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This is a place for parents and other educators interested in the use of the PASS (Parents As Successful teacherS) project materials with children aged 3-7.

PASS Experience Animal cards

Category: Phase 0
I was glad when my daughter wanted to play a game using her English learning animal cards. This package contains 20 animal cards with images, the word written both in Romanian and English (also with the pronunciation). She knows the letters and with a little effort she can read simple words in our mother tongue. She invented a game. This time I had to guess the animal card that she described. I had only three choices. At the begging she would say the first letter of the word, and then some features. After I gave the right/wrong  answer she tried also to read the word in English. It was fun. Impossible for me right now to explain why can't she read the word in English the way it is written... When I pronunced the word it sounded different from the way she read it. Also she was happy to remember the name of some animals like: spider, mouse, cat, rabbit,  and dog.
 If you don't practice you can also forget what you knew. She did not remember words like pig, bear and cow.
This is a moment of our game: she had the card with an ant. I recognize that I did not have a chance to look at this cards. For me they were new. :-) She told the letter P.  All my answers were wrong :-) But she made a mistake. She did not look at the word, at the first letter, she looked at the image. All the images are drawn and the ant looks like a spider ... The Romanian word for spider is paianjen. So, the first rule of the game was to look first at the word, not the image.
I did not have a purpose, because it was her initiative and I was taken by surprise. But it was a good exercise most of all because she tried to read and pronounce the words.
Now she is playing the game with her dad, too. :-)

PASS Experience What about Franklin?

Category: Phase 0
Franklin is the green turtle, main protagonist of the "Franklin" cartoon. When my girl was little she used to watch this cartoon. We have a book with this character. It is in English. I read it a while ago, but she was not interested to cooperate, to understand the text. We gave it a try again. What we did? We paid attention to the title first "Hurry up, Franklin" and the cover image. I asked her what does she think the title wants to say. She said that Franklin is running, so the title says "run Franklin". We had this conversation in our mother tongue. I gave the right answer and we did the same with the story. I read a page and then stopped. We had the conversation about the meaning of the text, watching the images. While I was reading she was able to translate some words. Then I followed the same strategy with almost all the text from the book. She was really excited when she heard about Rabbit. She knew the meaning of "rabbit". She learned a song about rabbits at kindergarten (at the English course).
A part of the text she was excited about is:
<It wasn't far to Bear's house. Just along the path, over the bridge and across the berry patch. Franklin meant no hurry -  except he saw something unusual. He wandered off the path and found Rabbit bobbing up and down in the tall, green grass. "What are you doing?" Franklin asked Rabbit.
"Playing Leap Frog," said Rabbit. "Do you want to play with me?" [...] >
The book is a little bit difficult for her English level. But I am sure that once she goes to school we will do it better. She will read it all alone. :-)
I wanted her to hear me read in English, to let her understand the text while analyzing the images and I was glad when she could also translate a few words and expressions.


PASS Experience Let's compare books!

Category: Phase 0
Lady and the Tramp. Two books written in different languages (English and Romanian). It was interresting in the end. I am saying "in the end" because my daughter was hard to convince to use Lady and the Tramp in our comparison activity. She wanted other stories, but unfortunately this is the only book that she have in two languages. I have to fix this in days to come.
First of all I asked her to compare the two books by the criteria of size, color, format, consistence. Then we talked about images. What are the differences between the way the characters are drawn and the similarities. We looked at the writting (she knows the letters and she can read only some short words in Romanian) and page numbers and in the end we read the stories in both languages.
This are a few of the observations that she made. The English book is smaller, thicher (even if it has a smaller number of pages), it is narrow, yellow, it is not new, and the scene images are different. One of the scene from the book written in Romanian is missing.
The Romanian version is blue, is bigger, thiner, new and and it has more writting and more images and scenes. About the images she observed some diferences, little ones, on the cover.  Both of the books are soft and she said that it has the  "Disney" logo on the cover. While reading the story in Romanian, she watched carefully the images and we talked about the way they are drawn/represented.  I read also the English version and i asked her several times to try to "guess" what I read analyzing images.

PASS Experience Nursery rhymes

Category: Phase 0
We had a great experience in learning English with Nursery rhymes videos. My daughter likes songs and it was a pleasure to hear her sing in English... I discovered that PASS  suggests to listen Nursery rhymes in learnin English on the phase 0 cards. It is funny and entertaing and a good way for children to learn English. After listening for a while I realised that my daughter's pronunciation is better. Next time I will make her listen an English song and after that the same song but in the mother tangue. I am sure it will be interesting to hear her point of view about what sounds different or maybe similar.

PASS Experience Online cooking game

Category: Phase 0
I found on the PASS cards about computers a good idea to continue to learn your child English with online games. First I wanted to find an online game with one of her favorite cartoons character. But she wanted something different, or just an online puzzle.  While we were surfing the internet looking for an educational game (to help her learn English) she was distracted by an online cooking game with a famous cartoon character.  It can be played in two languages, none of them is her mother tongue. We played for several times in English. She was excited. It was a little bit easy, but interesting. She had to chose first a recipes (she made them all) after that the character said the ingredients and my daughter had to find them on the table, in the refrigerator or in the closet... She heard expressions not only words, like (There it is, You found it, That's right, Thanks for helping etc.). She had also indications where to find them ( Look on the table)... I guess it was ok because she repeated often the words and some expressions.


PASS Experience A game in the target language

Category: Phase 0
We use to experience online learning games. My daughter has chosen first an online coloring game. The rule of the game was: once you hear a name of a color in English, the participant must color an object/phenomena/nature elements etc. When you point an object you can hear the name of that object in English. I repeated for three times the name of that object. She played this game for three or four times. She also played a coloring game but with aquatic animals. It was a little bit different because this time the computer voice said the name of the aquatic animal and the color. For example: Paint the sea horse purple. I had to translate. I could not find at that moment a logical explanation for each name of the aquatic animal or something to make her corelate the name of the animal with the drawing. She know the word star, so here it was simple to corelate with the starfish. I asked what star means and what fish looks like a star, so she answered the starfish.


PASS Experience Cartoons in the target language

Category: Phase 0
I convinced my daughter to look at an online cartoon in English. I let her choose one. She chose "Mickey's new car". It is not so long. Almost 8 minutes. I did not answer anything, during the cartoon. I just observed and listen to everything she said. It was surprising for me that she tried to translate out loud some of the expressions. Her mind was working... :-) She also repeted some of the words and sentences as if she wanted to learn them and she also recognized some words/expressions that she learned before.
She understood the action, the video helped a lot...
Next time I will  follow the indications from the phase 0 cartoons cards.


PASS Experience Numbers

Category: Phase 0
Teona knows how to count to ten in English. After we did the doctor game I played a short game that involved numbers and some parts of our body. First of all Teona tried and really succed in saying the correct answer when I showed her numbers using my fingers. We had fun because I contradicted her everytime by saying a wrong number.
After that I only talked in English. I used words she already knows, but which she did not used together in a sentence. I also used everytime the expression "We have". She interfere from time to time saying a number or a part of our body.
So I said pointing that we have:
two eyes
one nose
one mouth
ten fingers
two legs
two knees
one head
two shoulders
ten toes
two ears
and so on...
It is a very simple game, but my aim was to put words together.

PASS Experience An English patient.

Category: Phase 0

My daughter wanted to play the doctor game. I used a mediator, a toy patient (Coco bear) an English native speaker. The bear was in terrible pain. But he could not speak, obvious, Romanian.  I was the nurse and the bear voice. I introduced the bear saying that he can not speak any other language than English and that she must treat him (and put him some questions). We started with Hello. She asked only in Romanian. She repeted some words that the patient said. I did not translated.
The doctor asked for two times what's the problem, what hurts him.
Patient: My belly. My belly. (He showed his belly so that the doctor understands where is the problem)
Doctor: Have you eat to many sweets?
The patient could not understand. I did not translated. I hoped she would have said it in another way, by showing somehow the question.
The patient: It hurts so much! It really hurts. The bear swayed from side to side, he was complaining.
He definitely ate a lot of sweets. Open your mouth. Say Aaaaa.... aaaaa....
After each question / request, the patient was saying something like:
"Oh, do you want me to open my mouth", "You want me to turn around", "You want me to hold my breath", "You want me to say my name/age" etc.
I insisted on this: "My name is Coco Bear. I am 3 years old." I showed with my fingers.
Also the patient asked for a few time if everything's ok (showing the sign for ok). The doctor also pointed with her fingers for a few time "Ok".  The patient also used expressions like "Good?", "Not good?" (at "not good", the bear shook his head).
After the game ended we talked about body parts. She already knows to say in English head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose (from the famous song for children). But she did not realise that she can already use the word "mouth" when she said "Open your mouth" in Romanian. I would have been better for the nurse to interfere more? To give her some clues about the words she already know?
But it was an experience. We will try in a different way someother time.


PASS Experience Sorting

Category: Phase 0

I decided to try TA sorting technique with my 3 year old daughter Dana. This is the first time of a such sort of activity.

There were apples on the tables and I suggested her to find apples for a small mouse. She found one, but I told her that these are apples that a mouse would prepare fora long winter . Then she took all small apples from the plate and looked intrigued.

So I told her that small mice, friends of our little mouse will come soon and, as the plate is very small for all apples, we have to put these small apples in two plates. Dana divided apples in halves. Then I told her that, as far as I know one of these mice doesn’t like apples with worm traces. So she separated such apples from the rest.

02 Sep 2013, 11:08
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