Interactive Notebook / LapBook for irregular verbs

English Irregular Verbs … Every English Language learner I know and anyone that has ever been a learner of it can tell you numerous stories on how boring and torturing it has or it had been to memorize the past tense of the irregular verbs in English! And just when they thought they had been over with this long list, there came the third column with the past participle, only to make matters worse, more complicated and more boring! Well, being an English Language learner myself back in the … (let’s just say) years of no internet or any other realia in the classroom, I can still remember these long afternoons with my mum dictating the verbs, me writing the two columns and then studying the whole list again to memorize what had not been successfully memorized … ugh …

 

Being a huge fan of interactive notebooks and having already used them in tutoring my daughter (plural nouns, demonstratives, subject/object pronouns and possessive adjectives), I have decided to exploit their educational and recreational value in order to create a lapbook this time! Using an A4 size folder with a rubber band, we created together a lapbook that was actually fun to make, engaging to fill in and easy to use as a resource or revision! First, we started cutting and gluing the templates that I had made for this reason (after categorizing the verbs in terms of their irregular forms, I created a template that would best serve our needs)! You can download the templates here and print them in colour A4 size paper, if you like:

Then, using our course book, my daughter filled in the past tense and past participle forms of the irregular forms while flipping each piece of paper!

Interactive Notebook / LapBook for irregular verbs

The categorization of the verbs helped her a lot to first guess the form and then verify it with the help of her course book! Therefore, she said that she studied them while doing the task! When she finished, she decorated the cover of the folder and kept it in her bookcase, saying that she prefers to study them from this lapbook rather than the coursebook! A few months later, she decided that it would be more helpful to stick it on the wall, so that she can refer to it more easily when needed! And, in case you wonder, no, she did not memorize everything perfectly in one teaching session, but she liked studying them this way and she does not sigh in despair when we refer to irregular verbs and that is awesome!

 

Lapbooks in general have proved to be the kind of materials that

  • help learners achieve a higher level of retention,
  • can be adjusted to any curriculum,
  • are able to drift learners along paths of excitement and creativity,
  • motivate learners to write,
  • involve all learners, of all ages and levels and
  • portray the learner’s personal taste, making them thus more attractive to use and objects to take pride in!

 

These are only some of the benefits of lapbooking, as they have been presented in numerous articles and, anyone who regularly uses them, has probably a few more to add! Yes, it took some time to categorize, set up the templates and print everything to be ready for the lesson, but the actual cutting, gluing, filling in of the correct forms and decorating took no longer than a teaching hour that would have probably been even more entertaining and involving if we had the chance to work on it in pairs, or in a group! Therefore, this is something that we can probably try with the 5th and 6th grades of the Greek public Primary School, provided that we can obtain the necessary materials and maybe do some cutting on our own, before introducing the activity to our learners, so as to keep it restrained in one teaching session!

The Kerpoof Studio has been another useful after-midnight-surfing discovery that I would like to share with you. And if you ‘re reading these lines and it’s after midnight, DO NOT try Kerpoof Studio now, because it can keep you up all night long!

So, what is Kerpoof Studio? There’s no better way to describe the site than the presentation provided by the site itself, so here it goes: “The answer to that is not so simple. Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof:

Make artwork (even if you aren’t good at drawing!)
Make an animated movie (really! it’s easy!)
Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
Tell a story
Make a drawing
Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made

Check out our What’s New and How-To pages to learn more about what you can do with Kerpoof. Kerpoof doesn’t come with a manual or a directory or a map. If we’ve done our job right, then finding your way to the various nooks and crannies of Kerpoof will be half the fun.

In addition to being a lot of fun, Kerpoof has many educational uses. Visit our educator page (with ideas and lesson plans for how to use Kerpoof) or read our flyer for educators if you are in a hurry but want to learn more.

If you are a parent, you may also want to read our for parents page.”

All in all, this is a user-friendly tool that allows its users to express themselves creatively! There are many ways we can all exploit it the ELT classroom, but if you feel need help with the latter, make sure that you consult with the Teacher’s Guide provided within the site! Can’t wait to use it with my learners and … if you try it soon (or have tried it in the past), please, let us know how it was!!!

Did you know that the second Monday of January is National Clean Off Your Desk Day? I just found out today and … I better start tidying these piles right away if I want to make it till Monday!!!

Anyway, this post is to inform you about the many national days we are probably not aware of and suggest their potential inclusion in EFL lessons! I bet your learners would love to celebrate and learn about Get A Different Name Day, Ice Cream Day, Fresh Breath Day, Make A Difference Day, Pancake Day, or even Get Over It Day! I know my learners would and I hereby declare that No Housework Day is my personal favourite (that’s on April 7th, though, I hope I don’t forget by then!).

Surfing the net, I came across Sean Banville’s ESL Holiday Lessons Website, which provides a list of all the national days. Clicking on each day, you have at your disposal a wonderful lesson plan for the day you have selected! Each lesson plan promotes both productive and receptive skills, and you can choose to download it in Word-Processing, or PDF format, or even as an online exercise (you can also download the audio input in MP3 format)! There is also plenty of vocabulary and grammar practice!

The moment I came across this site, the first thing that crossed my mind was all these days at school that learners are tired or do not feel like having a lesson (before/after a school trip, the last days before Christmas or Easter break, some Fridays, etc) and the days that they have begged me to do something other than the coursebook! I believe that lessons on holidays would be a pleasant, yet educational deviation from the coursebook! Perhaps it would be a good idea to keep monthly calendars on the classroom anouncement board and maybe choose one or two days per month that we would like to find more about! We can also ask learners to work in groups and find information about some of these special days!

Can’t wait to use them in class (maybe after some adaptation, as I work with beginner and elementary level learners)! If you make it sooner than me, do feel free to provide us with feedback!

The Greek carnival is usually celebrated at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, Halloween, though, is celebrated on October 31st! There are major differences between the Greek carnival celebration and Halloween celebration, but there is surely one thing they have in common: dressing-up!

In terms of dressing-up, Halloween seems to be all about spooky costumes, whereas the Greek carnival appears to fulfil our dream of transforming into anything we desire! Whether it is Halloween or Carnival, every year, we, teachers, try to find crafts we can do with our learners in class! Here you will find an assortment of sites that abound in crafts, decorations, coloring pages, costume ideas, treats recipes and printables! Have fun with your learners at school and don’t forget your kids at home! You can have so much fun with them!

Ματιά (Carnival crafts and costumes ideas!)

Hartaetoi (Carnival crafts with pictures!)

EnchantedLearning.com (great, easy to make crafts!)

AllCrafts.net (Halloween crafts, decorations, even treats recipes!)

DLTK’s Holiday Crafts for Kids (Frankenstein, ghost, vampire, witch, owl crafts …)

ActivityVillage (Skeletons, witches, bats and cats, pumpkins of all sorts, candy corn, monsters and ghosts too, so with well over 80 craft ideas here you should find something that is just the right amount of spooky for you!)

AllFreeCrafts (Here you can find crafts and decorations, Halloween recipes, party ideas and Halloween games, Halloween costumes and makeup, as well as printables!)

FamilyCorner.com (Crafts, decorations, recipes … you can try them at home with your kids, too!)

FreeKidsCrafts.com (Halloween printables, recycled crafts, costume ideas and food crafts!)

CraftBits.com (Halloween crafts, project ideas, decorations and wreaths!)

AllKidsNetwork (Halloween crafts for kids of all ages!)

42 Super Easy Halloween Craft Ideas (Wonderful and easy-to-make crafts for classrooms and families!)

20 Kid-friendly Halloween decorations (last-minute crafts, perfect for at-home or in the classroom)

Here is the video we normally watch at school to find out how Halloween is celebrated in Britain:

 

The Learning Chocolate is a vocabulary learning platform I’ve recently found out about upon surfing the net. It allows the introduction of new vocabulary with visual aids, listening and pronunciation practice, as well as spelling practice! It goes without saying, of course, that it can only be used in the school computer lab, or by projection of the computer screen in class! So, if you have a computer lab at school with internet connection, you can try the Learning Chocolate, it seems fun and mind-engaging (the ‘chocolate’ part makes it sound tempting, too)!

Let’s learn English is a blog that contains useful and inspiring resources for the teaching of English in Greek Primary Schools. Mr. Papadamos from Kastoria has done a remarkable job uploading materials, games and videos that can be used in class and are related to the curriculum currently used in Greek Primary Schools!

Everything uploaded in this blog has been categorized depending on the class that it may be used, making it thus easier for users (that can be either teachers or learners) to exploit its potentials! One of the most useful uploads in this blog is the vocabulary list (companion) of the first 4 or 5 units of each coursebook!

Keep up the good work Mr. Papadamos, it’s really inspiring! I’m definitely going to visit your blog with my learners one of those days!!!

@E.F.E. Team is the name of a blog I recently (and fortunately I may add!) found on a late night research. It is related to the English materials Greek public schools use in the 6th grade and the writers of this blog are the actual writers of the coursebook itself (E.F.E. actually stands for Eleni Efremidou, Filitsa Frouzaki and Eleni-Zoe Reppa, that is the first letter of the first name of every writer)! There is plenty of information regarding the 6th grade English materials, suggestions and resources for teachers (lesson plans, tests, etc), interesting links and articles. Hope you find it as enlightening and as useful as I did!

As EFL teachers, trying to introduce our learners to Computer-Based Learning, we are sometimes lost looking for e-learning environments that are appropriate to our learners’ needs and our teaching objectives. MINGOVILLE is a fun, free, colourful e-learning environment full of exercises, songs and games that may be what most EFL teachers have been looking for!

The great thing concerning Mingoville is that YOU get to choose the English Lessons most relevant to YOUR learners! You can make it FUN for your school’s students to learn English online with comprehensive lessons in English spelling, grammar, reading, and even pronunciation. Colourful characters engage students, letting kids learn English by “doing” through an edutainment e-learning model featuring lessons, songs, and English games for kids. Mingoville may potentially work for any student, whether they learn best by doing (interacting through games), visually (associating images with written words), or in auditory ways (such as through English songs and pronunciations). There is also the possiblility to introduce your learners to virtual learning tools, promoting thus effective learning and simulating real-life learning (http://www.mingoville.com/en/teachers.html).

Adding a personal experience after using Mingoville in the computer lab, teacher familiarization with the platform and availability of speakers (and maybe headphones!) have been considered significant for the effective incorporation of this environment in EFL teaching. Learners will probably keep asking for your help the first couple of times, eventually, however, they are going to learn their way through the platform! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

English Exercises is a website full of exercises to practise English online. The exercises have been submitted by English teachers from all over the world and they are categorized as VOCABULARY and GRAMMAR exercises. Your learners will have the opportunity to practice English developing thus their vocabulary, grammar and listening skills (a lot of the activities include songs and videos!).

The world wide web abounds in printable worksheets related to Christmas! Here are some links you may find useful:

Christmas Worksheets

Christmas Teaching Resources

Christmas Printables

Christmas Printables

Gift tags, gift certificates, Victorian Santa cards, lists and more for the Christmas season!

Christmas printables for kids

Printable Goodies for the Christmas Holidays

Christmas Ideas for school use

Christmas / Winter ideas for school Use

Christmas Crafts for the classroom

Christmas Teaching Resources

Christmas Teaching ideas

Learn English with Christmas Songs

Christmas Lessons, Songs, Worksheets, Teaching Resources

Thanksgiving Lesson Resources

Here you will find a collection of online word games, activities and quizzes that can help children learn and practise English vocabulary related to Christmas in a fun way. Also, we offer a variety of printable exercises and activities for young ESL learners, including Christmas word games, picture quizzes, vocabulary tests, board games and crafts.