Sunday, March 22, 2015

DPA in the FI classroom

I work in a dual (or triple!) track French Immersion school. Since there are few (possibly not any?) schools in my board that are single track FI, I feel like there are lots of missed opportunities throughout the day for students to communicate with one another in French. English seems to take over, since it's the common language of the whole school. 

Daily Physical Activity is one of those times. In Ontario, schools are mandated to provide at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity to our students. We take advantage of Just Dance videos in French sometimes (like this one from Stromae, and this one by Tal), as well as using French music in general to get us going, and I've encouraged students to interact with one another in French in a few other ways too, but of course I'm always looking to do a little better.  So, I made these physical activity station cards, for equipment-free movement in the classroom, circuit style. If you have a couple of carpets, or mats, those would be nice for the yoga, stretching or sit up stations, but otherwise, students just move. 

10 affiches pour des postes d'APQ dans la salle de classe Teaching FSL


It includes 10 options, which is probably more than you can use in a typically sized classroom, which means that you can switch them out, or eliminate any that don't work for your students. For example, the chin-up one isn't going to work so well from the door frame for grade 4 students, but since some of my 8th graders are over 6 feet tall, they'll love it! If you need a minor adjustment, i.e. if your students know a certain activity that I included by another name, feel free to send me a quick message to let me know. I considered using "saut d'étoile" for example, as that's apparently the term my FI students have encountered for jumping jacks in the past, but I felt introducing them to another accepted expression would be a good teaching opportunity. (Love the language variations in French! Part of the charm of teaching languages, for sure!)

Maryse Lehoux on Youtube is a good source if your students need an introduction to yoga as a whole class in order to be able to choose a few favourite poses as an independent activity station. Bonus: exploring some of these videos in advance also give your students a great authentic, goal-focused listening opportunity. The video I linked shows students les poses de yoga Arbre, Guerrier, Cobra et Montagne, but you can find many others by searching within YouTube for this "Yoga Diva".

On a related note, check out this blog post for "Milk & Cookies" - a great QUICK brain break that will get students repeating a few words in the target language. I love the idea to let them pick what two terms you'll use. It would be fabulous as a common warm up, or just a nice way to get students focused before a lesson.


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