04/01/2016

There are flashcards and there is the CoolTool

Of course you know flashcards! You're teaching young children a foreign language!


But nonetheless, something about flashcards

Young children generally can't read letters yet, but they can read pictures. That's why flashcards are so useful for the very young learner. Generally, flashcards are bigger in size, either drawn or photographed and used by teachers for easier explanation of the topic discussed. Many of the flashcards are supported by the explanation corresponding to the picture. Few of them have collocated words, but mostly they are supported by a single word.

Those flashcards are very useful, but have limited usage and are mostly teacher-class oriented; the teacher is using them to convey the meaning/topic/word to the class.


The CoolTool


In its bases CoolTool is a very big collection of flashcards for most frequently used words relating to teaching young children English (700 words: nouns, verbs, adjectives). There is an illustration for each word and is supported by its written equivalence (collocated). 

So, what makes the CoolTool so special?

The design (the combination of the size, illustrations and their written equivalent) together with the storage unit (CoolHouses), make the CoolTool unique. And the design is EU protected.

  • The cards are meant for children's usage in the cooperative games. Cards' size and shape are therefore designed accordingly.

  • Involving children in the game promotes their interaction and socialisation. This way children learn to use and improve their social skills.



  • The way the words are written enables learning not only vocabulary but also grammar. Starting with the articles and continuing with plural, personal pronouns, parts of speech and ending in learning tenses.



  • Different combinations of the word and the picture enables endless didactic games for learning the above mentioned.

  • There are 5 cards for each word. If you have a big class, every child can be involved in the games, for there are 3500 cards for 700 words.




Oh, but I can make flashcards myself!

Of course you can! 

You buy some paper, find the pictures on the web (or you draw them yourself) and then laminate them. You need to buy quality laminating pouches (or else they fall part) and cut them into manageable sizes. If you have the topic food, for instance, you need let's say 20 different kinds of food. Each child, of course, needs 3-4 different cards in order to be able to play games. If you want to make different types of cards for the same word  for different types and levels of games ... you soon come to at least 150 cards that you need for one topic.
And do not forget to be careful to download only the pictures that are for free and to design them in such a way that you don't violate authors' rights. 


You will probably pay for the material yourself. (If you're lucky, the school pays it for you). But all the work is on you: you come home from work at 3PM, kiss your kids and then you start working the 'card' project. You finish at 3 AM and you're only at the beginning...



You've finally managed to make your 150 cards in, let's say, 14 days (but you haven't seen your kids and your spouse for 14 days and your friends are probably nothing but a memory). You've spent approximately180€ for the material only. And have spent all of your free time for your job.



Yes, I know. Life's not perfect.



Every job has tough periods.

Everybody has bosses.
Everybody works hard.
At every job there's injustice.
Everybody makes mistakes.
Everybody wants to be paid for their effort.

Everybody has a choice.

And English teachers are no exception.


Like a mathematician gets his/her tools (compasses, rulers...) so can an English teacher get hers/his. If you don't have the tools, you simply cannot work efficiently. That's the fact. 

And there are the CoolTool and the CoolHouses - the already made tools for you. CoolDoodles are for free. And you can use the C00l-tools for the period of minimum 5 years, from the 1st to the 5th grade. And when you calculate it, it comes down to 12€ per child max for 5 years of learning.

Do you think this is expensive?

And nothing else is needed, apart from 4-5 picture books.


And what does an English teacher need for the start?
  • the wish to teach the best way possible,
  • the wish to teach 'the C00lSch00l' way,
  • the wish to use the C00lSch00l teaching aids,
  • the wish to have free time for her/himself,
  • the confidence/belief that the above mentioned is what she/he really wants.
Once you have all of the above mentioned, the confidence to go to the principal and ask for the tools for making your job possible comes in itself.

And, there's one other thing I strongly believe in:

Nobody can choose instead or for us, if we want to be respected. The respect is earned by standing our ground, believing in ourselves, constantly arming ourselves with knowledge, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and accepting the consequences for our choices and actions.