{March 31, 2010}   Easter time

This year I’m rather lazy to update the blog, didn’t you notice? It’s a “heavily loaded” year, with lots of things to do, but I couldn’t help wishing you Happy Easter (don’t eat too many Easter eggs!) and sharing some interesting sites with you!

Billy Bear’s Happy Easter for Kids

and something I came across a minute ago and found really funny…. Easter Hip Hop


{March 27, 2010}   Info on Clil

I was webbing a while and I came across this link with very interesting and useful information on CLIL.

Hope you like it!

{March 15, 2010}   Working in Kinder

Working in kinder differs immensely from working with primary school children. In kinder, you have to adapt your language, your pronunciation and your body language to help children understand what is happening around them.

Here are a few tips to make the best of your kinder classes:

1. Stick to a routine. Young children learn better in an organized way. Keep your classroom tidy, use hello and goodbye songs, use the idea of a circle time when you want to introduce new concepts and ideas.

2.Be organized. Stick to timing. Remember that English lessons in kinder usually last between 30 and 45 minutes, and you surely want your kids to make profit from those classes. Pay a visit to the class teacher and ask her for permission to watch some of her classes to see how the kids work. Ask the class teacher for available materials, and ask if you can have your own English corner, to display the kids’ work. Tell her about the topics you are going to work, so she can help you monitor your students while they work. If the class teacher doesn’t stay during your period, leave her little notes telling her how the class went on.

3. Send kids’ work periodically to their parents. Summarize the kids’ work after a monthly period, so their parents can see their progress.

4. Classroom techniques. There are many ways to work with little kids, but you always have to remember that they need to USE the language to actually learn it. Presenting, practicing and consolidating language helps the development of fine motor skills. Choose one or two students to help, they will love to! Check that you have all your materials before coming into the classroom!

5. Written Work. As I said before, little kids have short English lessons, but you can profit a lot from them! try to plan several classes in advance, and every other class make them do some kind of written work, for their parents to see their progress at the end of the year.

BONUS: I’m going to prepare a short play based on the Three Little Pigs, for my preschoolers (kinder -5). I think that including drama in your classes is great to get the students involved with the language.

Use games, songs, chants, rhymes, stories, drama and have lots of fun with the kids!

Great sites to find material for kids:

{March 15, 2010}   Stories, stories

Every single student likes stories. We, teachers, love telling stories since we can feel like actors on stage. But we also like stories to analyze and work with the language in a different way.

Here is a list of sites where you can find lots of short stories to work with your students.

And my well known bonus is for….

As a student, I remember reading lots of materials on the use of videos for educational purposes. There are lots of worth reading materials, but I guess experience is the best reference when working with media products. Working with Videos in the classroom has been mistakenly confused with unplanned classes and with lazy teachers. Teaching a second language that is not spoken in the country  WHAT ELSE???

First of all, if you are planning to work with films, I think a little knowledge on film related vocabulary and the meaning of the different camera positions for instance, is a must if you want to include activities that really engage students as critical viewers.

Then, you should be acquainted with the likes of your students, and see what kind of films are appropriate to their age and level of English.

It would be excellent to have video guides prepared in advance, so as to avoid preparing some not encouraging activities just to fill class time and requirements. As regards this, we have to consider the purpose of the watching activity: are we watching a video just for fun or to expand our knowledge on certain topic?

This is important so we can choose after watching activities that are appropriate to work with, keeping in mind that video watching is an activity in itself.

When preparing a video guide, it’s frequently recommended to divide it in three parts:

Pre- Watching Activities, where you may introduce the topic of the film, elicit background knowledge from the students or predict what the film will be about.

While – Watching Activities, which I think should be just short vocabulary note taking so as to let students concentrate in the watching, and

– Post – Watching Activities, which can be individual or group activities, written or oral, depending on your likes and the students’. Usual post – watching activities include gap filling, comprehension questions and summary writing. Then students can go on towards freer activities, such as poster creation, comic drawing or dramatization.

We, as teachers, should put all our efforts in creating appealing video guides and activities to motivate students. And I’m not saying that we have to print colour copies or something like that. I think that at least one or two images and a nice font can be used to improve the aesthetics of a worksheet, but if the content is not good enough, there’s no use in embelishing it.

How do YOU work with videos?

{March 3, 2010}   Teacher








It takes a special person to be a great teacher! Hope you all had a great start! (Classes in Argentina start in March)

et cetera