Fourteen Tips for Raising Bilingual Children This post is geared to the parents on my blog here, but many of these tips can work for teachers as well… Make it relevant. Kids need a reason to want to learn another language. If they see no connection, they’ll be far less interested. Can you point out cousins they’ll want to talk to? Games they’ll be able to play? Have engaging materials on-hand. Check out the local bookstore/toy store, visit Goodwill, Salvation Army or Emmaus, Facebook used items pages and ask friends if you can borrow or buy up their older children’s old comic books and popular series. Learning should be natural. What child likes sit-in-a-chair-and-memorize-type lessons? Let her take an art, dance, music or cooking class in the target language! Lockdowns brought about new online opportunities… Or watch a favorite movie! Do you sing together? Learn a new song! Create something educational based on your child’s interests in the target language. Make your own movie

New Simple Christmas Song!

I love the classic song, "We Wish you a Merry Christmas," but I don't love teaching it EVERY year. Many of my students hear it elsewhere, already know it well enough and need a bigger challenge. So, I created this one for my youngest learners: "Good Times are Here!" Like WWYAMC, it has three lines that repeat and the fourth that is different. There are not many words, and it is focused on teaching them Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, the two goals of the song. The rest of the vocabulary is very limited. Here is a free link to the song: I've also made a free game using most of the words to this song on Boom Learning. These are online games that you can share with your students. I discussed them here. I hope you'll enjoy these!  Have great holidays!

2020 American Presidential Elections

In the 15 years I've been teaching English in France, I've found that my students (of all ages) are more and more interested in American politics, and of course in our elections. Awareness is at an all-time high. While talking with some students a few months ago, one child asked out loud what The United States was. Another replied, "You know, Donald Trump!" The other just said, "Oh!" clearly aware of the name.  They were five years old.     While I don't talk about politics with the young children, I also teach teenagers and adults, so I've spent time lately working on some non-partisan materials that I hope will help them to gain some clarity on the subject beyond just knowing the candidates.  I've made a few Boom Cards (online games) with videos that can be used to help explain how the elections work in very simple terms.  These are for feasible for use with non-native speakers and those who aren't familiar with the US election system.    H

American Brownie Recipe!

Perhaps my all-time favorite days of the school years have been when I've made brownies with my students. I'm not sure that will be a possibility this year, but the optimist in me has still wanted to go forward and share this recipe now... (Scroll down for the same recipe with metric measurements.) I've made some Boom Cards that go with them and there's a video embedded within it that teaches the eight ingredients.   This link will work for two weeks. If you're seeing it later than September 28th, 2020, drop me a note for a trial version... There is also a vocabulary handout for sale with the eight ingredients. For teachers with older/more advanced students, I've also made four-page versions of this recipe. They're in these PDFs with the short versions too from this blog post. You can print what you need... Click here for American measurements and here for metrics . Happy baking! Let me know if you try them!

New Games to Teach Body Parts!

Here are my latest Boom Card games. They have a song to teach eight body parts: chin, neck, wrist, elbows, hair, back, fingers, and ankles... There is a video of the song embedded... It's a familiar tune! I'm not a singer. Take a listen and get a laugh! 😃😄 The first one is for non-readers, the second for readers and the third is for children who want to test their knowledge without hearing the word. I take suggestions if there is a particular vocabulary group your children would like... The links above are valid for two weeks... Have fun! 

Teachers Pay Teachers Site Wide Sale

If you've searched online for teaching materials at some point in your career, no matter how long you've been a teacher, you've surely come across Teachers Pay Teachers. It's a great site for getting lost on a Sunday afternoon, or at 2 a.m. if you're not careful. According to their web site, 5 million teachers used the site in the past year, there are more than 3 million resources on the site, and one billion resources have been downloaded since its inception. That's billion with a "B."  A former New York City school teacher, Paul Edelman started the site in 2006 and it's grown to be one of the highest traffic sites in the world. As of today, it's ranked 1,218 in the world and 449 in the United States. I've seen it rank as well as low 200s in the US... These are incredible stats when we consider the fact that there are about 400 million active sites in the world today! Earlier this year, I finally launched my own store on Teachers Pay Teach

Review: Boom Cards from Boom Learning

When we went into confinement here in France, I found myself browsing many American Facebook pages (mostly teaching) and spending way too much online. But among the gems I found during this time was . Their “Boom Cards” are online interactive games created by teachers for their students. Teachers can monitor what games the students have played and see how well they have done. They can also share and sell the games they’ve made (and accompanying materials) on the same platform. I was immediately hooked. I needed something to help me keep my private students’ attention for hour-long classes once per week. We were doing live Bingo and “Treasure Hunts” where they found items around the house like socks and salt, but I knew I’d need something more exciting. Eventually, I increased classes to twice a week, and 1.5 hours; I credit the Boom Cards for keeping them actively engaged.  H ow do the cards work? Teachers either buy or create these online educational games. Some c