Guided instruction and reading in grade 1

I've made multiple copies of the "C'est l'hiver" book and use them with my kids for different guided instruction activities. We read through the book together, but also talk about the different vocabulary in the book. I have them find different pictures in the book and ask questions relating to what we read together.

E.g. "Trouvez le manteau"
"Qu'est-ce que tu portes en hiver?"
"Qu'est-ce que tu aimes en hiver?" 
"Quel temps fait-il en hiver?"

Since my students know the book well already from class, they aren't overwhelmed when they realize that I want them to try to read it with me. They are excited to realize how much they already know from the book. Since we have practiced the vocabulary, they are also able to use the pictures cues to help them when they are reading it. I find with some of the early readers we have in our classrooms, our students can't use the pictures to help them since they haven't learned the vocabulary yet (the books aren't made for immersion learners). 

What does your reading program look like with your grade 1s? I'd love to know what you find works for your students! 

What resources are you searching for? Leave a note in the comments :)


Grade 1 winter book - practicing verbs

This week my grade 1 students wrote and presented their winter books! 

We talked about using different sentence starters. Here are the ones we have practiced so far this year:

- je vois
- je mange
- je porte
- il y a
- je roule
- j'utilise
- je fais
- je bois
- j'aime
- je n'aime pas

I left the verb blank (je _______) in this book for the first time so that I could really see what my students understood. Some of them stuck to "je vois" and "il y a", while some were trying to use "j'utilise" and "je fais"! They were really excited about the challenge.

Our class goals were to also add in colours, numbers, and prepositions of place. We have been reading the "C'est l'hiver" book together every few days and practicing the vocabulary in our Daily 5 centres, so they were comfortable making up sentences with the winter words. 

Here are some of the book pages:


A new game!

Here's a game that I made up: It's pretty simple, but my kids LOVE it. We have had to have talks about controlling our excitement while we play! 

We play it to practice both oral communication and writing. 

I read them a book with vocabulary that we are learning (in this case winter words). Then we choose vocabulary from the book (or just from our winter word wall) and I draw it on the board. 

Then I say each word, and my students repeat it after me. I give them two minutes on a timer to "dwrite" (write a sentence using pictures and words), and then they have to read what they wrote to their table group. 

Then I spin the spinner. If the spinner lands on the word you chose, you get a point! 

The great part about this game is that I can play it with both my grade 1s and 2s simultaneously (which is a dream for a split class). My grade 2s are expected to write more than the grade 1s, and can use more than one of the words in their sentences.

We play a few rounds with each set of vocabulary before I erase it and choose new words. I get them to repeat the words a LOT, to give them lots of opportunities to practice. 

What games are your students loving?? 


How can parents support their child at home?

This is the question that I hear all the time as a grade 1 and 2 FI teacher. 

It's the hardest one to answer, as we have so little available to us in the classroom, let alone to offer to parents at home. 

I've found "weebly" and "shadow puppet" to be the most helpful things for this. 

Weebly: I use weebly for my blog/website for parents. It is SO easy, and lets you drag and drop videos and links right into each web page. The embedded videos look great! 

Shadow puppet: I use the shadow puppet app to record audio for our songs and poems, so that students can hear pronunciation while at home. We send home French duotangs with new poems each week, but it is hard for parents to know what to do with them if they don't speak French. I've been recording myself reading the poems, leaving time for students to repeat each line after me. I've done the same with different pictures of our word walls. I haven't done it with any songs yet (not sure I'm up for singing on youtube....). 

**The app has a really cool feature that let's you touch a spot on your picture and have it light up, however I've experienced some hiccups with this. I have a few videos where the dot has floated away and no longer matches up with the correct words. If anyone knows how to avoid this, I'd love to hear it! It seems to happen somewhere between me making the video on my iphone or ipad, and uploading it to youtube. 

Here's an example of a shadow puppet video I made: 

This is a book that I read every few days with my class, and have them repeat each page after me. The vocabulary matches the word wall cards and flashcards I use, as well as the words in our Daily 5 centres. My students are immersed in the vocabulary that we are studying. 

I'm still new to this, so I haven't had a lot of feedback from parents yet. I know everyone is busy, but hopefully they're able to take a few minutes each day to watch a short video. 

What do you have to support parents and students at home? I'm always looking for new ideas! 


Grade 1 and "les belles phrases"

At my school, our grade 1s practice making what we call "les belles phrases". As they learn more vocabulary over the year, they are able to "stretch" their sentences by adding more details. They also enjoy the challenge or seeing how long they can make them! 

We spent the last few weeks practicing fall vocabulary, prepositions, numbers, and colours. 

I made sheets with small pictures that the kids cut up so that they would each have their own ziploc bag of sentences squares. 

They are so proud of the sentences they make, and SO excited the share them with me :)

Next week we will be switching out the fall words for winter words! 


Reading sound centres

The last few weeks have been so busy! Report cards went home, and student-led conferences are all finished! 

Below are some pictures of the work my grade 2s have been doing with reading sounds. We start each sound by reading a short silly story together. Then we brainstorm the other words we know with that sound. After that they take a clipboard and go on a hunt of the classroom for more words with that sound. They like to check the books in our classroom library for sounds as well. They also use our sound word wall for more ideas.

Here are some pictures of some of the centres that we have done: 

After they finish the folders (above) or the matching games, they take an ipad mini and record themselves reading each of the words. After reading them through once, they try to come up with sentences containing each of the words. This also gives me a video that I can use as a check-in to support them with their reading. 

After a week of exploration in the different centres, then my students write and illustrate their own silly story.

They also practice reading and writing with the sheets below:

It's been really great to see the progress that they've made so far!

With the change in the Ontario French curriculum as of September, I will be doing these same centres in the spring with my grade 1s. 

What does your sound program look like?


Le son a (continued!)

Today my grade 2s started the "a" centre games! My grade 1s will do the same centres in the spring, but for now they are still working on vocabulary acquisition. 

I got some soap boxes from Dollarama to store all the alphabet tiles in:

They used the tiles to build words with the "a" sound. I glued the strips onto file folders before laminating the file folders to keep them together (I'm trying to get away from ziploc bags for all my centres). 

Another centre is matching: 


While my grade 2s were working on these, my grade 1s were practicing their fall "belles phrases". 

Here are some of the sentences they created:

This week I am teaching them "et" and "avec" so that they can extend their "belles phrases" to include more of the vocabulary that they know. 

Hope your week is going well! 


Le son "a"

This week in grade 2 we are focusing on the sound "a"! 

We read our silly "a" story today for the first time. Then we brainstormed "a" words that we already knew. At the end of the week they will make up their OWN silly "a" story. 

I made up some word wall cards and started a sound word wall. I normally group my word wall by first letter, but figured I'd try something new this year and group by sound.

Later this week we will hunt the room for "a" sounds. We will also try to make up different sentences using our "a" words. I made up a centre for matching (the picture to the word) and some file folders filled with "a" pictures, so students can write each word in letter tiles. 

Hope you all had a great Monday! 


En automne - grades 1 and 2

This week we practiced all our fall vocabulary! 

Grade 1:
Students drew all the fall vocabulary they have learned in the acorn template. They then practiced saying "je vois _______" with partners, using their drawings as a prompt. 

Grade 2:
Students did the same thing, but with higher expectations. Since they know "je vois" SO well from grade 1, we chose other sentence starters for them to use (il y a, je mange, je porte, etc). We talked about adding details (e.g. size, number, colour, shape) and extending their sentences (parce que, avec, etc). 


Les belles phrases - l'automne!

This week in grade 1 we are practicing creating "les belles phrases" using "je vois", "je mange", "je porte", and our fall vocabulary

We started practicing on our desks (because it's SO much fun, and doesn't waste paper!):

**Some desks needed a bit of extra love afterwards to get them clean. I use dish soap and water in a spray bottle. It comes off nicely :) 

One of my new centres is "les belles phrases" using the laminated cards that I made. Here are some pictures of them at work: 

I am also reading the simple reader that I made to go with the games. I read it to them every few days, and they repeat each page after I read it to practice the sentence starters and the fall vocabulary. I have been using the belles phrases cards in a centre with me, so that I can introduce the centre and make sure that they understand the order of the cards. While they are doing this, my other students are doing similar fall centres

In between we also started practicing prepositions. I am SO excited to start mixing them together to create even longer sentences.. hopefully next week :) I have been reading the preposition book to them and we have been singing the song to start learning the words. 

While my grade 1s are practicing this, my grade 2s are working on the harder fall centres. They are working on creating sentences in "bang", instead of simply identifying the vocabulary (as the grade 1s do). 

What are you up to this week? Can you believe Friday is Halloween?!?!


Dans ma salle de classe - "dwriting"

This week in grade 1, we tried our hand at "dwriting" - drawing and writing combined! 

I gave my students small pictures of classroom objects, numbers, "il y a" sentence starter, and blank squares (for them to give a colour). In partners, they made sentences. Then they shared them with the class. 

After this I gave them the same sheet and they repeated the activity independently in their journals! They were so excited by the amount of sentences they were able to "dwrite", and happily read them to me as they finished them. We had so much fun with this!

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