May 15 is International Family Day

Tomorrow is International Family Day.  We obviously need to be very sensitive to our children’s home situations but let the children celebrate their families big and small tomorrow.

This is quite a cute and easy song involving lots of family members living in their house.  You can change the song depending on the family set ups you know you have in your class, e.g. if a child has two daddies or two mummies:

“My daddies/mummies live in my house, in my house, in my house. My daddies/mummies live in my house and so do I.”

The children in my class love Jack Hartmann.


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Jump Start Zumba Kids & Kids Jr

Thanks to everyone for joining in with the Zumba®Kids at the end of the training days.

Here I am with my helpers Carolina and Laura in Madrid.

There were many of you on the Oxford Training Days asking how to become a Zumba®Kids instructor.  Luckily for you Zumba have now created Jump Start Zumba Kids and Kids Jr.  If you want to do the course you need to go online and request a training in your area.  They will email you as soon as they have enough people interested:




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Follow-up to Oxford Training Days

Hi all,

I am going to put links to the videos I mentioned as promised.

First is the one with Marc Prensky, who I mentioned. He was the first person to talk about the digital natives vs digital immigrants.

The next is my favourite Sir Ken Robinson.  He has so many talks on TED and I can watch the same ones time and time again and they still make me think and laugh!

And a more recent TED talk of his.





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Oxford Training Days

The Oxford Training Days in Spain are coming to an end.  Just Coruña today and Vigo tomorrow.  Plácido, Marcos and I have had a great time talking to teachers about competency-based learning and 21st Century skills in the primary English classroom. If you are near either of this weekend’s venues, it would be lovely to see you.

Here is a video of our day in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago.  We finished the morning with Zumba.

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Sorry to have been silent


Sorry to have not posted but I was locked out of my account!  I hope to post more.

Many thanks


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TPR and actions

The merits of TPR (Total Physical Response) are evident and I cannot stress the need for the use of actions with young primary children enough.  The most popular body song,

‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ is the classic example of how actions can help children very quickly learn 8 new words.


Actions really are a winner in the language classroom.  As well as being fun, actions help to make new language more memorable.


  • are very good for large classes, as, if the teacher leads, a large group will follow.
  • work very well in mixed-ability groups as they get the meaning of new language across so that ALL the children are able to understand.
  • also help the more kinaesthetic learner who needs to be more active in class.
  • also involve left- and right-brained learning.

It is sometimes difficult to think of an action for all our target lexis. I look at this website for American Sign Language for inspiration:

I often find that my actions can all become a bit samey as eating ‘soup’, which I do with one hand as the ‘bowl’ and the other hand holding the spoon I put in my mouth, looked very much like my old action for ‘salad’ until I looked at Signing Savvy.   Check out the action for ‘salad’ I  use now, which is particularly relevant if your learners live in a country where salads are ‘dressed.

With older children, have fun working WITH the children to come up with actions for different words rather than giving the actions.  You can often then use these actions with younger children.


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First week back at school

Whether the children in my class are 3 or 12, I like to start the year doing an All about me page.

We do the same again at the end of the school year and then they compare the page from the start and the end of the school year.  Children are really fascinated by how much they have grown or if their likes/dislikes have changed.

The contents of this page will depend on the age of the children.

Three-year-olds will stick a recent photo of themselves on the A4 card I give them. I draw around their hands or they do a paint handprint. The children also colour a small piece of paper their favourite colour and stick that down.  They can cut out their favourite food from supermarket leaflets.

Older children stick a picture or draw their favourite food, toy, school subject, pet, wild animal, etc.

We measure the children and they write down their height.

Children of 11/12 years old write down their favourite pop song, football player, etc.

If you don’t want to do a poster and haven’t got any limitations to the amount of photocopies you do, take a look at:

All About Me Worksheet Printable



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