Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pop Up Chinese is a great self study tool.

If you are interested in learning Chinese, then mosey on over to and check it out. They offer lots of free stuff like a right click translator, which has come in handy on many an occasion, but the best thing of all, is the free podcasts! The absolute beginner podcasts are great for people like me, who only know a little “taxi cab” Chinese.

Also, the lessons are designed to be practical. Take this episode on ordering pizza, for instance. They really breakdown everything and take their time explaining the vocabulary and subtle variations, in detail. They incorporate lots of repetition into the lesson too, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know about you, but I need lots of repetition!

Now I’m ready to go to the local pizza joint and order a “large” pizza by myself!

If you decide to upgrade, the price is affordable and the product is user friendly. So why not give it a try?

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Students practice writing simple tense sentences using short, tall, fat, thin, young and old.

I’ve created a simple PowerPoint that focuses on constructing simple sentences. Click the link below to download. As always, all my PowerPoints are free.

Simple Tense – Short, Tall, Fat, Thin, Old, Young

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Conjunctions are like box cars that link phrases, clauses and words together.

Below is a short PowerPoint I put together for my primary students on the proper use of using the conjunctions and, but, and or.

Conjunctions I

I created it specifically to compliment my Conjunction Junction mini-unit. You can check out the details here.

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Using School House Rock's Conjunction Junction is a really clever way to teach your students how to use and, but, or and nor.

Here’s a great little activity you can do with your intermediate level speakers.

Divide the class up into boys and girls. Teach them the lyrics to Conjunction Junction from School House Rock’s classic animated short video. It’s only about 2.14 minutes long, so it is totally doable, especially if you have to fit it into an assembly or some other school production. Since I’ve already divided the script up for you, all you need to do is teach them the song. It is a bit fast in some places and the girls seem to get all the easy parts, but if you closely work with the boys, I’m sure they will catch on quickly.

Be sure to coach them on the subtle intonation and inflection found in the song. Really have them listen carefully to the lyrics and encourage them to mimic the singers. Trust me, you don’t want them singing in a flat monotone voice for this production.

It’s lots of fun, especially when it comes to the part where the boys get to bellow out Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!

You can download the video here.

School House Rock – Grammar – Conjunction Junction – this is the link to the song only.

An alternate source for the video can be found here.

An alternate source for the lyrics can be found here.

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Free PowerPoint templates are a fantastic way to spice up your classroom presentations.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I said that I would share with you all the free PowerPoint templates that are out there.

Just a word of advice before you go clicking away – some of the sites will require you to give your email address before you can download anything and they also my limit the number of downloads.

Regarding the free basic PowerPoints – to me, it looks like they are recycled from each other. So the point is, look around and choose only the ones you know you will use. You can always bookmark the site and go back for more later.

Presentation Magazine has a lot of very professional PowerPoint templates. Some of them are even animated! features several free PowerPoint templates every month so check back often. offers some very professional graphics at no charge. is a great resource for basic PowerPont templates. offers several pages of free professional PowerPoint templates. has loads of free basic PowerPoints to choose from.

Sonia Colmean’s Digital Studio offers some basic PowerPoints at no charge. is another great source for free basic templates.

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Students learn how to unscramble sentences with these fun PowerPoint games.

Below are a couple of fun little PowerPoint games I put together.

It was written for students who struggle with sentence construction.

Since the mixed up sentences and answers are animated, you can stop and teach the grammar and/or reinforce proper sentence mechanics, but the main thing is that the students have fun learning English!

Mixed Up Sentences

More Mixed Up Sentences

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Do your students have effective study skills?

My colleagues and I are giving a study skills workshop for the upper school students this Friday. Below is a sampling of the PowerPoints we will be using.

American Style Learning Strategies -This PowerPoint covers the proper use of highlighting, how to use two column notes and concept mapping.

Study Skills PPT by Lynn Husen – This presentation covers all the basics.

Time Mangement Skills – A visually appealing presentation that offers practical time management suggestions.

Best Test Taking Advice Ever – I used this PowerPoint when I was  prepping the kids for the FCAT.


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