Special Corner of Lola Channel For Teachers & Parents

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Tracing Lines Worksheets

Check at my wide selection of traceable lines worksheets which are designed to help kids develop their fine motor skills and prepare for writing:

Monday, 27 May 2013

10 ways to help children be more organized

Hello parents & teachers,
Being disorganized is not only frustrating, it can affect performance at school, cause tardiness, and create a sense of being overwhelmed.
Basic tips have to reach a higher level of success:

  • Designate a home for everythingWhen backpacks, sports equipment and music books don’t have a regular home, they will always be difficult to find. 
  • Designate a study space.
  • Include your child in the planning and implementing
  • Use checklists: "To-do" lists.
  • Keep organized notebooks. Use dividers to separate class notes, worksheets, notices...
  • Focus on one issue at a time. Decide which area needs the most immediate focus — school, for example — and set out to organize just that. It takes about 21 days to establish a habit, so give it a few weeks before setting out to tackle another issue.
  • Prepare for the day ahead.
  • Children like routine, so establish routines
  • Review the schedule. Letting children know what is going to happen the next day, that week...  Post on a white board or on a weekly calendar what will be happening each day.
  • Use labels.
The point is to help them become independent and develop personal responsibility for themselves and their belongings.  Remember that organization is a work in progress!
Ms. María

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The development of vocabulary

The development of vocabulary is one of the most conspicuous gains in early foreign language learning and children themselves often perceive what they know in terms of learning “lots of words”. In the early stages, the acquisition of vocabulary goes hand in hand with beginning to use unanalysed “chunks” of language. This enables children to interact and participate in activities, and builds up their interest and desire to learn.
In order to develop children’s vocabulary effectively throughout the primary years and to provide strong foundations for their future learning, here are some things we need to do:
1 We need to think about the status of the vocabulary in our lessons.
Do we intend the vocabulary to be receptive or productive?
What do the children need to do with the vocabulary? (e.g. respond non-verbally, use it in context.)
Is the vocabulary target language?
Is it incidental learning as part of acquisition-rich input that some children may learn and others may not?
2 We need to make sure that the meaning is clear.
Through flashcards, pictures, posters, photos, storybooks, objects, mime, gestures, expressions, actions, touching, feeling, smelling, listening, tasting, pointing, walking to …, bringing, fetching, giving and taking.
By using technology: IWB, DVD, computer, CD-ROM, TV.
By verbal means: explaining, giving a definition of the word, defining the context in which it is used, describing the word, identifying it through its opposite.
By translating: eliciting or saying the meaning in the children’s first language (L1).
By a judicious combination of any of the above.
3 We need to encourage children to notice the form. Phonological form
By providing lots of opportunities to listen to new vocabulary both in a discourse context (e.g. a story) and in isolation (e.g. a flashcard game).
By providing lots of opportunities for (non-threatening) repetition, rehearsal and experimentation in getting your tongue round the new combinations of sounds
By drawing attention to sounds (vowels, diphthongs, consonant clusters), syllables and stress patterns (either implicitly or explicitly depending on the children’s age).
Written form
By providing opportunities for children to associate the written form (shape of the word, initial and final letters, letter clusters, spelling) with the sound and meaning
By providing opportunities for children to notice the ‘grammar of vocabulary’ (either implicitly or explicitly depending on the age) e.g. whether a noun is countable or uncountable, the plural regular or irregular etc..
By training children to copy and organize the vocabulary they learn carefully and accurately.
4  We need to provide for the creation of a network of meanings which will help memory processes.
By presenting words in contexts which show the connections between them, for example, through stories, topics, themes, situations.
By giving children opportunities to group words together in logical ways which develop and extend a network of meanings e.g. webs (e.g. which show from general to specific hierarchies), whole to parts (e.g. parts of a house, body, classroom), cline (e.g. words to describe temperatures from boiling to freezing).
5 We need to provide a variety of opportunities for recognising, practising and using the vocabulary.
For example, through a wide range and variety of games, songs, chants, TPR (Total Physical Response) activities, drama activities, word puzzles, crosswords, picture dictations, sorting and classifying activities, sequencing activities, visual observation activities, art and craft.
6 We need to actively help children to develop and improve their memories.
By integrating memorisation as part of the design of activities, for example, in memory games, magic word chants, songs.
7 We need to create opportunities for children to extend and develop their vocabulary according to their personal interests and abilities.
By giving children opportunities to set their own learning agendas.
By creating opportunities for choice and personal decision-making in the vocabulary children learn.
By offering options, for example, in homework, research and project work.
By training children in reference, dictionary and computer skills.
By encouraging independent reading.
By having available word bags or boxes with words (and pictures), organisedeither alphabetically, grammatically or based on topics, for independent reference.
8 We need to promote the systematic recording and organization of vocabulary.
By making it clear which vocabulary we expect children to record and remember, for example, by writing this in a special section on the board during the lesson.
By encouraging the use of vocabulary books which can be organized in a variety of ways, for example, in alphabetical order, according to topics, stories or units of work, or according to grammatical categories, depending on the age and level.
9 We need to recycle vocabulary frequently.
By providing regular opportunities for children to meet familiar vocabulary in new contexts.
By ensuring that children extend and enrich their understandings and associations of words each time they meet them again.
10 We need to allow for personalisation and ‘ownership’ of vocabulary.
By providing opportunities for children to relate the vocabulary they learn with their own feelings, moods, personal opinions, possessions, likes and dislikes, experience at home and school, and beliefs about the world they live in.
11 We need to recognise that different ways of learning vocabulary will appeal to different children.
By providing vocabulary input in different ways.
By providing varied opportunities for practice.
By giving options for recording and revising vocabulary.
12 We need to train children in learning skills and strategies that will help them to develop their vocabulary.
By introducing and modelling a wide range of vocabulary learning strategies (metacognitive, cognitive and socio-affective) with the children.
By encouraging children to adopt and use the strategies that they feel work best.
By teaching dictionary and reference skills in a systematic way.
By providing training in independent strategy use e.g. for spelling: look, cover, write, check
By building in opportunities for regular self-evaluation and reflection on own learning.
13 We need to provide opportunities to use vocabulary creatively.
By setting up frameworks for creative activities e.g. writing a shape poem or designing a zoo, which allow children to use (even very limited) vocabulary in creative and personally divergent ways.
14 We need to encourage literacy skills in L1 and in English.
By encouraging children to ‘read’ pictures and interpret signs and symbols.
By encouraging children to make strategic guesses based on what they can see and what they know.
By showing and sharing a love of words, in English and the children’s language(s).
By modelling how strategies and skills children use in L1, e.g. for discovering the meaning of a word in a text, can be transferred to English.
That’s quite an agenda! It would be great to hear about your experiences of developing children’s vocabulary as well as any comments or things you’d like to add.
Note: This post is an extension of the introduction to the section on ‘Vocabulary and Grammar’ in Read C. 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom Macmillan Education, 2007, where you can also find a range of practical classroom activities to develop children’s vocabulary.
 Ms María.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Inexpensive hobbies

Hello parents and educators,
Getting a hobby is a great way to add balance to life. Hobbies benefit children in numerous ways and they are educational tools:
  • Ignites Creativity. They learn to think and visualize so as to come up with newer ideas.
  • Instills a Sense of Achievement: the significance of hard work, patience and the feeling of success.
  • Incites Intelligence. They are able to make wise decisions quickly and on their own merit.
  • Encourages Team Spirit. They learn to help others in need and come to their rescue during a match. At the same time they realize the significance of competition and try to do their best.
  • Harnesses their Skills. It all depends on how talented and how skilled you are with your talents.
They often mature into lifelong interests, even careers. You can find a hobby for most interests. If you still need a little help, then here  is a list of inexpensive hobby ideas:
1. Arts and crafts: Children can create a scrapbook, paint, draw..
Photography: Spotting planes, spotting animals, visiting their city, etc.
Starting a collection: coins, stamps, postcards, cards,
Learning a second language.
Playing a sport with friends in the park.
 Playing with jigsaw puzzles, board games, cards, sudoku...
Saving money.
Listening to music.
Sculpting modeling clay.
Of course, you should find out from your child what he or she is interested in, and then go from there.
Send me more ideas please! Thanks,
Ms María.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Estilos de aprendizaje

Buenos días,
Si queremos motivar a estudiar debemos conocer el estilo de aprendizaje de cada niño. Sus puntos débiles y fuertes para que sea natural, fácil y tenga más sentido según su forma de ser. No obstante, algunas veces, deberemos modificar su forma de aprender si el niño no avanza en determinadas circunstancias.
En general podríamos establecer 3 grandes grupos. Cada niño puede estar en uno o varios pero siempre existe un predominante, identificarlo es la mejor ayuda:

  • AuditivosSuelen ser niños habladores, con interés por la escucha de narraciones. Cuando estudian repiten en voz alta lo que pretenden memorizar.  Más común en niñas que en niños. Así que podemos estimular precisamente el uso de la palabra como forma de aprendizaje:  grabandose las lecciones para luego escucharlas, usando audiolibros...
  • Visuales: Con una buena capacidad para recordar caras, lugares y detalles de una película que acaban de ver. Con estos niños, pues, todo lo que sea facilitarles información visual será de gran ayuda: con esquemas y resúmenes que contengan muchos colores o incluso dibujos, construyendo sus propias imágenes/personajes... Además es muy efectivo en niños que presentan dificultades o trastornos específicos que afectan al habla, la lectura o la grafía.
  • Quinesiológicos: Se da en niños inquietos que prefieren mucho más participar en cualquier actividad que quedarse sentado observando o aprendiendo como hacen algo otras personas. Por lo que se debe incentivar la parte práctica. Por ejemplo, para enseñarle a sumar o restar la utilización de un ábaco le será más motivador que quedarse quieto viendo como se hace en la pizarra. Para aprender ortografía puede apoyarse de bloques de madera que representan letras para que las pueda manipular. Le ayudará establecer tiempo de descanso en su tiempo de estudio e introducir alguna actividad física. Algunos de ellos preferirán estudiar de pie, andando, al aire libre o en posiciones extrañas que llaman la atención. En la medida de lo posible deberíamos respetar estas preferencias. Son niños que pueden sobresalir por su capacidad creativa.
Ms. María