“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
—John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
Teaching children can be an extremely rewarding experience or a nightmare. I’ve had many days when I’ve left the classroom feeling on top of the world. Children have a way of making you feel like a superhero when you make a meaningful connection with them. Plenty of hugs, drawings, and other hand-crafted momentos can keep you going. However, I have also had my days when I left the classroom defeated, crying, and worn out. Teaching children requires a lot of energy, flexibility, and a plethora of ideas.
Thankfully, I’ve had more rewarding experiences and the difference has been connecting with young learner teachers worldwide. Whenever I need inspiration I can read their blogs for resources and ideas. I also enjoy seeing their students’ work. Reading their personal reflections comforts me whenever I face problems. It is nice knowing another teacher experiences the same struggles and finds a solution.
The following blogs will offer you plenty of inspiration and support so that you keep inspiring your kiddos! (more…)
“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives
which he habitually uses in conversation.”
~ Mark Twain
Adjectives help children learn language in a fun way. They help children visualize and describe nouns and settings. Adjectives also spark a child’s imagination. When children learn adjectives they learn how to describe the worlds, characters, and adventures they conjure up in their minds. Dragons become fire-breathing green giants and monsters become enormous hairy beasts with sharp fangs and claws. Below are a few lesson ideas, web tools, and apps to help your students learn adjectives.
Adjectives and Poetry
Children can learn adjectives by creating acrostic, diamante, and concrete poems. In an acrostic poem, the first letters of a word describe the word. For example, students can spell out their first names, then describe themselves. Jim becomes Jolly boy, Interested in soccer and cars, and Makes model airplanes. Diamante poems are diamond-shaped poems that are seven lines long and follow this pattern: (1st line) noun; (2nd line) adjective, adjective; (3rd line) verb, verb, verb; (4th line) noun, noun, noun, noun; (5th line) verb, verb, verb; (6th line) adjective, adjective; and (7th line) noun. Concrete poems, often called shape poems, are poems that take the shape of an object or noun. For example, children can be assigned to write sun-shaped poems that describe what they like about the summer. Before students write their poems get them to brainstorm a list of adjectives and adjective phrases to describe the subject matter. Find templates and various activities about poetry at Poetry4kids.com. Find brainstorming templates at EnchantedLearning.com. (more…)
“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.” – Hermann Hesse
When I first began teaching children, I struggled with providing opportunities for all to voice their learning equally. Often, the most vocal students answered questions or took charge in games or group work. The shy students remained silent. With web tools and apps we now have the ability to ensure all our students get to voice their opinions and reflections about the content. With these tools, kids can tell stories, practice vocabulary, or tell us about themselves. Many allow kids to create videos that can be posted on a class website, wiki, or blog or sent to parents and friends. These recordings allow parents to see the learning taking place and evaluate their child’s growth throughout the year. Additionally, many make it fun for even the shyest student to want to participate. Below are a few free tools and apps created with kids in mind.
Web 2.0 Tools
With these free web tools, students can create stories, practice vocabulary, sing songs, or pretend to be the characters they read about. They can work with their peers and practice role-plays or dialogues that they are learning. Kids can also send fun greetings to friends and family, because many of these tools have templates and backgrounds to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and other holidays. (more…)
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
The holiday season is here, and for many children, this is their favorite time of year. Their families gather together to celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa) with special foods, symbolic decorations, music, and the practice of various customs. This is the time when children can share their traditions and discover how others celebrate worldwide. Below are a few suggestions on how you can integrate free web tools and apps to make this holiday season magical for children. (more…)
“Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.” ~ Al Hirschfeld
When I first began teaching children, I rarely used coloring activities, because some parents and teachers do not think it is a valuable way to learn a language. However, children love to color and draw. Throughout the years, I have found it to be a valuable teaching technique with many benefits. Children develop motor skills and learn about patterns, symmetry, etc. Coloring also helps children imagine and visualize a context for new vocabulary. Additionally, coloring helps teachers manage classroom behavior. Children need sit down and rest activities after a game or dancing and coloring activities are perfect to create a balance. Below are a few free tools and ideas to make sure your coloring activities provide meaningful language learning. (more…)
“There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen.” ~ Sidney Sheldon, Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Halloween is around the corner, so it’s a great time to engage kids with themes that explore the mysterious, dark, and terrifying. These are themes you probably haven’t broached yet. However, most of these themes offer a way to teach children English as well as science and math. The idea is to get students to experiment and explore. Find a list of these themes below, followed by activities and resources. The themes and activities listed below engage children and allow them to learn English hands-on. (more…)
“If you think of learning as a path, you can picture yourself walking beside her rather than either pushing or dragging or carrying her along.” ~ Polly Berrien Berends
The first month of school is critical for laying down the foundations for a successful learning journey with children. During the first month of school, we need to make connections with learners and welcome them into our community. We need to show them we look forward to their unique contributions and help those who feel they don’t have anything to offer discover what they can contribute. When we show children we care, they will go to great lengths to learn. They will also leave our class with enriching memories. The following suggestions will help you lay the foundations. Good luck on your learning voyage with your learners this year! (more…)