The Ultimate VIPKID Props Guide: What You Need to be Successful

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As an ESL teacher with VIPKid, I get asked which VIPKid props I consider essential to being an effective online teacher. And while I know every teacher’s needs are different, I’ve created the ultimate VIPKid props guide to help you as you choose which props to invest your money in.

Why Do I Need to Use Props?

You may be thinking, “Why do I need this VIPKid prop list? I don’t have to use props if I don’t want to.”  And you would be correct.

The VIPKid police are not going to beat down your front door and take you to jail because you don’t have Meg and Mike character props.  However, there are two significantly important reasons you need to be using the best VIPKid props you have during your teaching.

1. Using props helps you be a more effective teacher.

Let’s be honest…it’s easy to be average.

It isn’t hard to read the information on the screen to your VIPKid student. But, it takes effort  to think of ways to help your students make connections with the new language they are learning.

If you’re genuinely desiring for your students to grow as English speakers, using props will provide them with a visual cue as well as an audio cue.

2. Using props helps you create a quality learning environment.

The parents, who have chosen you as their child’s teacher, have paid a lot of money for your time. (This fact is always in the back of my mind as I’m teaching.) 

I know if I was paying for 25-28 minutes of one-on-one direct instruction, I would want the teacher doing everything within her power to connect with my child.

Therefore, it should be our desire to provide a quality learning environment in every single class.

And to create an immersive environment focused on our students’ needs, we’re going to need printable props. But, which props are the best?

The 4 Best VIPKid Props for ANY LEVEL

Meg, Mike, Dino Printables

These character printables stay on my desk at all times. I use these teaching props in every level I teach from Previp to Level 5.

They’re perfect for teaching conversational skills. (Just have the characters face each other and you’ve created an instant conversation.)

They are also ideal for teaching pronouns, prepositions, and other parts of speech. I like to use individually or grouped together for more options!

Once you’re a VIPKid teacher, you can request to join the VIPKID-Videos & Props Facebook group. By joining, you gain access to a huge database of free printable character files. (That’s where I found my Meg, Mike, Dino printables as well as the other VIPKid printable characters.)

Number Flashcards

I have used these in levels 1-3. This set includes numbers 1-100, but most of the time I only need the numbers 1-10.

However, more recently I’ve found myself using the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 cards during the lessons on skip counting. And although the numbers go up to 100, the cards are numbered on both sides so there are only 50 cards in the set.

Shapes Flashcards

When I first started teaching, I bought a set of shape flashcards from the Dollar Tree. But I quickly discovered that the introductory set didn’t have all of the shapes I needed for my upper level students.

So, I ended up creating a set of shape posters and flashcards that includes the basic shapes PLUS the parallelogram and trapezoid. This kept me from having to buy another set of flashcards for those two.

Whiteboard

I don’t actually use a whiteboard, but I constantly use the backs of my laminated flashcards as mini dry erase boards.  I write math problems, word families, and other random information that’s important to the lesson.  

Best Props for Level 1 & Level 2

Alphabet Flashcards

I purchased this flashcard set from Amazon. It includes both uppercase and lowercase letters, and this is essential for your students because they need to be able to see both forms of the letter. I used to use these in every Level 1 class, and many of my Level 2 classes.

However after updating the NMC and iMC flashcards, the Level 1 set and the Level 2 set now include alphabet cards!!

So, if you choose to purchase either the Level 1 or Level 2 sets of flashcards I mention in this post, you will NOT NEED this set of flashcards!

Level 1 Flashcards

This set of flashcards corresponds with all of the MC and iMC (or NMC) content in Level 1. I wanted my young learners to have the visual connection to many of the abstract concepts they learn in this level, so I created this bundle to fill that need! 

With over 480 alphabet cards, vocabulary, sight words, and basic sentence frames, this set is perfect for every Level 1 lesson.

The kids love the large, bright images, and I love the fact that the flashcards correspond with the content. And since the cards only contain one word and an image, they’re not confusing for our beginning learners.

Level 2 Flashcards

Level 2 is the beginning of learning English for most VIPKid students. Therefore, teaching concepts with relevant props is essential.

So I created this HUGE bundle of Level 2 flashcards with over 850 sight words, vocabulary, math concepts, sentence frames, and grammar flashcards organized by unit for both MC & NMC lessons.

They’re so easy to keep organized because each card has the level + unit number. You simply grab the ones you need! This set covers an array of concepts that ESL students will need to know to be successful.

Many of the cards in this set, I use for PreVIP extension or Level 3 remediation. Because these cards are labeled by level and unit, they are easy to keep organized. Overall, this set is one of my favorites!

And if you want to know more about teaching Level 2, I have an entire blog post dedicated to it!!

Best Props for Levels 3, 4, 5

Level 3 Flashcards

These flashcards cover all the topics that Level 3 VIPKid students will encounter in Units 1-12 and include sight words, grammar concepts, math skills, sentence frames, and vocabulary cards.

I use these with all of my Level 3 classes to supplement learning. They are also extremely helpful to grab when I need to extend lessons for some of my more precocious Level 2 students.

These flashcards are also ideal for use with my Level 4 students that need a bit of intervention or a review of specific concepts.

They’re so easy to keep organized since they include the Level and unit number on every card! I simply print, laminate, and sort.

Level 4 Flashcards

Once learners get past level 4, they’re typically comfortable reading, and they are definitely becoming more confident in their conversational skills.

Divided into units, this set is perfect for this vocabulary heavy level. Many of the images are actual photos that coordinate with the topics.  I love this set so much!!

At this point they just need a lot of extension and specific language correction. But, through level 4 there should be supplemental props used in every class.

Level 5 Flashcards

Once learners get past level 4 and move into level 5, they’re typically comfortable reading, and they’re definitely more confident in their conversational skills.

However, Level 5 has a heavy focus on writing to correlate with the Common Core State Standards and the middle school writing expectations in China.

The 290+ vocabulary, sentence frames, grammar, and math skills cards in this set of Level 5 flashcards are perfect for helping students understand the more abstract concepts introduced at this point and utilize this new information to increase the complexity of their writings.

That’s it! Those are the best VIPKid props for your classroom.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of finding relevant props! You can simply visit my VIPKid shop on Teachers Pay Teachers to find all of the educational props you’ll need to be prepared for any level that you’re certified to teach.

The ones I’ve mentioned are the ones that I use daily in my own classroom and ones that I truly believe will be an asset to your teaching environment.

If you want to read more about VIPKid, you can check out these posts.