A Review of Super Simple Learning’s “One Little Finger”

One Little Finger, the fourth track of Super Simple Songs 1, by the good people at Super Simple Learning (SSL), is a tune I’d heard plenty of times but had never really given a shot in the classroom. I only knew about it because it came right after Seven Steps (which my young learners beg me to play again and again). It seemed cute but I just never got around to teaching it, or in all honestly really paying any attention to it at all. It just didn’t seem like a big deal.

What a mistake that was. Just for kicks I took it on the road with me this month and taught it to a couple dozen classes of preschoolers, more than 300 kids in all, and without exception it was a huge hit. The kids just went wild it for it, although truth be told I wasn’t really sure why at first.

One Little Finger introduces the words up and down as well as several parts of the body: finger, head, nose, chin, arm, leg, and foot. You can give it a listen here by watching this cool video recently released by SSL:

There’s something really soothing about the music and lyrics that draws the kids in and doesn’t let go until the song is done – exactly the kind of classroom tool any teacher would want. The characters featured in the video are the same as those in SSL’s If You’re Happy, Happy, Happy…. video, which I found charming, and was positively enchanting for the children. Between the video and the song, One Little Finger is a real winner.

But for a look at how the song really should be sung, check out this next video of preschoolers being led through the song at Hands-On English, a private English school in Japan. The teacher changes the lyrics just slightly between verses for additional repetition, which helps with ‘vocabulary inception’ (I just re-watched the movie recently, and I think I have seen the future of language instruction). Anyways… now for that video…

Aren’t the kids just bursting with energy and enthusiasm? – exactly what we should all strive for in our classes. I am still trying to find out the name of the person in the video, if anything because I think she’s super cool and I ended up basing my own lesson largely on how she was singing the song.

There are some cute (and FREE) flash cards available for download (whether you have bought the CD or not) as well as some great ideas and links for teaching the song on the official song page.

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I’m really looking forward to teaching it again to a new group of children, just because I had so much fun the first time around, and so will you. Maybe it’s the finger action I liked the most; after all it did take me two days to stop doing it in my sleep. That’s not creepy, right?

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Flashcard Generator from Super Teacher Worksheets

스크린샷 2013-07-21 오전 11.01.51In other news, Super Teacher Worksheets (STW) has recently released an easy-to-use flashcard generator that’s sure to make the lives of teachers everywhere much easier. Personally I hate paying top dollar for the flashcards sold by the major publishers, and this little toy goes a long way to ensuring I never have to again. There’s just one little problem, but I’ll be getting to that later.

Now for the preliminaries. Choose from among eight color options for the borders, then label the flash cards and add your name as creator.

스크린샷 2014-02-07 오후 8.30.41Choose the words you’d like to appear on the flashcards.

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Press the green button, and voila!

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Now you just have to print and laminate them and you have your own professional looking flashcards.

A moment ago I said I had a little problem with this whole set up, well here it is: pictures. Although this flashcard generator is amazing, what would make it even better is if there were an option to upload images onto the cards. It might be asking a little much but STW continues to up their game and so I guess my expectations have been raised. Still amazing all the same.

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A Little ESL Humor: Stay Calm and…

I saw this being used as an advertisement for an English school the other day and it gave me a laugh.

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Bingo Game Generator from Super Teacher Worksheets

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Exciting news from the people who create some of the best worksheets a teacher could hope to have at the lowest price. Do, I sound like an infomercial? Perhaps. But you should still check what the good people at Super Teach Worksheets (STW) have come up with in recent weeks. It’s so awesome, I hate it. It would have saved me so much work if I had had this gem a decade ago.

That’s right, a simple-to-use Bingo Game generator. First create a title for the bingo cards and credit yourself for making them, if you so choose. Next choose 5×5 or 4×4 boards and whether you want the center square to be free or not. Then how many cards you want to appear on the page (one or two) and how many you need in total; you can choose up to 50.

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Now plug in the vocabulary words you’d like to appear on the cards, from 25 up to 55 words.

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After you’ve done just hit the “create” button and you’re all done.

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Now just print them off, laminate them if you’d like to keep them, and you’ve got yourself some professional looking bingo cards, complete with calling cards.

 

 

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Like I said before, these would have been of great use to me many years ago, but such is the curse of growing older. In any case, better late than never. So cheers to the good people at STW and their programmers.

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