“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! We have also created this Young Learner Blog list on List.ly with these site links and their Twitter handles so you can connect with them. We have set this list up to allow you to add your favorite Young Learner bloggers, including your own YL blog. Note that you will have to create a free List.ly account to be able to contribute to the list.
Teaching Village – Barbara Sakamoto, the author of the Let’s Go series, invites young learner teachers from around the world to share tips, resources, lesson ideas, and struggles. You will find very practical and imaginative ideas like 10 Great Games that you can do with your Paper Cups, Paper Plates, Toilet Paper Rolls, Clothespins, and Bottle Caps by Marcos Brazil. You will also read about how to use digital tools with learners. Barbara also posts several examples and ideas of her teaching young learners in Japan.
Children Learning English Affectively – Juan Alberto Lopez Uribe, the “kindergarten pop star,” shares many fun ideas for teaching language learners through storytelling and with puppets. Children love learning English with Buddy the Frog videos. Gain inspiration from a post like Affective Warm Ups and Wrap Ups for Young Learners.
Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog – Ozge’s blog is full of fun, free, and creative web tools and apps. You won’t run out of ideas or resources for teaching young learners with technology. Ozge is an award-winning kindergarten teacher in Turkey who has gotten her kiddos to create learning apps. She has many ideas on how to motivate young learners to speak, create, listen, read, and write in English using web tools and apps. Begin your exploration in her digital storytelling section!
My Hullabaloo – Matt B. Gomez is a kindergarten teacher in Texas who share tons of free apps, web tools, and free resources for teaching young learners. He is also one of my favorite pinners. Alongside the technology recommendations are heartfelt posts and creative ideas like starting the day with Wonder Journals.
Infusing Technology to Empower All Learners – Martha Lackey posts various examples of her bilingual students’ projects. Martha has her students moving, creating, and exploring using various free apps and web tools. Check out how her students learned math by creating robots on graphs and then animated them with the Face Talk app.
Langwitches – Silvia Tolisano posts fantastic posters, presentations, and lesson ideas for motivating language learners with technology. She has wonderful resources on Skype projects, using iPads, and exploring with digital tools.
So This Is English – Michelle Worgan is a teacher in Spain who shares lesson ideas and resources for getting students to create and share stories in English. I love her ideas for collaborative writing projects and using VoiceThread. I smile at her students’ examples.
Creative Speaking – Daniel Brown is a teacher in Korea with some of the most innovative ways to teach young learners English. One of my favorite resources is his free Tiny Hearts ebook where kids choose a character to role-play as they are faced with various speaking and listening challenges.
Mrs. Wideen – Kristen Wideen posts some of the most imaginative ways to get kids learning with apps and iPads. Her students’ kidblogs are full of presentations on math, animals, and more!
A Journey in TEFL – Eva Büyüksimkeşyan is a teacher in Turkey who posts various web tools and lesson ideas to use with older young learners. In posts like Getting Ready to Write a Story she shares brainstorming charts and sites for free sound effects.
A Teacher’s Wonderings – Cristina Milos, now based in Italy, shares lesson ideas, pedagogy, tips, and resources for teaching older young learners. One of the projects I loved taking part in was her Read Aloud with the World project. Her students listened to people from around the world read via Skype then interviewed them.
Carol Read’s ABC of Teaching Children – Although this blog is no longer updated it remains one of the best resources for teaching young language learners. Carol Read walks you through the A to Zs of pedagogy, instructional practices, and issues related to teaching young language learners.
Picture Books in ELT – Sandie Mourao describes various picture books suitable for young learners and lesson ideas to go with each story.
ESL Children’s Drama Games – This site is no longer active but it is full of great ideas for teaching with puppets, chants, and plays.
Young Clovers – Rawya Shatila is a teacher in Lebanon who has her kids blog their projects and activities. She has various examples of her students connecting and learning. One of my favorites is posts related to their Teddy Bear World Tour. This class mascot visits schools worldwide and posts his adventures learning about the culture.
We could have mentioned more blogs; however, stay tuned for an upcoming post that will focus on blogs and resources specific to game-based learning and gamification with young language learners.
Who are your favorite young learner bloggers?
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