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An Augmented Reality Halloween

4 Nov

Yesterday, with my 5 year old groups we did the final Halloween related activity after a whole week of celebrations. Using the Quiver App we designed our own Halloween Pumpkins and made them come to life. It was quite cool to see our creations alive even if it was for a few seconds!

Here you can see some examples 🙂

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This is the worksheet you have to print from the Quiver website:

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A part from being able to take screenshots while your Pumpkin is alive, it is also possible to record the screen of your device. Here you can see an example of how a Pumpkin comes to life. It is great that you can even see the inside of your Pumpkin!

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First time teaching ESL to very young children?

5 Aug

Teaching very young children can be either the best experience in the world or the worst, it all depends on you and what your expectations as their teacher are.

I have to admit that when I started teaching ESL to 3-5 year old children I was only 21 years old and I had no experience with them at all. Not just as a teacher but neither in my personal life. I did not have any young siblings or cousins and I had never worked as a babysitter during my teen years.

However, I found out it was easy for me to connect with them and they seemed to like me and enjoy my company. I am aware I was very lucky because it could have been a desastre due to my lack of experience with very young learners. I always say to myself this is a gift given to me and I am very grateful for that.

During my first years teaching I learned a lot from my experienced workmates and from my pupils. This is why I would like to share with those teaching ESL/EFL to very young learners for the first time some of tips so you avoid frustration thinking you are not a good teacher.

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TIPS FOR ESL/EFL TEACHERS DEALING WITH VERY YOUNG LEARNERS FOR THE FIRST TIME:

  • For many of them it may be the first time they hear a person speaking in English. Do not take it personal if they ignore you at first.
  • Some pupils may not be keen on joining you when you suggest activities and that is ok. Whenever they feel ready they will join you.
  • Using soft toys or puppets as your “teacher helper” will be very useful because they can relate to them.
  • Praise them as much as you can, even if it is for very little things they have achieved (e.g. understanding commands, listening to a story, dancing to a song, …)
  • Little children love having classroom routines, it makes them feel secure. Therefore, it is important you always start and finish the lesson the same way. (e.g singing a Hello Song and a Goodbye Song, greeting each other, speaking about the weather, counting how many we are in the class, …)
  • When your pupils are able to follow the classroom routines without you having to say anything, it already means a lot!
  • Do not expect them to express themseleves in English, they will probably use their mother tongue and that is ok. Little by little they will add English words and short sentences in their vocabulary.
  • The more movement activities you add into your lesson plans the better. In general, pupils spend many hours in class sitting down and they will appreciate the chance to move around.
  • Storytelling is essential and I have not met a single child who does not like listening to stories.  It is magic to see how they are able to follow sequences of events and get the general picture of what is going on (having visual support is basic).
  • Little children love partying, this is a good excuse to help them learn a little bit about the English culture through celebrating some festivities as part of the lesson plan.

 

I remember panicking the previous days to my first teaching experience, so I hope to be helping some fellow teachers who feel as lost as I was. We have a lovely profession but it can be very taugh, too. Therefore, I try to help as much as I can sharing my knowledge and experience 🙂

 

SUMMER HOLIDAYS

1 May

Summer time is coming and so are the summer holidays – the longest and most cherished holidays of the year. Our pupils get excited thinking about what activities they are going to do and what places they are going to visit. In fact, so do teachers 😀 Everybody loves summer!

When the scholar year end is approach and we cannot stop thinking of our summer plans, the best option is to focus our last lessons on that. Preschoolers love telling about the activities they do outside school; therefore, it is a great chance to help our pupils learn how to speak about summer plans in English.

Next, I am presenting my “Summer Holidays” lesson plan for ESL preschoolers:

These are the flashcards I use to introduce some of the places they may be going to during the holidays (beach, fun fair, park, mountain, swimming pool, zoo). I like hiding them around the classroom and asking the children to find them, they have so much fun!

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Once we have presented the six images, there is this story I like to tell. It is a good example of what the pupils will be able to say. (Click on the image to open the audio)

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After listening to the story, as an oral comprehension activity, you can show the flashcards again and ask the children if the girl in the story goes to any of those places. You can classify the flashcards in two groups: Yes, she goes to / No, she doesn’t go to.

To help them be able to explain where they want to go during their holidays, we sing this song which is based on the structure “I want to go to the _____”

 

Then, it is time for them to speak about their summer plans. I choose one pupil to come in front of the group and we all ask him/her at the same time “Where do you want to go?” So the pupil has to point to one of the flashcards and say “I want to go to the _____”. The first pupil will probably need help, but as they all come to the front to say it they shall require less help.

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Related to going on holidays and choosing where you want to go – there is the Wallace & Gromit film “A Grand Day out”. Whenever I have watched it with my pupils they have loved it and laughed a lot 🙂

(Click on the image to watch the film).

 

 

 

 

Finally, we make a poster to decorate the classroom walls. Each pupils is given this piece of paper where they have to draw the place they want to go and finish the sentence by writing the place. As they finish the task, they glue their drawings onto a big cardboard.

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Old Macdonald’s Farm

19 Apr

Updated post with some more resources 🙂

Laia's TEFL corner

This is one of the most common and popular traditional songs that are used when teaching English to young learners and I am also one of these teachers who likes using it in class :). Preschoolers love anything related to animals which means that any content you want them to acquire, it will motivate them and help them acquire it if it goes with the help of some cute animals.

I use these 9 friendly farm animals as my teaching helpers. They are the ones that my pupils will see in the story and two songs that I included in the lesson plan. It would be great if you had actual toys! Otherwise, flashcards are good, too.

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You can introduce the farm animals by putting them inside a magic bag or magic box and then some volunteers take them out one by one. Sometimes, what I do is to hide…

View original post 438 more words

Video

My favourite NURSERY RHYMES for ESL Preschoolers

31 Jan

When I choose the nursery rhymes for my ESL preschool lessons I always make sure they are nursery rhymes that let me dance a meaningfull choreography. This helps my pupils understand what the song is about.

Once we have worked enough on singing and dancing to the song, we always do a little task about it to have some extra fun.

The nursery rhymes I have included so far in my lesson plans are these:

1) I’M A LITTLE TEAPOT

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download worksheet

2) TRAIN TO THE CITY

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download worksheet

3) ONCE I SAW A LITTLE BIRD

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download craft activity

4) PAT A CAKE

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download worksheet

5) THIS IS THE WAY WE GO TO SCHOOL

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download worksheet

6) WE ALL FALL DOWN

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download worksheet

SHAPE IT UP!!

26 Sep

“Super Simple Songs” have got some amazing tracks that help me get inspired for my preschool lessons. This time, the songs that were perfectly for me where the Shape Songs 1 & 2. After listening to them, I programmed a whole lesson plan based on these so my preschoolers could learn the name of some shapes through the songs.

This is the Lesson Plan:

First of all, I arrive in class with my magic bag where I keep the shapes flashcards. My pupils take turns to discover what flashcards I have this time in my bag and as we are taking them out we name them. Then, we investigate who of us has any of these shapes on our clothes. It is fun!

These are the flashcards that I used:

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Right after that, we listen to the two tracks and we classify which shapes are on the first song and which on the second one. We love classifying 😀

These are the Shape Songs:

In order to understand better the shapes, I give plasticine to my pupils and we make the different eight shapes with it. We pretend to be in an Art Gallery and each pupil displays his/her shapes to the rest of us. Using these plasticine shapes we just created, we put them in 8 different groups so all the starts are together, all the triangles are together, etc.

I discovered this youtube channel called Learning Fun by shapes and it just fits so well into the lesson plan! They have different fables were everything in it is made by shapes, it is fantastic 😀 I chose “The hare and the Tortoise” to watch in class:

After watching the video we speak about the shapes that we recognise in it and what shapes have been used for making the main characters.

To revise a little bit and to have some more fun, there is this great website which contains many online games. 

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#ASSESSMENT CHART#

19 Sep

This is a suggested assessment chart for a continuous evaluation at Preschool level.

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