Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jeu actif pour la rentrée

Here's a great activity for your francophiles-in-training that suits the first day back following the winter break (which of course would work equally well for la rentrée scolaire or after le congé de mars) I got this idea from a facebook group I belong to made up of intermediate teachers in Ontario - yet another salute to French teachers not reinventing the wheel, or feeling isolated!  


If you teach immersion grades 7+ or Core French grades 10+, this kinestetic game can be used with passé composé et l'imparfait or just with le passé composé in any level of core French below that. Who says the students need to even KNOW what the past tense is... if you model it, and make it fun, they WILL repeat! It's so fun and geared to kids' interests - themselves! - that you could use it just for team-building, as an icebreaker or warm up any class with French as the language of delivery, or if you are responsible for providing a DPA opporunity in your class time, while still having kids us the target language.

Here are the instructions:

  1. You may want to brainstorm vocabulary for possible activites or useful verbs (or have them independently think about what they want to say for a couple of minutes)
  2. Have students arrange themselves in a circle (on chairs, or just sitting on the floor if you have a younger crowd)
  3. One student, without a chair, starts by standing in the middle.
  4. Give them a starter:  Avez-vous jamais...? or Pendant les vacances, avez-vous...? (Using Est-ce que instead of inversion is fine too; choose whatever best suits your learners and their needs.)Note: Remember to offer the imparfait option if it applies.  For example, Pendant les vacances, est-ce que vous faisiez de la grasse matinée? Est-ce que vous passiez de temps en famille?
  5. The student in the middle makes an oral statement, and all students for whom the answer is "Yes" change seats. 
  6. Whoever is remaining in the middle without a seat asks the next question. Play continues.

One last tip.  You may want to establish a time limit or a certain number of turns in advance, as 
whomever was about to be the next to ask the question is sure to be disappointed when the game ends.

Hope you have a wonderful and restful holiday!


Monday, December 02, 2013

A Playground for K-12 in PEI

My bloggy-pal in PEI needs a favour for her school, and as always I'm happy to help her out. She's a sweet person, a dedicated teacher, and a doting, loving mom and family gal.

Lesson From The Middle

Krystal Mills is a grade 7 teacher-blogger from Souris, Prince Edward Island. Her school needs your help! They are in the semi-final round in a contest to win up to $140 000 for a new, inclusive playground for the school. As with many schools, students who are in wheelchairs have limited to no access to our playground equipment and recess time is not a time where they are physically able to interact with their peers. However, this social interaction is so important to their development and they deserve it! 

Her current school building will be demolished at the end of this school year and renovations are soon to be underway at the local high school building, which will make it the first K-12 facility in PEI. Playground equipment is not part of the budget and is not covered by the government. Her community applied for the Aviva Community Fund to help us out and they've made it through the first round.

Here's where YOU come in! To get into the final round (and be one of the projects in front of a panel of judges) we need votes. It takes just a moment to register your email (or you can log in using your Facebook account). After you have registered, voting takes literally just one second. You can vote once each day from December 2-11. 

Some incredible teachers have actually taken this on as a "Random Acts of Kindness" project and their whole class has registered and is voting for us every day! They'd love your shares via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blog posts etc. Any exposure is WELCOME and APPRECIATED! I know we can do this... we just need people like you to help get us there.



Krystal says:
"Thank you so much and I hope to send you an update in a month or two saying....
WE WON!"

Please vote if you can find it in your heart to help out a (perhaps distant) Canadian community this holiday season. They would appreciate it more than you could possibly know!


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chanson de dimanche Vol #7 et Une Solde à TpT

Apologies for the rather extended break from my Sunday feature.  I've been finding a weekly commitment a bit much to actually complete, as it does take me at least a couple of hours to put together, plus the time it takes to write and share the blog post.  I'm going to keep on giving it a shot, but probably more like once a month.  Eek! I think that will be more manageable for me, given my family and work schedule. In any case, I'll still publish my blog (avec des activités basées sur une chanson) on Sundays when I do have something to share.



This week, I'm featuring a song called Décembre by a singer who is a true slice of franco-canadien culture, Roch Voisine.  The activities that I've prepared are at a couple of different levels as usual, but I've aimed a little lower than is typical. The song is nice and slow, which makes it easy to understand, and there are certain simple words that are repeated a few times, so I think even a grade 2-3 French class could handle some of these activities. Another thing I really like about it is that it's suitable if you have students who do not celebrate Christmas. Yes, there is still a reference to multi-coloured lights, but nothing too religious or holiday-focused, which makes it very inclusive.

In this 7th free download, you will find:
  • Two versions of a 'reassemble the lyrics' puzzle activity (one with only 4 chunks and one with about 10).
  • A creative draw-and-share activity for students to complete as they listen to the song, and then to practice some winter or holiday vocabulary as they talk about what they decided to include in their pictures.
  • Three versions of a cloze activity. One using just 6 simple word cards which students can hold up as they hear the word each time within the song, which you could assign them with or without the actual lyrics page in front of them. A second version has a word bank included, and a third version does not but the words are all very common even by grade 6 core French.

The grammar teacher in me really had to be fought down this time around as I considered including an activity to highlight the usage of the imparfait as well. There is some potential there, especially for older grades, to discuss how winters used to be spent when they were younger, and to share holiday memories.

There is an opportunity to develop some vocabulary as well, since much of the lyrics are made up of simple and common words, but there are sure to be a few news ones, even for elementary immersion students.

I also wanted to let you know, in case you haven't heard elsewhere, that TeachersPayTeachers is having its annual Cyber Monday sale starting at midnight tonight.  A huge thanks to Jen Jones for sharing this very appropriate graphic to help other teacher-authors to announce the sale.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teachingfsl

Use the coupon code listed here for an extra 10% off at checkout, and many stores will be marked down up to 20% already, so that will give you the 28% discount listed.  (Pstt - a tip - it can be even more if you happen to locate the items that a seller marked down before setting up the sale price, as such items are twice-reduced plus still eligible for the extra 10% off at checkout.)

Happy online shopping and don't forget to download my holiday freebies, if you haven't already! Check out the free winter bingo too, which is great to use in the days leading up to the December break.

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