Monday, February 24, 2014

Oral presentation notes!

My students are always asking me how much they are allowed to have written down as "helpers" when they are doing an oral presentation.  I give a variety of answers depending upon what kind of presentation it is. Sometimes it's only 10 words, sometimes it's partial sentences, or beginning of sentences only and sometimes it's fill in the blank type of sentences on a cue card.  Whatever my answer is it is always with the intention on providing a little bit of help while still challenging my students to do authentic speaking on the topic chosen!!  I have asked permission to share these recent notes from one of my French students. We have talked about language development in children and how we learned to speak English as children.  This student totally understood what I was talking about!!  Enjoy! 
A picture says a thousand words!  :) 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Un Coup du Sort - A board game!

Un Coup du Sort - French Board Game
"Un Coup du Sort" is a board game that I created to help students review the material in French 8 in Canada.  I wanted  to have something to use in my classroom that would challenge students to use a wide variety of material that they had learrned throughout the school year without "me" having to be "on stage". :) There are cards that you select when indicated on the individual spots as you go around the board. You can choose shortcuts to get to the end more quickly or go around the regular route.  If the students are not sure if they are answering the question correctly then they can have a look on the sheet I also made with sample answers. The student can see if what they were giving was a good replica of a suggested correct answer or not. In my classroom I had my board and all of my cards and suggested answers glued onto construction paper and then laminated so that they will last for a long time!!  The students are amazed at how much they have learned over time and have fun while doing a comprehensive review!

I also made a Version 2 to go along with a French 9 program.  Different sentence patterns and theme areas are covered in it. It is important to note that with different kinds of programs offered around the country that these games could be easily used at other grade levels than for which I use them.   :)

If you are interested in either of these games you can click on the links below:

Un Coup du Sort 

Un Coup du Sort - Version 2

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Surrealism in the Classroom!

After teaching a unit on Belgium I also introduced surrealism art through the art of René Magritte the famous Belgian Surrealist artist.  We looked at a variety of pictures by Magritte and then I asked them to create their own piece of "surrealism".  This is the perfect opportunity for students to get cross-curricular credit from another course, mainly from Art or if you offer a segment of Art History this will also work.  This dual credit is of course negotiated with the Art teacher in advance.  The students that negotiated cross-curricular credit did large paintings in the Surrealism style.  They were extraordinary!  The student samples here are ones that were for my class alone.  Each student had to not only produce a piece of Surrealistic art but they also had to describe it using a wide variety of adjectives that we had learned and also use a specific number of "sentence patterns" that I had given to them.  I like to use "guided sentence patterns" in some of my activities as it forces the students to raise to a level that I desire them to write at.  It also helps to introduce a variety of sentence structures that they might not normally think about.  I was amazed and thrilled at the art and creativity that my students produced for me.  I did not mark their "art" but enjoyed immensely what they had produced.  It was a required component to the assignment and was considered a "given" to be done, but I gave the "graded marks" towards their French written piece.  On "presentation" day I used the inside/outside circle activity for students to share their work in French with each other!  Lots of fun!