New Children’s English Video: How are You Lesson?

July 25, 2011 at 5:59 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Children's Songs, Education | Leave a comment
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I made a very simple video to help teach young ESL learners how to say, ” I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty.” I have a few videos with this vocabulary, but this one is different because there is a quiz at the end. This should be fun for kids, and help reinforce the vocabulary.

YouTube NextUp Contest

YouTube is holding a contest to help independent video makers, like myself, improve the quality of their videos. The video below made it to the second round! If I win, then I will get help from YouTube to make even higher quality videos. You can vote for this video, and I have put details on that here:

1. Go to http://www.youtube.com/nextup from now until August 7th
2. Sort by country and choose Japan
3. Scroll to find the "How Are You? Lesson Video" I am in the video wearing a yellow jersey. Click on it, then click on the thumbs up!
4. You have to be logged into YouTube to vote. You can vote once a day!
Thanks for your continued support! Matt

Teaching Children The Weather in the ESL Classroom

May 23, 2011 at 6:20 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Children's Songs, Education, Elementary Class | Leave a comment
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Repetition is important when teaching young children. Actions are also really important, as many children learn with their hands, as well as by listening and speaking. In this fun weather song video, I use actions and words to teach the basics of weather in English. My students have a lot of fun with this song, and I hope yours will, too!

To share this video, copy and paste the following link: http://youtu.be/XcW9Ct000yY

Teaching Kids How to Say, ” My name is…” in English

May 21, 2011 at 2:34 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Children's Songs | Leave a comment
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I used to find it a bit difficult to teach young children in an ESL classroom how to say, ” My name is..” and their name in English. Recently, it has become a bit easier. Maybe I am just more experienced now, or maybe it was always easy, and I didn’t realize : ) The best way I have found is modeling.  I use myself as an example by saying, ” My name is Matt.” I use puppets often, and then I just practice with the kids in the class. I help them, and ask them to repeat after me. Some kids get it right away and can say the whole phrase, others I ask to repeat every word, ” My… My.. name… name…” etc.

If you have a larger class, after 5 or 6 kids go through this, the others will follow along! Music and songs help, too! Here is a video of my, “What’s Your Name?” Song:

If you want to share this video, here is the link: http://youtu.be/BAFSTrSNJMg You can also download this song for free on my website, and use it in your classes. So go ahead, give it and try. All the best!

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed Finger Play

May 20, 2011 at 12:34 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Education | 2 Comments
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I have been having a lot of fun lately in my children’s English classes teaching the 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed finger play. It is fun, simple, repetitive, and a bit silly. The kids love it! You can start out by teaching the phrases very slowly, and have the students repeat after me. Check out how I do the play in the video below. If you are watching this with your students, feel free to pause after the phrases, until they learn them. They will probably pick this up very quickly, as kids just love this! Enjoy, and always have fun in your classes. That way your students will, too!

Happy Easter Song!

March 30, 2009 at 7:16 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Children's Songs | Leave a comment
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easter It’s time for Easter lessons again! I just can’t believe how fast time goes by these days. Last year I put the Easter Bunny song on the Dream English site as a free download, and it was quite popular. The middle of the song corresponds to the MES English Easter flash cards (pictured here). So you can teach the song and the flash card vocabulary as a great introduction to Easter.

Fun Game

Last year  we did a really simple game with our students which I plan on doing again this year. We took small plastice Easter eggs and put a simple question in them. Then we hid the Easter eggs and had the children find them, a typical Easter egg hunt. The students then had to open the eggs, and answer the questions. If they answer correctly, they get a prize. Of course you have to make the questions age/level appropriate, and if they are young kids you will need to read the questions to them. So Happy Easter from Dream English!

10 Teaching Kids Tips

March 15, 2009 at 5:46 am | Posted in Children's Classes | 1 Comment
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Here are my top tips for teaching Kids English:

1. Smile and Have Fun! -body language is so important when teaching English to kids. Relax and smile- your whole body will relax and so will the kids

2. Be Enthusiastic– praise the kids and be excited with them on this learning adventure!

3. Be Adventurous– don’t be afraid to try new things. If you try something new and it doesn’t work, don’t worry! Kids are very forgiving. Get their attention back with a smile or a song.

4. Be Flexible– Be ready to adopt your lesson plan on the fly. Guide the class, keep control, but if the kids attention is not focused don’t be afraid to go in another direction.

5. Plan More Than You Need– you never know when you will need a few more things to teach in your class. Have extra songs, books, and activities ready to go!

6. Care About Your Students– develop a relationship with the kids. Become their friend. Enjoy their success together.

7. Be the Best Teacher You Can Be– even when I thought I was doing my best, a fellow teacher told me I could do better. At first I was a bit hurt, but then realized she was right! This led me to become a much better teacher. And I am still learning everyday!

8. Be A Student– always challenge yourself to learn new things. Remember what it is like to be a student. The frustrations and the joys!

9. Give, Give, Give– and you will receive.

10. Share Your Success with Others– teaching is a community experience. Sharing your ideas with other teachers will help you remember what worked for you. We can all learn from each other! You can start by sharing your ideas on the Dream English Forum!

Easy English Kids Warm Ups

March 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Children's Classes | 1 Comment
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happy-icon I have had a resurgence of energy for Dream English lately. I am busy at work on Kids Songs Volume 3! If you have checked out the Hello Song, or I Like Apples you may have noticed I am writing songs for younger kids. Kids Songs 3 will be aimed towards the preschool crowd. Get ready to dance kids : )

2 Word Warm Up Songs.

In the meantime I have put up some really easy little 2 word warm up songs. I think these are super cool for really young kids from 1-6 years old. They have passed the test of the one year old crowd for sure. Here is a list, there are 5 of them ready to download for free now on the Dream English site:

  1. Happy/Sad
  2. Hot/Cold
  3. Go/Stop
  4. Up/Down
  5. Brush Your Teeth/Wash Your Face

So please click on the title above or here to go to the warm up page and give these a try. Let me know what you think!

Japan’s Eigo Notebook

March 9, 2009 at 5:36 am | Posted in Children's Classes | 2 Comments
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The Ministry of Education in Japan (MEXT) is issuing a new textbook for Elementary age students. They have also gone ahead and listed the curriculum on their website. Most of it is in Japanese, but the expressions part is in English.

Using Dream English Materials with the Eigo Notebook

From what I understand the Eigo Note will not be compulsory, and it will be ok to use supplementary materials with the program. If you do teach in Japanese Elementary Schools, you may want to check with your director.  I started a new page on my website dedicated to the Eigo Note. I have a lot to add, but it turns out that I already have free materials and songs to match most of the 5th Grade Curriculum. Lucky for me : ) I haven’t had a chance to look at the 6th grade Curriculum, but I hope to do that in the next week and get materials up there as well. Please check out the Dream English Eigo Note page, and I hope you can find some useful material.

Lesson Planning

March 9, 2009 at 4:27 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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I get quite a few emails from teachers asking me how to go about planning their lessons. I have probably mentioned before, but there are so many variables in planning a lesson: how many students, how long is the lesson, how often, etc. You also have to factor in teaching style and preferences.

Dream English Lesson Plan Page

I have added a new page to the Dream English site called Lesson Plans (very original huh : ) I am starting to collect my basic outlines for lesson plans. These are adaptable, and hopefully give you an idea on how to plan your lessons. I also put up a printable lesson plan outline. This plan has a basic outline, and then you can fill in your ideas for that days lessons. I hope these are helpful and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. Check out the Lesson Plan page.

New Color Chants

February 19, 2009 at 12:43 am | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips:Chants | Leave a comment
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yellow-icon2 Whenever I do a coloring activity with my younger students, we always start out reviewing the colors. First I say the color name, and then use I like, for example, ” red, I like red!” and have the students repeat.

I recorded two new chants with the color and I like vocabulary. I also made one, while I was at it, with ” I don’t like red.” So you can practice both if you like. Check them out here.

Why Chant?

I think it is helpful for the students to chant in the rhythm of the music. It helps them learn, unconciously, where the stress of the syllable is placed. It is also just a bit more fun! One thing you can do though is learn the chant with the free Dream English mp3’s and then just chant on your own, clapping your hands. Or you can use the music in your class. The choice is yours!

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