Category: Teaching Tips

Science Friday – Foaming Snowmen

Recently, our Community Manager Sara visited a local elementary school as a guest speaker for the first graders weekly Science Friday. Here, she shares the Foaming Snowmen experiment they did together.  Read more »

One, two, three, four, six. Making mistakes in the classroom.

I’ve had the opportunity to observe some great teachers of young learners over the years, and one little device that all of them used to some degree is feigning ignorance. It might be holding a potato and saying, “Mmm…I love apples.” Or in a delightfully silly way, forgetting the names of all the students. Or… Read more » Read more »

Teaching Older Learners With Songs

Our youngest learners will sing and dance all day long, all the while picking up vocabulary, grammar, and the rhythm of English naturally and easily. When they go home, the songs that they sang and played with in class will still be bouncing around in their heads. Songs are uniquely effective learning tools in that… Read more » Read more »

Puppets as communication aids

Puppets are great helpers. We know that children connect with puppets in a variety of ways. Children listen to what the puppets say. Children really hate to disappoint puppets, and children are remarkably willing to change their behavior to keep the puppets happy. They also have conversations with puppets that they won’t have with anyone… Read more » Read more »

Frère Jacques Around the World

This is a guest post written by our friend, Lisa Yannucci. Her website, Mama Lisa’s World, is one of our favorites and is the internet’s go-to site for children’s songs and rhymes from around the world. Parents and teachers often write me asking for suggestions about activities they can perform with kids to stimulate their… Read more » Read more »

Felt Boards in the Young Learners Classroom

This is a guest post from our good friend, Bob Pensak, owner of the English language school, Bob’s English, in Okazaki, Japan. “Felt boards” are an exciting, fun way to tell a story by combining music, movement, and visuals. Felt boards can be purchased or made very easily. Go a hardware or art supply store… Read more » Read more »

How music changed my teaching life

This is a guest post from our Good Friend, Patrick Jackson, author of Potato Pals, Stars, and Everybody Up, all published by Oxford University Press.   Before I went to Japan and started to teach kids, I ran a late night café in Dublin. While there are some similarities between customers in a restaurant and… Read more » Read more »

Card Games: Playing Concentration with Very Young Learners

Card game time! Yay! But wait: which one? And how to play with very young learners (preschool-aged and younger)? Let’s start with Concentration, also known as Memory. It’s that game where a whole bunch of cards are face down, and players turn over cards 2 at a time to try to find matches. It’s a… Read more » Read more »

Tips for using songs and music in small classes

Many of us have learned the advantages in using songs to teach large classes. Large classes can be amazingly fun, right? In a large class, students benefit from the crowd effect, and the energetic ones pull the whole class into the excitement. Nearly everyone sings. Quieter students either temporarily join in or hide behind the… Read more » Read more »