Mon ecole - reading assessment

This week my students created mini books from my "mon ecole" pack. I had previously read the teacher version to them many times, so even if they weren't "reading" the "je vois" sentence starter and vocabulary, most knew it by heart already. I also recorded myself reading it last week and put it up on my class website so they could practice at home. 

The file includes a few different options for how your students can complete the mini books. I used the version where they read the word, trace the word, and draw a picture to match. Then I conferenced with each student and had them "read" the book to me. 

I used a rubric that I created to be similar to a GB+ assessment - so that I could quickly make notes about how they read the book. I had some students who could easily read the whole book, some who needed prompts (e.g. look at the first letter, or look at their drawing) and some who could not identify the vocabulary on each page. Here's a sample (with my name!): 

I will NOT be sending this rubric home. It's only the third week of school and it was more for me so that I could get an idea of where all my students were.

If you've bought my "Mon ecole" file on TPT, you can go back to download the updated version now with this rubric! 


The end of week 3

Can you believe it's been 3 weeks?? I can't believe it's already September 26th. Crazy!

This week we continued working on colours and classroom objects. I've been reading my "dans ma salle de classe" book every day. I have them repeat each page after me, and we count each object together to practice counting #1-10. 

I started having my students try "bug in a rug" in small groups as a "j'ai fini" choice. We set a maximum of 4 students for any game of "bug in a rug" or "bang" to try to keep the noise levels down :) 

I also finished laminating and hole punching my word wall strip cards. I've hung them on hooks on the wall so students can grab them for word work. Here are some students practicing writing them on mini whiteboards: 

Here's a picture of my "j'ai fini" board! I used some electrical tape to separate the choices so they focus on the fact that they need to make sure their unfinished folder is empty before they move on to the other activities. 


Colour games and centres

This week in grade 1 we are adding in some new centres. I'm trying to get them used to some fun centres/games to do when they finish their work and for daily 5 activities.

We played "bang":
- I put the cards in a container
- 1 student pulls a card at a time
- If they can say the word in French, they can keep the card
- If they can't, they put the card back in the container and pass the container to the next person
- If they pull a "bang" card, they pull another card

To avoid students looking for "bang" cards, they have to hold the container up against their forehead while they pull a card. I use empty "Tazo tea" containers or empty yogurt containers to hold the cards.

I also introduced a reading game with clips:

And a reading matching game: 

We finished up our colour anchor charts:

We're also almost done making simple colour books. We've also continued on with "Autour du monde" with colours too! 

So far they're doing a great job learning all the colours in French!


Seasonal changes units

I've just posted new versions of my English and French "Seasonal changes" units. If you have either of these, please download the updated version! They're now filled with wonderful new fonts :) 

Also - please email me to let me know what I could add to the unit to make it more useful in your class! I'd be happy to add more to it! 


Some pictures from this week

Here are some pictures from my classroom this week:

We worked through rouge, orange, and jaune this week!

For art, we talked about the primary colours and we made "primary superhero" art! 

We also had a visitor during one of our games of "autour du monde"! Had to put on my big girl pants and scoop him up into a container. Thankfully I had some bug containers still from when I taught grade 2 last year! 

I also introduced pompoms as a reward system, thanks to the idea from my awesome French partner. I give them pompoms for ANYTHING at all throughout the day. They can add it to the container for their group. The colours match their group table colours. On Fridays we do "catch up and pickles" - time to catch up on unfinished work, or free choice if they've done all their work. The group with the most pompoms gets first choice of the free choice games and activities. 


J'ai fini choices

Full disclosure - I'm not always the best with my own systems. I used to have class jobs, but I was the WORST at updating them. My kids would remind me constantly of things that I didn't even remember telling them, such as "I will update the jobs every Monday". Oops! 

I have told my students that we will be using the "J'ai fini" board, and kind of explained it to them, but at this point they don't have many options (centres/daily 5 haven't been set up yet), so I haven't been using it. My plan was to go over it again once they have been taught more of their options. It's been sitting on my whiteboard with "dessiner" and "lire un livre" as their choices since the first day of school. 

Yesterday I told them that since we only had about 5 minutes until the bell, their only choice was to read a book if they finished before it was time to clean up. I was shocked when one of my little ones piped up with "well then you had better move the drawing choice off the board!!!!!!"

I think as teachers, our days are so busy that we sometimes forget (or maybe that's just me?!) what they might actually be paying attention to. 

Mental note made... get that J'ai fini board up and running!!!! 


Autour du monde

Today we played "Autour du monde" for the first time! My wonderful French team partner suggested it, and it was a huge hit! They had SO much fun and were begging to keep playing. 

I took the "smack" game cards and shuffled them up in my hands. We sat in a circle and the two students opposite me stood up. I showed them a picture, and whoever said it first was the winner. The other student sat down, and the next student around the circle stood up to "face off" against the winner. Every few "face offs" I had them ALL say the words as I went through the stack in my hands. 

So far we played it with colour vocabulary, and with the vocabulary from the "mon ├ęcole" mini book. Next week I'll continue with colours and also play a few games with classroom objects. 

Do you have any vocabulary games you love?? I'd love to hear about them :) 

(smack cards - laminated and stuck up with magnets)



Today we practiced ROUGE! 

First, we sang our colour song. It's a much harder song than our "bonjour" and "au revoir" songs, so we'll be practicing it for a while! 

Then I had them brainstorm things with a partner that were rouge. They drew them and I chose one of their paper to put up on the wall. I'm choosing one a day to put up on the bulletin board above my writing centre. You can tell I'm short red crayons, as a few orange things ended up in there!

Then we practiced the colours by playing "smack!" with the fly swatters. We started with rouge, bleu, jaune, and vert today. I'll stick to 4 colours a day in our "smack!" game for about a week. I got paint chips from a hardware store and put magnets on the back of them to make our "smack" pieces!

Then I introduced our three rouge words. These three words are the pictures they then drew in their colour books. I wanted to have them all do the same words so that we can use these books as another source of new vocabulary/practice. Our rouge words are backpack, apple, and locker (ours are red!). 

We played some short games - e.g. "jump if you're wearing ______". I reinforced it during line up time by having them line up if they were wearing a certain colour. We also looked through our lunches during lunch for food that was "rouge". 

After lunch they started their colour books. They drew the three items, and if they were up for it, labelled them as well. They did a great job! 

I have my own colour book that I've already illustrated with the 3 items/colour. I'll be reading that book to them each day as well so that they hear the words a few extra times! 


Plans for next week

Here's a rough outline of my plans for next week: 

Basic French: 
- Practice asking to go to the bathroom/get a drink in French
- Add a few more basic words to our French "SMACK" game (I've been picking words from the "My school" book - we've done 4 so far, and will add 4 more next week) 
- Introduce more classroom objects - read "Dans ma salle de classe" to learn numbers and vocabulary

- Continue to practice "Je m'appelle" and "Comment ca va?" vocabulary - pair them up to practice questioning and answering each other 

- Start our "les couleurs" book 
- Focus on one colour each day - draw and colour on one page of the mini book each day 
- Teach colour song
- Little activities to practice colours - e.g. "Line up if you're wearing _____", "Jump if you're wearing ______" (a good way to also practice some French verbs!)
- Start teaching them how to play "bang" and "bug in a rug" so that we can eventually break into small groups to play them (when they've learned their colours and classroom objects)

Social studies - Rules and regulations:
- Rules on the school bus (for field trips)
- Rules in the community (e.g. movie theatre, park, etc) 


Shadow puppet for home support

I'm completely in love with the "shadow puppet" app. I think I've blogged about it before, but I'm using it again this year and wanted to share how I use it. 

I send home a French song/poem duotang each week with my students. We add 1 new song (or 2, if they're short and easy) each week. We do practice more than just that song each week though, so we have a large rotation of songs that we are singing at any point. 

I take a picture of the lyrics to the song/poem and then upload it into the shadow puppet app. Then I use the app to record their voices.

It's also really neat for my students, as they can hear their voices on the recording! I hope that this helps encourage them to practice/review the videos at home, as it's exciting to watch a video that you know you helped make! 

Here's the video we made today during class - 

I have my class website set up using the website "weebly", as the weebly app lets you drag and drop video links on an ipad to embed videos. I'm able to record them and upload it to weebly in under 5 minutes on my ipad! 

The biggest challenge with French Immersion is finding ways that you can support students outside of the classroom - and this is the best way that I've found. I also take pictures of our word walls and record myself saying the vocabulary (with a pause after each word so they can repeat it), and record myself reading short books so that they can practice at home. 

We have a few ipads in our classroom, so I've also bookmarked my website on them so my students can listen to the songs in class (as a centre activity). 

Do you have any apps that you're excited about? I'd love to hear about them! 


The first few days of grade 1


I hope you're all having a wonderful first week getting to know your new classes :) It's been so fun meeting all of my new students and their families. 

I can't believe how much rain we've had over the past two days! This is the third year in a row that we've had rain on the first day of school here! 

One of the hardest things about a new set of students is predicting how long activities will take with them. A few things that I had planned were finished very quickly, while others took much longer than I expected. 

I've shifted some of my plans throughout the day, and added in some new games to keep things fun and interesting! 

Here are some of the activities that I've been doing with my new little ones... 

- I've been reading "Mon ecole" with them. This introduces "je vois" and a few basic French words (e.g. une fille, un crayon, un pupitre, etc). I read it yesterday as well, and today I explained to them why we read the same books and sing the same songs over and over again. We talked about how your brain starts to say "Oh! I know that word!" When I read it today (their second time hearing it) we played a game where they put their hand up when their brain recognized a word. They were really excited that words were sounding familiar! 

I also have them repeat each page after me. I read the sentence once alone, and then we read it once together. 

- We played "SMACK"! They love this game (no big surprise!) and were happy playing it for quite a while. The picture is a bit hard to see, but I taped a picture of an eraser, a boy, a girl, and a pencil to a piece of chart paper. These are the pictures from my "Mon ecole" pack. I'm adding a few from the book each day to the chart paper, so we will gradually build up our bank of words AND know the whole book. 

I split them up into teams, and they sat in lines in front of the chart stand. I say (and they repeat) each word while I point to it. Then I count down from 3 (so they're learning some numbers) and say a word. Whoever smacks it first with the fly swatter keeps their place, and the other person passes their fly swatter on to the next person in their team. I have them say each word while watching me point to each picture EVERY time - so by the end of the 5-10 minute game they'd said each word in French a LOT of times. We ended up chanting the words and clapping while we said them, so that made it more engaging too!

- I also started setting up their poem duotangs, as I'm sending them home on Friday for the first time. The red folder on the left keeps all my upcoming poems. I stapled the schedule on the front, so that I can quickly bring it along to our team planning meetings. Then it's also easy to find when I need to copy the poems for the next week. 

Each of the duotangs have a note to parents to explain the duotang, and some tracking pages. I'm hoping that having tracking pages will encourage parents to practice more regularly over the weekend while they have their duotangs :) 

Hope you're all having fun with your classes this week! 


Back to school

I can't believe it's already the night before the FIRST DAY! 

I've been getting all my plans together, and here's how I'm starting off the year.... 

Our school flips for French Immersion after period 4, so I will repeat a lot every second day with my second FI class. There will also be a LOT of repeated activities and lots of time spent practicing routines!! 

Tuesday: First day!!!! 
- An introduction to how French Immersion works at our school
- Learning to use our agendas (with this as a guide)
- Show them how the daily schedule works (which will hopefully ease some first day nerves, since they'll see how their day will look)
- Teach "Je m'appelle" - Pass a ball around the circle and say "Je m'appelle _________" when they get the ball
- A full school assembly! 
- Teach "Bonjour" and "Au revoir" songs 
- Make our first day crowns

Wednesday: Day 2!
- Review "Je m'appelle" when taking attendance
- Get to know you activity - "Find someone who

- "This summer I" drawing (to make a bulletin board)

- Play "Je m'appelle" again to review - Pass a ball around the circle and say "Je m'appelle _________" when they get the ball
- Go on a tour of the school 
- Practice "Bonjour" and "Au revoir" songs

Thursday: Day 3! 
- Review "Je m'appelle" when taking attendance
- "Bonjour, je m'appelle" drawing activity - early finishers try to label the colours in their drawing using the colour posters

- Practice "Bonjour" and "Au revoir" songs
- Read "Mon Ecole" (for the first of MANY times!) 

Friday: Day 4! 
- Send home French duotang
- Illustrate "bonjour" and "au revoir" songs (to go in duotangs) 
- Read "L'automne" (for the first of MANY times!)

I'm sure I'll have to shuffle a lot, depending on how much I manage to get through each day. I find I ALWAYS plan too much on the first day, so I've left time for it to flow into the other days of the week. 

I hope you all manage to get some sleep tonight!!! 

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