The Queen’s Present

And I have just taught my last English lessons for the year… I was kindly invited to visit classes 6 A&B at the NBS Dirk van Veen (NL). I built my Xmas-lesson around the picturebook The Queen’s Present by Steve Antony. So after discussing some English Xmas traditions, we went on a trip around the world in search for the perfect present. It is a wonderful story with amazing illustrations (lots to spot including Mr Panda) and it involves all children by travelling to places they have visited, have family and friends or even come from. Now if you know the book, you will know that the Queen does not stop in the Netherlands but if she did, she might … 

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The Snowman

Lovely lesson in HB Grp 2/3 with their fabulous class teacher Maartje at the Montessori+ Breda. The Lesson was built around The Snowman by R.Briggs. As a class we worked with images & checked existing knowledge and connected vocabulary. We worked on repetition and pronunciation of vocabulary, fun & tricky sounds. Then we listened & watched the book being read by a child. Finally, in smaller groups, children completed a story / image-sequencing activity and made a new friend for The Snowman. Here is the link to the very good recording by a child reading a shorter version of the book (early reader) and in a suitable speed for a young language learner. As you can see, The Snowman has made many new friends in Breda. Tatia

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Our English Reading Clubs

Since November 2017, we finally have the first English Reading Clubs off the ground. There are different ways of organising this but the aim is for children to enjoy reading in English and learning English while they go along. The English Reading Club is underpinned by some basic activities which can be expanded on and adapted to suit the needs of the children in the reading club.

Organised by the librarian during school-time: 

Many schools have volunteer mum & dad librarians. Usually there is always one with a soft-spot for English and who manages the school’s English book collection. In  this case, teachers could select around 6 children who would benefit from a Reading Club. The club meets weekly for 30 min during school time and read & complete activities together. Younger reading clubs might read one book together, older children might decide to all choose their own book.

Organised by the class teacher:

Many primary teachers are now starting to work especially with picturebooks for English Language Learning purposes. In this case, it might be nice to organise a Class Reading Club. Different groups of children work every week for 30 min with a different picturebook. Guided by set activities to develop English vocabulary, reading, speaking & writing skills, children can share their ideas and knowledge.

For the first reading clubs, we have printed some cards for children to rank their books and they are proving to be very popular.

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Feeling the Love

We are feeling the love, lots of wonderful book donations have been left off for us at both The Little English Library in Breda & Prinsenbeek. Thank You! Both libraries are now ready for the upcoming festivities.

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Library book check-out

The Little English School Libraries at the Montessori+ in Breda and in Prinsenbeek are open-access libraries for the local community and work on a self-service honour system. When I tell new members that the service is free and that they can check their books in & out by themselves, they are often very surprised. So far, in nearly 4 years, our book loss has been very low and children and parents take returning their books seriously as you can see. Wonderful.