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Learning World 5 TOMORROW Teacher’s CDs.

All the audio you need to teach TOMORROW!

Disc 1: Units 1-6
Disc 2: Units 7-10

We listened to your feedback…

Each Unit Listening Test is after the audio for the rest of the unit.
* Based on feedback that the Listening Tests for Books 1,2,3 were too easy, the audio is recorded at a natural speed and includes 30 minutes of audio.

Class CDs include all of the audio needed to teach TOMORROW.  

Student CD audio PLUS:
・ Grammar Point audio (from Unit 5-3)
・ All stories (3) with pauses
・ All dialogues (6) with A part only and B part only (for practice)
・ Supplement: irregular verbs (100) said to a rhythm 
・ Listening Test audio (at the end of each unit, not grouped together) 
・ More challenging rhythm (with and without words) for verbs (pages 25 & 27)

 
(Click to enlarge image)

※ The Teacher’s CDs are also available as part of the Learning World 5 TOMORROW (2nd) Teacher’s Materials Set.

From Macmillan Education Australia, the PRIMARY PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR 3 years in a row, comes this fantastic literacy program: Springboard. It is designed for children who are considered “at risk” for reading. In order to engage children who may not like to read, the content is varied and interesting, and the language starts very simple, gradually getting harder.

Sold in level packs, each level pack has 8 books: 3 factual and 5 fiction.

■ Published by: Macmillan Australia
(Printed in Japan)

  • 8 book set (a~h) / size: 18.2 x 14.8 cm / Full color
  • Pages per book: 16 pages
  • Words per book: about 105 words
  • Sentences per page: 4 sentences
◆6-a  The Surprise  

This lovely story is about the surprise Grandma brings for Pip.

Word Count: 101
Text type: Literary Recount – realistic fiction


◆6-b  Animals That Live in the City  

Information about the different types of animals that live in the city.

Word Count: 105
Text type: Information report


◆6-c  Escape From the Zoo   

An entertaining story on some animals who are friends and escape from the zoo.

Word Count: 108
Text type: Narrative – fantasy


◆6-d  The Moon Car Race  

Two friends go to the moon to race their car.

Word Count: 107
Text type: Literary recount


◆6-e  After School  

Describes the activities a little boy does when he comes home from school.

Word Count: 107
Text type: Factual recount


◆6-f  Giraffe Goes Skating  

An entertaining story about a giraffe who wants to go skating but won’t wear a helmet.

Word Count: 101
Text type: Literary recount


◆6-g  Make a Fruit Salad  

Step by step instructions on how to make a fruit salad.

Word Count: 102
Text type: Procedure


◆6-h  Lunch in the Park  

A lovely, simple story about a man who feeds the birds in the park when he goes to have lunch.

Word Count: 108
Text type: Narrative – realistic fiction


 

FREE Teaching Guides

You can download free teaching guides for the books. They include reduced-size pages from each book along with detailed instructions for using each book with a class.
The teaching guides also contain 2 worksheets per book! After reading the book, have the students do the fun worksheets which check comprehension and give reading/writing practice.

>>Downloadable Teaching Guides

It’s late March. A new school year is just around the corner.
 
As a teacher, I rarely give thought to my counterparts working away in the public junior high education system. We are “counterparts” in name only: “teachers”. But our work couldn’t be more different.
They teach English as a system to memorize for the purpose of passing tests, I teach English for the purpose of communication.
They teach English by and large in Japanese, I teach English in English.
My approach takes students’ self-esteem into deep consideration, their approach does not.
They give feedback to students’ efforts in the form of noughts and crosses on answer sheets, I give students the opportunity to self-correct problem areas, and all effort is good effort.
I take care to have my students feel success with English by having them actually use it, my junior high counterparts don’t.
And I’ll be frank; not only do I feel so very little in common with public junior English teachers, I often feel that much of their work goes against what I’m trying to achieve with my students.
Dwelling on our un-relationship is not productive for me so I don’t. However my students do on occasion bring our differences to my unwanted attention – especially when they discuss their tests and test scores. Consider the following end-of-term English “speaking test” as described to me by one of my 1st grade students…
 
In a one-on-one setting, a native-English teacher asked students a series of questions each of which were unrelated and to which there was no context. The questions were given in advance, and students were told previously they would be asked these very questions in the very same order. Students were required to memorize and produce the answers. Questions included “When is your birthday?” and “Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?”
During the test, if the student answered anything less than the memorized answer, it was considered incorrect. For example if the students answered “Tea” instead of “I prefer tea”, it was marked as incorrect. Similarly, if students answered “November 15th” or even “My birthday is November 15th” instead of “My birthday is on November 15th”, it was marked as incorrect. A total score out of 10 was calculated.
 
Now OK, I haven’t met or talked with the teachers who designed and conducted this test so I cannot know their thinking behind it. But I must say that I have some serious qualms about this test, particularly as it relates directly to students’ assessment of their speaking ability.
 
You would imagine that a “speaking test” would have some element of communication to it, but there was none here as the questions and their order were pre-given. The Monbukagakusho guideline of English education stipulates that its purpose is communication.
My student communicates in English well, but he spent valuable time before the test memorizing the petty detail to the answers his teacher wanted to hear. In the end, he lost a point because he forgot the word “on” in his birthday answer. (Incidentally, omitting “on” is NOT incorrect because “on” is only required when referring to something like a “meeting” or “appointment” which has a starting time and a finishing time: “My appointment is on November 15th.” Birthdays last the whole day so “on” is irrelevant. “My birthday is November 15th” is entirely acceptable.)
 
English tests like the one described here send a totally unhelpful message to our students. Instead of being a valuable and important tool for learning about others and sharing one’s ideas, English becomes a process of accurate recitation, of form over content, and the slightest technical error costs you marks. With English education like this, it’s no wonder that Japanese communication ability in English is low compared to nearly all countries where English is a foreign language.
 
It’s late March, and a new school year is just around the corner. So I call on my counterparts in the field of public education; instead of working against each other, let’s work more closely together. Let’s meet up with other English teachers in the community, join their teacher-development meetings and study groups. Let’s share perspectives on our students, their future and on the role of the English language within it. We are all teachers but currently we are doing disservice to our students and our profession. I believe that with cooperation we can work for our students more efficiently and effectively.
Hopefully too I may be able to have a conversation with my students about their school English education without cringing!

It was really, really good seeing so many teachers at the recent Learning World Workshops in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo.

IMG_0963  Osaka 2/28

 

IMG_1193  Nagoya 3/6

 

IMG_1319  Tokyo 3/13

 

As a presenter, it’s exciting to see new faces. I always hope that new teachers can relate to the issues we bring to our Workshops, and can take home perhaps a new angle of looking at their teaching. If it was your first time to attend an APRICOT Workshop, I say thank you for coming, I hope you found it worthwhile, and I hope to see you again!

And as a presenter it’s of course also encouraging to see familiar faces. It tells me that teachers are indeed finding value at our Workshops, and are returning for more. If it was not your first time to attend an APRICOT Workshop, I say thank you for coming again, I hope you’re not tired of me presenting, and I definitely hope to see you again!

Thank you especially if your attendance at one of the Workshops involved a lot of travel. I understand that more than twenty teachers used the bullet train, and a few even arrived by plane! Your commitment of time and money to study reflects your commitment to your students. I think your students should give YOU a sticker!!

 

This year’s topic was a tough one - but a very important one, and one that has really been in want of discussion. The process of having our students attain the skill of reading can be frustrating for both teachers and students. However, if the teacher has a sound educational policy in place, if the students’ learning environment is stable, and if certain objectives are set and met with appropriate materials, students can find significant success with reading in a reasonable amount of time. My presentation at the Workshops attempted to show this.

IMG_1272

Thank you for your patience with the venue’s cramped conditions.

Thank you for your patience with occasional technical difficulties.

Thank you for your patience with my battle to stay properly time-managed!

 

Thank you for your written feedback. It means a lot to me, and APRICOT too of course. It lets us know that if we are making a positive difference for you and your students or not. Essentially, that’s what we want the Workshops to do. That’s what the Workshops need to do. Please know that the Learning World Workshops are YOUR workshops. Not one single Workshop will always satisfy everybody’s needs, as everybody’s teaching situations can differ widely. But your input in the form of inquiries to APRICOT is useful and welcome! Your inquiries help APRICOT understand where your concerns are, and these form the basis for Workshops.

IMG_1439

If you weren’t able to join this year’s Learning World Workshops, please join us next year! Whether I’m presenting again or not next year, I hope to see everybody there!!

Thank you again!

マシュー0
Good days, not so good days. Rewarding moments, awful moments.
Successful classroom activities, disastrous classroom activities.
We have experienced all of them, and will no doubt experience many more.
On reflection however, in my case it would seem that the positivity of this work far outweighs the negativity. If it didn’t, it’s unlikely that I would still be here 20 years after I gave my very first English lesson still doing and enjoying what I do.

And here’s another first: my very first entry in my very first blog.
It was quite recently suggested to me that I start a blog, the reason being that my classroom experiences, both positive and negative, may be helpful to other teachers. The workshops and seminars I have conducted in the past have all been based on my classroom experiences, and have apparently been useful to other teachers, so a blog can serve a similar purpose: teacher-development – that’s ongoing.
I decided to name the blog “Please get what you need” because I use this English with my students most lessons. Hopefully you too can “get what you need” from reading my blog entries.

 

It’s a new challenge for me, and one that I am committed to continuing.
Being entirely new to this, I wasn’t aware that readers’ comments can’t be left on blog entries! What a shame! I would love occasional feedback and questions! Please feel welcome however to reach me through the APRICOT e-mail address.
Classroom, here I come!

 

I’m going to start off by saying that I absolutely love “abcd Chants”. It may be one of my favorite books in the Picture Books by Chants series. If it is not my favorite, it is definitely the book that I use the most.

img_d

I can still remember the day that I first got a copy of it. We had just moved back to Japan after living in the States for 2 years. I was setting up my room for my English classes. My daughter Hana, who was 3 1/2 at the time, saw “abcd Chants” and asked me to read it to her. I told her I didn’t have time right then, but would read it for her later. Obviously, she didn’t like this answer. So I put the audio CD in my computer for her and told her to follow along with the CD. I continued setting up my room. The next time I looked over at her, she was already on ‘W’ and completely absorbed in the book. This experience is partially responsible for leading me to use the picture books audio in my classes more.

 

Anyway, fast forward a few months and I introduced the book to one of my classes. It was successful until about ‘F’ or ‘G’, when the kids became restless and lost interest. What I realized then is that it was just too long to use straight through from A to Z for most Japanese kids. It is hard to focus on new English for that long at one time.

 

Since then, I have very heavily integrated “abcd Chants” into my phonics program. (I’ll write more about my current phonics program later.) I love that the book introduces more words (five words) for each letter and my students love the drawings and short chants for each letter.

 

They especially love “A dinosaur dancing in a dark night”.
You can hear the audio for it here.

abcd chants - Ddabcd chants - dinosaur dancing

 

And since a few of them play rugby, “A rugger-bugger rabbit running in the rain” is also highly requested.

abcd chants - Rrabcd chants - rugger-bugger rabbit

 

We usually focus on between 4-5 letters at a time. I play the audio and look at the  pages for whichever letters we are focusing on. Originally, I was using the book, but kept thinking that what I really wanted were cards that had the letter on one side and the chant on the other. Finally, I bought 2 more copies of “abcd Chants”. I carefully cut the binding off using a cutter and a ruler. Then, because the letter and picture pages are on a spread – not reverse pages, I used a bit of nori tape to tape the pages together. (Only put a bit on the end you will feed through the laminator first, otherwise you’ll end up with wrinkles.) Then I slid the pages into laminating film and laminated them. Now, instead of flipping through the book to the page I want to use that day, I can hold up the card for that letter. It also allows me a bit more control because, using the book,  sometimes kids get distracted by the picture page and don’t focus on the words page.

 

abcd Chants cards 1abcd Chants cards 2

 

There are also games that I can play with the cards…

 

Put the cards out letter side up and say the chant. The students have to find the right card.

 

I also do a kind of rock-scissors-paper game (I’m sure there’s a Japanese word for it…). I put out the letter cards in a line. Two students start at opposite ends of the line. The students have to say the sound and word for the letter, then go to the next card and do the same. When they meet in the middle, they have to do rock-scissors-paper. The loser (or the next person on the loser’s team) starts over and the winner continues. The game ends when one team gets to the other end of the line. I usually play twice, having the teams switch ends so they get practice with all the letters. I have used cards with just letters for this game in the past, but using my “abcd Chants” cards would be better for students who are having a hard time remembering what sound the letter makes.

 

I’ve thought about buying another book or two to cut up and make a classroom alphabet border with, but I don’t have much wall space in my current classroom. An idea for the future…

 

You can hear audio for some of the other letters on the Audio Samples page.

The popular REPORT CARD has been renewed!
You can enter data for up to 48 lessons on one card!
There are columns for “date”, “attendance”, and “correspondence”.
You can easily communicate with parents throughout the year!

Contents:

・10 cards
・Vertical orientation
・22cm × 10cm (when folded)

REPORT CARD

 

From editorial:

After replacing the “Report Card” with the “Attendance Card”, we heard feedback from many teachers saying that they preferred the the “Report Card” because there was more room for taking notes. We have listened to your feedback! In September 2014, we released a NEW “Report Card” with just some cosmetic updates. Please use it to keep track of all your important communications.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… There is a certain part of my childhood where I practically lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They evoke the feelings of warm, sunny days when I would make my own lunch (usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fruit, potato chips, or whatever else we had around the house) and disappear to the park with my friends for the entire day. There was a period where my brother basically refused to eat anything other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If you ask him, he will get mad and deny it… Nowadays in America, many kids have severe allergies and peanut butter has been banned from schools, but for a lot of kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are still an important childhood comfort food, maybe along the lines of onigiri in Japan.
 
My preschool students who are studying WELCOME to Learning World PINK absolutely LOVE the Student CD. They listen to it in the car all the time. They (and their younger siblings) know all of the songs from the book long before we ever “play with” them in class. They especially love the Peanut Butter and Jelly song which is in Unit 8. It’s a real favorite. And it is even more fun for the students because the final activity with the song is making real peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! None of them had had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before, so they really looked forward to this.
 WELCOME PINK Unit 5B Peanut Butter and Jelly
 
The first thing we did was to sing the song using gestures. We used gestures almost like in the sample video.
 

 
The kids loved singing the song with the gestures!
 
The next thing is that I like to take the gestures a step further. I make a set of “bread”, “peanut butter”, and “jelly” for each of the kids. My teacher’s set is laminated for longer use, but the students’ sets are not. To make them, I print the sheets on paper, use “tape nori” on one half, fold the paper in half so the sides line up, and cut out the parts.
 
Peanut Butter Jelly SandwichPeanut Butter and Jelly PDF
 
Following the lines of the song, students:

  1. Pick up the peanut butter and make the crushing gesture.
  2. Pick up the jelly and make the squashing gesture.
  3. Pick up one piece of bread, put the peanut butter on it, and make the spreading gesture.
    Pick up the other piece of bread, put the jelly on it, and make the spreading gesture.
  4. Put the pieces of bread together with the peanut butter and jelly in the middle.
  5. Pretend to eat their sandwich.

 
The students had a lot of fun with this. But the next part was even more fun! Using skinny sandwich bread, we made real peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. With the song playing on repeat in the background, we made sandwiches. When the verse for the step we were on played, I would emphasize it and the students would say it. They were very happy to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a glass of milk.
 
PBJ2PBJ1
 
We also used language like:

  • Bread, please. Peanut butter, please. Jelly, please. Milk, please.
  • Thank you.
  • Can I have more?
  • It was good. It was yummy.

 
This is one of my favorite lessons because it is really fun for the students, they get to really use the language and do something with it. Also, it is fun for me to share a bit of my childhood with them. They can get a bit of American culture.
 
** I did make sure to ask the moms about food allergies and make sure it was okay to feed them in the couple of weeks before the lesson with food.

Based on teachers’ requests, we started selling the audio CD in 2010.
You can use Springboard for in class storytime, or have students read the books for homework.

The 16 levels are divided into 4 colors (4 levels per color) for easy visibility.

  • Level 1~4……Green
  • Level 5~8……Blue
  • Level 9~12……Purple
  • Level 13~16……Pink

♪ Audio Contents:

● Every 2 pages is one track.
→ It’s easy to go back and listen to a certain page again. (Track numbers are on the CD insert.)
● Good sound effects ♪
→ Makes the audio more fun for the kids!
● Easy to understand when to turn the page!
→ Turn the page when the chime sounds.

♪ How can the CD be used? Examples:

  • Have students listen to the CD while reading the book. They can pause the CD and repeat. They can also try to shadow the audio and say it at the same speed with the same intonation.
  • You can have one CD and book for each student. They can do the reading for homework or during class time. You can set up a library for students to borrow the books and CDs. (Some schools have set up borrowing systems like a library, where they keep track of the student’s name, the date borrowed, and the due date for the materials. Some have also made library cards for their students.)
  • During the next lesson, the students can read the story to the teacher and/or the entire class. If they read the story well, they can get the teacher’s signature for that book on a reading chart. The reading chart has three levels per page. Once students completely read through three levels, you can staple a new reading sheet in front of the completed one. Great for students to keep track of their own reading progress!

> Springboard Reading Chart is here!
How to use the level chart: Challenge students to read all of the books in each level. Write the name of the level they are working on at the top of that section. Each of the 8 books in a level is labeled with a letter from ‘a’ to ‘h’. So, for example, if a student reads book ‘d’ well, sign the square for book ‘d’. Once they have your signature in all eight squares, they are ready to move up to the next level! You can also use stickers or stamps or write the date in place of a signature, if you’d like.

This chart was first introduced by Matthew-sensei during APRICOT Plaza in 2009. Other teachers who started using the chart with their students gave the following feedback. “Using this chart really improved my students’ motivation! They are completely different!” Please try it out!

Springboard is the fantastic literacy program from Macmillan Education Australia, the PRIMARY PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR 3 years in a row. It is designed for children who are considered “at risk” for reading. In order to engage children who may not like to read, the content is varied and interesting, and the language starts very simple, gradually getting harder. A strength of the series is that it builds students’ reading confidence. Being able to read a book, and then complete an entire level makes students think, “Yay! I could read!” This feeling of accomplishment makes them want to keep reading.

Springboard is sold in level packs; each level pack has 8 books: 3 factual and 5 fiction.

Ways you can use Springboard:
▶ Every lesson I have 15 minutes of Reading Time. Students do not worry about words that they do not know, but keep practicing reading. They’ve been getting better and better as they get used to reading. Now, the 5th grade students can read one Level 15 book in 15 minutes! (N-sensei, Osaka)


▶ I use Springboard as a text. We check on words that the students do not know and read the books slowly. Springboard is a series of picture books, so when students take the books home, it is easy for their parents to understand what we are doing. Now students are studying Level 5, preparing for Step Test (Eiken) level 4. (K-sensei, Aichi)

Buy the Springboard CDs here! >>

NEW renewed stamp!! “Shachihata”

After listening to feedback from teachers, we have updated the Listening Homework Stamp!!
Comments from teachers about the original stamp included:
★ I’d like a stamp without an ink pad (one that I can use one-handed).
★ It’s hard to get a clean impression. A Shachihata-type stamp would be better.
★ There aren’t very many years on the stamp…

Based on this feedback, the NEW “Shachihata” Listening Homework Stamp is now available!

New Features:

1. Stamp is pre-inked! So you don’t need to use a stamp pad any more.
2. It’s easy to stamp! You don’t need to use as much force to stamp the page.
3. The year can be changed separately, so you can get many years of use!
4. Ink is super easy to refill!

Use with stickers of the same size (sold separately) to show homework assigned & completed!
    1. Stamp the page with the listening homework. At the beginning of the next class, check and see if students can do the chant, dialogue or song.

    1. If the student can recite/sing the listening homework well, put a gold award sticker (sold separately) over the stamp.

    1. If the student does an okay job, but not great, put a blue award sticker (sold separately) over the stamp.

    1. Later, if a student tries again and can do a better job, put a gold sticker over the blue sticker.

* If they cannot recite the listening homework at all, you can put a second stamp in their book and assign it again!

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