As parents, we are busy – especially in the morning! It can be difficult to establish a consistent calendar routine this time of day.
1. Keep it simple. Don’t try to achieve too many things with your calendar routine or you won’t be consistent. Start with the basics. If you need to, do your calendar routine the night before when things are calmer in the house.
2. Add your calendar routine to you child’s morning job chart. Check off the tasks on this chart each morning so you don’t forget any of them. This signals that the calendar routine is important and, if it is on the morning job chart, you will do it consistently. For more on morning routines, check out this post:
3. Start with a ‘days of the week’ song. See the videos below if you need more ideas. I’d like to give a shout out to Blanca Stingl, an amazing kindergarten teacher with a great calendar routine. I got many of these ideas from her. Give your child a pointer and allow him/her to point at the days of the week as you sing. When you introduce letter sounds, have your child look for the day of the week that starts with the ‘mmm’ sound (Monday).
4. Help your child select the number for the date. By doing this repetitively, your child will soon recognize numbers to 30.
5. Sing a ‘months of the year’ song. You may only want to do this a couple of times each month. If your child is getting bored or fidgety, keep your calendar routine shorter. Create a dance or let your child use the pointer for the months of the year to keep him/her moving.
6. Sing “What’s the weather like today?”. Then, look out the window and decide. Put up the appropriate weather label.
7. Finally, mention the season. You may want to read a book about ‘winter’ when the season changes. Discuss winter clothing, activities, and changes in the environment. You can do this each time a season changes. This can be a starting point for some great seasonal learning activities.
There is so much inspiration to be gained from learning about Famous People of the past and present – what they achieved and how – particularly when you can put them into the context of their time. Here we take a look at famous women from all walks of life, cultures and careers, and learn about their remarkable achievements.
I just love your site and have used it so much with my family and also with classes at my school. Kim
Can I just say the site is amazing! Nicky
Your selection of what’s available and the fact that you have SO many categories and just about any day imaginable, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Some of our students are special ed and there are so many things I’ve seen that they are capable of doing. I know the teachers are going to be thrilled to see your website. Marge
I love what u do here always so many good ideas and activities for all age groups. Wendy
Dyslexia is primarily a language-based reading disability, not a visual-based disability.
Research has shown that people with dyslexia are more likely to have children with dyslexia. A child with one parent with dyslexia is about 40% to 60% likely to have dyslexia themselves.
In dyslexia identification there are clear and well-defined cut-off points. An individual either has dyslexia or not.
Because the core difficulties associated with dyslexia are related to how the individual sounds of language are processed in the brain, and not visual perception, coloured overlays do not improve reading accuracy or comprehension for dyslexic students. Research evidence shows no significant benefit in terms of objectively measurable reading gains when using colored overlays despite the fact that many dyslexic students report that they find them useful.
People with dyslexia have difficulties with processing and manipulating the smallest sounds of language, called phonemes. Research shows that, in students with dyslexia, the part of the brain that processes those sounds and connects those sounds to letters is under-activated as compared with typically developing readers. People with dyslexia also perform more poorly on tasks that require analyzing, synthesizing, and manipulating phonemes.
There is no scientific evidence that seeing letters and words backwards is a characteristic of dyslexia.
There is a significant and pronounced difference between males and females when it comes to ‘identified’ dyslexia and reading difficulties. There are a number of reasons for this, one of them is that females and males use different behavioural and emotional compensation techniques and react differently when faced with these challenges. Therefore boys are more easily identified as dyslexic in school settings. When researchers identify dyslexia in the general population, there is less pronounced difference between males and females in the prevalence of dyslexia. Researchers examined gender differences based on the variation in reading abilities among males and females. They found that males show more variability and depending on the cut-off point for identifying dyslexia, indeed there might be more male than female dyslexics (Hawke, J. L., Olson, R. K., Willcut, E. G., Wadsworth, S. J., & DeFries, J. C. (2009). Gender ratios for reading difficulties. Dyslexia, 15(3), 239-242.)
This statement might be true although research evidence is often contradictory on this question.
Research suggests that there are significantly more dyslexic individuals among art students than non-dyslexic ones (Wolff, U., & Lundberg, I. (2002). The prevalence of dyslexia among art students. Dyslexia, 8(1), 34-42). There is also neuroimaging evidence that shows that lower reading skill is associated with a visuospatial processing advantage (Diehl, J. J., Frost, S. J., Sherman, G., Mencl, W. E., Kurian, A., Molfese, P., … & Pugh, K. R. (2014). Neural correlates of language and non-language visuospatial processing in adolescents with reading disability. NeuroImage, 101, 653-666). However, some studies have found that the visuospatial superiority is more apparent in dyslexic men than women (Brunswick, N., Martin, G. N., & Marzano, L. (2010). Visuospatial superiority in developmental dyslexia: Myth or reality?. Learning and Individual Differences, 20(5), 421-426.)
Because dyslexia is caused by difficulties with processing individual sounds of language in the brain, researchers know that effective instruction includes explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness (practice manipulating the individual sounds in our language) and phonics (practice connecting those individual sounds, or phonemes, to letters). There are no scientifically proven benefits of eye-tracking exercises.
The story of the English language began in the fifth century when Germanic tribes invaded Celtic-speaking Britain and brought their languages with them. Later, Scandinavian Vikings invaded and settled with their languages too. In 1066 William I, from modern-day France, became king, and Norman-French became the language of the courts and official activity. People couldn’t understand each other at first, because the lower classes continued to use English while the upper classes spoke French, but gradually French began to influence English. An estimated 45 per cent of all English words have a French origin. By Shakespeare’s time, Modern English had developed, printing had been invented and people had to start to agree on ‘correct’ spelling and vocabulary.
Here follow some ideas to help ELT teachers to improve their teaching skills
Asking questions Asking targeted questions can help learners to pinpoint meaning. It’s often a good idea to start with closed questions, which offer a choice, before moving onto more open questions. For example, if you want to check the meaning of ‘I lived in Delhi’ you could ask: * Am I talking about the past, the present or the future? (the past) closed question * Do I live in Delhi now? (no) closed question * Tell me about a place where you lived before open question Remember that asking ‘What does this word mean?’ can be tricky for lower level learners. Think about how you would answer before asking this! Also, if you ask ‘Do you understand?’ it is easy for learners to answer ‘Yes!’, but you won’t really know unless you check properly. Some learners are reluctant to say when they don’t understand something.
Asking learners to demonstrate Examples: ‘How do you look when you feel interested?’, ‘Point to something which is heavy’, ‘Show me what you do when you yawn’. Of course, this doesn’t work for everything. You could ask individuals or the whole class to demonstrate.
Testing knowledge Giving learners an exercise to complete is one way of seeing how much they understand. There are lots of options: examples include a matching activity, wordsearch, crossword, writing words for definitions/writing definitions for words. Multiple choice activities probably need to be followed by another way of checking too, as learners may have just guessed! Learners need to be reassured that if they don’t know the answers, it’s OK!
Using images Displaying an image and asking questions can be a good way to check understanding. For example, you could show a picture of a man in prison and ask ‘What has he done?’, to check the present perfect structure. Or simply show a picture of a word you want to check, like ‘ski resort’. You could ask younger learners to draw the item you want to check.
Using translation You could ask learners for a translation, or give a translation and ask for the English word. Of course, not all words or phrases directly translate between languages, so this technique can be problematic. It can be useful for abstract concepts
In Describe Image items, you are likely to be presented with a graph. In these cases, it is important that you show appropriate relationships by comparing and contrasting the information contained in the graphs. Let’s see how you can use language of comparison and contrast.
Comparative adjectives: Use these when comparing two nouns and can be formed as follows:
Adjectives with one syllable: add ‘-r/-er’ (e.g. higher, larger, bigger).
Adjectives with two syllables ending in ‘-y’: change the ‘y’ and add ‘-ier’ (e.g. happier, prettier).
Adjectives ending in ‘-ed’ or ‘-ing’ and most adjectives with two syllables: add ‘more’ before the adjective (e.g. more boring, more crowded, more common, more peaceful).
Adjectives with three or more syllables: use ‘more’ before the adjective (e.g. more attractive, more successful).
Include ‘than’ as part of your sentence (e.g. It is more expensive to live in a city than in a small town).
Superlative adjectives: Use these when describing a noun that is at the highest or lowest limit of a group. They can be formed as follows:
Adjectives with one syllable: add ‘-st/-est’ (e.g. highest, largest, biggest).
Adjectives with two syllables ending in ‘-y’: change the ‘y’ and add ‘-iest’ (e.g. happiest, prettiest).
Adjectives ending in ‘-ed’ or ‘-ing’ and most adjectives with two syllables: add ‘the most’ before the adjective (e.g. the most boring, the most crowded, the most common, the most peaceful).
Adjectives with three or more syllables: use ‘the most’ before the adjective (e.g. the most attractive, the most successful).
Remember to include ‘the’ before the adjective or most (e.g. This was the cheapest car I could find.).
Comparative/superlative adverbs: The rules above apply when the comparison requires the use of an adverb. Examples:
I usually speak more quickly than my friends.
The students often work harder towards the end of the semester.
You can contact me the easiest by text.
The team played the best they could, but they didn’t win the match.
as … as: Use this structure when the two nouns being compared are equal in some form. The adjective does not change. Examples:
Divorce rates are twice as high as they were last year.
This room is as big as the one next door.
This structure can also be used with adverbs to compare two actions:
We didn’t finish as quickly as we’d hoped.
The presenter spoke as enthusiastically as he possibly could.
Comparison and contrast language is especially useful for Describe Image tasks. Look at some example sentences from student responses to this item type:
The land allocated for the public park is significantly smaller than the land allocated for the school.
The roads are much busier during June than they are in December.
The most important export for this country is oil.
Young children learn in an integrated way and not in neat, tidy compartments. A child making shapes out of plasticine is learning maths (shape) and art (texture, shape, design, colour), building fine motor skills (physical development), and hearing or using language to describe shapes, colour, texture, materials and techniques (English). The activity drives the need to communicate.
Young children will learn a language better when they see a genuine need for communication, which is often the language they are hearing or using while they are doing an activity that they enjoy.
While adults can plan a range a activities to enhance the learning experience, not all of them will be motivating for every child. Children more likely to be motivated if the activity or experience is meaningful to them. Taking time to get to know the children and finding out what they are interested in is essential if you want to motivate them and help them learn.
The interactions you have with a child while they are engaged in an activity help develop language and communication in context, making the language learning more memorable and authentic.
Rhymes, songs and chants help children memorise words and sentence structure, and they also help with pronunciation, expression and the rhythm of sentences. Children learn their home language by playing with language in this way, and it’s a fun way for them to learn another language too!
A good story takes children to an imaginary world filled with characters and events that will make them want to find out what happens in the end, and that they will want to hear again, join in retelling, and even retell in their own words. Illustrations and actions help children understand descriptions of characters and events, because they can connect what they are seeing and doing with the language in the story.
Giving clear, simple instructions in English with accompanying actions, gestures or demonstrations is more likely to result in children understanding. Children love copying – the teacher, their parents, older siblings or friends – and will often join in after observing how something is done. Including routines is also a useful way of helping young children understand what is expected of them (e.g. every time we sit on the mat we will hear a story or sing a song). Children may not understand straight away, but giving instructions in English is an excellent way of reinforcing key language, so in the long run it’s worth the effort.