Thursday, July 27, 2017

My VIPKID Supplemental Supplies

My last post shared about getting started with the VIPKID company teaching Chinese children English online in a virtual classroom.  Please check it out for more information about the company and where I am in the process!

One of the requirements for VIPKID is to have supplemental materials.  My kiddos are older, so I didn't have a lot of beginning reading, phonics, and writing things around the house.  I also wanted to pursue this job to make money, not spend lots of it on teaching materials.  So, I went to the tried and true Dollar Tree to find the bulk of my materials.  Supplemental materials are needed for the teacher's background, letter recognition, writing, reinforcing, modeling, and incentives...and to make sure the kiddos are engaged and having fun!  That sounds like a lot, but it really isn't.

Since I will be teaching on a tiny part of a screen, it is essential to have a fun background, but one that isn't too busy or distracting.  I found the border at the Dollar Tree, the felt map at Target for $5, and printed off coloring pages (which my awesome kiddos colored for me).  I have left some blank spaces to add materials once I get into the groove of teaching.

Teacher Background

I will be teaching the lower-level classes.  These children will have very little or no English speaking skills at all.  The key is to think preschool/Kindergarten when shopping.  At the Dollar Tree, I purchased flash cards and letters and numbers made of foam, magnets, and cardboard.  My kiddos and I sorted these then placed them in a baggie and store them in a small tote.                                        

Alphabet Packet
Alphabet Tote

Ladybug Incentive
Now, I am interested to see how this part plays out with the kiddos.  VIPKID has it's own reward system where the children can earn up to 5 stars that are rewarded to them on their screen then banked in their account.  However, VIPKID encourages high level of praise for the students and they want teachers to implement their own incentive plan.  VIPKID provides some via powerpoint slides that can be printed out or used digitally.  I bought a few cake sheets and made my own incentive games...for example, I found a huge ladybug magnet to show the student as their token on the board.  The objective is to move the ladybug over the leaves to the flower.  The purpose for the kiddos is to keep them engaged and excited!

Race Car Incentive 
Animal Pyramid Incentive
I purchased a variety of other materials to help keep me organized and that I knew would come in handy.  Binder for VIPKID info, notes, and paperwork.  Big block calendar for keeping up with bookings (even though those are on the app and Teacher Portal).  Whiteboard, markers and eraser--every teacher loves those!  Sticky notes.  Pointer...all from Dollar Tree!  I didn't have a puppet, so I ordered one from Target with a long-lost gift card I found while cleaning!  Puppets are a colorful, easy, and fun way to get a kiddo's attention and to have them engage!  Easy books are also a simple and inexpensive visual to have on hand, along with play food, stuffed animals, and craft stick puppets!  (My kiddos and I used Pinterest to look up craft stick puppet printable and made over 100 puppets for animals, food, weather, and emotions!)

In the FAQ section on VIPKID's homepage, they have all the information about the technology requirements.  Obviously, you need a computer with camera capabilities or a webcam.  A headset with mic is recommended.  I did my Mock Lesson 1 with earbuds with a built in mic, and the feedback I received said some sounds were hard to hear and make out.  So, my "big purchase" for my classroom will be a headset.  On your computer (desktop or laptop), you will also need to have a wired DSL connection...remember, you are talking to China, so the better the connection, the better the class!  You'll also need a current operating system, Flash, and at least 4 GB of memory.

I know it sounds like a lot, but if you are a teacher, parent, or anyone who enjoys working with kiddos, the materials are easy to come by without spending a lot.  If you are interested in learning more about this company, please let me know or use my referral code below to checkout the VIPKID site!


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