What’s Your Name? Musical Chairs

February 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Games | Leave a comment
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It’s really fun to come up with new games, and even more fun to try them out with your students. I was trying to think of ways to use the Dream English songs as games and I came up with this game which is great from 6 years old on up to adults:

What’s your name? Music Chairs

You may be familiar with the game musical chairs. In that game you have one less chair then people, so if you have 6 people playing you have 5 chairs. You play music, and when the music stops the players have to find a chair. With one less chair then people, one person can’t sit and they are out.

With What’s Your Name? Musical Chairs ask all your students to write their names on two pieces of paper. Put as many chairs as students and place one of the name cards on each chair. I actually played with a table so I put one set of name cards on the table.  You, the teacher, hold the other set of name cards.  Play the Free Download Dream English Song What’s Your Name? on your cd player and have the students walk around the chairs or table in a circle. I ask the students to sing along, and if they don’t they are automatically out. When you want, stop the song. The students have to either sit down on the closest chair to them, or in front of a name card on the table. Ask one student to pick a name card from your hand. Don’t let them see the names though. After the student has picked the card have all the other students ask “What’s your name?” The student who picked the card answers, for example, “My name is Matt”. Whoever is sitting on or by the name card Matt is out. Remember it is not necessarily the student named “Matt” who it out, but the one who is sitting on that name card. Continue until there is only one player left! They are the winner.

What I do to make it more fun is that when a player is out, they get to play stop on the CD player. I also let the players who are out pick the name cards. This keeps all the students involved in the game until the end.

I played this game with my 6-9 year olds today, and they asked to play it again 3 times! It’s simple but it helps with basic questions, getting to know one another and basic reading. Give it  a try, and let us know how it went! You can downlad What’s Your Name for free here! Have fun!

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New Kids Book!

February 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Reading | Leave a comment
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letcountbutton We have had a really nice response to KidsEnglishBooks.com Thanks to everyone who has been visiting the site and downloading the books! We have already had over 5000 downloads of some of the books in the week the site has been up. That’s a lot of kids reading or being read to. To me that is really cool. Keep up the good work.

New Book Let’s Count!

Pictured here is the cover of the new Let’s Count book we recently added to the site. It is a fun, and easy counting book. It goes along great with the Dream English Let’s Count song. So you can read the book, and sing the song, and makes some children smile along the way! We are already working on more books, so please check out KidsEnglishBooks.com Happy Reading!-Matt

Valentine’s Day Lesson and Song

February 11, 2009 at 1:48 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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I personally don’t spend a lot of time teaching Valentine’s, but you can definitely have a fun lesson based around Valentine’s Day. I teach the basic vocabulary, which you can do using the MES Englsih flashcards pictured here. Then I have some fun with having the kids make a heart with their hands “make a big heart, make a small heart” etc. Next, we make a fun little Valentine’s day card. Again, the MES English link above will lead you to some nice coloring sheets.

Skidamarink

I don’t really remember this song from when I was a kid but it seems every English school I have taught in Japan has their own version of this fun Traditional song. I made my own version, and made a fun part in the middle “make a heart with your hands”. So it’s fun and easy for the kids. In case you were wondering, Skidamarink doesn’t mean anything. I just do a fun dance, and since I probably will only sing this song once or twice with the kids, I don’t focus too much on them singing it. But, they will learn how to say, ” I love you!” which is nice. Check out Skidamarink here, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Free Kids Books

February 6, 2009 at 7:19 am | Posted in Children's Classes | 2 Comments
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Personally I love to read, it is one of the great pleasures in life. I always have a book, or two, with me wherever I go. I also enjoy reading to children, and teaching children how to read. To this end I have started, with great thanks to a fantastic illustrator, Mayu, a new website called kidsenglishbooks.com

Read, print out and listen

The site is just getting started, and we will be adding many books in the near future. All of the books are original, created by us, and are free to download and print, read online, and you can download a mp3 audio narration. So if you have a moment, please check out kidsenglishbooks.com, print out a book and read it to a child you know. It will brighten their day. You can also give a book to a child, and have them read it to you if they can already read. So have a look, and let us know what you think!

ESL Teacher Talk

February 6, 2009 at 12:21 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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ett1 I mentioned in a previous post about ESL Teacher Talk. It is a podcast hosted by Mark from MES English. I have listened to several of the podcasts, and always come away learning something useful for my classes.

New Co-Host

Mark was kind enough to ask me to co-host this season. We have already had a lot of fun recording a few episodes. The first one has been posted, and it is about Dream English. If you are interested in how Dream English got started, and about teaching kids with music in general, or just wondered what my voice sounds like when I’m not singing : )  please check it out!

Finding your style

February 1, 2009 at 11:48 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment

I got a nice email today from Kate in Poland, this is what she said about Dream English:

I must say that your songs are great. Simply, my children love them  because they are let me say “calm”.

When I first started teaching kids English, I observed a really fantastic teacher with a ton of energy. He was great, really in control of his class, the kids were excited and into it. He  was giving so much energy that he was turning red in the face from the heat. The kids loved him, and I thought I wanted to be  a teacher like that.

A little while later I was thrown in to teaching my own classes, and tried to imitate this energetic teacher. By the end of the first class, I was exhausted, and I did not have control of the students. It took me along while to find my style as a teacher. I learned that I can be energetic at points, and calm at others and use this dynamic to keep control. I also learned that simple things like making a funny facial expression can go along way with kids. I didn’t have to run around the whole class and exhaust myself.

I guess this idea is reflected in my songs, and I am happy to hear that it is working with other peoples students. Whatever your style or personality, finding it will go along way in helping your teaching, and the kids will appreciate you for who you are.

New Video: I like apples!

January 29, 2009 at 3:24 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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We had a lot of fun making this video for the I Like Apples song. I hope you get some ideas for a dance to use in your classes or with your kids. So here it is:

I hope you like the video, thanks for watching, Matt

New Song: I Like Apples!

January 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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apple-icon-1 I think in general that kids really like fruit. It’s sweet and yummy, and good for you too. So it makes a nice topic to teach. It is also really great for teaching kids the phrase, “I like apples” or bananas, etc. I made a simple song that has fruit, and a nice little “yummy to my tummy” phrase. I actually made 2 versions, one for really young kids. You can listen and download the song for free, and flashcards as well on the Dream English site by clicking here. I hope you find it yummy to your tummy!

Hello, hello, hello!

January 15, 2009 at 4:16 am | Posted in Children's Classes | 1 Comment
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In the new Dream English Hello Song, I sing hello about 30 times! I say some other things too, but I think this song will be great to get your classes started. Especially for your younger students. Or just to sing along with your kids at home. After listening to it once, I can almost guarantee everyone will be singing, “Hello, hello, hello!”  : )

Hello, Goodbye and in Between

I wrote in my last post about the Teachers guide to get you started with Dream English. Now that you can download a Hello Song and Goodbye Song, just pick a few more topics to teach in the middle (for Example ABC’s, Numbers, Animals), and voila you have a lesson filled with fun songs and materials!

Kids Basics: Teaching English Guide

January 10, 2009 at 3:44 am | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment
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yellow-icon When I first started my own classes for Teaching English to kids, I sat down and thought really hard about what I wanted to teach. I had experience teaching children for larger companies, and I wanted to use this knowledge to create my own curriculum with my materials. So I started Dream English.

Getting Started Teaching Kids with Songs and Flashcards

With what I have learned over the past few years, and the addition of flashcards, worksheets and coloring to the Dream English site, you can now download for free  everything you need to start your own Children’s English class. I have put a basic guide up on the Dream English site to direct you to the free downloads, and give you the information, such as lesson plans, to get started.

What if my students are not beginners?

No problem, there are many more songs and chants on the Dream English site for advanced children. Also you will find links to listening exercises from my other site 123 Listening, and links to more great free materials for teaching children from MES English.  Happy Singing!

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