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By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #3 – Icons and Images

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Dave here, Busy Beaver guy,

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This is the third Newsletter in my “Getting Kids Excited About Education” series.
This is about learning with pictures and sound instead of letters and words.

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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In University I encountered the concept “Semiotics” and a quick Google-Wiki refreshed my memory. Semiotics is the study of how signs represent meaning. That is a real key element in my Busy Beaver teaching method.

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The principle idea of all of the lessons is to communicate what’s going on in each picture without reading the words.

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Images are a great way to communicate across all languages and cultures because they are universal. If we see a picture of a puppy sleeping, we all think “cute” regardless of what language we speak. Simply put – a picture says 1000 words.

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When we consider the fact that we spend a great deal more time in our lives “reading” images as opposed to text it’s no wonder that humans are predisposed towards images and icons over written words.

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Yet so many people believe that in order to learn how to speak a new language we need to sit down and pour over a book filled with confusing words – Is that how you learned to speak your native language? Or did you learn it through using it?

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I’ve had students who after 3 years of English lessons still couldn’t read. They disliked English and often acted up in class because it frustrated them. I removed all of the distractions (pencils, jackets, back packs etc.) sat them down at a table and showed them flash cards. Then I asked questions and taught them to answer in full sentences.

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The students picked up the new skill quickly, because it’s simple, but more importantly the kids who couldn’t read suddenly became much more engaged. Now they were on the same level as the kids who could read and they were a lot more confident to speak up.

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My point is that in learning a new language – shouldn’t the emphasis be placed on speaking first?

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Native speakers of any language learn the spoken word before the written one.

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If we’re studying math we need books and pencils. If we’re studying a language we need images and sound.

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Dave

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Check out the Previous Podcast in this Series “Dancing Babies”

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #2 – Dancing Babies

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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How are you doing?

Dave here – the creator of Busy Beavers.

Welcome to the first in my new series of Podcasts about getting kids excited about education.

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This one is about the innate attraction all humans have towards music and how that can be utilized as a teaching tool.

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Have you ever seen a baby or a toddler start dancing when she hears music?
It’s funny the way children seem to have an instinctual reaction to music.
Without any instruction or encouragement often they will just start dancing, clapping and participating along with music when they hear it.
Why is that?

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I remember going to visit my Uncle Randy and his daughter Mary Jane when she was about 2 years old. I would always bring my guitar and as soon as I got there I’d be asked to perform a mini-concert. When I started playing Mary Jane would sway into the middle of the living room and start boogying. She was just doing what came naturally.

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As an English teacher in South Korea I learned two things very quickly:

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1. A lot of kids don’t like to study English.

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2. ALL kids love music.

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The problem I faced – How do you get kids to digest the bitter pill of learning something they don’t want to?

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The Solution – Hide it in something they like – music.

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One of the first videos I produced was The House Song. (That’s why the animation for that one is so crude – I was just learning). I wanted to deliver the target vocabulary, the rooms in the home, in a fun way.

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As a teaching tool that particular video worked wonderfully.
The kids had been struggling to learn the words “Bathroom” and “Living Room” for several weeks. Each lesson I would hold up a picture of a bathroom and ask “What’s this?” and only 2 or 3 kids out of 10 would say “It’s a bathroom”. The rest of them, although they had heard the word many times before, could not or would not say it out loud.

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But, after only a couple viewings of the video ALL of the kids were singing along. Suddenly the daunting task of remembering and pronouncing those difficult words became instantly achievable when the words were set to music. The kids wanted to participate in the fun and the only way to do that was to learn a new skill. They all quickly did and practiced with pleasure. Mission accomplished.

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Feel free to pass this page on to your friends – it’s free to sign up for this newsletter on the homepage of our website Busy Beavers

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Dave

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Check out the Next Podcast in this Series “Icons and Images”

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #1 – Walk Before You Run

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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How are you doing?

Dave here – the creator of Busy Beavers.

Welcome to the first in my new series of Podcasts about getting kids excited about education.

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Now, I’ve often been accused of being a bit “long winded” so I’m going to do my best to keep these episodes focused.

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This episode is about learning to walk before we can run.

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I taught at a lot of different English Academies in South Korea over the 6 years I was there and one problem I always encountered was – the study material wasn’t properly matched to the students’ abilities. Most often the books were just too difficult.

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More than once I was asked to teach a story book to a class of kids who couldn’t read. I said to my director “They don’t know phonics! They can’t spell DOG. This is ridiculous!”

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How can you play Mozart on the piano without first mastering the C major scale? A weightlifter doesn’t load 1000 pounds onto a bar bell and say “Well, let’s give this a try!” He works up to it slowly, over years. The same goes for learning anything new.

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In my experience the best way to empower students and make them feel like they are moving forward is to start with concepts they already know and are comfortable with and slowly build on them.

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If a lesson is too difficult the students will become confused and restless. If the material is just within their grasp they will become engaged and interested.

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Let’s say the target dialogue is “What’s this?” “It’s a book” “What color is the book?” “The book is red”. Those are the lyrics to The Color Song which I wrote for Korean elementary school students. But, when I tried it with kindergarten kids they were lost! Which is no surprise, it was too difficult.

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For the kindy kids I went back to the drawing board and wrote Electric Colors which simply introduces four key words – Red, Green, Yellow and Blue – they loved it.

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Then I wrote The Apple is Red and The Paint is Pink which put the colors and objects they already know into a sentence. They got it. Finally after several months we moved on to The Color Song and this time they all sang along.

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We have to walk before we can run.

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Dave

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Check out the Next Podcast in this Series “Dancing Babies”

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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A Typical ESL English Class

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Using the Busy Beavers Teaching Method

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Teachers Tips Image

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Any experienced teacher knows that students’ minds move very fast and they become bored very quickly.

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A great teacher changes the rhythm of a class often to keep learning exciting and fresh.

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The Busy Beavers “5 Component Teaching Method” offers suggestions for teachers to control the energy of the classroom by switching from one component to the next about every 5 minutes.

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Every Section of our Online Resources has invaluable Teachers’ Tips to help teachers prepare for each lesson.

Just scroll to the bottom of every page in our Online Resources for Level 1 or Level 2 and you will find your lesson plans already prepared for you!
These Teachers’ Tips provide great ideas for teachers to expand on the material with fun and interactive classroom activities.

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For example, a typical 30 – 45 minute English Lesson in an ESL classroom could flow something like this.

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Step 1 – (5 mins.)

Play a Video File and begin with the whole class singing along to a Song.

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Step 2 – (5 mins.)

Next the teacher could use Flash Cards to review material from the previous lesson. (5 mins.)

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Step 3 – (5 mins.)

Students could perform a role-playing activity to demonstrate their mastery of the old material.

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Step 4 – (5 mins.)

The teacher could introduce a new concept with an Interactive Video File.

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Step 5 – (5 mins.)

Students could then pair up and use the textbook to practice asking and answering questions with each other.

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Step 6 – (5 mins.)

One or two Work Sheets can be completed in class to practice reading and writing or assigned as homework.

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Step 7 – (5 mins.)

The entire class can join in a Bingo Game using the new vocabulary taught in today’s lesson.

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Step 8 – (5 mins.)

Lastly, the entire class can sing or chant along once more with a Video File.

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There’s a 40 minute class that incorporates review, new material, speaking practice, role playing, writing, comprehension and FUN!

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Why don’t you take a look at our Online Resources for Level 1 or Level 2 and give it a try in your classroom?

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Those are free samples for visitors to try out – paying subscribers can access everything!

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Happy Teaching!

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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5 Component Teaching Method

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5 components Image

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The Busy Beavers learning method contains Catchy Song Videos, Lesson Videos, Work Sheets, Teachers’ Tips, Games and more – but it’s also important how they are presented to students in each lesson.

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This is what we call the “5 Component Teaching Method“.

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There are 5 different ways the material for every lesson in our Online Resources can be used:

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1. Songs

2. Interactive Video / Audio Files

3. Textbook Activities

4. Classroom Activities

5. Work Sheets.

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The combination of these 5 different approaches to each lesson will help students visualize what they are learning from 5 different angles.

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Some students learn better through images, some through words, some through melodies and others through actions.

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The Busy Beavers material is presented in so many different ways that all students can identify with it and understand it no matter what type of learner they are.

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Let’s have a closer look at those 5 components right now.

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The 5 Components

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1. Songs:

Each Textbook contains several songs. Each song relates to several sections worth of material. They help familiarize students with vocabulary, grammar, questions and answers. They can be played anytime the teacher or class feels like.

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2. Interactive Video / Audio Files:

These are mini-lessons that can be played as a Video File or Audio file on a computer. These files assist the teacher in demonstrating and practicing the material for each section. They can be used in a variety of ways. They can be watched and repeated after, chanted along with, read out loud or used for question and answer role playing activities.

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3. Textbook Activities:

The textbook is the “road map” for all of the material. The Online Resources and Work Sheets follow the flow of the textbook. The textbook can be used in many ways. The teacher can hold up the book, point at pictures and ask questions about the material to the entire class or individual students. Students can practice in small groups by pointing at the textbook and asking and answering questions to each other. Students can even practice at home with their parents.

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4. Classroom Activities:

There are a number of suggestions in every section how the teacher can expand on the material in the classroom. Teachers can organize small role playing activities or “skits”. Flash Cards can be introduced to play “Memory Games” or “Go Fish” games. Students can make art projects or draw pictures of their own. Plenty of coloring activities and Bingo Games are provided in the Work Sheets. There are endless possibilities!

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5. Printable Work Sheets:

Both Textbook 1 and Textbook 2 come with over 180 Work Sheets each. These will provide plenty of reading and writing practice to help students become literate in English. They can be completed during class time or assigned as homework and checked daily.

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So how do we incorporate all of those elements into one learning experience?

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Click here to learn about A Typical Class Using the Busy Beavers Method.

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy Beavers Teaching Philosophy

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Busy Beavers Font

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The Busy Beavers teaching method is founded on several key principles.

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Songs, images, questions, answers, sentence structure, repetition and review are the fundamental elements of our teaching method.

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This article discusses how these elements come together in the Busy Beavers material.

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Let’s begin by looking at the basic elements used throughout the Busy Beavers series.

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Songs - Music is used as a memory tool to help students remember common phrases. The melody acts as the glue that holds the sentence structure together.

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Images – Busy Beavers is a “picture-based” learning method. Students discuss the images they see in full sentences before seeing any written words on a page.

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Questions and Answers – Asking and answering questions in full sentences is the basis of every lesson.

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Sentence Structure – Why let them only say “Hat” when they can say “It’s a Hat”? Why let them only say “Black” when they can say “The hat is black”? Students build grammar skills automatically by always speaking in sentences.

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Repetition – These exercises are repetitious for a reason – to build good habits. There is no easy solution to learning. Practice and repetition are the only ways to improve.

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Review – We suggest 2 steps forward and one step back throughout the material. It will boost the students’ morale and ensure that they are retaining what they are learning.
Watch how these videos illustrate all of the points above:

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The Alphabet Song below combines images with melody and repetition.

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The accompanying lesson Alphabet Words combines the images and words that we’ve learned in The Alphabet Song with questions and answers in full sentences.

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Likewise The House Song uses a catchy melody to help learners remember the sentence structure of the question “Where’s…” and “He’s / She’s in the…” It teaches both vocabulary and grammar at the same time – and it’s fun!

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This lesson Everyday Activities builds on the line of questioning “Where is he/she?” “What is he/she doing?” as learned in The House Song, but expands on it with many new examples to help build vocabulary.

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By learning English in this way students will learn to form sentences and communicate rather than simply memorize vocabulary. The Busy Beavers method is the opposite of simply reading words from a page. It is about being able to speak perfect questions and answers based on the images on the screen.

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You may be thinking “How does a teacher combine all of these elements into every lesson?” That is where the Busy Beavers “5 Component Teaching Method” comes in. Read the next article here to learn more about it.

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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What is Busy Beavers?

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Billy Betty Image

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This is Billy Beaver and his sister Betty Beaver.

They are always busy doing something!

They sing songs and play games.

They study English and learn with their friends.

Are you a Busy Beaver?

You can have fun with Billy and Betty and all of their friends.

Come Along! It’s FUN!

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Characters Image

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Check out this Video to Learn More About Us!

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Busy Beavers is a fun, unique series of books and digital material for teaching English to beginners.

Our products and online services include: Textbooks, Work Sheets, Teachers’ Tips, CDs & DVDs, Online Resources and Apps!.

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The Busy Beavers system combines Textbook Activities with Classroom Activities, Songs, Interactive Media, Work Sheets and Games.

This variety of approaches to studying English makes learning fun and exciting for all students.

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Textbooks – Guide students through the material. They can be used in the classroom or at home.

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Work Sheets – Allow students to practice reading and writing with a variety of lessons, activities and games.

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Teachers Tips – Provide teaching ideas, tips and instructions how to make every lesson challenging and fun.

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CDs and DVDs – Videos and Audio files that can be played in the classroom or at home.

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Online Resources – Interactive Video Files make presenting and practicing new material fun and exciting. Plus access over 350 Work Sheets and Teaching tips.

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Whether you are a teacher of English, an English Student, a Parent or a Young Learner – you will find our website helpful and fun!

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There are tons of Free Songs Videos, Lesson Videos, Work Sheets, Flash Cards and Games available for you to try at Busy Beavers .com

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Come and have a look!

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Do you want to read more about our unique English learning and teaching method for kids, young learners, ESL English Students, ESL teachers, Parents of kindergarten, preschool and early childhood kids around the world?

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Then click here to learn more about the Busy Beavers Teaching Philosophy.

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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Whether you are Subscribing to our Online Resources or Ordering Hard Copy from our Shop we will need a working email address to contact you.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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Terms and Conditions for:
Subscriptions to the Online Resources

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Busy Beavers has been operating as a Subscription Website for over 3 years. We have thousands of subscribers world-wide. This has earned us a reputation for prompt personal customer service, approachability and fairness. Subscribers are always encouraged to send us an email directly with any questions or concerns regarding their account. We take every inquiry seriously and do our utmost to accommodate our users in a friendly, helpful, cooperative and timely manner.

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Subscription to the Online Resources are in 3 month intervals beginning at the time of initial payment.
After three months the account is automatically renewed and the subscriber is re-billed for another 3 months.

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Subscribers wishing to cancel their subscription to the Online Resources may do so at any time.
It is the subscriber’s responsibility to cancel their account prior to the date that re-billing occurs. Subscribers can do this by either logging into their Pay Pal account and canceling their subscription themselves or sending an email to and requesting we do it for them.

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If you paid for your subscription using Pay Pal, instructions on how to cancel your subscription are on our “Frequently Asked Questions” page. If you need help with this process then email a request that your subscription be canceled and we will do it for you. Email requests for subscription cancellation must be sent a minimum of 7 days prior to the date of account renewal to ensure re-billing does not occur.

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Subscribers who paid for their account by credit card need to send us an email and request that their account be canceled minimum 7 days prior to the date of account renewal. We will cancel your account so your credit card is not re-billed and send you a confirmation email stating this has occurred.

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Refunds for recurring bills to the Online Resources are possible if the buyer contacts Busy Beavers directly by email and requests a refund within 14 days of the time the last payment was made. Do not begin a Pay Pal dispute with Busy Beavers or contact your credit card company requesting a charge-back. Should you feel that you are entitled to a refund for recurred billing contact Busy Beavers directly by email and explain your situation. It is always faster and easier to resolve any re-billing issue by communicating directly with us through email rather than through a third party (Pay Pal, Visa, Mastercard).

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As a family-centered, educational website our main goal is help our customers get great value and benefit from the media we create. Please always contact us directly with your concerns, we are happy to help.

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Terms and Conditions for:
Ordering Hard Copy

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The chances of a buyer receiving a faulty disc are far less than the chances of the buyer’s computer having out of date codecs or insufficient system resources. That is why we ask that customers make sure their computer meets our Minimum Computer Requirements and is running up-to-date codecs by downloading one of the free players we recommend. Most often problems can be fixed by simply following the tips on our Product Troubleshooting Page.

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For discs that do not play properly:

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Provided that the buyer’s computer meets the minimum system requirements and the buyer has attempted to resolve any codec issues by installing Gom and VLC player and also attempted to play the disc on a computer running Windows 7 or Mac OS X, should the disc in all of these cases exhibit the same problem – Busy Beavers will send a free replacement disc to the original address provided by the buyer.

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For Damaged Products:

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Busy Beavers will replace products that arrive at the buyers address damaged to the point where they are unusable. In this situation the buyer may need to provide photo or video evidence of the damage and the date the package arrived. In this situation Busy Beavers will replace the damaged product for free.

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For Products that did not arrive:

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In some situations packages can take longer to arrive than the 10 business days advertised by the Air Mail Postal Service. The buyer must wait a minimum of 6 weeks from the time of purchase for the product to arrive before Busy Beavers will send out a replacement order. Should the buyer wait longer than 6 weeks and the package has still not arrived – it is the buyer’s responsibility to contact Busy Beavers and often provide a different mailing address in order for Busy Beavers to re-send the order.

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For Refunds on Textbooks, DVDs and CDs:

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Buyers who want a complete refund on any hard copy product purchased through our website are responsible for paying for the shipping cost to return those items back to our Mailing Center in New Zealand. Once the returned items are received in New Zealand a refund for the cost of the products and the original shipping cost can be issued.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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Product Troubleshooting

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All Busy Beavers digital media – CDs, DVDs – will only play properly on computers that meet the minimum hardware and software requirements as stated below. Make sure that your computer has at least these minimum requirements before attempting to play the Video files from our CDs and DVDs.

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Minimum Computer Requirements:

1 GB of Ram, Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Media Player Version 10 or higher,
Recommended Video Players – Gom Player, VLC Player

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Recommended Computer:

Windows 7 or Mac OS X have no known issues for playing our videos from our CDs and DVDs.

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Common Problems:

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Most often the problems people experience when playing videos from our discs on their computers are not the fault of the disc at all – but rather out of date software or lack of hardware resources on the computer.

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Problems such as shaky picture, audio and video out of sync, audio or video not playing at all, stopping, stuttering and pixelation are all caused by out of date codec files on the computer or insufficient hardware resources.

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Often the fastest fix for this is to simply download a new, free “player” such as Gom Player or VLC Player. Both players will install the latest codecs which will allow the videos to play videos smoothly and in most cases fix the problem.

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Problems with the CDs from the Textbooks, Penny Arcade, FUN! and High Five

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Problem:

I put the disc in my computer but I can only see the Audio tracks and not the Videos.

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Solutions:

When you first put the disc into a computer it will likely open up your default music player (Windows Media Player on most Windows Computers) and show you the audio tracks on the disc. In order to see all of the other files on the CD Rom, like the Video Tracks, you need to “Explore” the disc using “My Computer” or “Windows Explorer”.

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Click on the Start Menu – Accessories – Window Explorer – on the left you will see the different drives on your computer (usually C, D etc.). Click on the drive that is your CD / DVD drive containing the Busy Beavers Disc. You should see 3 folders “Audio Tracks MP3”, “Flash Games” and “Video Tracks” (and a Read Me file that we recommend you read). Click on any of those folders to open them and look at the content inside. That’s how you explore the CD. Then click on any of the .WMV Video Files in the “Video Tracks” folder and they will automatically open in your default video player program.

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Problem:

The video is shaky, stutters and / or video and audio are out of sync.

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Solutions:

These are the signs of codec problems which means your default video player has out of date codec files that are not compatible with the .WMV video files on the disc. Try downloading the latest version of Windows Media Player if that is the default program you use to play videos.

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Another solution is to download a different, and in our opinion, more stable, less clunky player like Gom Player or VLC Player. They’re both free. Click the links to download either or both of those players and try playing the videos with them. Both those players have the latest codecs and should play our videos smoothly.

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Sometimes the CD Rom reading drive itself can be the problem. This is because it can’t read the video fast enough to play it smoothly. One way you can get around this problem is to drag the videos off of the CD and onto the computer’s hard drive. Playing videos off a computer’s hard drive is much faster and easier on the computer than reading from a disc.
To do this click on My Computer or Windows Explorer and find the disc in your CD / DVD drive, open the folder called “Video Tracks” and drag those .WMV Video Files into a new folder on your hard drive. Once you have done that, try double clicking on the .WMV files on the hard drive and they will likely play much smoother than from the disc.

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Problems Playing the DVDs “Party!”, “Level 1” and “Level 2”

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Problem:

When playing on a DVD Player there are problems

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Solutions:

Try looking to find a regional or format setting on your DVD Player or in the on-screen menu where you can change it from PAL to NTSC.
These DVDs were created as NTSC and although they were created as “region-free” and should play in all DVD players world-wide, certain players may have problems.

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Problem:

When playing on a Computer there are problems

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Solutions:

Every Windows computer since XP has a default player for showing DVDs. What program are you using? Try downloading the latest version of that program and installing it. You could have some codecs missing. Try updating Windows Media Player to the latest version and see if that plays smoothly.
These DVDs play perfectly on every Windows 7 machine we’ve tried using Windows Media Player. Try playing the discs in a Windows 7 machine and see it you have the same problems. If so contact us about a replacement disc.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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By Busy Beavers

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By Busy Beavers

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How to Subscribe to our Website

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It’s easy to get your Subscription to our Online Resources started.

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For your convenience Busy Beavers provides two methods of payment – Pay by Pay Pal or Pay by Credit Card. The fee is exactly the same.

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Our Online Resources is the fastest, cheapest way for teachers, parents and students to get complete access to ALL of our Media.

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For only $20.00 US you will have 3 Months of Unlimited Streaming Access to all of our Song Videos and Lesson Videos, plus Unlimited Downloads of our Textbooks, Worksheets, Flash Cards, Audio Files and more!

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On our Subscribe Page – Click on the “Subscribe” Button corresponding to your chosen method of payment.
Fill in all of the required fields until you reach a screen telling you your transaction has been completed.

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Then, this is the most important part, please be patient.
Each new subscription is set up manually by the operators of this website and can sometimes take up to 12 hours to process.

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Once we have created your account we will send you an email containing your Username and Password.
This is why it is very important that you provide a current email address that you check often and does not have the spam or trash filter set too high.

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If you have not received an email from Busy Beavers within 12 hours of paying for your subscription do not cancel your subscription or worry – send us email us and we will get you logged in quickly.

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For common questions about our Subscribing to our Online Resources read our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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By Busy Beavers

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100 Million View Milestone

By Busy Beavers

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100 Million View Milestone

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Click Here to Support the We are Busy Beavers Channel on You Tube!

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We Did It! We've been seen over 100 Million Times on You Tube

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Thanks everyone who has watched our videos and supported us by purchasing products and subscribing to our site.

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4 Years in the Making

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We started uploading videos on You Tube back in 2007 so it's actually been 5 years - but back in the early days of "The Tube" the quality was still very low, streaming was slow and there were a lot of Audio / Video Sync issues. However, many of the videos that are on our You Tube channel now have been up there since late 2008 so it actually has been a long time that they have been generating views and a following.

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Teachers Send Kudos

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We've received a lot of "Thank You"s and "Kudos" from Elementary Teachers, ESL Teachers, Early Childhood Educators and Special Needs Teachers over the years for the great Video content we've made as well as the English Learning Work Sheets and activities. Well, thanks all you teachers also for supporting us over the years and watching our videos and subscribing to our site.

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What's Next?

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We plan to keep on making videos and learning resources. The future looks fun and exciting for the Beavers as we delve into App development as well. We have a lot of great projects lined up in the pipeline. The new DVD of Song Videos is almost complete and will be released soon, as well Level 3 is going to be rolling out very soon too! How Exciting. Plus of course many new, fun and catchy song videos to come.

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:May 31st, 2012
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

Busy Beavers App “Jukebox” is Here!

By Busy Beavers

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Busy Beavers iOS App - "Jukebox" is Here!

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Click Here to Download "Jukebox" from the App Store

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Take Busy Beavers with You Anywhere!

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With the Busy Beavers App “Jukebox” you can turn you iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a portable video player and watch the Busy Beavers Song Videos anywhere, anytime!

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No Internet Connection Needed!

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This isn't streaming, Wi-Fi or 3G – these are 35 videos downloaded right onto your iOS device and playing right off it's drive. That means whether you're on a long trip in a car, bus, boat or plane – anywhere! - kids can be entertained and engaged with their favorite Busy Beavers song videos.

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Huge Value in One App!

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This fantastic App contains the Full Version of over 35 Busy Beavers song videos. That's over 1.5 hours of Busy Beaver Entertainment.

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These days there are a lot of apps for kids out there but none of them come close to amount of content that the Jukebox App contains. This App will literally keep kids busy for hours and hours – and the best part is – they're learning!

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Simple Navigation!

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Children as young as 2 years old will have no difficulty navigating around the App. Thanks to the organized Playlists.

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There are Alphabet Videos, Color Videos, Number Videos and all of our newest hits like “The Family Song” and “The Shapes Song”. Plus there's even a fun “Feed the Gator Game” included that's very hard to stop playing!

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A Must-Have for Busy Beavers Fans!

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If you child is already a fan of our Busy Beavers Song Videos then they'll love this app. With Jukebox they can watch our videos anywhere!

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If you're looking for a fun, engaging App for your child that will get them speaking, singing and learning English – The Busy Beaver App “Jukebox” is the answer.

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Click Here to Download Busy Beavers “Jukebox” from the App Store

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:August 30th, 2011
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Busy beavers

Icons and Images

By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #3 – Icons and Images

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Dave here, Busy Beaver guy,

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This is the third Newsletter in my "Getting Kids Excited About Education" series. This is about learning with pictures and sound instead of letters and words.

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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In University I encountered the concept "Semiotics" and a quick Google-Wiki refreshed my memory. Semiotics is the study of how signs represent meaning. That is a real key element in my Busy Beaver teaching method.

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The principle idea of all of the lessons is to communicate what's going on in each picture without reading the words.

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Images are a great way to communicate across all languages and cultures because they are universal. If we see a picture of a puppy sleeping, we all think "cute" regardless of what language we speak. Simply put – a picture says 1000 words.

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When we consider the fact that we spend a great deal more time in our lives "reading" images as opposed to text it's no wonder that humans are predisposed towards images and icons over written words.

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Yet so many people believe that in order to learn how to speak a new language we need to sit down and pour over a book filled with confusing words – Is that how you learned to speak your native language? Or did you learn it through using it?

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I've had students who after 3 years of English lessons still couldn't read. They disliked English and often acted up in class because it frustrated them. I removed all of the distractions (pencils, jackets, back packs etc.) sat them down at a table and showed them flash cards. Then I asked questions and taught them to answer in full sentences.

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The students picked up the new skill quickly, because it's simple, but more importantly the kids who couldn't read suddenly became much more engaged. Now they were on the same level as the kids who could read and they were a lot more confident to speak up.

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My point is that in learning a new language – shouldn't the emphasis be placed on speaking first?

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Native speakers of any language learn the spoken word before the written one.

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If we're studying math we need books and pencils. If we're studying a language we need images and sound.

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Dave

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Check out the Previous Podcast in this Series "Dancing Babies"

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
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Busy beavers

Dancing Babies

By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #2 - Dancing Babies

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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How are you doing?

Dave here – the creator of Busy Beavers.

Welcome to the first in my new series of Podcasts about getting kids excited about education.

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This one is about the innate attraction all humans have towards music and how that can be utilized as a teaching tool.

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Have you ever seen a baby or a toddler start dancing when she hears music? It's funny the way children seem to have an instinctual reaction to music. Without any instruction or encouragement often they will just start dancing, clapping and participating along with music when they hear it. Why is that?

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I remember going to visit my Uncle Randy and his daughter Mary Jane when she was about 2 years old. I would always bring my guitar and as soon as I got there I'd be asked to perform a mini-concert. When I started playing Mary Jane would sway into the middle of the living room and start boogying. She was just doing what came naturally.

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As an English teacher in South Korea I learned two things very quickly:

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1. A lot of kids don't like to study English.

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2. ALL kids love music.

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The problem I faced – How do you get kids to digest the bitter pill of learning something they don't want to?

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The Solution – Hide it in something they like – music.

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One of the first videos I produced was The House Song. (That's why the animation for that one is so crude – I was just learning). I wanted to deliver the target vocabulary, the rooms in the home, in a fun way.

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As a teaching tool that particular video worked wonderfully. The kids had been struggling to learn the words "Bathroom" and "Living Room" for several weeks. Each lesson I would hold up a picture of a bathroom and ask "What's this?" and only 2 or 3 kids out of 10 would say "It's a bathroom". The rest of them, although they had heard the word many times before, could not or would not say it out loud.

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But, after only a couple viewings of the video ALL of the kids were singing along. Suddenly the daunting task of remembering and pronouncing those difficult words became instantly achievable when the words were set to music. The kids wanted to participate in the fun and the only way to do that was to learn a new skill. They all quickly did and practiced with pleasure. Mission accomplished.

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Feel free to pass this page on to your friends – it's free to sign up for this newsletter on the homepage of our website Busy Beavers

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Dave

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Check out the Next Podcast in this Series "Icons and Images"

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
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Busy beavers

Walk Before You Run

By Busy Beavers

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Podcast #1 – Walk Before You Run

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You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.

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How are you doing?

Dave here – the creator of Busy Beavers.

Welcome to the first in my new series of Podcasts about getting kids excited about education.

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Now, I've often been accused of being a bit "long winded" so I'm going to do my best to keep these episodes focused.

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This episode is about learning to walk before we can run.

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I taught at a lot of different English Academies in South Korea over the 6 years I was there and one problem I always encountered was - the study material wasn't properly matched to the students' abilities. Most often the books were just too difficult.

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More than once I was asked to teach a story book to a class of kids who couldn't read. I said to my director "They don't know phonics! They can't spell DOG. This is ridiculous!"

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How can you play Mozart on the piano without first mastering the C major scale? A weightlifter doesn't load 1000 pounds onto a bar bell and say "Well, let's give this a try!" He works up to it slowly, over years. The same goes for learning anything new.

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In my experience the best way to empower students and make them feel like they are moving forward is to start with concepts they already know and are comfortable with and slowly build on them.

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If a lesson is too difficult the students will become confused and restless. If the material is just within their grasp they will become engaged and interested.

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Let's say the target dialogue is "What's this?" "It's a book" "What color is the book?" "The book is red". Those are the lyrics to The Color Song which I wrote for Korean elementary school students. But, when I tried it with kindergarten kids they were lost! Which is no surprise, it was too difficult.

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For the kindy kids I went back to the drawing board and wrote Electric Colors which simply introduces four key words – Red, Green, Yellow and Blue – they loved it.

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Then I wrote The Apple is Red and The Paint is Pink which put the colors and objects they already know into a sentence. They got it. Finally after several months we moved on to The Color Song and this time they all sang along.

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We have to walk before we can run.

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Dave

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Check out the Next Podcast in this Series "Dancing Babies"

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

A Typical ESL English Class

By Busy Beavers

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A Typical ESL English Class

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Using the Busy Beavers Teaching Method

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Teachers Tips Image

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Any experienced teacher knows that students' minds move very fast and they become bored very quickly.

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A great teacher changes the rhythm of a class often to keep learning exciting and fresh.

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The Busy Beavers "5 Component Teaching Method" offers suggestions for teachers to control the energy of the classroom by switching from one component to the next about every 5 minutes.

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Every Section of our Online Resources has invaluable Teachers' Tips to help teachers prepare for each lesson.

Just scroll to the bottom of every page in our Online Resources for Level 1 or Level 2 and you will find your lesson plans already prepared for you! These Teachers' Tips provide great ideas for teachers to expand on the material with fun and interactive classroom activities.

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For example, a typical 30 - 45 minute English Lesson in an ESL classroom could flow something like this.

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Step 1 - (5 mins.)

Play a Video File and begin with the whole class singing along to a Song.

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Step 2 - (5 mins.)

Next the teacher could use Flash Cards to review material from the previous lesson. (5 mins.)

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Step 3 - (5 mins.)

Students could perform a role-playing activity to demonstrate their mastery of the old material.

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Step 4 - (5 mins.)

The teacher could introduce a new concept with an Interactive Video File.

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Step 5 - (5 mins.)

Students could then pair up and use the textbook to practice asking and answering questions with each other.

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Step 6 - (5 mins.)

One or two Work Sheets can be completed in class to practice reading and writing or assigned as homework.

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Step 7 - (5 mins.)

The entire class can join in a Bingo Game using the new vocabulary taught in today's lesson.

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Step 8 - (5 mins.)

Lastly, the entire class can sing or chant along once more with a Video File.

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There's a 40 minute class that incorporates review, new material, speaking practice, role playing, writing, comprehension and FUN!

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Why don't you take a look at our Online Resources for Level 1 or Level 2 and give it a try in your classroom?

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Those are free samples for visitors to try out - paying subscribers can access everything!

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Happy Teaching!

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

5 Component Teaching Method

By Busy Beavers

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5 Component Teaching Method

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5 components Image

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The Busy Beavers learning method contains Catchy Song Videos, Lesson Videos, Work Sheets, Teachers' Tips, Games and more – but it's also important how they are presented to students in each lesson.

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This is what we call the "5 Component Teaching Method".

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There are 5 different ways the material for every lesson in our Online Resources can be used:

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1. Songs

2. Interactive Video / Audio Files

3. Textbook Activities

4. Classroom Activities

5. Work Sheets.

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The combination of these 5 different approaches to each lesson will help students visualize what they are learning from 5 different angles.

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Some students learn better through images, some through words, some through melodies and others through actions.

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The Busy Beavers material is presented in so many different ways that all students can identify with it and understand it no matter what type of learner they are.

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Let's have a closer look at those 5 components right now.

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The 5 Components

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1. Songs:

Each Textbook contains several songs. Each song relates to several sections worth of material. They help familiarize students with vocabulary, grammar, questions and answers. They can be played anytime the teacher or class feels like.

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2. Interactive Video / Audio Files:

These are mini-lessons that can be played as a Video File or Audio file on a computer. These files assist the teacher in demonstrating and practicing the material for each section. They can be used in a variety of ways. They can be watched and repeated after, chanted along with, read out loud or used for question and answer role playing activities.

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3. Textbook Activities:

The textbook is the "road map" for all of the material. The Online Resources and Work Sheets follow the flow of the textbook. The textbook can be used in many ways. The teacher can hold up the book, point at pictures and ask questions about the material to the entire class or individual students. Students can practice in small groups by pointing at the textbook and asking and answering questions to each other. Students can even practice at home with their parents.

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4. Classroom Activities:

There are a number of suggestions in every section how the teacher can expand on the material in the classroom. Teachers can organize small role playing activities or "skits". Flash Cards can be introduced to play "Memory Games" or "Go Fish" games. Students can make art projects or draw pictures of their own. Plenty of coloring activities and Bingo Games are provided in the Work Sheets. There are endless possibilities!

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5. Printable Work Sheets:

Both Textbook 1 and Textbook 2 come with over 180 Work Sheets each. These will provide plenty of reading and writing practice to help students become literate in English. They can be completed during class time or assigned as homework and checked daily.

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So how do we incorporate all of those elements into one learning experience?

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Click here to learn about A Typical Class Using the Busy Beavers Method.

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

Busy Beavers Teaching Philosophy

By Busy Beavers

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Busy Beavers Teaching Philosophy

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Busy Beavers Font

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The Busy Beavers teaching method is founded on several key principles.

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Songs, images, questions, answers, sentence structure, repetition and review are the fundamental elements of our teaching method.

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This article discusses how these elements come together in the Busy Beavers material.

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Let's begin by looking at the basic elements used throughout the Busy Beavers series.

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Songs - Music is used as a memory tool to help students remember common phrases. The melody acts as the glue that holds the sentence structure together.

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Images – Busy Beavers is a "picture-based" learning method. Students discuss the images they see in full sentences before seeing any written words on a page.

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Questions and Answers – Asking and answering questions in full sentences is the basis of every lesson.

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Sentence Structure – Why let them only say "Hat" when they can say "It's a Hat"? Why let them only say "Black" when they can say "The hat is black"? Students build grammar skills automatically by always speaking in sentences.

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Repetition - These exercises are repetitious for a reason - to build good habits. There is no easy solution to learning. Practice and repetition are the only ways to improve.

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Review - We suggest 2 steps forward and one step back throughout the material. It will boost the students' morale and ensure that they are retaining what they are learning. Watch how these videos illustrate all of the points above:

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The Alphabet Song below combines images with melody and repetition.

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The accompanying lesson Alphabet Words combines the images and words that we've learned in The Alphabet Song with questions and answers in full sentences.

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Likewise The House Song uses a catchy melody to help learners remember the sentence structure of the question "Where's..." and "He's / She's in the..." It teaches both vocabulary and grammar at the same time - and it's fun!

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This lesson Everyday Activities builds on the line of questioning "Where is he/she?" "What is he/she doing?" as learned in The House Song, but expands on it with many new examples to help build vocabulary.

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By learning English in this way students will learn to form sentences and communicate rather than simply memorize vocabulary. The Busy Beavers method is the opposite of simply reading words from a page. It is about being able to speak perfect questions and answers based on the images on the screen.

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You may be thinking "How does a teacher combine all of these elements into every lesson?" That is where the Busy Beavers "5 Component Teaching Method" comes in. Read the next article here to learn more about it.

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

What is Busy Beavers?

By Busy Beavers

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What is Busy Beavers?

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Billy Betty Image

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This is Billy Beaver and his sister Betty Beaver.

They are always busy doing something!

They sing songs and play games.

They study English and learn with their friends.

Are you a Busy Beaver?

You can have fun with Billy and Betty and all of their friends.

Come Along! It's FUN!

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Characters Image

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Check out this Video to Learn More About Us!

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Busy Beavers is a fun, unique series of books and digital material for teaching English to beginners.

Our products and online services include: Textbooks, Work Sheets, Teachers' Tips, CDs & DVDs, Online Resources and Apps!.

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The Busy Beavers system combines Textbook Activities with Classroom Activities, Songs, Interactive Media, Work Sheets and Games.

This variety of approaches to studying English makes learning fun and exciting for all students.

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Textbooks - Guide students through the material. They can be used in the classroom or at home.

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Work Sheets - Allow students to practice reading and writing with a variety of lessons, activities and games.

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Teachers Tips - Provide teaching ideas, tips and instructions how to make every lesson challenging and fun.

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CDs and DVDs - Videos and Audio files that can be played in the classroom or at home.

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Online Resources - Interactive Video Files make presenting and practicing new material fun and exciting. Plus access over 350 Work Sheets and Teaching tips.

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Whether you are a teacher of English, an English Student, a Parent or a Young Learner - you will find our website helpful and fun!

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There are tons of Free Songs Videos, Lesson Videos, Work Sheets, Flash Cards and Games available for you to try at Busy Beavers .com

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Come and have a look!

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Do you want to read more about our unique English learning and teaching method for kids, young learners, ESL English Students, ESL teachers, Parents of kindergarten, preschool and early childhood kids around the world?

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Then click here to learn more about the Busy Beavers Teaching Philosophy.

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers

Terms and Conditions

By Busy Beavers

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Whether you are Subscribing to our Online Resources or Ordering Hard Copy from our Shop we will need a working email address to contact you.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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Terms and Conditions for:
Subscriptions to the Online Resources

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Busy Beavers has been operating as a Subscription Website for over 3 years. We have thousands of subscribers world-wide. This has earned us a reputation for prompt personal customer service, approachability and fairness. Subscribers are always encouraged to send us an email directly with any questions or concerns regarding their account. We take every inquiry seriously and do our utmost to accommodate our users in a friendly, helpful, cooperative and timely manner.

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Subscription to the Online Resources are in 3 month intervals beginning at the time of initial payment. After three months the account is automatically renewed and the subscriber is re-billed for another 3 months.

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Subscribers wishing to cancel their subscription to the Online Resources may do so at any time. It is the subscriber's responsibility to cancel their account prior to the date that re-billing occurs. Subscribers can do this by either logging into their Pay Pal account and canceling their subscription themselves or sending an email to and requesting we do it for them.

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If you paid for your subscription using Pay Pal, instructions on how to cancel your subscription are on our “Frequently Asked Questions” page. If you need help with this process then email a request that your subscription be canceled and we will do it for you. Email requests for subscription cancellation must be sent a minimum of 7 days prior to the date of account renewal to ensure re-billing does not occur.

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Subscribers who paid for their account by credit card need to send us an email and request that their account be canceled minimum 7 days prior to the date of account renewal. We will cancel your account so your credit card is not re-billed and send you a confirmation email stating this has occurred.

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Refunds for recurring bills to the Online Resources are possible if the buyer contacts Busy Beavers directly by email and requests a refund within 14 days of the time the last payment was made. Do not begin a Pay Pal dispute with Busy Beavers or contact your credit card company requesting a charge-back. Should you feel that you are entitled to a refund for recurred billing contact Busy Beavers directly by email and explain your situation. It is always faster and easier to resolve any re-billing issue by communicating directly with us through email rather than through a third party (Pay Pal, Visa, Mastercard).

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As a family-centered, educational website our main goal is help our customers get great value and benefit from the media we create. Please always contact us directly with your concerns, we are happy to help.

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Terms and Conditions for:
Ordering Hard Copy

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The chances of a buyer receiving a faulty disc are far less than the chances of the buyer's computer having out of date codecs or insufficient system resources. That is why we ask that customers make sure their computer meets our Minimum Computer Requirements and is running up-to-date codecs by downloading one of the free players we recommend. Most often problems can be fixed by simply following the tips on our Product Troubleshooting Page.

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For discs that do not play properly:

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Provided that the buyer's computer meets the minimum system requirements and the buyer has attempted to resolve any codec issues by installing Gom and VLC player and also attempted to play the disc on a computer running Windows 7 or Mac OS X, should the disc in all of these cases exhibit the same problem - Busy Beavers will send a free replacement disc to the original address provided by the buyer.

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For Damaged Products:

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Busy Beavers will replace products that arrive at the buyers address damaged to the point where they are unusable. In this situation the buyer may need to provide photo or video evidence of the damage and the date the package arrived. In this situation Busy Beavers will replace the damaged product for free.

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For Products that did not arrive:

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In some situations packages can take longer to arrive than the 10 business days advertised by the Air Mail Postal Service. The buyer must wait a minimum of 6 weeks from the time of purchase for the product to arrive before Busy Beavers will send out a replacement order. Should the buyer wait longer than 6 weeks and the package has still not arrived – it is the buyer's responsibility to contact Busy Beavers and often provide a different mailing address in order for Busy Beavers to re-send the order.

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For Refunds on Textbooks, DVDs and CDs:

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Buyers who want a complete refund on any hard copy product purchased through our website are responsible for paying for the shipping cost to return those items back to our Mailing Center in New Zealand. Once the returned items are received in New Zealand a refund for the cost of the products and the original shipping cost can be issued.

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Contact Us: english(at)busybeavers.com

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By Busy Beavers

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Busy beavers
  • PostedPosted:-Mauris Placerat
  • DateDated:July 18th, 2011
  • CommentComments:Comments Off
Busy beavers