Christmas Freebies

It’s kind of almost nearly Christmas, so I’ve decided it’s ok to start celebrating!  Last week’s reward was more wintery, this week we’re gently easing in to Christmas! The zipped file with this week’s freebies can be found at the bottom of the page!

This week’s freebies are both for Manycam. If you don’t have Manycam already, you can download it for free here:

And if you want a bit of help getting started you can watch Kat’s awesome tutorial series here:

Christmas Border

Christmas Gift Reward

This one looks a little complicated at first, but the kids seem to pick it up super  quickly! To begin with you have six unopened presents. Students choose a present, you open it together and talk about the toy. Finally move the toy to see if there is a star or two behind! I have one box with two stars, three boxes with one star and two boxes without stars!

If you’d like to see how this reward works I made a video you can watch here:

Same as last week, I’ve zipped everything up into a folder. This week I’ve included the Manycam files and the original PNGs in case you’d like to resize anything. Hope you have a great week!


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Manycam Reward – Dinosaurs

I love doing extra rewards with my younger learners! I don’t use them every lesson but they can be a great way to break things up and play to the student’s interests!

I’ve found that most of my students LOVE dinosaurs, the scarier the better! I tried this reward with cute little cartoon dinosaurs but that just wasn’t cutting it, even my five year old girls much prefer this realistic version  and love roaring as load as they can.

I usually reward a dinosaur per star and let the student choose which dinosaur they’d like. We spend some time talking about where it should go, what it looks like, what it can do and what it eats. At the end we usually make a story with the dinosaurs which pretty much always involves the T-rex chomping on everything in sight and letting out a big burp!

Do you guys use rewards in class? Do your students have a favourite?

Click here to download the zipped folder with Manycam and PNG files: Dinosaur reward


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5 Activities for Higher Level Students

Here are five fun activities to try with students who are maybe too old/advanced for flashcard games! If you’d like to check out some flashcard activities for lower levels check out my blog post here: Top 5 Flashcard Games

Role Play

Pretty much every time I ask ‘What did you do today?’ I get the same answers ‘school, extra classes, homework’. I know I was getting bored of it, so I’m pretty sure my students were too! Now before I ask ‘what did you do today?’, I sometimes ask ‘Who are you today?’ and we continue the next few minutes of conversation as if they were that person. Queenie might have been to school and had lots of homework but Harry Potter drank butterbeer, played with Hagrid’s fantastic beasts and learned how to fly! So far some of my favourite characters they’ve chosen are Stephen Hawking, an emperor’s wife,  an astronaut and a storm chaser!

Adverb Acting

This one had my shyest 11 year old girl rolling on the floor laughing this week! It’s a super simple way to practise adverbs. I have 10 cards with verbs written on them e.g. dance, sing, eat, swim, run etc and 10 cards with adverbs like loudly, quietly, quickly, slowly, carefully, angrily and so on! You don’t need cards though, you could just write two lists on the screen! We take it in turns to choose two at random and act them out for the other to guess. I think dancing angrily was my favourite!

Word Train

This one is super simple and prep free! You give the student a starting word  such as train. The student has to think of a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. For example:

TraiN – NighT – ToE – EggS – SnakE- EmU… You get the idea.

I usually set a time limit to see how many words we can get in 2 minutes. Then the challenge really begins! We take it in turns to make sentences using as many words from our game as possible. One point for each word used.

“The snake steals the emu’s eggs on the train at night”.  5 points!

20 Questions

This one is a classic. Choose a category – animals, places, jobs, famous people, things, whatever you like really! One person chooses a word but keeps it secret! The other asks yes/no questions to guess the word.I always ask the questions first to model some good ones and write down the question stems to help them remember when it’s their turn. It’s a great time to practise short answers too.

One Word Stories

This is one of my favourites! Sometimes before we start we choose a couple of characters and a setting, other times we just go straight in. It’s pretty simple, we tell a story, however we can each only say one word at a time. This is great to practise sentence structure and extending sentences. My favourite story so far is about a bodybuilding rabbit who went to a supermarket to buy a carrot and got eaten by a tiger. If one word is too tricky for your student you could take it in turns to do sentences!

BONUS: Sharing Recipes

This is a bit of an odd one but it worked so well I’m going to try it with my other students too! We were learning the word ‘simple’ the other day and I asked Becky to share a simple food she can make. She runs into the kitchen, proudly shows me a bowl of egg and tomatoes she’s made and proceeds to give me a detailed ingredient list and recipe. I had the ingredients in the house and said I’d make it for dinner that evening. She was SO happy today when I showed her and told me about more recipes she’d thought of me. Next up: egg soup!

This is a great way to practise imperatives, cooking verbs and giving instructions. Plus I don’t have to think about what to have for dinner :p.

What are your favourite activities to do with higher level students? Do you have any other ideas? Do you do any of these activities? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Warmers and Fillers – Alphabet Activity

Here’s a quick activity I do with my low level students. I usually do this as a warmer or to introduce a new letter/sound in the courseware.

I tend to focus on letter sounds rather than letter names in our lessons as these are more useful when it comes to reading and pronunciation! However the alphabet song can be a good introduction as even the lowest level students are often familiar with it.

In this video I share an easy alphabet activity and how they sing the alphabet song in China!

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My favourite apps and how to use them with Manycam

There are so many great apps for kids out there and they can be a really fun addition to the classroom. Unfortunately when you hold your phone up to the screen you don’t always get the clearest picture. I finally figured out how to link my iPhone to my computer and share through Manycam. I can’t wait to try this in the classroom!

If you’d like to see how to share apps through Manycam check out this video:

Now for my favourite apps!

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Top 5 Flashcard Games

I’ve always loved using flashcard games in the classroom but it took me a while to figure out that a lot of games can be used online too! They can be a great way to introduce and review vocabulary and be a fun way to break up the lesson.  Here are my top 5 flashcard games for the online classroom.

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Teaching Ideas – The Weather

Us Brits love to talk about the weather so it makes sense that the weather is one of the first things I introduce into my warm up routine. It’s a suitable topic for all ages and levels and students often love comparing the weather in our countries.

Warm up questions

What’s the weather like today? It is hot and sunny.

What was the weather like yesterday? It was cold and snowy.

Is it cloudy today? Yes, it is. / No it isn’t. 

What type of weather do you like? I like …… because….

What do you do when it’s rainy? When it’s rainy I….

With younger students we draw the weather on the courseware together and use TPR actions to accompany each weather word. I found some adorable flashcards from Mockeri too. I use these to practise the vocab and play some of my favourite flashcard games (flashcard games post coming soon).

Weather songs also make a great addition to a warm up routine. Continue reading for some of my favourites!

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