Monday, October 17, 2011

Flashcards, worksheets, wordcards and other excellent material!

In these websites you can find excellent material to use in your classes, from Preschool to Sixth grade! Enjoy!  (need to sign in)  (need to sign in)

<script type="text/javascript" src=",13,85,53,128,135,142,20,147&auto_ro=1&auto_show=1&no_roll=0&auto_types=inbar,indisp,cute&no_textify=0&txf_tlt=990000&txf_txt=000000&txf_price=336600&txf_bg=FFFFCC&txf_hl_txt=FFFF99&txf_hl_bg=CC0000&txf_max_i=10&txf_max_w=5" language="javascript" charset="utf-8"></script> 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Songs for Children

Delivered as promised, here you´ll find the songs that you´ll need!  Enjoy!

<script type="text/javascript" src=",13,85,53,128,135,142,20,147&auto_ro=1&auto_show=1&no_roll=0&auto_types=inbar,indisp,cute&no_textify=0&txf_tlt=990000&txf_txt=000000&txf_price=336600&txf_bg=FFFFCC&txf_hl_txt=FFFF99&txf_hl_bg=CC0000&txf_max_i=10&txf_max_w=5" language="javascript" charset="utf-8"></script> 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Behavior Management

I want to share with you some behavior management strategies and techniques, put them to practice and hope they work for you!
Behavior management

For even the most experienced teacher using their favourite lesson, there are several factors they fear could mess up their well laid plans once they actually get in class. One is lack of knowledge about the class (especially new classes) which means they can’t predict very well what might happen. Another is that having mixed abilities in the class makes it impossible to predict when all the students will be able to use the language, possibly leading to boredom in some and frustration in others as you try to fit it all into the standard lesson time. This could be one reason for the third and possibly greatest fear - that bad behaviour by the students could mean there is no hope of getting through the lesson plan at all. This article aims to show you to some ways to predict, understand, reduce and react to bad behaviour in the class.

The signs of bad behaviour
As what is considered bad behaviour can vary a lot by age, culture, teacher, type of school etc., let’s first look at what you consider to be serious bad behaviour, not so serious and not bad at all. This will also help us decide what is appropriate to do when we decide how to deal with bad behaviour of those various levels.
Picture just one of the classes you teach every week and for that class mark the behaviour below with points from 5 (totally unacceptable, deserves serious punishment) down to 0 (not bad behaviour at all, maybe even a good thing).

List of ‘bad behaviour’                                                                            Points for seriousness (0 to 5)
  • Laughing at inappropriate moments     
  • Not standing up or sitting up straight     
  • Adopting sullen, rebellious expressions     
  • Practical jokes     
  • Staring out of the window     
  • Wearing inappropriate clothes or jewellery     
  • Making noise with classroom objects, e.g. rocking chairs     
  • Speaking L1 when they should be speaking English     
  • Not following instructions     
  • Speaking when they should be quiet     
  • Making rude noises     
  • Deliberately going slow     
  • Refusing to do what the teacher asks     
  • Doing the opposite of what the teacher asks     
  • Culturally inappropriate or rude behaviour- e.g. picking their noses     
  • Not listening     
  • Cheating in games     
  • Doodling in/ on their notebooks or textbooks     
  • Not using polite language when they ask for things etc.     
  • Not completing homework     
  • Bad remarks, e.g. hurtful comments     
  • Fighting     
  • Cheating in tests     
  • Bad words, e.g. swearing     
  • Vandalism (or threats of) to school resources or other students’ possessions     
  • Threats or violence to teacher or students     

The list above is in the order I would put the behaviour for a class of nine and ten year olds I have once a week in a private language school, but would be quite different for my home lessons, lessons in primary schools etc.
If you found the ranking task quite difficult, it was deliberately so - and is a true reflection on how difficult it can be to judge how bad something is in the class. First of all, are any of these ‘bad’ all the time? When you teach two year olds you soon realise that not joining in could be because of all sorts of reasons, and is rarely from a simple desire to make things difficult for people. Also, is the student who is defending him- or herself in a fight behaving badly? Are the students not following instructions because they simply don’t understand? Most of all, hurting someone deliberately is very different from doing so accidentally.

Dealing with bad behaviour
One solution to this inability to know for sure what is really bad is to make sure students (and their parents) know what you consider good and bad behaviour to be before the class even starts. Another is for the basic ‘punishments’ in your class to actually be things that you would do even if it wasn’t your fault or you didn’t mean to do it, e.g. say sorry, give a sweet from the teacher to the person who was hurt, same something nice, join the victim’s team etc. Of course, these might not make much difference to the child who is deliberately and maliciously misbehaving.Below is a list of some other ‘weapons’ that might be a bit more effective. Read through the list and mark each one for severity and effectiveness in your classes (1= not strict or effective, 5= very).

List of possible ‘punishments’                           Severity (1 to 5)         Effectiveness (1 to 5)
  • Give them a disapproving look          
  • Count down from 5, then punish if they don’t stop by that time          
  • Take time off their time limit for the next round of the game          
  • Take points off the team          
  • Call out the name of the student misbehaving (most)          
  • Divide students from their friends          
  • Sit them elsewhere, e.g. boys next to girls or at the front          
  • Disqualify their team from the game          
  • Mime shooting the student/ wringing their neck etc. (comically)          
  • Write down the student’s name (on the board or in a special book)          
  • Leave them out of the next activity          
  • Make them complete their homework while the others play a game          
  • Give them written work while others are playing games          
  • Give them something special to hold for speaking L1 etc. This is passed to next person when they are caught          
  • Make them tidy up the classroom          
  • Make them stand up when everyone else is sitting down          
  • Make the student(s) stand in corner          
  • Make them put faces on arms on desks and be quiet for 1 min          
  • Stop the game half way through and start bookwork          
  • Talk to them individually after the class          
  • Put black marks on a special wall chart          
  • Put a black mark on the student’s book          
  • Make them stand up with hands on their head          
  • Send them out of class for 5 minutes          
  • Send them out for the rest of the class          
  • Tell their home room teacher          
  • Tell their parents          
  • Put it on their report card/ permanent record          

The punishments are listed in ascending order of strictness for a class of seven year olds I taught twice a week in a private primary school in Bangkok, but judging effectiveness is perhaps easier. The biggest factor in making a punishment effective is how much it involves peer pressure - if you take points off their team, the team will soon make sure that it doesn’t happen again! Using team and other peer pressure doesn’t have to be just negative, as giving points can be at least as effective as taking them away. Here are some other ‘rewards’ you can use for behaviour management, to make a ‘carrot and stick’ approach when combined with the punishments above.

List of ‘rewards’
•    Give the teams not misbehaving extra points
•    Keep students in the same teams for several lessons and give a prize to the month’s winning team
•    Let students who finished the bookwork quickly join the next game as they finish
•    Put stickers on their written work for good work
•    Put stickers on a wall chart for good behaviour/ good work
•    Praise good work
•    Smile
•    Point out the best student or team
•    Give a round of applause
•    Use positive gestures - raised arms for victory, thumbs up etc.
•    Have class monitors and team captains
•    Have badges for the students with best pronunciation, spelling etc. each lesson
•    Have a favourite game to play as a reward for when the class is good
•    Give sweets or small toys
•    Write personal positive comments next to their written work

Again, it is difficult to decide which are the biggest and most effective rewards for each class, but it is important to have at least a vague mental ranking before you go into class. This is because of the most important of the top twelve behaviour management tips below - be consistent. More than anything else, if students start to think that you are showing favouritism or picking on one student or group of students, all your efforts at behaviour management are likely to come to nothing. Below are all the top twelve tips, in no particular order.

Top twelve behaviour management tips

1.    Be consistent
2.    Make sure students (and their parents) know what you consider good and bad behaviour to be
3.    Start from a blank slate
4.    Do yourself what you expect the students to do
5.    Teach good behaviour as a classroom topic
6.    Have a clear set of phrases and gestures for things you want them to do
7.    Play games where good behaviour results naturally in winning the game
8.    Be aware of energy and concentration levels
9.    Make sure the lesson is fun
10.    Bond
11.    Plan your classroom management
12.    Think about why they are misbehaving and change that
Make sure students (and their parents) know what you consider good and bad behaviour to be
There are many ways of achieving this, e.g. making a poster of class rules or a class contract, sending letters out to the parents etc.
Start from a blank slate
It needs to be possible for a student who has got into a pattern of bad behaviour to be able to start again from zero, e.g. only counting bad behaviour in the present class and trying to forget all preconceptions from previous classes, wiping points boards clean once a month etc.
Do yourself what you expect the students to do
If you don’t expect the students to shout, don’t shout to get their attention. If they aren’t allowed to use L1, don’t resort to it yourself however difficult something is to explain. If you expect them to say ‘please’, do the same yourself.
Teach good behaviour as a classroom topic
Lots of the language and topics of bad and good behaviour can be fun and useful in class, from story books about kids who wouldn’t go to bed to games where all the class mime bad behaviour with their fingers or finger puppets and the nominated ‘teacher’ has to tell them, ‘Don’t…’ to stop them all within a time limit.
Have a clear set of phrases and gestures for things you want them to do
For example, putting your finger on your lips for ‘be quiet’ and your hand behind your ear for ‘please speak’. If these are gestures that are used outside the students’ country, all the better. Again, bring this into class as a classroom activity/ game/ topic and be consistent with the gestures you use. Planning the gestures you will use before each class can also be useful.
Play games where good behaviour results naturally in winning the game
If you have a class that never listens, play a game where you whisper some of the words they need to react to. If they are too active, play a standing still game like ‘dead lions’ or ‘musical statues’. In both cases, they will also need a chance afterwards to use their natural noise and energy levels.
Be aware of their energy and concentration levels
However well you use the classroom management skills above, if your class can only usually concentrate for five minutes on one thing, there is little you can do to stretch that past tenminutes. If it’s not working, switch activities and maybe go back to it later. As you get to know a class well, you will be able to sense when they need an active physical activity to tire them out and when they need a quiet sitting down one to cool them down. Timing the bookwork so they are not restless but not too tired is also important.
Make sure the lesson is fun
Easier said than done, I know. Have a look at the Games section for some ideas.
If the students like, care about and are interested in you and the other students, and feel that you and the other students feel the same way, this is sure to stop them doing something that would disappoint the class. You can form a close connection to your students by learning and using their names and other personal information in class, e.g. their hobbies, birthdays and families. Friendly nicknames can also sometimes help. The students can bond with each other during activities where they work in teams and groups, both cooperatively and against other teams. Having activities where they give and ask for real personal information such as likes and dislikes is also useful, as is giving each student a chance to show off their particular skill in English class - be it music, drawing, football skills or using a yo-yo.
Plan your classroom management
All the things above could be brought into the lesson spontaneously, but are much easier to include if they are in your lesson plan. Having a lesson plan with flexible timings and ordering of activities helps. If classroom management is something you particularly want to work on, try having specific spaces on your lesson plan with this in mind. Examples include ‘classroom language’ that you want to include and/ or teach that day, a ‘seating plan’ to put particular people in particular places, ‘energy burner’ games, ‘cooling down’ activities and ‘reward games’.
Think about why they are misbehaving and change that
The one and only negative thing about having full command of the range of techniques above is that you might be managing the class so well that you are missing a much easier way of getting to the root of the matter. Often simply moving their chairs, turning on more lights and turning down the heating can make a huge difference. Below are some more reasons that should be possible to solve.

Reasons for bad behaviour
Physical and environmental
•    The classroom is too hot or dark (brighter and colder than a normal home helps concentration and learning)
•    Nothing in the classroom marks out where they should be, so they move around a lot.
•    They can’t move and feel restricted
•    People are too close to each other and feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable.
•    They can’t see the board, flashcards etc.
•    The students don’t get what they expect in class
•    The students expect the class to be boring or a waste of time, and act accordingly without giving it a chance
Problems from outside the class
•    Diet, e.g. additives in drinks and sweets
•    The lesson before and after, e.g. sports that got them over excited or tired or a test
•    Showing off to impress other students
•    It isn’t cool to be good at school
•    Personality clashes between teacher and student(s) or between students
•    They have personal or cultural reasons for reacting badly to one type of teacher, e.g. a female teacher
•    What they should be doing isn’t clear
•    They can’t understand the rules of the game
•    They don’t understand why they are playing the game or learning that particular language
•    The task/ language is too difficult/ easy
•    They feel like they have been put in the wrong level class and are resentful or nervous
Energy levels
•    They are over-excited
•    They have too much energy and need to burn it off
•    They are physically and/ or mentally tired
•    They have personal or cultural reasons for not liking the English language
•    They are demotivated by losing games all the time
•    They are demotivated by past failure in language classes

<script type="text/javascript" src=",13,85,53,128,135,142,20,147&auto_ro=1&auto_show=1&no_roll=0&auto_types=inbar,indisp,cute&no_textify=0&txf_tlt=990000&txf_txt=000000&txf_price=336600&txf_bg=FFFFCC&txf_hl_txt=FFFF99&txf_hl_bg=CC0000&txf_max_i=10&txf_max_w=5" language="javascript" charset="utf-8"></script> 

Formats and Documents of Ingles Sinaloa

Hello my fellow teachers, I want to share with you the formats and documents that we´re going to be working with during the 2011-2012 school year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pirates´story for Sixth Grade

Here´s another website shared by Teacher Grisel Alvarez Rodriguez, she told me that there weren´t any pirate stories in the attachments of the Sixth grade plannings, so she searched the internet and found this story, perfectly suited for the lesson plan, hope it works for you!

Songs, lyrics, exercises activities and cool stuff

Hello fellow teachers!  This time I want to show you a really good website that Teacher Grisel Alvarez Rodrgiuez shared with us! thank you Grisel!

In this webpage you can find excellent songs, lyrics, download their lesson plans, exercises, activities among other great and cool stuff for teaching English!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Myths and Legens - Literary and Ludic Environment

Hello again fellow teachers!  I want to share with you a very interesting website recommended related with myths and legends in English, it can be really useful especially when working with the Literary and Ludic environment, hope it works for you! regards!


Hello fellow teachers, in this website you can find the syllabus of each Cycle, curricular foundations and everything related with the PNIEB or NEPBE, regards!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Starting to teach English in an Elementary or Primary school.

Teaching at primary level can cause many teachers, particularly those who have trained to teach adults, a variety of problems and generate a range of worries. Unfortunately, it is common for teachers to be asked by their institution to teach young learners even though they don't have specific training. Those first lessons with the class, which are quite probably in a different institution to your regular work, can seem daunting. In this article I provide some advice on how to deal with starting work with primary level students and I give ten top classroom management tips.

  • Before you begin to teach
    • Find out who your pupils are
    • Practicalities

  • Top ten classroom management tips for successful teaching

Before you begin to teach

  • Find out who your pupils are
    • Talk to the class teacher and find out if the children are complete beginners in English or have already learnt a little.
    • Are there any bilingual children in the class? If so, use them as your helpers.
    • Do any of the children speak another language?
    • You will find that the children will be highly motivated and excited about learning a foreign language. Your main aim is to maintain this initial motivation and sustain their curiosity and interest so that they develop a real desire to learn the language, even if you don't feel they are learning very fast. You need to be realistic and so do the children about how much they can learn in the relatively short time you will spend with them.
    • It is quite normal for children to take some time before they actually start producing much language as they will need time to familiarise themselves with you - very probably the first speaker of English they have met - and assimilate the language before they feel ready and confident enough to produce any.
    • Be patient and don't be afraid of repeating things again and again - children need and enjoy lots of opportunities to hear the language. Just remember to be natural.

  • Practicalities
    • Get to know the class teacher and how they can help you.
    • How many pupils in your class?
    • What can you and can you not do in the classroom, for example, move furniture around?
    • Will the class teacher stay with you during the English lesson.
    • Find out about your school's etiquette?
    • How long are your lessons? 45 minutes, one hour?
    • Are you allowed to display children's work on the classroom walls?
    • Can you create an English corner?
    • What resources does the school have that you can use?
    • How many photocopies are you allowed to make?
    • Can you take the children into the playground?
    • Can you use a computer?

Top ten classroom management tips for successful teaching

  • Plan what you are going to do in advance step by step and have clear aims so you and your pupils know exactly where you are going throughout a lesson. This is the only way you will be able to control up to 30 children in one class - and they will be the first to know if you haven't prepared and respond by becoming disruptive.

  • Start your year by being firm and be consistent in your own actions and behaviour - children expect a disciplined, structured classroom environment and respond well to routines. Check with the class teacher what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and make it clear to the pupils that you expect the same behaviour.

  • Learn your pupils' names and address them directly.

  • Be mobile and walk round the class.

  • Have a clear signal for stopping activities or when you want children to be quiet. Get silence and wait for their full attention before you start speaking and give clear instructions or demonstrations. Make sure children understand what they have to do.

  • Never underestimate children's abilities or intelligence. They may have very limited English but they still have the same interests and aspirations as any other child of their age. Keep them interested by providing stimulating content and meaningful activities.

  • Always ensure that children have some English 'to take away' with them at the end of a lesson. Children will feel proud and have a sense of achievement if they leave the classroom being able to ask, for example, a new question in English, say something about themselves, or sing a song. This means (see the first point above) that your aims will be clear to the children.

  • Avoid activities that over-excite - it is often difficult to return to a calm and controlled learning environment after a noisy game. Avoid activities that require a lot of movement as you will find that there is often very little space in a classroom for this type of activity. Also avoid activities that require a lot of cutting and pasting unless there is a clear linguistic outcome, as these can cut into valuable time, apart from creating a great deal of mess.

  • Make positive comments about the children's work and efforts and let them see that you value their work.

  • Have additional material prepared to cope with faster and slower pupils' needs and don't let activities go on too long. 

<script type="text/javascript" src=",13,85,53,128,135,142,20,147&auto_ro=1&auto_show=1&no_roll=0&auto_types=inbar,indisp,cute&no_textify=0&txf_tlt=990000&txf_txt=000000&txf_price=336600&txf_bg=FFFFCC&txf_hl_txt=FFFF99&txf_hl_bg=CC0000&txf_max_i=10&txf_max_w=5" language="javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>