Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Extended French Read-Alouds at Home During the Covid-19 Crisis

If "not enough time" was my excuse for not maintaining my blog before, I guess that reason has flown out the window now. Plus, like other parents, I'm at home trying to figure out how to supplement my own children's "productive time" without stressing them or me out too much. I'm just aiming for active brains, and low-key enough to keep everyone well, mentally and emotionally.

You probably know of lots of sources for short French texts and audio texts already. Personally, I have been looking for something a little longer. Here's what I've managed to find for us.

I follow several children's authors on social media. For English audiences, I've noticed a number of people doing read-alouds for kids, or giving teachers permission to do that for their own classes of students. In French, this has seemed a little scarcer. (What's new, right?) Well today I was excited to spot something new. Pierre-Luc Bélanger, a fairly prolific francophone author who is also a teacher, according to his profile, decided to share an unpublished work via read-aloud on YouTube. It's called Les folles aventures de Florimond Fleury au cirque. You can find his introductory video, and then check out each subsequent chapter as well. There are ten chapters plus a prologue. If your students or your own kids watch one per day, that will carry you through two weeks of at-home learning! Merci beaucoup, M.

You may have already heard that lots of edtech companies have made things free - for now - as well. Audible is one such source. I've seen lots of posts referring to how they have free ebooks for many langauges. For French, there were only 21 books in total when I looked. And some are the typical public domain French literature - Le Compte de Montecristo & several contes. However, there were a few GOOD options as well, for junior-intermediate immersion students or possibly even high school French langauge learners.   Porteur de masques, Le ournal d'Alice (Tome 1), La course des tuques, and L'école des gars (Tome 1) would be my picks for extended reading through listening. If you like, you can look for an ebook version of these novels as well, so that your child can read along while listening to the audio book. In my house, I'd be perfectly happy with either of my kids listening to the audio book on its own though as well. For this, you'll have to download the Aubible app.

Check out on facebook the page for le Festival de littérature jeunesse de Montréal as well. These are shorter reads, but whole stoybooks at least. Wednesday posts will be for older readers, they say. That might be something helpful to keep in mind when trying to find something to appeal to various ages.

There's also a facebook video recording that I found of Un Cheveu sur la soupe by the publisher 400 coups. This one is a little off - I'm not judging because I've not attempted recording myself live while reading - but the picture book is displayed backwards. Probably still totally acceptable for just looking at the illustrations though, I'd think.

Two requests, before I go:

1) If I'm wrong and there are folks who need a list of where you can access various shorter texts for children to just read, please let me know.

2) I'm happy to add other sources if you have some great leads. I'm aware of other books read aloud on Youtube, but I'm trying to honour copyright even in this tricky and surreal times.

I hope that helps someone out there!  Stay safe, stay indoors, and stay sane, mes amis! Please do feel free to share the link to this post, or my tweet about it, to parents and teachers who you think may wish to be informed.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Peer Editing - Short Stories

Salut mes amis!  I've really fallen out of the blogging habit.  I enjoy it, but it does take a bit of time and energy. I hope to keep on sharing some ideas and dialoguing with other French teachers through this medium.

I came across a quick single-page resource I made that I thought could be useful to other junior/intermediate immersion teachers or possibly even to Core French secondary teachers. Have you had your students write short stories before? If you have, you probably realize that setting them up for success by reviewing the parts and essential elements of a story is important, but also, the quality of the final product is highly dependant on the level of planning and editing.

This will be useful to you in particular if you've already taught students about some basic editing codes. I've mentioned spelling, grammar and punctuation in this guiding sheet. If you need some ideas about that, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. I'd also like to hear if you have students write short stories or not, and why. And finally, please note that you may well use a different term than I do in my class for short stories en français. I went with the path of least resistance and highest comprehension on that point.

Veuillez noter:  Just updated to fix a couple of embarrassing typos brought to my attention by a fellow teacher. Merci beaucoup pour l'aide.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

7+ End of the Year or Graduation Poems

In teacher forums where I spend my free time, I am starting to see references to graduation decorations and other end of the year wrap-up stuff. So today I thought I'd share with you a few sources of potential Grad or "end of the school year" poems. Voici sept poèmes à contempler pour les cérémonies des finissants, aux niveaux variés.

There are three short ones shared here by teachers. They are apparently from a particular collection, which the teacher who named them indicated, which is helpful in case you're looking for something to purchase. L'école est fermée by Georges Jean, Le Temps des vacances  by Maurice Carème, and Route nationale 7 by Charles Trénet.

La catastrophe - Istvan CSUKAS (Poème russe / hongrois, traduit)

En sortant de l'école - Jacques Prévert.  Il y a beaucoup de versions musicales sur YouTube aussi, si vous avez envie de la partager avec vos jeunes en classe. There's even a version on TFO, under the name "Tour du monde surréaliste" but just a heads up - there's a blue, naked barbie-like woman in it. For that reason, it might not be your first choice for younger grades.)

Vacances  Nadia Leichtnam (who may have been a student herself at the time of writing this poem) It is a very short one. Maybe not as inspirational, but not exactly negative towards learning and school either. 

Liberté - Maurice Carème Very nice, inspiring and positive. 

Incidentally, this Belgian poet has a lovely (if somewhat old) website exposing several different formats for poems, should you care to explore some of those with your students. Check the Introduction, Poésie Oeuvres and Liens pages. Those teaching grade 8 Core French might find this helpful in reaching some of the intercultural expectations in Ontario, for French in Europe.)

Also, there are some very short quotes that might be suitable as well, for which I made a Pinterest board. Maybe in the summer when I have some time, I'll come back & add the poems I linked to in this blog post there as well, but for now, there are no duplicates between the two. 

If by chance, you'd like to help build this collection, I'm totally open to making it a collaborative pinterest board. So please reach out & let me know, either in the comments below or somewhere else that you already know how to connect with me privately. Please note that you DO need to follow someone on Pinterest in order to be added as a contributor to a pin board.

Other great resources for teaching poetry include:

  • Carrefour Education's Journée mondiale de la poésie
  • Over 250 poems by Canadian Poets. It seems the filtering tool on this website won't allow me to share the direct link that I want. In the field for "pays" just select Canada from the pull down list.  You'll probably want to check them of course for both school appropriateness, as well as comprehensibility by your students, according to their age and level.  
  • Les Voix de la poésie - an excellent program that High School French teachers in Canada should be familiar with, if not because your students might like to participate, but for the great resources that can be found there, including good video recitations of poems (which may just serve as wonderful exemplars or may be exploited further by the teacher to practice and evaluate listening skills with various voices), and templates for poetry creation assignments

I hope that's been helpful, as we get closer to the end of the school year! I'd love to hear about what worked for your particular students. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Happy Easter, Passover, April Fools & Return to Blogging

Salut tout le monde!! This is my first post to my blog in ages. Almost an entire year! I won't bother making apologies and excuses, as I'm sure all the teachers out there know just how busy life can get!

My reason for returning today is that about a week ago, I presented at the Spring OMLTA Conference, and during a sidebar conversation in my workshop, I promised that I'd share a small lesson/resource I had prepared for my own class. We were discussing how hard it is to find materials on media awareness, and critical thinking that are en français, when compared to the wealth of materials that our English mainstream teaching colleagues have. I found a YouTube video that addressed an awareness of "fake news" and how to check if something you read online can be validated. It was something I used with my grade 6 French Immersion class, but could definitely be adapted to a variety of grades and purposes.

Unfortunately, I admit that my filing system sometimes leaves something to be desired, as I rush to finish things to move on to another life role I occupy. However I finally located the question sheet that I prepared for students to accompany a YouTube video on this topic.

It's all yours! I used the student handout to give them a takeaway, and to help centre the discussion, as well as to give them a couple of concrete things to look for when viewing and listening to the video. I feel like I skipped some parts of the video, but I did not keep great teacher notes on that, so please judge for yourself. I also can tell you that we slowed down the video (to .75 speed) and turned on subtitles - this might not have been necessary for all of my students, but some certainly got more out of the listening experience with that scaffolding.

Check out the other videos offered by the channel Hygiène Mentale. There have lots of great stuff. And if you come up with ways to use them, and resources to help ensure students access the information we desire, please share as well.

Continually give, continually gain - Chinese proverb - Teaching FSL

I've also recently found this 1jour1actu (1 jour une question) video about "les fake news." A tip: If you play the same video on Youtube, you have more control over the recording speed, and can slow it down. But please do check - soemtimes, what we find on YT can be just a snippet instead of the full item.

À bientôt, mes amis!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Présentement en avril

Je te remercie encore ce mois, Stéphanie, pour la chance de vous rejoindre dans le rallye-lien d'avril. J'ai vraiment de la misère à écrire assez souvent dans mon blogue cette année scolaire. Alors, au moins, un petit "cou cou" de mon coin!


Je viens d'envoyer la lettre chez mes élèves avec les dates pour les tests standardisés de notre province de l'Ontario. On l'appelle les tests EQAO en anglais. L'OQRE se passe vers la fin de mai. Il y a un test anglais et un autre pour les maths, et cette année sera ma première fois de les surveiller. Je suis un peu nerveuse, mais pas trop... j'espère que j'ai bien préparé mes élèves pendant leur année scolaire. Et sinon, ben..... on peut toujours profiter de n'importe quelle expérience, n'est-ce pas? Donc au moins je vais gagner quelques idées de comment je pourrais améliorer mes leçons ou aborder les stratégies de littératie différemment la prochaine fois.

Je pense ...

Aujourd'hui ma classe et moi, nous avons fait une promenade pour le lunch. C'était une  récompense pour leur travail et effort en communiquant seulement dans la langue cible pendant les cours. Et il faisait beau! J'avais eu peur ce matin car la météo a indiqué de la précipitation, mais tout restait beau et sec pour nous! Je crois que le printemps arrive!!

Je suis...

Je me sens un peu bordée car je continue à préparer du nouveau curriculum pour ma classe (les Sciences, les études Sociales, etc.) C'est la première fois que j'enseigne la 6e année. Mais je l'adore!! Mes élèves sont vraiment gentilles et adorables!

J'ai hâte ... 

La fin de semaine, je vais assister à une conférence avec quelques bons amis du monde TpT. J'ai vraiment hâte de revoir quelques femmes incroyables, et bien de rencontrer quelques unes pour la première fois. Et quelques hommes inspirants aussi, j'espère!


Je ne veux pas mentir. J'ai vraiment besoin d'un peu de repose. Je serai très contente d'avoir l'occasion de passer une fin de semaine chez moi, avec mes proches. Et bien sûr, le fameux lapin me doit un peu du chocolat!

Le rallye-lien Présentement en avril
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