Monday, January 30, 2012

les cinq au quotidien

The Daily Five and Café are part of a literacy model developed by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  

Along the bottom of the Daily Five board are self adhesive library sign out envelopes.  They are labeled with each child's name on a card and popsicle stick.  Students choose a station by putting their stick in the appropriate pocket (max. 5 sticks per pocket).  If I need to meet with a student or group I move their sticks before they arrive in the morning.  

Daily Five station signs (printable)

Daily Five tracking strips for students (printable)

  • cut into strips, students place in their envelope for the week, few days, colour each task as it is completed
  • teacher can see at a glance where students are at even if they were absent

  • for tracking over 12 weeks, students keep this in a folder or glued to the inside cover of their journal to track where they have worked


stratégies de lecture de Madame Bernice:
Améliorer ma précision
Enrichir mon vocabulaire

You'll notice that some students wanted a 'loupe des sons' in their pocket as well.

Actual version pictured here (download).

Watch this xtranormal video for a quick overview of how The Daily Five work.  Your students can easily create their own videos using extranormal, (oui en français!).  You may need an account, basic access, like an app, is usually free.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

100ième jour - masques

100th day masks (printable)

For no reason at all except that they are fun and goofy here are 100th day masks.

les objets - 3D

I use the Geometry Rubric for grade 1 from Math Makes Sense (this is a photo only - you will need the resource for the PDF).

I print off one for each student and keep notes right on the rubric (print to 8.5x14 for more room).

This is a great way to communicate to both parents and students which skills they have mastered and which they are still learning.  I send these home for parents to sign during the unit and at the end of the unit.  They are returned and kept in the students' data notebook  to facilitate report card writing.

Here is the 3D visual dictionary of vocabulary students used for this unit.

These are the 3D word strips that are in the file above.  It includes all of the 3D shapes, this is just  a thumbnail.  I like to have students describe the difference between "un coin" et "un sommet" for example.  These kinds of discussions get at a deeper understanding of the properties of shapes.

How many faces does a cone have?  Are faces always flat, or can they be curved?  Are edges always straight?

Here is the 2D visual dictionary and word strips that I print back to back with the 3D visual dictionary above.  I made this when I was teaching kindergarten and really should have added the other polygones.  They are in the word strip document.  Add that to the list . . .

2D word strips are in the file above.  Great for pocket charts, sorting, independent writing, making sentences and for Daily Five word work.

These are pages to a take-home book we made.  Students can write their own clues for each shape, use the ones provided or print them off as fill in the blank.

Students sorted small toys describing whether they could roll or stack.  We are built and described 3D structures (big lego, lots of plastic cups, super fort, wooden blocks, toothpick and marshmallows).

Students discussed, how many edges does your structure have, how many vertices, how many faces? 

Using your building materials can you build a cube?
 A cylinder?  A sphere?
Easy to understand French preschool video about "les formes" to watch during snack.

les couleurs

Always a challenge, read-alouds that first and second year French Immersion students can understand.  Two of my favourites for a colour unit early in the year in Grade 1.

les coccinelles des doubles

The doubles ladybug practice  (laminate, dry erase practice)
More doubles ladybug practice (laminate back to back, more challenging practice)

Ladybug doubles posters

Aquamath Website for math concepts

Don't be scared away by the sign-in screen, students can make up any name and password, just have them use the same one each time if you want to track their progress.  We used the 2D and 3D shape modules.

les figures - 2D

Geometry Rubric for grade 1 from Math Makes Sense.

I print off one for each student and keep notes right on the rubric (print to 8.5x14 for more room).

This is a great way to communicate to both parents and students which skills they have mastered and which they are still learning.  I send these home for parents to sign during the unit and at the end of the unit.  They are returned and kept in the students' data notebook  to facilitate report card writing.

See my post on teaching 3D shapes here.

Les figures - 2D visual dictionary and word strips (printable)
* corrections have been made to the word strip 'un cercle', other files were correct,
Merci les amies qui lisent mes documents!
Lead up books:
Using pre-punched shapes students made their own animals.  They talked about what they made before writing, describing their animals to one another, ie: C'est un ours.  Il est brun.  Il y a 3 cercles.
Tried a new tool called PhotoPeach for video creation.  I would like to have students read their descriptions and record them into Voice Thread to share with parents.

Students are encouraged to photograph things they make or build to use as prompts for writing in their journals.  

les doubles

The doubles posters (printable to 11x17)

The doubles and one more one less are math strategies students master in grade 1 using real world examples, art and games.  The booklet above is a little worksheet-ish.  It's handy for students who need the extra, concrete practice, combine with manipulative practice and card games.


This is a project that came out of a game called the "sticks of 6".  Using 2 colours of toothpicks students show all the ways to make 6.  We represented doubles using our sticks.  Before gluing things down students arranged sticks that showed doubles, they compared one another's creations and identified the double.  They also corrected one another.

Not what I was expecting but still a demonstration of learning.
1+ 6 + 6 + 1+ 1+1 = 16
(I know this isn't 'correct', I should have video taped the student explanation)

A page from the number sense book.  We would tackle the 6 page once we had made the sticks of 6 or some other concrete, manipulative exploration.  Important practice for my group was representing numbers is an organized way that can be subitized (recognized at a glance).  It could be the way a number is shown on a dice, a domino, or a 10 frame but it had to be orderly.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

mars - bricolage de math

This one was for kindergarteners who were still working on the best friends of 10.
Punches were used for the coins, how many in the pot?  How many on the ground?  Student math journals are bound together in a book at the end of the year.  A student-made document they can read.

une frise chronologique

Personal Timeline (oui, c'est en français, printable to 11x17)
Assessment for timeline
Rubric for Changes in My Community
Activity Guide from Really Good Stuff
Dipity - online timeline creation tool

An introduction to Changes in My World in social studies.  This was presented as a take home project, in the future students could bring in photos and complete the timeline at school, French content would be richer this way.  Original can be found at "Really Good Stuff".  A page has been added to this file to extend the written portion of this project for those who are able, for older grades,  or for use as a research template or story planning board.
Or try Dipity - an online timeline creation tool easy for kids!

In this example the students chose photos of themselves at certain ages for the boxes above.  Most wrote how old they were in French, they might also be able to add what new skill they learned at that age (how to walk, talk).   They added photos of what they liked or liked to play with below (we referred to these as 'artifacts' from their childhood as we would be discussing artifacts later on in a social studies unit).  The images of the toys below were most significant to the students.  They liked to laugh at the babyish or childish things they once liked now that they were mature 6 year olds!  For a longer timeline print both pages and glue them together.

Could this format be used to plan a story?  Could it be used to retell the key events in a story?  Could each square represent a stage in the lifecycle of a critter or plant?  Once students have had practice representing their learning a certain way, there is no harm in revisiting that strategy (ie: this freise).  Students develop a bank of ways to show their learning that they can choose from later on in the year.

15 things successful CEOs want TEACHERS to know

original article posted by Peter Corbett at 15 things successful CEOs want you to know

I love this article.  It isn't the kind of thing I usually post
but I am about to teachify it.

1.  Figure out what the five most important stuff is, focus relentlessly on that and keep iterating.  Less is more.
Select 5 focuses, regardless of whether the school wide culture is pushing for more.
My five are:
  1. Know each child personally and make them feel special, be kinder than is necessary.
  2. Intentionally build a rapport with parents.
  3. Know the curriculum.
  4. Learn and try at least 1 new tool a month (sometimes it's tech, sometimes math, art, a teaching strategy, grow, grow, grow).
  5. Share.
2.  Don’t let people tell you your ideas won’t work. If you have a hunch that something will work, go build it. Ignore the haters.
Oh the haters.  Why are there haters?  Do you ever feel like a dork for putting yourself out there?  I do.  I will lie in bed awake thinking, I shouldn't have sent that e-mail, why am I sending people stuff I think they might use/benefit from?  They don't have time for my needless e-mails.  Refer to 5 on my list.

3.  Just do it. Get it out there, absorb the feedback, adjust accordingly, hustle like hell, persevere and never lose your swagger.
Adjusting is not easy but yes, adjust.  Lessons don't work.  The students don't get it.  I missed the teachable moment  The final product wasn't what I expected.  The tech had glitches.  Who cares.  Get over it.  Try again tomorrow.  (I don't typically swagger but for what it's worth I do walk more confidently in a great wedge.) 

4.  Follow your gut, it may be wrong, but you won’t regret it if you fail. You’ll regret it if you ignore your gut and fail.
My gut is helpful when it comes to young people.  I need to slow down in the classroom to feel it.  How do the students look?  Are they happy?  Is something bothering them?  Look closely, listen quietly, they are the first priority.

5.  Treat people like you want to be treated. Apply to customer service.
Treat people like you want to be treated.  Apply to parents.  Apply to students.  Imagine your administrator correcting your behaviour the way you just corrected you-know-who who is sprawling under her desk with marker on her face.  Now imagine that her parents heard you.

6.  Do work for your customers, not for press or VCs. The end user is what matters long term.
Do work for your students, not for administration (although with good admin, this will naturally follow) or to please colleagues or sometimes parents.  The students are who matter in the long term.

7.  Only reinvent the wheels you need to get rolling.
This goes back to 5 on my list.  SHARE!  And if it's already done, use it!  Don't redo it to make it prettier now, you can do that later, when you have time.  For now it is good enough. Will the time I spend making/improving this today significantly impact the learning of my students tomorrow?  If it won't stop working and go watch Glee.

8.  Pick one thing and do that one thing — and only that one thing — better than anyone else ever could.
In your first 5 years don't go there (yes give yourself 5), just make teaching your one and only thing.  But once you get the hang of it, if you are particularly good at something, do it.  But then don't do other stuff.  If you can plan the best Terry Fox run ever take that on - but not everything else too.  I'm good at making nice French stuff on my computer, just sayin'.

9.  Make something people want. Then give more damns than anyone else about it and you’ll make something they love.
Hopefully what people want is a good education for their children.  Then, when you give more damns than anyone else that education becomes a beautiful, caring, inspiring and challenging place for children to come and learn with you every single day.

10.  Buy @ericries's book.  Beyond that?  Build a platform.  This is the big year.
I think he said read.

11.  Startup wisdom: The number one job of a CEO is to not run out of money.
Ha!  I'll bet not run out of money!  That's just funny in public education isn't it?  Let's go with be hesitant to spend your own cash.   Will the money I spend today significantly impact the learning of my students tomorrow?  If it won't stop spending and go watch Glee.

12.  Always be learning from others. Whenever you meet someone, you don’t want something from them, you want to learn from them.
I love people.  I collect people as prolifically as my boys collect Pokémon cards.  I didn't know why until I realized that they are my real life bookshelf for learning how to be, act, live and how not to be, act, live.

13.  Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
I disagree.  What can I say, I'm a rule abider.  I did use the office copy code once though when I ran out . . . 

14.  Give away the wins, own the losses. Your job is to curate greatness.
Give away the wins to your students.  Don't do for them what they can do for themselves and they will be able to take credit for every single success big and small.  And then tell their parents about it.

15.  Users and employees are key predictive indicators of a company’s success; press and investors are generally months behind.
Students and parents are key predictive indicators of a teacher's success; if you're not constantly growing and learning and improving and searching and sharing and collaborating with great educators you admire YOU  and your teaching are generally YEARS behind.

Friday, January 27, 2012

les phrases

Sentence structures we know posters (printable to 11x17)

These sentence structure prompts are on a fold out page (see example here) at the back of each student's journal.  These posters are yet another reminder of the types of sentences students have learned.  The photos are posted here in the progression that we follow and coincide with classroom topics of study.  The bold lettered words in the sentence represent the sentence stem (the part students mimic), the outlined words are the words the student can provide.

Our first K & Grade 1 sentences look like this.
Students use words strips around the room and visual dictionaries.


Always a hit in K and for some in grade 1; students write their name and who they like to play with.
Following "Les jasettes" vocabulary games to become familiar with the language of clothing, students are able to add more description with "il porte" (he is wearing).

During a shapes unit, students make shape collaged animals and then describe them.
ie:  "Voici un hibou.  Il est bleu.  Il y a neuf cercles."

After building her animal this student wrote on the back of the index card;
"Voici une vache.  Elle est blanche et noire.  Il y a un carré, six rectangles, sept cercles et deux demi-cercles."
Students refer to these (yellow poster) as "Qui, quoi, où?" (who, what, where) sentences.  Finally, during a unit of study about the needs of animals and their adaptations students write "Qui suis-je?" (who am I) sentences.  
They also photograph one another, write a "qui suis-je", and other students match the description with the photo.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vidéos Brain Pop

Four reasons why Brain Pop Français videos will work in your
Elementary French Immersion classroom:

  1. The actual video graphics are simple, professional and self-explanatory.  Without understanding all of the narration students new to French will understand many of the concepts presented.
  2. The francophone narrator speaks very quickly, I would say even for grade 3 and 4 students.  BUT, there is a closed captioning option (for *MOST videos).  In the image above there is a play button, the fast forward button is next on the right and then the a black oval with "ST" in it, that is the closed captioning option, click it!  You can mute the video and read the narration (more slowly) yourself for your students, pausing to allow for questions and discussion.  Students could even watch the videos in small groups, then regroup to discuss what they gleaned.  Strong readers can narrate for the class as well.
  3. The videos are very well organized into topics and subject areas.
  4. Each video is followed by an intereactive "quiz" to check for understanding.  Beware, you will want to review the quiz questions if you plan to use them with a young class, extra discussion will be needed to answer the questions.
* It seems every video has the button but not every video is showing the text when I try multiple videos.  I have sent a message to Brain Pop to find out why as this was a key feature in terms of making the video understandable for young French Immersion students.  Will post the reply!

Needs of Plants and Animals Unit?  Voilà!
(don't take my word for it, check out that site!)
                               amphibiens                    oiseaux                 reptiles
                               chauves-souris               poissons              chats
                               chiens                              dauphins             chevaux
                               manchots                        pandas                 insectes

Could students choose their own animal/video to base their learning on?  Could they watch a few videos at home and come back to school with a choice, even if the entire video was not understood (that almost sounds a little bit like a flipped classroom trick)?  Could groups of students be responsible for certain video topics of interest to them?

Up next:  How do barely reading and writing French Immersion
students demonstrate their learning in a research project?

château de glace - 2010

At the end of January students begin freezing 2 liter milk jugs filled with water and a bit of food colouring (a bit or it stains snowsuits).  They are collected to build an ice castle.