Monday, November 4, 2013

Conference: The Magic of Teaching Children

Last month I visited the lovely city of Buenos Aires and had the most wonderful time. I saw the ad about the Conference in the Facebook Group: ESL/EFL Preschool Teachers and I was lucky enough to get a space. It was really full, maybe 250 teachers were there.

Here´s the web site of the company that organized the Conference:
Check it out, they have an electronic, independent and a FREE magazine. There are 243 magazines posts just waiting for you to download. What a wonderful contribution with nice articles and interesting topics for everyone. All of them created by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac, both from Argentina.

1.      Games for the little ones. Dr. Fernando Armesto.  

2.      Understanding how very young children learn . Dr. Omar Villareal.

He presented the processes of cognitive and affective development of children in kindergarten and primary school.
3. Classroom Management: Tips and Tricks to get children tuned in. Lic. María Marta Suárez. She has developed the holistic methodology (ALL- Alternative Language Learning) and created ALL English for babies. Loved the concept. Here´s her  website
Her presentation: Young children starve for play, movement and fun. This awareness can make teachers think they need to become an inexhaustible source of entertaining activities and exciting material.  They may also perceive they need to train their throats to lead tasks in the highly demanding atmosphere of the first grades.  However, teaching young children can become teachers’ most rewarding job when they discover how to bring magic, make-believe and authentic care into the classroom.
She brought her toolbox and it was delightful seeing all the things that she has for teaching: a bag, a smash device, a ball, a puppet, and more things.  It reminded me of the one I had during my most active teaching years.

She listed all the kids needs (below) and when those needs are met then there is enthusiasm for learning. Keep this in mind !

4.      Technology in the Kindergarten. Professor Alfredo Bilopolsky
From his presentation:
Learning with computers implies that the computer is a tool to solve problems where students must gather, organize, and analyze problems. This approach supports constructivist teachings and the idea that technologies are cognitive tools that can be used to expand on student learning (Reeves, 1998).
He then presented a large list of all resources found on the web that can be included in your lesson planning.

 5.      Creating the magic through drama . Susan Hillyard
Her presentation: Educational drama, with its emphasis on games, play and fantasy, offers the young learner a holistic way of acquiring the foreign or second language through appealing to all five areas of the developing child: social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional. In addition it allows the teacher to develop her own professional skills and her enjoyment of the teaching-learning process. 
She sang beautiful songs with a lovely British voice.
1.      Eteaching on Line  (
Most of their awesome material are in CD, DVD format, with lots of worksheets to print and use in class. They also carry posters. Don´t miss their web page, it includes a magazine with lots of free resources. You will spend a long time reading and surfing through her site.

2.      ALL Alternative Language learning. English for babies, preschool and kids. I never thought of teaching babies ! Teaching 3 year olds were difficult, imagine babies. Then would be interesting to try.

3.    Fun Class: resources for teachers.  She had a huge diversity of resources, mainly puppets, felt items, flashcards, stickers, etc. She was of the queen of the stands. I had trouble taking a glance at her products. Creator: Lorena Acosta (English Teacher)

A Play to end the Conference. Peter's Adventures by On the Road Theatre Company. It is an educational theatre company that performs at Schools in Argentina, promoting the Language through Arts and  serving  as a multi-level stimulus for English students. They are also on Facebook.
Producers: Ximena Faralla and Andrew Ian McKenna
Watch the video:

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