Saturday, 30 March 2013

What's in the Bag

The heavy rain and flooded roads kept lots of students at home today so it was just the four of us in class this afternoon.  We played a guessing game to learn classroom objects, trying to guess what what in the bag by using our sense of touch and hearing.
We then played a game of hide-and-seek with the objects, it was a lot of fun!

Working with Centers

By setting up centers with different activities, the children have opportunities to explore the vocabulary we have been learning in a variety of ways.  This week, we used pegs, straws and coloured pasta to practise our colours as well as develop notions of sorting, matching and fine motor skills.

This is also an opportunity for me to work with the children in smaller groups and focus on vocbaulary and pronunciation.  It's a chance to build rapport with individual students and get a better sense of how each student is progressing.  The activity with me this week was a card game which teaches the names of the places in our school.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Starting the class - a look at our routine

It's great ot see how much Isadora's group can understand.  Watch this video to and observe how much they have picked up through our routine.
You will see questions such as:
Who is my helper today?   What day is it today?   What is the weather like?  Is it sunny?

There are answers in affirmative and negative form:
It's not Tuesday.  She's not here.

Days of the week   Weather   Greetings  Classroom commands e.g. make a circle, look, listen, be quiet, stop

You might also observe the moment when the children discuss the weather in Portuguese.  When I say that it's not snowy in Vitoria, Davi adds (in Portuguese) that you have to go to the North Pole to see the snow.  This shows a genuine understanding of the vocbaulary we are working with during this phase of the lesson.

You can see many of the techniques I use to help make the meaning of the language clear without translating - images, gestures and mime are just a few.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Going through the planned activities

I use flashcard images to represent the different planned stages of the lesson.  This helps prepare the students for what we are going to do that day.  Each lesson stage takes place in a different area of the classroom.  Referring to the images helps make transitions from one activites to the next easier.
Here's a short video of the students naming the activites for the day.

My School

There was a surprise for all the groups this week in English class.  After a quick revision of our new vocabulary, we went out into the playground to explore the different parts of our school.
The next time you are at the school, ask your child to show you where the following places English of course!


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Food in Brazil

Bom dia amigos,

This week we’d like to send you some photos our playground.  It’s quite differente to yours.  We have slides, swings, a sports court, tunnels, monkey bars, a swimming pool, hopscotch and a big bird cage.

We have a school kitchen where our cook prepares meals for us.  Usually, we have rice and black beans with vegetables or salad.

We learned some new food words in English this week:

Apple = maça (ma-sa)
Banana = banana (that’s and easy one!)
Sandwich = sanduíche (san-du-witchy)
Biscuit = biscoito
Beans = feijão
Rice =arroz (ah – hois)


Your friends from Brazil.

How do you teach them without using Portuguese?

This is a question that a mother asked me the other day.  I did my best to answer her but I imagine there are many other parents who are wondering the same thing. 

Here is an article by one of my favourite authors, Carol Read.  I think it explains things perfectly.

WARNING: It is in English, it is a technical text and it is LONG!  But if you are interested in understanding the learning process a bit better, please take some time to read this.


The Birthday Song

Check your calendar!  Check your calendar!  Upuere's birthday is just around the corner and we are going to be celebrating!  At the birthday party (for the kids only...sorry!) we're going to sing the birthday song in Portuguese AND English.  Last week we were practising this in class.  You could reinforce this at home, too.  Here's a video...enjoy!

Rice and Beans

 As part of our Food theme this week we learned some new words in English this week with the structure "I like...".  Bananas, apples, biscuits, sandwiches and cake.  Ask your child to sing you the I Like Bananas song!

A great way to practise this vocabulary and encourage independent learning is with mini-flashcards.  There are so many ways the children can use these on their own, in small groups or in pairs.

Towards the end of the week we got hands-on and made a beautiful plate full of our favourite Brazilian dish..rice and beans!

The Hungry Gorilla

This week's topic is food.  My favourite story to work with this theme is The Hungry Gorilla by Carol Read.  This story reinforces some key vocabulary for food and "I like...".  In addition to that, it introduces some great language for making polite requests.  Very useful in the classroom.

Can I have a banana, please? - Yes, here you are. - Thankyou!

Spuds In!

We played memory this week to revise the food vocabulary we have been learning. 
The words we know are... bananas, apples, sandwiches, biscuits and.... CAKE! 
To work out who goes first, I taught the kids a rhyme...

Eenie meanie miney mo
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he squeals
Let him go
Eenie meanie miney mo

They have used playdough to make candles for the birthday cakes and biscuits. As well as practicing counting in English, this activity helps strengthen our fingers.

Learning new vocabulary

This week was all about food.  I presented this topic in lots of different ways.  We used flashcards to learn the names of different food in English, we talked about likes and dislikes (yummy! or yucky!), listened to a story about it, sang songs and played games.

When I introduced the vocabulary, I got the children to pretend to eat the pictures as we said the words..."bananas - yummy!" This week we learned apple, sandwich, banana, and biscuit!

The story this week is about a Gorilla and some children who let him into the house while Mummy is out.   What do you think happens next?  As you can see from the photo, the children are really focused during story time.

All the kids in Group 3 also used playdough to make biscuits and birthday cakes. As well as practicing counting in English, this activity helps strengthen their finger muscles.

Role call

João is the helper today. As well as displaying the class schedule, weather and day of the week, the helper also gets to do our role English of course. Good job João!

And this is how Group 5 learn the days of the week! Ask your child to show you.