My English Book and Me 3: how we use

My English Book and Me 3 Classbook and Homebook are ABC phonics texts.   Children will learn many new words as they learn their phonics.   There is constant review and re-enforcement with mini – tests.   Students also learn conversational questions and answers.        We use MEB3 with ANY beginning elementary student … Read more

Kindergarten Lessons at Dave and Amy’s

This is the Kindergarten Lessons at Dave and Amy English School:   Goals   Before elementary school, students should be able to: 1.  Know Lots of Vocabulary 2.  Ask and Answer Simple Questions and Answers 3.  Sing simple English Songs 4.  Recognize all 26 Lowercase Letters: begin reading 5.  Know the Phonetic Sounds of all … Read more

Level Checks: what we do

At Dave and Amy English School, we have many returnees and students from other schools.    We do a level check to decide the best lesson for them.  We check reading, writing, speaking and comprehension.  We have found it’s best to begin easily and steadily challenge the child more.  This allows the child to be … Read more

Beginners are Beginners

I am often asked by potential students, can my (for example) 2nd grade child join the lesson with his 5th grade sibling.    I answer, IF they are both beginners, YES.      Why?  Because beginners are beginners.   It doesn’t matter if they are in 1st grade or in 6th grade.   If they … Read more

Our Kindergarten Lessons

This is the basic Kindergarten Lessons at Dave and Amy English School: Goals: Before elementary school, students should be able to: 1.  Know Lots of Vocabulary 2.  Ask and Answer Simple Questions and Answers 3.  Sing simple English Songs 4.  Recognize all 26 Lowercase Letters: begin reading 5.  Know the Phonetic Sounds of all the … Read more

Quitters

Despite our best efforts, students WILL quit (I would love to tie them down to lifetime contracts, but somehow I don’t think that would go down well). What can we do about quitters? Pre – empt:   Provide GOOD, QUALITY lessons at AFFORDABLE prices.   If students like your lessons and if parents can see … Read more

Thinking Time

  One of the key philosophies at Dave and Amy English School is to give the students thinking time.   What does this mean?   Simply that in ANY activity, give the students TIME to THINK.    Too many times, teachers—-in the bid to TEACH and be HELPFUL —- jump in and give the student … Read more

‘Perfect’ Homework

  In the My English Book and Me 3 Texts, there are many mini – tests.   We want the tests to be meaningful and to test the students (obviously).     Unfortunately, we found that many times, when assigned for homework, the tests would come back PERFECT—with NO mistakes.   Mysteriously when students did … Read more

Ninja Secretary

Many people are surprised to hear that for years we had no Japanese help at all.   NOW, we DO have a Japanese secretary who helps out once a month.    She’s a ninja secretary.  Our students don’t know we have Japanese staff.   Why would we do that? We feel that if we have … Read more

All Nails Stick Out

In Japan, there is a saying: the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.   In other words, people who are different will be forced to conform.   This has historical and cultural roots that I am not qualified to discuss but I want to show how important it is to be different in a … Read more

Why we Hired our First Teachers

I was recently asked about hiring our first teachers.   The obvious reason: we had grown as a school and needed more teachers to cover the lessons.    But more importantly, we valued our family time and work life/ balance.    Before our two boys entered kindergarten we spent mornings playing in parks // play centers and afternoons at home together.   Then we … Read more

Mommy and Baby Lessons: 親子レッスン

At Dave and Amy English School, we used to have popular, effective Mommy and Baby lessons.  14 – 18 Moms and young children would come to the weekly lessons.   Before kindergarten,  students could usually say their name and age, answer basic questions and knew a lot of vocabulary.     Let’s go through the … Read more

Toilet Breaks in Class

Believe it or not, we have a toilet break policy at Dave and Amy English School.  It sounds ridiculous, but it is necessary.   To begin with, let’s go through WHY we have a policy:    In our experience we found: A.  Teachers who allow toilet breaks have students going to the toilet EVERY CLASS. … Read more

Financing Materials

 Our students LOVE new materials.   How do we finance new materials?     Over the years, we’ve tried several options.  I will go through the options we have tried:  At first we charged TWICE yearly fees of 1500 yen (in March and December).   Japanese schools often charge a YEARLY fee for materials/ utilities.    The main … Read more

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