Stone Soup // Sopa de Piedras

Last week at school I was asked to present a show for our infant students as part of our Día de los Idiomas, Languages Day. Apart from English and Spanish being the primary languages in our school, students also have the opportunity to learn French, German and Chinese. Therefore, every year we celebrate Languages Day, with the objective of demonstrating our students´ability to use each language.
Stone Soup
This year, I decided to adapt an old folk story, Stone Soup, into a bilingual version. The story follows two Americans, walking El Camino de Santiago, when they stop in a small village in Asturias. The Americans speak to some of the villagers in English, and they translate what is said to the other villagers in Spanish, therefore telling the story in both languages at the same time.
You can see a copy of the script by clicking here or on the image above.

The "Daily Routine" in Infants: parts five and six

Here are the last two versions of the Daily Routine that I've been using in the 2nd... in part five we continued to work with the words related to Toys but we moved onto the next phonic: I, i



In part six, we moved onto the different types of transport and the phonic: P



TESOL Spain Conference 2019

Last week I was given the opportunity to give a presentation at the annual TESOL Spain Convention 2019, in my home town Oviedo. I was also honoured to be awarded the Robin de Andrés Grant, which I decided to donate to clowns.org. My presentation was titled "Theatre in the Classroom", in which I talked about how theatre can help students learn and improve their English.


As part of my presentation I also invited 7 of my students from 6º primary, 1ºESO and 3ºESO to act out scenes from shows that they have performed over the last few years, including The Wizard of Oz, The Jungle Book and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was thrilled to be able to present to a full room of about 60 people, who enjoyed watching these young students perform with such passion. 

I was able to share some of my experiences during my presentation, hopefully presenting a strong case for the presence of Drama as core subject in the school curriculum in Spain. Over the last few years I have seen my students gain invaluable experience performing in English. The shows have helped them gain confidence speaking English in front of an audience, given them responsibility, exposed them to a wider range of vocabulary and structures, and most importantly, given them a memorable experience that will stay with them forever. 

For me, it was a fantastic experience being a speaker at a TESOL Spain Convention for the first time and I hope to be able to contribute more to the TESOL community in the future.

The "Daily Routine" in Infants: part four

With the change of the season, I like to change the general look of my "Daily Routine". As winter has started, I gave it an ice blue look.
Much of the content remains the same from the previous one... I've changed some of the song options to keep things fresh, plus I've added a song for the new vocabulary section we've started looking at: Toys




Teaching Drama: Autumn lesson plan

Here's a new drama class that I really enjoyed doing with Year 1 and 2 of Primary; Autumn and Scarecrows. Most of the students have been learning English at school since they were 3 years old, so by this time they have a very good understanding and are starting to gain confidence speaking.



The lesson starts off with a quick discussion about the different things that happen in Autumn. I try and teach them as much new vocabulary as possible, and consolidate any words they already know. I like to talk about how they feel in autumn, what we see and how things change, and the typical things that we see and do during this time of year.
This leads my nicely onto the second part, where we look at scarecrows; what they are and what they do. I show them a short clip of the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, and then we sing and dance "Dingly-dangly Scarecrow". 
After that, I read them the story "Scarecrow's Wedding" by Julia Donaldson. It's a fantastic story and is beautifully illustrated and always seems to capture their attention.
To finish the class (if I have time), I like to teach them the song "Nut Tree", also by Julia Donaldson. It's a nice song which has simple actions and is the perfect to finish the class.



The "Daily Routine" in Infants: part three

As Halloween is over and we've been doing the Daily Routine for a few weeks now I decided to change up some of the content.


Firstly, I think that they have remembered well enough the first phonic, "S", so I decided to move onto the next letter "A". Secondly, as we're starting to work more in our text books, I decided to introduce a slide about colours. We've already worked quite a bit with colours, and most of them are able to recognise and say "red, yellow and blue", but I wanted to ensure that they are all to able to recognise and say "red, yellow, blue, green, orange and purple" as they tend to be so important in everything we do. Orally, I use colours as a way of introducing new vocabulary and as a way of monitoring their understanding. For example, when we move onto food, "Which fruit is red?" or "What colour is a banana?". Finally, I changed the two dance options at the end, as they had become a little bored of the previous options.

Feel free to use it and if you think of any way to improve it, please let me know!

Halloween Dance Party

As part of my school's halloween celebration this year, we decided to do a Halloween Disco.  So, I prepared a Halloween Dance Party presentation using Google Slides. I compiled all of the Halloween Just Dance videos and put them together in a way that lets me pick and choose the dances as we go.


Feel free to use it, and let me know how it went in the comments section. 

Happy Halloween!

The "Daily Routine" in Infants: part two

In my previous post about the Daily Routine I mentioned that I like to vary the material and vocabulary according to their progress and interest. Well, as Halloween is approaching I like to teach them some of the vocabulary related and therefore I've added a few pages with some fun Halloween songs, as well as decorating up some of the pages with Halloween images.




Teaching Drama: Witches lesson plan

I teach drama to all primary levels, so from the ages 6 to 12. The groups that are the most fun to teach, but also the most challenging, are the youngest groups. With 1º and 2º primaria I like to chose themes for each lesson and use different resources related to that theme. As we are close to Halloween, I chose to do a lesson about Witches. 
Luckily, in my school we have a projector in every class, therefore I am able to connect my laptop and use my Google Apps for Education tools. My favourite app for drama classes is Slides as I can use images, videos and music, plus decorate the slides according to the theme.


The classes in my school last 50 minutes, so my plans are normally made for this time range. In this lesson plan, I start off with a quick discussion about the theme to see what ideas and vocabulary they already know. To accompany the question asking how witches talk, I added a video with a witch's laugh, and when I ask them what stories they know with witches in I get all kinds of responses from different programmes, so I added a video of the witch scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (which surprisingly most them haven't seen).
After that, I love to read them "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson. It's a fantastic rhyming story which is easy for them to understand and participate. After I've read it, we learn the "Room on the Broom song" and I get them to become the different animals and characters in the story.
Finally, I love finishing my classes with Just Dance choreographies, and there is a perfect one called "Magic Halloween" with a Witch and her black cat.

The "Daily Routine" in Infants

I've been working as an Infant teacher since 2010, teaching English to 3 and 4 year olds, and one of the most important elements of my class is the Daily Routine. Each day one student is assigned the role of Mini-teacher, and one his/her main duties is leading the Daily Routine.
The Daily Routine normally lasts half an hour and is the perfect way to start English class each day, and in the early years of learning a second language it is where the most important vocabulary is learnt. We look at the Day of the Week, the Weather, Colours, Numbers, Phonics and then I start introducing new vocabulary during the year according to their progress.
Since my school has adopted the Google for Education platform I decided to design a Daily Routine using Google Slides. I had always flashcards, and pre-prepared materials, but  Google Slides was a perfect tool as I could do the same but also include YouTube videos, images and animations. It is also really easy to add, remove or change content as my students progressed, or simply got bored of something. 
Here is my first Daily Routine of the school year for my 3 year old class:


Feel free to download and use it with your class. The idea is that it allows variety each day as the Mini-teacher has to chose different numbers or colours along the way, with each option playing a different song.
The parts that I like to regularly change are the Phonics, the Vocabulary topic that we are working on the class text book and the Dances at the end. In this first Daily Routine they are the letter S and family.


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The "Daily Routine" in Infants