Thanks to the generous volunteering talents of two of our teachers, Annie and Lilian, JOEE lessons have begun at a newly remodeled facility in Chofu in the western part of Tokyo. Hurray!
Annie is a veteran teacher of small, active children and she excels at using English to delight, engage and teach. She is joined by Lilian, who was a bit timid at first, but who is a hit with the children who love her furry puppet feline sidekick.
Listen in as Annie gives us a summary of the first full JOEE lesson taught at this lovely facility:
Introductions – First of all, we handed out colourful nametags to each child and introduced Lilian and Tabby the cat. Nametags are very helpful, especially when beginning lessons. Building connections begins with learning names.
Ice Breaker – We started by tickling our toes and head and wiggling our arms and bodies to get warmed up before singing the Hello Song. The children enjoyed tapping and clapping to the beat as we sang. The staff joined in singing with us and the kids seemed to enjoy having each of their names sung. Hopefully the kids will join in singing as they become more familiar with the song.
Classroom Management – We established the signal “are you ready?” “oh yes!” rhythmic chant and practiced it sitting and standing. We used this signal throughout class and will use it throughout our lessons to make sure kids are ready to listen. They are familiar with this kind of activity in the care facility as they usually do this kind of greeting before meals etc.
Colour Kuruta! – We elicited different colour responses by pointing out the colours on our clothes and things around the room. The kids said them in Japanese at first, but with a bit of encouragement they repeated them in English. They needed a lot of repetition to retain the vocabulary. With coloured cards we played a memory game, the older kids did very well but it was a bit challenging for the youngest. As they turned over the card the child had to say the colour in English. Seeing that this was difficult, we changed the game to a version of KURUTA (a traditional Japanese guessing game). To start, the children put their hands on their head and when I said a colour they had to touch the corresponding card on the floor. The aim next time will be for the kids to take turns being the leader and say the colour out loud.
Colour Matching Game – I brought out my colourful parachute and the kids placed the corresponding colour card in the correct place on the parachute. Then we sang RED, YELLOW, GREEN and BLUE to the “William Tell Overture” melody while shaking the parachute to the beat. They loved this activity!
Goodbye – Our lesson concluded with the Goodbye Song. We will begin and end each lesson the same way as this is reassuring for young learners and helps to build their confidence as they demonstrate their ability to remember the words.
We look forward to continuing lessons with this dear group of young learners in the joyful JOEE program and we are so grateful to our teacher volunteers. Contact JOEE via email if you are interested in volunteering: ruth(at)joee.jp