Winter reading assessments

Last week we finished making our own winter clothing mini books, and I'll be assessing their reading this week! Although they're familiar with the books and have practiced them, it still gives me lots of great information about their reading.


C'est Noel!

As we wrap up the LAST 5 days before the break, I'm looking for fun things to keep my little ones motivated and focused. I could already feel the challenges last week as they had tons of energy! 


Fall assessments

This week I did a reading check-in with the animal/preposition book we had been reading together in class. It was really informative to see which students were using the pictures as cues, which were singing the preposition song to see what words were, and which were mixing up sight words (such as "le" and "la"). All in all, they did a great job! 


Quand --> je....

Ah what a crazy past few weeks it's been! Here's what we've been working on recently...

Needs of living things

I've been teaching the needs of living things vocabulary for a few minutes each day over the past week and a half. This gives them lots of exposure to the vocabulary over a chunk of time. We've been practicing "J'ai besoin de..." and 6 words to complete the sentence. 

I write "J'ai besoin de..." on the board, and add 1 card at a time as my students tell me them. Then once they're all up there, we go through them again together in French. 


Les prépositions

We have been practicing our prepositions for the past few weeks. I've been reading "Ou sont les animaux?" to them, and it's posted on my website so they can practice from home. 


"En automne, je..." books

Last week we started working on our "En automne, je..." books. It's so cute to see the little pictures that they draw! 

We talked about how they can "bump up" their work - adding numbers, colours, prepositions, "et", etc. We also talked about how the sentences should make sense - e.g. "je mange une pomme" instead of "je mange un manteau"!


Living things - Journal practice

We have talked a LOT about "bumping it up" in school this year. When I get my students started on an activity we go over the basic expectations, and then we always talk about how we could "bump it up". They are slowly learning that it feels good to challenge yourself even though it is of course more work. 

French homework duotangs

Here's the song we are working on this week for our French homework duotangs...

They cut out the pictures and glued them in the boxes so they have a visual to help when they practice at home. On the back, I photocopied a quick activity with the words of the week that they can practice at home! 


Fall sentence starters

We have been working hard on our fall vocabulary for a few weeks. It's so fun to hear them say the fall words with so much confidence now!

We practiced a venn diagram together as a class to compare "fall" and "winter" as part of our seasonal changes unit. Then my students tried it independently on mini whiteboards. They shared their ideas and sentences with a partner each time, before erasing and adding new ideas.


Words of the week detectives

Now that we are 5 weeks into our words of the week, my students have 20 simple words that they're beginning to recognize. The fun part is that most of these words can be found in our weekly songs and poems!

When we filled out the page for their homework duotang last week, they started to circle the words they knew in the song. When we practiced our "novembre" poem last week we hunted for words that we recognized. We pulled the squirrel card from the fall word wall, and the words of the week from our word list. Being able to place the cards directly on/beside the poem was a neat visual connection for them!

Today we brainstormed and filled a venn diagram to compare fall and winter. I wrote simple sentences based on their brainstorms and then we hunted for words from both word walls and circled the words we could find!


Pictures from this week

Here are some pictures from our centres this week!

My students have been enjoying the magnet centre. It's hands on, and great practice for the vocabulary we are working on! I picked up some more cookie trays from the dollar store so that more of them could use this centre when they finish up their work for the day. They have been choosing the French centres instead of free choice activities on rainy days too!

They're getting lots of practice with the whiteboards. This centre never gets old! They are much more willing to write when they use the whiteboards. For assessment purposes, I walk around with my clip board in between pulling small groups and take lots of notes about what they're producing. If you want to, you can also photocopy their whiteboards! I had no idea how well this worked! I do this when I want to save something a student has written. You could also take a picture of their work to print later :) 

We are still using our visual dictionaries in our whiteboard centre. They've been working really well! 

They love this spinning game for our words of the week. I make 4 copies of the sheet and put them in page protectors. Then I put a pin through the page protector and the paper and they can hook a paperclip on over the head of the pin. 

I also post our 4 words of the week on my website each week using "quizlet". They can click through each set and hear the audio that goes with each word to practice from home.

We've started practicing more sentence starters too. We've added "je n'aime pas" and "voici" this week. 


L'automne, je vois.... books

Last week my students finished up their "Je vois" books for l'automne! I had read my teacher book to them many times over the 2 previous weeks, so they were familiar with the vocabulary. I also posted a video of me reading the book on my class website.

To complete their own version of the book, they traced the words and drew the picture to match. They practiced reading a few different times to partners as well. Then they read their books to me. I used the rubric in the file as a beginning reading mark as well.

The rubric is the same as the rubric from the "Mon ecole" book pack: 


Living things

We have split our "Seasonal changes" unit up to be taught at 4 separate times over the year. This lets us teach about each season during the season itself! So we are pressing pause on that unit and have started learning about living things.

This week we talked about living and non living things. We used our fall French vocabulary cards to sort and create sentences using "vivant" and "non vivant". 

I gave each student two sticky notes and they each drew one thing that is living and one that is not living. Then we shared all the sticky notes and stuck them on this anchor chart:

They used simple sentences to share, eg "Une chaise est non vivant", "une fille est vivant". 

I also added "autour du monde" cards for the needs of living things to my tpt unit - so if you've downloaded it, make sure you check out the new updates! 


Seasonal changes - 3D trees

Last week we made 3D trees! My students LOVED their finished trees!

We talked about what a tree would look like in each season. They drew in details and cut out their trees. I helped with the folding and gluing for their trees.

Here are some pictures of the finished products!


Tracking oral presentations

I just updated my fall book and centre file to include a tracker and a rubric! 

I take notes when my students present their books to me, and find it easier (and faster) to record with a template. Then I transfer the information from the template into the met/not met rubric. I photocopy the rubric to send home and I keep the copy of the rubric with the template (with my notes). 

I keep all the templates and photocopied rubrics together in alphabetical order in pocket protectors in a binder. Each student has their own pocket protector, so I can quickly grab all the rubrics I need for assessments, report cards, or parent meetings! My awesome teaching partner came up with this organization strategy! I've been loving it :) 


Building sentences with new sentence starters

Happy Friday! 

I hope you survived a week of rain, wind, a full moon, and Halloween excitement! I've been struggling to get over my first cough/cold/etc of the season and I am definitely looking forward to sleeping this weekend. I am probably over-excited for that extra hour of sleep we get on Sunday! 

This week we practiced our verbs of the week and used them to focus on new sentence starters. I used to keep my sentence starters in a pocket chart, but now I keep them on my whiteboard so that we can build sentences with them. When we start a new set of vocabulary, I always copy a second set of flashcards and put them up on magnets so that my kids can grab them off the board if they need them during their writing. Having both of these on magnets means we can use them to practice making sentences! 

My students are really comfortable with "il y a" and "je vois", so we've moved on to "je mange", "je porte" and "j'aime". I've been reading the "C'est l'automne" book from my fall pack every day. I read a sentence and have them repeat it after me. It's a LOT of repetition, but it works :) As we talked in September about the importance of repetition, I haven't had any of them question it or complain about it. They actually get really excited once they know the book well! When they're really familiar with it, they like to show off and read it as a class without my help, while I just hold it up and turn the pages.

Building sentences - starters and word wall cards:

I normally keep my sentence starters off to the side of my whiteboard. As a class, we read each one together as we go through the list of starters we've learned so far. Then one student picks a starter for us and I slide it over. Then we go through the words that are part of our current word wall (it was classroom objects, now it's fall themed). I say each word and they repeat it after me (usually we use different silly voices too, to make it fun!). Then a student chooses a card to complete our sentence.

Sometimes we also use mini whiteboards at the same time, so they can write (or "dwrite" with words and pictures) it out and then "bump up" their sentences with colours and numbers. Then they read their sentence to a partner. 

I love having everything up on magnets. I can save time by not having to draw or write the parts of the sentence they choose! I get my magnets in sheets from Dollarama - they're awesome! You'll just need to practice some self restraint... I did NOT and now almost all my flashcards have magnets on them! 


Verbs of the week and small group sentence building

Today we began our focus on weekly verbs! We will be slowly adding to our verb list over the next few weeks. 

My pocket chart calendar has space for a few verbs cards. I printed my verb posters really small so that they can fit in the bottom left corner. Once we move on to new verbs, we will keep adding them to the same place in our classroom to build a verb wall. 

The bottom right corner has our words of the week! I've also started building a sight word list with the past two week's word lists. 

This morning we rotated through some centres. We did:
1. Bang 
3. Matching (picture to the word)
4. Magnetic letters/word building (using word wall strips)
5. Writing on whiteboards (with visual dictionaries as guides) 
6. Working with me! 

The cards from the image are from my fall pack! Each time I sat down with a new small group, we went over the sentence starter prompts and sentence structure. With some groups, I talked about specific errors that were being made ("je vois 3 une pomme"), and with others we talked about how we could "bump up" our sentences ("je vois 3 pommes ET 2 citrouilles"). They loved "getting to play all morning!" 

I rotated through to the next centre about every 8ish minutes. Whenever I was done with the group I was working with I tapped my tap bell, and students cleaned up their table and returned to the carpet. Once at the carpet, we looked back at each centre to make sure it was cleaned up the correct way. Students from the whiteboard centres got to share their best sentence (it's the easiest centre for sharing!). Then I told each group where they were moving to next! 


Centre ideas for FSL

I LOVE using centres with my students! My students love them, and will choose many of the centres to play during indoor recess instead of lego and other toys. It rained this week and one of my boys chose to build with magnets on cookie trays!

Setting clear routines is the most important part. Take the time to teach the games to your students so that they understand how to play properly. If they haven't mastered the French vocab, then you will have behavioural and focus issues come up. With younger students, make sure you practice the game as a whole class many times before you introduce it as a centre.


I use the cards from my "j'ai fini" board as the centre rotation cards, as the centres are all things they can also choose to do if they finish their work early. I recently updated the file to include centre group cards, so you can write their names on the group # cards to set up your groups before they come to class.

Normally my "j'ai fini" board is set up like this:

Since they're on magnets, it's really easy to move them over to the other side of my whiteboard to set up the centres. 

I line them up vertically and put the group # cards beside them. I have each centre set up on a table group (except bug in a rug, they play on the carpet). I review the rules of each centre with them, and the CLEAN UP rules. We talk about what each centre should look like when it's been properly cleaned up. 

They get started at their centres, and I work with my small group at my table. When I'm done with them (about 10 minutes) I ding my bell. This means clean up and come back to the carpet. Once they're all back at the carpet, we look around to check that the room is cleaned up properly. Any groups who wrote on whiteboards are able to read a sentence they wrote to the class. This is our sharing centre.

Then I move the centre cards on the whiteboard down one spot, and tell each group where they are going for their next centre.  

Here are some of the centres I do:

1. Bang game:  Put all the vocab you’re practicing in a container. Students pull out a card. If they can say it in French (or use it in a sentence, to make it harder) then they can keep the card. If they pull a card that says “bang” then they get another turn (or lose all their cards, your choice!) You can use any empty yogurt container or plastic tupperware. Just make sure they can't see through the container! 

Some of my students like to play bang and then write the words they won on a whiteboard! 

2. Bug in a rug: Lay out the vocab in a grid. One student hides the “bug” under a card, while the other students close their eyes. They guess in French which vocab card it’s hidden under. Whoever finds the bug gets to hide it next. This game requires an honest conversation with your students about why cheating will ruin the fun of the game! 

3. Go fish: You can print any of the flashcards you're using in class. Copy them 2 or 4 per page to make them smaller. 

4. Word building: Magnets on cookie trays! My students use our visual dictionaries or word wall strips to choose their words/sentences to build. 

These awesome magnets come from wintergreen. This set is much cheaper, but you'd likely need multiple sets. The cookie trays are from the dollar store. Ideally you want small magnets so they can fit more words on the cookie tray. 

5. Sentence building: Print squares with a variety of sentence starters, numbers, colours, and objects. Students then put the words in order to build sentences. You can extend this by having them read their sentences to a partner, or write their sentences on a whiteboard/in their journals.

6. "Pictionary": One student draws on a whiteboard, the other student has to guess what they are drawing.

7. Matching: Picture to the word. My students use our visual dictionaries to check their work over when they're done! 

8. Cootie catchers/fortune tellers with a partner. 

9. Bingo - 1 group member can be the bingo caller, others put tokens on the words that are called. I use these as the bingo tokens

10. Writing on whiteboards -

11. Hunting for sight words - 

12. Cube game - Roll the cube and answer the question. Extension - write the question! 

I bought the cubes here, and write different prompts on sticky notes to slide under the plastic. 

13. SMACK game - One student says the word, whoever smacks it first gets to say the next word! 

14. Spin and graph sight words - 

15. Stamp the sight words, themed vocab, or sentences!

16. Write the sight words - I bought salt from the dollar store and added a few drops of food colouring, then gave it a good shake. Students use a sharp pencil to write words in the salt! 

17.  Read and clip - 

18. Spinner games - I use these in centres to give my students prompts for oral communication or writing. They can spin the spinner and either say a sentence or write a sentence. They can review vocabulary in partners (one spins, one says the word). 

19. Working with Mlle - The BEST part about centres is that it means I can pull small groups to work with.

Do you have any centres you love? Feel free to share in the comments :) 

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