Top 5 Ideas for Teaching Numbers in Children’s English Class

I recently started studying French again. I used to be able to speak a bit of French, and I decided to pick it up again. The biggest thing I am struggling with is numbers. I am not sure why, but it made me realize again how important it is to teach numbers well in Children’s English classes (ESL, EFL).

Update: Listen to this Blog as a Podcast Episode:

Top 5 Ideas for Teaching Numbers to Children

  1. Use flashcards to teach numbers. If the students are young teach 1-10. Count with your fingers, count objects, and use flash cards. Students from age 4 can start with numbers up to 100 and more. We count to 10,000 in my classes. First count 1-20, then by 10s to 100, then 1,000 then 10,000. Give it a try!
  2. Numbers Songs: After counting I follow up with a numbers song! Depending on the students level I use the following songs: Let’s Count 1 to 10, Let’s Count to 20, Let’s Count to 100 by 1s
  3. Ask the students their age: It is important for students to remember numbers individually, not just by counting up. Ask, “How old are you?” to your students. They can answer, “I’m five years old.” or more simply “I’m five.” Of course with their correct age.
  4. Numbers Dice Game: I have a large dice with numbers 1-6.  First, I show the students the numbers on the dice, and then ask them to roll the dice. They have to say the number that lands on top in English. Fun and simple!
  5. Numbers Quiz: Show random number flashcards to your students and ask them “What number?” I sometimes show them really fast to add a challenge. You can also bring a group of students up to the front of the class and quiz them. I often combine this with asking them, “What’s your name?” after they answer I show a number flashcard and say, “What number?” It keeps the kids active and having fun

These are just some of my ideas for teaching numbers in your children’s English class. I hope they are helpful. Happy teaching!

Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes Song in Kids English Class

The Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes song is a basic song I use a lot when teaching children English (ESL, EFL). It is simple, active, and teaches useful vocabulary.

How to Teach

I start with the students by touching my head and saying, “head.” To add a little fun you can then shake your head with your hands and say, “wiggle, wiggle” kids love this. Repeat the same for all body parts: head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.

If you know the song, sing it once a cappella (without background music) then press play on the CD or video and sing with your students!

Free Head, Shoulders MP3 Download

You can download a free MP3 of the Head, Shoulders song, and watch a video with the actions by clicking here. Make this song a regular in your classes!

Hot Cold Song Opposites Lesson for Children’s English Class

The Hot Cold Song is a fun song to teach young English learners (ESL, EFL) about opposites. Watch the video and see below for how to teach.

How to Teach: 

I teach this song by first doing the actions of feeling hot, and feeling cold. You can watch how I do it in the video, or make up your own gestures.

Next, I show pictures of hot things like the sun, soup and say, “hot sun, hot soup” Then, I show pictures of cold things like ice cubes and snow and teach that they are cold. Flashcards work well for this.

Next, I teach the vocabulary of the song.

Hot Cold Song Lyrics:

Hot, hot, hot, hot (repeat)
cold, cold, cold (repeat)

The soup is hot.
hot, hot, hot
The sun is hot.
hot, hot, hot
hot soup
hot sun

The ice is cold.
cold, cold, cold
The snow is cold.
cold, cold, cold
cold ice
cold snow

hot, hot, hot,
hot, hot, hot

cold, cold, cold
cold, cold, cold

Is it hot or cold?

After the song quiz the students by holding up flashcards of hot and cold things and ask them, “Is it hot or cold?”

This song is a great class warm up!

Happy New Year 2019! ESL and EFL New Year’s Class Ideas For Young Learners

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday, and that you are ready to get started with the New Year! This week I will be doing the New Year’s Chant song and review in all my classes. Check it out here:

You can download the chant to use the song in your classes. Click here to get a free download MP3 of the Happy New Year Chant!

Sample Lesson Plan for the New Year’s Class

  1. Happy New Year Chant (See Above)
  2. Practice Counting Numbers 1-20
  3. Let’s Count 1 to 10 Song – One of my most popular Numbers Songs
  4. Book Time: Read a picture book to your students. Choose your favorite, I also have some free download picture books here.
  5. Today’s Topic: Choose a review topic and teach the vocabulary. For example, animals, colors, or transportation.
  6. Vocabulary review game- Play a simple touch game to get your students active. Place the flashcards on the floor and ask each student to touch one. For example, “Bobby, touch the dog card.”
  7. ABC Practice Time- Practice the ABCs and sing the ABC Song.
  8. Goodbye Song- Sing the Goodbye Song.

These are some ideas to get you started with your classes. You can also do crafts, coloring, or use a textbook. The main idea is to give the students a lot of comprehensible input in English.

Let’s make it a great year and be the best teachers we can be!

Halloween Lesson Plan for Students Age 3-6 Years Old

Hi, Teachers! Here is a Halloween Lesson Plan. It is for beginners ages about 3-6, and a 30 minute class:

  1. Warm-up- Say hello then do action warm ups: clap your hands, clap, clap, clap. Shake your hands, shake, shake, etc.
  2. Count Numbers using flashcards from 1-20. First repeat after teacher, then see how high students can count.
  3. Song: Let’s Count 1 to 10 http://www.dreamenglish.com/numbers, or Halloween Counting song available at www.dreamenglish.com/halloween
  4. Book Time: My Favorite Pumpkin Free printable book available at www.kidsenglishbooks.com
  5. Song: My Favorite Pumpkin Song available at www.dreamenglish.com/halloween
  6. Vocabulary: Introduce Halloween vocabulary using flashcards, bat, ghost, witch, black, cat, pumpkin, etc.
  7. Circle Time: Have students hold hands and make a circle. Sit down, and pass a flashcard around the circle with every student getting the chance to say it. For example, bat, pumpkin.
  8. Activity time: Walk around the circle and pretend with the students to be the Halloween characters. Fly like a bat and witch, hop like a black cat. etc.
  9. Quiz Time: See how many Halloween characters the students can remember. Help the students if they can not remember. It is a beginners class. so do not push the students too hard to talk if they are not ready.
  10. Goodbye: Sing the Goodbye song available at www.dreamenglish.com/goodbye

I hope this gives you some ideas to have a great Halloween lesson! Make sure to have a lot of fun and keep the atmosphere relaxed and cheerful. Happy Halloween!

Top 10 Dream English Songs for Teaching English to Children

When I started Dream English there were not many songs available that were great for teaching young learners English (ESL, EFL). Now there are hundreds! I thought it would be helpful to talk about the songs I use most teaching children ages 3-8 English.

Top 10 Dream English Songs for Teaching Children English

  1. Hello Song – A great song to start the class. Say hello, make a circle, and walk this way! Watch video here!
  2. What’s Your Name? – Asking students, “What’s your name?” is something that I do in every class! It’s simple interaction, and kids always enjoy saying their names. Watch video here!
  3. Let’s Count 1 to 10 – A favorite numbers and actions song. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, jump! Watch video here!
  4. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – This traditional song is perfect for teaching body parts. The speed up part makes it super fun for students! Watch video here!
  5. ABC Rock Song – A bit of a twist on the ABC song with a fun A to Z chant in the middle. Watch video here!
  6. Colors Action Song – Let’s sing colors, and do actions with each color. A great movement and color song! Watch video here!
  7. Weather Song – The sun comes up, up, up! Another fun action song, teaches weather and some prepositions. Watch video here!
  8. Days of the Week Song – Monday, Tuesday, la, la, la! Be sure to do all of the actions in this pop song about the Days of the Week! Watch video here!
  9. What Can you do? Action Song – Jump, I can jump! Let’s do some fun actions while we sing along to this simple song! Watch video here!
  10. Shapes Song – A circle, a triangle, a square, a heart. I’ve always liked the simplicity of this song, and the actions that go along make it a great motor skills song. Watch video here!
  11. Wake Up Song / Daily Routines – One of the first, and still most popular Dream English songs. Let’s wake up, brush our teeth, and more in this fun daily routines song. Watch video here!
  12. Goodbye Song – Another early Dream English song, that is still a favorite. Let’s clap our hands, spin around, do more actions and say Goodbye to the class! Watch video here!

So that is the list of the songs I use most to teach English. Some of these I wrote years ago, and some more recent. Check out the videos for all of the songs , and you can find most of these songs on our Free Download Page, or on Spotify and iTunes. Happy Singing!

Getting Back into Teaching English to Kids After a Break

For many teachers of English to children (ESL, EFL), the summer is a break from teaching.  Of course many teachers teach all year long, but for those of us who do have a break starting again can be a jolt to the system. A fun jolt, like a strong espresso in the morning, but it still takes some adjusting. Here are my top tips for getting things going in a great way!

5 Tips for Starting Teaching after a Break

  1. Go slow! If you have had a break, chances are your students have too. Do not rush the first lesson. Take things slowly, and have a fun review day with songs and games.
  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even I forget the words to my own songs sometimes after a long break. Give yourself sometime to readjust to teaching. Laugh along with the students if any mistakes are made.
  3. Have Fun! Let’s not forget that teaching is fun! Take the first few lessons to establish the fun you can have in a classroom.
  4. Remember why you teach. We all teach for different reasons, but I believe that at the foundation of teaching is the want to help others. We want to help our students learn English. That idea is a great motivator!
  5. Try new things. It is great to try a few new things when classes start again. It could be a new song, a new game, or a new book. Do something fresh and exciting for you and your students.

Oh, and if you need some lesson plan ideas to get you started, check out the Dream English Teaching Tips Podcast here.

These are a few of my ideas, and I hope they help you get off to a great start! Or, if you did not have a break, give you some new ideas to keep things fresh. Have a great one!

Getting Ready for The New Year – Happy New Year Chant

It’s been an amazing year at Dream English, thanks to your support from around the world. I got to visit students in Thailand, and had a wonderful time making songs and videos for teachers and students around the world!

Start off your New Year with the Happy New Year Chant! A great chant to clap and dance your way into the New Year! Check it out here! Happy Teaching!

New Podcast! Young Learners English Lesson – A Lesson Plan for ESL, EFL Students

In today’s episode I talk you through a simple lesson plan that I used with my preschool English language students. It was a thrity minute class, with about 20 students. We had a lot of fun. You can expand on these ideas if you have a longer class. Here is the lesson plan in brief:

1. Warm Ups- clap your hands, etc. 2. Weather Song 3. Count from 1 to 10,000 4. Let’s Count 1 to 10 Song. 5. I Like Apples Book 6. I Like Apples Song 7. Pick Up Color Apples Game 7. ABC Letters and Vocabulary Practice 8. ABC Song 9. Goodbye Song. You can find all of these songs for free download at DreamEnglish.com (Free Download Page) the Book is a free printable download from KidsEnglishBooks.com Happy Teaching!