Teaching With Flashcards


A big part of teaching kids is flashcards. Kids love pictures, mainly because ‘a picture tells a 1000 words’ and it is easier to remember a picture. Have a look at the videos to see how I introduce a picture. I usually get the kids to show the flashcards.

   Now with flashcards you can do many things. As long as the flashcards are in plastic covers or basically indestructible there is a lot you can do. But your flashcards will be ripped, screwed up, thrown around and whatever else little kids can do. And you will be amazed at what they can do. I have my flashcards in plastic folders and the kids still manage to rip some. At one stage two kids both wanted the same card, and they both had half each and were pulling as hard as they could. The card survived but only after I took it off them. So expect the unexpected.

     For kindergarten the most common game is find the card – you put about 6 to 10 cards on the floor and call out one card and the kids has to find the card. I used to hang the cards on the blackboard, if the blackboard is magnetic. I hang around 10 on the board just high enough, so the kids couldn’t grab the cards. Then draw lines down between the cards and draw a little hand on the board. 

     To draw the hand I would get a kid to put his or her hand on the board and then I would draw around it. Next I would line up up to 10 kids, call out the name of the card, and suddenly realize how much the kids didn’t understand. Then I would call out another name, then another and another. 

     I do everything fast and the kids are running all over the place. They loved it. Next I’d get another 10 and start all over again. And that usually meant drawing the hand again. As some kids sole aim in class is to rub out everything you write on the board. This is easy to set up, just takes a few minutes and the kids love it. And you can do it many times. The kids don’t seem to get bored as they are running all over the place, and there are new pictures.

     If you do this on the floor expect the cards to be thrown around, trampled on, pulled apart and generally destroyed. So try and use the blackboard. If the board is not magnetic I have problems. In one class I tied a piece of string across the blackboard and used clothes pegs to hold the cards. It was OK except the cards keep falling of the string and then the kids would rip them apart to give them back to me. Magnetic boards are the best.

     I like to make sentences up on the board and the kids love it. See the video. Even though there are a bunch of cards on the board, the kids love it, as long as it is fast and there are not to many cards on the board. In the videos I use lots of cards, but usually I don’t use that many as the kids get lost and lose interest. 

For more information about teaching in China click here.

Peter Legrove spends most of his time in front of a mixed bunch of kids trying to instill in them some semblance of the road to survive the future.

This article is copyright © peter legrove.

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All the best teaching in China

Teacher Peter

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