New Opposites Chant Free Download

April 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Warm ups | Leave a comment
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I love to practice opposites, or adjectives, with my students. We always use our body and do little actions when we say the opposite. For example, when we do slow/fast first we start out walking really slow, then when I say “fast” we walk really fast. It’s so simple, but the kids really enjoy it and learn the vocabulary well.

The Chant

The Dream English Opposites Chant could be used in a number of ways, as a warm up, or to introduce the material. To make it more fun, I added some singing and actions in the middle.

I made some other new chants for free download. I will write a bit about all the new chants in the next few days, in the meantime, check out yet another Free MP3 download the Dream English Opposites Chant here!

Great Start! How to break the ice with new young esl students

April 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Children's Classes, Teaching Tips: Warm ups | Leave a comment
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Today I taught two classes of new students, about 40 kids. The kids were great, and they were only five years old. Since it was their first lesson, I was very careful about how I started the class with them. I wanted to make them really relaxed and comfortable first. To me, this is the most important thing with young learners. Once they are comfortable with you as a teacher, then they are much easier to teach.

The Warm Up

Todays warm up was using familiar words, and actions. So I said “Hello” and had them repeat, then I asked them to jump. Every country is different, but in Japan the word for jump is the same as English, so its a good action to teach right away. I also had them sit down, and stand up, several times. Then I took all this and made it into a little game. “Sit down, stand up, jump! Hello, sit down” gradually increasing the speed until everyone was laughing. After this, they felt relaxed with me, and I went straight into Numbers. Another great thing to teach for first timers.


I do a few things with numbers for the first lesson. Most kids in Japan have heard English numbers, so they are already a bit familiar with them. This, again, makes them comfortable. So I use flashcards to teach 1-10, then I do it backwards 10-1. Next we sing Dream English Let’s Count. First I teach them the dance and song, then we do it with the music. Afterwards, I ask them how old they are. In this case 5, so I show them the number 5, and teach them to say, ” I am 5 years old”. Very simple, but if you think about it, not bad for a 5 year old who has never spoken English in their life.

Other Ideas

There are a lot of great websites out there with great ideas about starting a new year. One of them I refer to often is Genki English. Richard, from Genki English, wrote a great blog with ideas for starting off new classes, check it out here.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Opposites!

February 25, 2008 at 5:36 am | Posted in Teaching ESL Songs, Teaching Tips: Warm ups | Leave a comment
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I had a fun class this morning with 12 students ages 4-6 years old. We were singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and I decided to combine some ideas from the opposites lessons. We were singing the song without a CD, a capella, and the first time through we sang it at a regular speed. The second time through I asked them to sing it faster. The third time through I asked them to sing slow and quiet!

The kids loved it. I think the idea of combining lesson ideas is great. It reinforces concepts, and in real English speaking we are always combining different ideas to express what we want to say!

Warm Up Time: Up, Up, Up… Down….

January 31, 2008 at 12:33 am | Posted in Teaching Tips: Warm ups | Leave a comment
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Usually when I do this warm up I have my guitar, but not always. If you are a guitar player, simply pick a guitar chord and slowly slide it up the next as you say, “Up, up, up, up!” Start from a crouching position, and slowly stand up to your tipoes. Ask the kids to do the same, start in a crouching position and as they chant “up, up” with you they should slowly stand up eventually reaching up as high as they can. When everybody is as tall as possible say, “Down!” and everybody should fall back to the crouching position.

No Guitar? No Problem!

If you don’t have a guitar, simply clap your hands, or shake a tambourine, or anything else fun to get the kids moving. While you are clapping, start the “up,up” chant until you are clapping your hands high above your head. If you clap, the kids probably will too, so you can clap in rhythm with the chant.

I usually use this warm up after I do the “Getting Faster” warm up. Have Fun!

Another Warm up for Kids: Fun with Rhythm

January 29, 2008 at 12:31 am | Posted in Teaching Tips: Warm ups | 1 Comment
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I often bring my guitar to class and do what I call “Fun with guitar”. This is a simple warm up where I ask the kids to walk, either in place or in a circle, as I play something on the guitar. I slowly speed up what I am playing on guitar and we chant, “getting faster….getting faster..” Once the students legs are moving pretty fast I say, “Stop!” The students love this, and we repeat it a few times. I always ask them if they want to do it one more time? They have to reply by saying one more time, or I won’t start again.

If you don’t have a guitar, no problem! You can do the exact same thing with a tambourine, or by clapping. Simply clap your hands slowly to start, and speed up the tempo of your clapping as you go along.

With this warm up we engage listening, and speaking skills, and have a lot of fun!

Fun with Guitar at Kids Beat Fukuoka

Warm Ups for Young English Learners

January 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Teaching Tips: Warm ups | Leave a comment
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I like to start every class with simple greetings: Hello! How are you? Good morning! When I say good morning to the kids, I make them wave their hands high up in the air in a circle. Gets them moving. After that, I start the warm up. There are many different things I do to warm up the kids. Today I will talk about one way. If I know I am going to finish off the day with the Goodbye song, which I generally do, sometimes I start the class by warming up the kids with the actions from the song. Here are some of the lyrics:

Clap your hands, spin around, sit down, stand up!

By asking the students to do these simple actions, it engages them in many ways. It wakes up their ears to English, which maybe they haven’t heard spoken for a week. It engages their bodies, for those kids that learn well by moving. Also, since I am doing the actions as I ask the students to do them, it engages the visual learner. So a simple activity has warmed up the kids, in several ways. Now they are ready for what usually comes next. Can you guess? Yep, a song.

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