Do you know the game 'Codenames'? If not, go ahead and read, watch You Tube videos about it, and more than anything else TRY IT!
It is so much fun, gets your brain working and thinking out of the box.
It looks pretty easy until you actually become a 'Spymaster'.
I've played it in all my teens classes last month, and the kids loved it so much, they are begging for 'just one more round', even though lesson time is over, it is 8h30 pm, they haven't had dinner yet, and are in the middle of their exams.
The other day we had class on Zoom, and we tried the online version, but unfortunately that one didn't work well, due to too much traffic, I suppose.
But it is easy to make one for online teaching as well, using just the words we would like to practice or review.
As you can guess from the picture ↓, I have been using different cards to play. I admit, I didn't buy the game.
I will write about this↓game again in a different blog.
But for JANUARY definitely our game of the month was
4 Frame Cartoons
Over the last year I have tried to get more comprehension into my Phonics instructions from a very early stage.
I am creating 4-frame-cartoon stories (without pictures), and the kids read them and draw the cartoons.
What I found most important for this is, that the kids can understand the story 100%. No new vocabulary or grammar included.
It works a treat. My kids have improved their reading in highest speed and confidence.
Part of a story after 'ur' and 'ar' sounds
Story on right after first 26 sounds.
More about the story on the left below!
My students love it so much, they create stories without having to do this for homework:
Monty the Penguin
I learned about this video in last year's Comprehended Conference., from Madame Litten.
I looked into it this winter, and changed the lesson plan so it suits my needs.
Such a fun video.
And for next week, I entirely changed the Cartoon Story, still 100% comprehended. I am looking forward to what the kids will come up with:
It is really cold again today.
Have yourself a heartwarming drink, a cuddly blanket and a good story, and ENJOY THE WEEKEND.
What is a Daruma, and what does it have to do with a snowman?
In my last post I talked about my favorite topic for ESL class, 'Let's make a snowman' >>>and why I use the Japanese word 'daruma' when talking to my students.
So, let me explain what 'daruma' is.
It is one of these things with roots back in India.
'Bodhidharma was a buddist monk, in the 5th or 6th century, and pretty little facts are known about him.
However, he was the one who took Buddhism from India to China and from there to Japan, where it evolved into Zen.
According to my findings he is also the father of Martial Arts.
There seems no doubt about his look though. Big eyes, thick eyebrows, beard and mustache, and a red (cape) covering his body.
Please do read the Link I have added ↑‥There are some rather interesting legends and stories about him.
Daruma in Japan
And finally I can explain you a bit more, what a Japanese Daruma is.
In the foto I posted under the title you see a bunch of Daruma.
You get them in all sizes from mini to giant.
Most common is a 4,5 cm tall Daruma, usually made of wood.
It comes without the black eyes. So, just white 'eyeholes'.
After buying it, one makes a wish and draws a black eye into the left white part.
When the wish comes true, -this may take time- the owner draws a black eye in the right part. You maybe won't be able to read the Japanese, but have a look at some beautiful Daruma made of different materials, here.
conncetion to snowman
The Japanese word for SNOW is YUKI
And SNOWMAN is 'YUKIDARUMA.
This is the Japanese Character for DARUMA and it consists of :
達＝'to pass' or 'enlighten'
As I mentioned in my post the other day: I am using the word 'daruma' because for kids it is this roundish jolly shape of a snowman, and noone can tell me that I am ignoring any genders. So instead of Fruitsmen we have Fruits Daruma, ...
Let's make a snowman.
It improves language as well as thinking skills, as well as creativity.
It could start teaching simply the words :
Make a snowball
Make head, eye, nose, mouth..etc.
The next level would maybe be:
'A snowball for its body/ head/ .. '
'A carrot for its nose.' etc etc
Then the next year it would go on to:
We need a snowball for his head. etc.
I make a snowball for his head etc.
So, lots of language improvement, but that is not all:
Funny to see how different the culture of snowmen is.
Here in Japan people are always completely surprised when they see my pictures of snowmen having three balls.
And more even when I tell the kids that I used to give my snowman always coal eyes, and later, when we had no coal, potatoes for his eyes as well as for his buttons.
Even the carrot nose, most kids cannot believe. Using food for playing is not common here in Japan.
And of course all this can lead into great and engaging talks, either in L1 for very little kids, or in the target language for higher grades.
BTW: How do YOU usually make snowmen?
Two snowballs or three? Or maybe four? Or none, and just a little hill instead?
And from here I get to the next topic:
The fun part aside the 'SNOWMAN' is, that we make all kinds of other creatures, using the same concept.
By the way, I want to use the word 'Daruma' (The Japanese word for the 'man' in 'Snowman' because I don't want to get into trouble with teachers who think I am not thinking enough about the equality of genders.
I will write another post about the origin of this word, though many of you may have recognized it from 'Bodhidharma'
Let's get back to the lessons:
So, after having made 'Snow Daruma' we make
'Fruits daruma '
A pineapple for his nose.
Three bananas around his neck.
But once they realize they did perfectly well, they are eager to create some more of these funny guys for homework; they send it in with a video presenting in English.
Sometimes I leave it up to them.
Sometimes I give another topic, like 'Sports daruma' or 'Hobby Daruma' or have them come up with topics.
Lots of great thinking involved here.
These are some recent ones a few kids presented to me.
Stories Stories Stories.
Another post for this.
Have a wonderful, white day, and please post me some photos of your snowmen!
Little Red Riding Hood Jamboard Template
Last week I got some of you disappointed because the Gingerbread Man is out of season.
So here is another of my Jamboard Templates which you can try and edit if you like.
I hope Little Red Riding Hood is less season dependent.
I learned about Jamboard and how to create, edit, share and work (with) them in December's Ditch Summit. Some amazing educators to follow there, who I will blog about at another time.
Anyway, enjoy watching the kids reading and dragging the word cards on the pictures! It is great.
You can of course also set this as homework.
Have a great Sunday.
A jamboard template
Hello everyone. I know most of you are having a hard time, now, longing to meet and hug your students. It is tough, isn't it? And how much were we thinking the teaching online would be so inspiring, relaxing and relevant.
Well, it does have so great aspects, and how lucky are we, that we CAN do this.
But it gets exhausting.
So exhausting that I hardly updated this page for a long time. I hope to change this this year.
First of all a little present for you.
I created a Jamboard, which you are free to use, edit and work with.
I guess for many of you the topic is not a January theme.
For me this is a story I start teaching in winter, and then I arrange it and have the kids create their own versions, so we often do it in the middle of summer.
Hopefully this can inspire you a little. Let me know what you think.
Hang in there! We will make it!
Here is the link!
accepted ! wow.
The teachers presenting here are so inspiring, so creative, so passionate, so transparent, and so out of the box!
Uh, wow! I figured that I fulfill all the needs to get my proposal out, and thanks to this very challenging yet amazing teaching year or 2020, I also felt that I have a few new ideas that would inspire other teachers.
So, I did it~and ....Congratulations to me, I got in.
So humble and grateful
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I will do my very best.
Now, to all the language teachers who have been following me, supporting me, taking my courses, learning with me or from me: If you want to give yourself a Christmas present, you want to enjoy for all over 2021 or even far beyond, don't hesitate to register. This is such an amazing chance. Don't miss all those great presenters.
I just checked the long list: HERE. and also the program: HERE
This year there will also be quite a lot ideas for Online learning.
Go and check the program. Do not miss it.
And of course I will be honored and encouraged if you also log in and check my completely new presentation, no one has seen yet ~and it will only be viewable on Comprehended. My presentation will be about what I call 'Soundstories'. I wrote a blog about how it started, but this year it developed into more.
Born and grown up in Germany I came to Japan with 22 to make my mom's wish come true:
Now I'm a mother and I wish from my heart that my kids
And I'm an educator and I do all I can to fulfill this big dream of most parents for their kids:
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