Songs for Homeschooling

Whether at home or in a classroom, the right songs make learning fun. Best of all, songs stay with young learners long after their “lessons” are over. Please check out the review of Super Simple Songs in the latest issue of The Old Schoolhouse – The Magazine for Homeschool Families. My granddaughter loves these songs,… Read more »

Beatlemania for the Babes

Did you sing any Beatles songs when you were a kid? National Public Radio recently did a report on why toddlers like the Beatles so much. (Funniest line: “Beatlemania returns to America this week.” What? It left?) According to Dr. Deforia Lane, The Beatles have repetition, predictability and rhythm. And in certain cases, it literally… Read more »

Top 10 Picture Books for Kindergarten EFL

Here are our top 10 picture books for kindergarten EFL classrooms: 10. Good Night, Gorilla 9. Ten Apples Up On Top! 8. Five Little Monkeys 7. Blue Hat, Green Hat 6. Go Away, Big Green Monster 5. No, David! 4. Ten Little Ladybugs 3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar 2. Where’s Spot? 1. Brown Bear Brown Bear What… Read more »

Magic Marble Bottles

For a simple counting and color recognition activity, fill a clear plastic bottle with water, add some marbles, then some glitter and/or any other small shiny objects you can find. Repeat with a few different bottles. using a different color and a different number of marbles. Place the bottles in slots in a box labelled with corresponding numbers… Read more »

Head, shoulders, knees, …and peanut butter?

I sometimes do this thing at the end of my classes with 3 year-olds where I pretend to pop a piece of bubble gum in my mouth, start chewing away, blow a huge bubble, and then it pops all over my face.  I pretend to pick it all off my face and start chewing it again. … Read more »

Mixing Things Up

Many classes, ESL or otherwise, have some set songs that are done in every class.  Hello, Goodbye, etc. Here are some suggestions for simple changes to make them fresh and fun again. If you have been teaching children for a while, you’ve probably got most of these figured out already.  If you are new to… Read more »

Opportunity knocks

Teaching can be incredibly rewarding, and sometimes very tiring.  It’s important every once in a while to remind yourself why you do what you do.  For me, it can be summed up by a passage from Michael Lewis’s excellent book, The Lexical Approach. “…language is important and … language teaching is useful and valuable.  A… Read more »

Creating a warm classroom for young learners

We frequently get asked about setting up classrooms for young learners.  I’d like to share some photos from Brit’s English in Okayama, Japan.  When owner Jamie Marden decided to build a new school, he set aside one classroom to be his “Super Simple Songs” room (thanks Jamie!) for children 2-6 years old. Notice how uncluttered… Read more »

ASL Songs

We had a great time presenting at the Tokyo English Language Book Fair a couple of weeks ago.  We were very happy to have our display right across from a display for “Signing Time“, an amazing resource for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to young learners. By the end of the weekend, Troy and Tanja… Read more »

“Uh-Huh” Activity

We’ve been having a lot of fun this week in class with Devon’s warm up activity that uses “Uh-Huh” from Super Simple Songs Two. Place a jump rope or long rope across the center of the room. Place one sign that says “YES” and one sign that says “NO” on opposite sides of the room…. Read more »