I’m not sure if Hugo is psychic or just reads your comments  but in any case he’s got perfect timing with the new cover for the Christmas Workbook sheets!

Ninja Tip:  Remember these are the review sheets you give the kids to take home and show their parents.  You can find all the other workbooks on this page.

And Margit also wrote in to ask for a Homework Calendar for next year.

We also added in another circle for “Phonics” so your kids can get homework points for reading homework too if you are that far along the curriculum.

I’ll also, fingers crossed, be opening up the Software Homework Programme to new participants, for a few days, sometime later on this month.  (Provided I get through all my other work!)  So keep an eye on the blog.

Enjoy and do let us know what you need next!

Be genki,

Richard

 


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After the success of the Gingerbread Man and the Bremen Musicians as lessons and plays we just had to genkify, and ultra simplify, another famous English story too.

And we chose …. Goldilocks and the 3 Bears!  I think you are going to love it!

3bears

As with all new Genki English themes we’ve tested it like crazy here, and now it’s time to throw it out to you VIP members to get your feedback from the teaching side of things to see what we need to make it the perfect Genki English lesson for your classes.

So I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

Whilst we are still testing you can download the Beta Test software for free:

3 Bears Software – Beta Test Version

(Right click and save to your desktop)

Ninja Tip:  If you did Happy Halloween  it really helps with the “I’m scared!” 

I also have some printables for you:

And mini cards:

Plus if you’re wanting some gesture ideas, check out the teachers in Slovakia!

As always your feedback in the comments is really important,  I’d love to know what we’ve got “too hot”,  ”too cold” or “just right” (so we don’t go changing it!) and what to do next plus if you have any ideas on ways to play, gesture, present it in class.

Once we get everything sorted I can finish it off and get to work on the next one – we’ve got some really cool ideas for you! :)

Thanks as always!

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.  Once the song is finished it will become part of the paid for next volume,  so be sure to join us as a VIP by buying the Teacher’s Set before that happens.  You’ll then be able to help us make the lesson “just right” for your kids too!


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handsupIn a further bid to get parents, head teachers, boards of education on your side, last week we had the Edinburgh University research on Singing Significantly Improves Language Learning and Craig has just sent in this research by Dr Gurd in Ontario:

Just 4 minutes of fun exercise improves learning and behaviour in the classroom

( Looks like a mini burst of Insanity in the lessons!  )

Thanks Craig, and if any of you have any more of these types of article then do send them in, they all help in battling the chalk & talk ways of teaching! :)

Be genki

Richard


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Even if you’re not from the USA, and as long as you’re not a turkey, this is one of the best lessons we have if you are into the whole “Success Education” side of Genki English.

After all the “I can!“s and “Try agains“,  this one is basically teaching kids how to be happy.

Yep, just be happy.

Just like a 5 minute meditation in the morning (show me an ultra successful person who doesn’t do this now!) just this one simple thing can make such a huge difference in someone’s life.

And just like we changed the “I have to …” into “I can” in the hip hop songs, here we now just change from thinking about what we’d like to have,  and instead just look at what we are thankful for.

It is amazing what this one simple change can do to a set of kids.

Give it a try and let me know how it transforms your class.  (Particularly those toughest to reach hard core ones.)

The Genki Thanksgiving Lesson

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.  I stand by the transformative power of this song so much that I put it free on Youtube.  Even if you only do one Genki English song this year,  this will be worth it.

P. P.S.  The parents will also thank you for it as the lesson also tends to reduce the amount of Christmas presents kids ask for! :)


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This has been one of my best games this year, a great hit with all ages.

We’re going to use the How many days till Christmas? vocab but with a little twist.

So make sure the kids know the song (it’s free on Youtube) then …

1. Give everyone one “How many days till Christmas?” mini card.

2. Everyone hides their own card by placing it against their chest so no one else can see.

Ninja Tip:  This is most important part of the game!

3. Everyone shouts out “I have ….. to …. ” using the language on the card e.g. “I have letters to write.” or “I have reindeer to feed.”

4. If they find someone who has to do the same thing as they do, they link up arms.  Remember they can only speak in English  - in the full sentence – and can’t show anyone their card.  They’re out if they do!

5. They keep going until they have found everyone who has to do the same thing that they do!

 

Ninja Tip 2:  Last year we figured this might be quite a tough sentence but … we’ve been amazed at how even this smallest kids have been able to understand and use the sentences due to the “chunking” of grouping the words together.   P.S.  It also helps if you’ve done regular How many? and Christmas vocab lessons first. 

This is a great game for making groups class and is also fantastic for Christmas parties if you have to split people into groups to prepare things – watch the parents be amazed.

If you keep the number of cards secret then they keep on saying (i.e. practicing) the sentences for ages as they don’t know how many cards there are for each activity.

Quick Discipline Technique

One of the things I try and do in my workshops is to try and include as many of the discipline techniques as possible.

This one in the video above I don’t think I’ve introduced on the blog before,  but it is a real time saver.

(If you’re on email and can’t see the video, click here.)

1.  Train the kids so that when the teacher (you) puts one hand in the air, everyone has to be quiet and put their hand in the air too!

2.  If anyone sees anyone else without their hand raised they have to tap them on the shoulder.

3.  Watch it spread like a virus through the class making everyone quiet straight away.

Again, like with any of the discipline techniques, you’ve got to set out the expectations and train the kids to do it quickly.  As you can see I’d been timing them and making it into a game to see how fast they could do it!

If you can get the “getting quiet” time down from 30 seconds to just 2 seconds that saves you a *lot* of time over the year.   Plus you don’t have to shout, raise your voice or even speak – it’s all silent. :)

Anyway do try the game and let us know what you think in the comments!

Be genki,

Richard

P.S.   Over the last few months I’ve been sneaking a demo version of this song into the Teacher’s Set  (and for long term VIPs too.)

Would you like me to work on adding the talking “words” and computer game to the software too?    Let me know in the comments and if enough of you would like it I’ll see what I can do!

howmanydays

P.P.S.  You can find all of my Christmas lessons here.


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I think I should have published this last week,  but anyway, better late than never!

I mentioned this briefly in the How much English?  post, but I’ve been asked a lot about it.

Mishu wrote in to ask:

How can I teach English without using of translation into Spanish to my students? When I see that my students don’t understand, specially in a new topic, I try to make corporal movements in order to get understanding but, sometimes they can’t understand me so, I have to translate. Is it right?

And the answer is, no!  :)  Translation is not a good tool to use.  It basically trains the kids into ignoring your English and waiting for the translation.

But, as you say, doing everything in English doesn’t work either as it leads to all sorts of misunderstandings. (And they just get worse as you go on.)

It’s like you’re Indiana Jones trapped between the Translation of Terror and the Misunderstanding of Doom!

translation

Luckily, as always, there is a solution.

That is to simply ASK, not tell, the kids.

Just ask them

“What do you think this means in Spanish?”*

This way they’ll not only be listening to the English, but they’ll be actively thinking about it too, which is a hugely beneficial skill.

Ninja Tip: And in 70% of cases they’ll get the meaning right, in 20% they’ll have thought it means something totally different, and in 10% of cases you’ll finally have to give in and tell them what it means.  But don’t give in without a fight! :)

Of course you say the phrase ”What do you think this means in Spanish?” actually in Spanish at first.  But it’s also a great phrase to add to your curriculum.  Or there is the even easier one “How do you say …. in ….?” which luckily enough we have a Genki English lesson for!

So there you go, don’t translate, just ask.  Always a good option!

Hope it helps.

And do check out the previous post on how much and when to use English vs. the native language in class.

P.S.  *of course if your kids aren’t Spanish speakers do this for the language they do speak! :)


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