"

6 Oct 2016

A good song for October

This is an old song that tells the story of meeting a new friend at the beginning of a school year. Through its lyrics, it is able to remind childhood.

This is a stop motion that Alison Work made for her interactive media class in high school. Congratulations Alison!

5 Oct 2016

That is!

 There is some joy for learning better when heart meets brain. 
So, I encourage all of you, teachers, families, friends and students to follow this statement!

4 Oct 2016

Learning new vocabulary

Hi everyone!
Just to share a brilliant idea it comes to my mind.
Linking with my obsession for making my lessons funnier and closer to children, what about to learn new chants and vocabulary singing?
Do you remember "Actions I can do" giving different versions to it?

(here you have an example)

Now, let's make children have fun in the classroom giving them some lists of the vocabulary we have just introduce and using a famous tone for repetition:
Try to repeat the days of the week or the months of the year as the example below:

January, February,
March, April,
May, June,
July, August,
September, October,
November, December,
Then you turn around.
(To the Macarena) 

29 Sep 2016

Safe web for students

Hi everyone,
I have just found out a safe place for students. 
If they have to surf on internet searching images photos for class is a quick web where students can do their research.

Having fun!

Hi you all!
This is an amazing song for checking numbers until 10 with very young children.
Hope you like it! It has a very cool animation.
What a great job Super Simple songs. Thank you for sharing!

23 Sep 2016

Sing and spell !

Hi you all.
I've got a song stuck in my head. It drives me crazy because a voice inside me is singing all the day!
So, I want to share it in this page.
 You will review not only vocabulary about the weather but also how to spell the main words.
Don't worry because we will sing all together in our lessons.
We will hear, see, say and do! The best recipe to learn for a long time.

22 Sep 2016

1st Autumn day!

Fall is such a wonderful time of year, isn't it? 
Although we can still enjoy a summer weather, some leaves are turning into warm colours. The weather is getting cooler, but it is still fun to play outdoors. 
Today I want to share "Autumn leaves" by Eric Clapton with all of you. 
This is one of my favourite songs. Everybody who loves jazz, will like it.

13 Sep 2016

An amazing tool for teachers!

Hi teachers!
Today this post is specially for you all.
I have started to use ClassDojo in my English lessons and my students are very excited.
Class Dojo is an online behavior management which its primary goal is to encourage positive student behaviours.
Watch the next video and know how it works:

12 Sep 2016

Ready to start?

Hi you all!
How was your summer? Did you enjoy with family and friends?
I wish you could have a great time and hope you tell us lots of amazing stories today, the first day of school.
By the way, we have to remember the rules in the classroom, so I think that the best way is to have fun watching the cartoon below. It reminds us the good maners and the rules in a classroom or in a school.

15 Jul 2016

Summer break

Smile, relax, forbid, do sport, go running, go on excursions,  try to say what you feel, go for a walk, draw and paint, smile, read a book, sing in the shower, keep your good memories, take some photos, listen to your friends, show your happiness, write your feelings, listen to the nature and respect the environment, help people, do what you have promised, let someone help you, look at flowers, help to your friends, turn the TV off and chat with your relatives, listen to your favourite music, learn something you have always wanted to do, phone your friends, close your eyes and imagine the waves on the sea, make someone feel important, make a list of things you are good at, go to the library and listen to the silence, say to your friends you love them, look at the stars, think about what you have, breathe, finish projects, make friends, grow and be responsible and enjoy your summer.

Let me say thank you for your continued support one more time. 
I hope you have a very happy and relaxing summer break.