Monday, October 20, 2014

la momie - the mummy!

Yes! It's definitely a mummy but not "maman".  I would love to take credit for this piece of work but alas I can only take credit for the "eyes".  :)  My colleague (and friend) both came into work the other morning and started talking about Pinterest and the cool things that we had seen that would be great to decorate our classroom door.  We share a class for our morning TA (which is morning homeroom) and thought it would be nice to do something different as a "greeting" to our class.  So we pulled up some ideas that we had seen and both talked about the mummy!!  My very crafty friend pulled together all of the supplies and started putting it together one lunch hour.  I worked on the eyes.  It is fun and very suited for our next "spooky" celebration.  Check it out!

You might like some of these! 

 Halloween Fun! - Click to go to my TpT store for Halloween products.

***To my followers at my TpT store:  There will soon be a FREEBIE coming your way!  ***

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Liebster Award!

Thank you to Suzy of "Student Savvy" for this nomination! I heard about the Liebster Award only two or three days before she nominated me!  I too did some research to find out a bit about it. 

I discovered that it refers to Bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers but have great content and potential.  It is a wonderful opportunity for new bloggers to connect and to see what other bloggers have to share in the blogging community! I wish to nominate the bloggers below for the Liebster Award! I hope they will also follow my blog. :) As I didn't know how to calculate "followers" I used Bloglovin' to help me out. 

Questions to me from "Student Savvy": 

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging? I first started blogging late in 2012 because I liked the blogs that I had seen on TpT and thought it was something that I might like to do. What better way to share my joys in the classroom than with other teachers? (I didn't know much about social networking and so it was basically a blog for me to read.)  

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? "Reflection" I believe as I usually write about something that I have been pondering about.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before? I am still learning!  Technology is not necessarily easy for me and so when I  redesign my blog to make it more eye appealing I try new "tech" techniques which I must admit don't always work.  (ie. Grab a button - No idea how to make this work! ) 

4. What is your favorite past time other than bloggingI like to research places that I plan on travelling to. What are the best sites to see? Best modes of transportation, great food to eat, art to see, etc.

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?  At first I tried to blog every day but this turned out to be impossible for me while teaching also. So, this year my goal is to blog once a week on something that I have pondered about or about something that transpired in my class during that week. 

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?  "Education" for sure, but I love blogs on travel as I plan my next adventure!

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from?  From my students and from looking at what other educators have shared with each other.  What an amazing wealth of knowledge out there!!

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of? There are 2 posts that I like the best I think.  One is the post where one of my students used "pictures" on a small sheet of paper to help him with his French presentation.  They were not allowed to have a script and so the pictures were ideas for him yet also prompted him to use the French language.  My second one I would say is the most recent one about "Le Petit Prince".  This novel just touched my heart to the core and I wanted to share this with others.

9.  Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now?  This one, makes me a bit nervous.  I'm afraid I am going to find it difficult to choose 11 blogs.  There are so many out there.

10.What is your favorite aspect of blogging?  It will be a kind of personal-professional journal for me to look back on.  I am not one to write in a book at home but with so many things happening during a teaching year it is good to have a reminder of some of the great days with the students!

11.Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself? Well Suzy, I am looking forward to exploring the blogs of the other blogs you nominated! And again, a huge thanks! I will be back to see what you have blogged about! :) 

 My nominations for the Liebster Award are:

1. Cori from  Easy Lit Units & More
2. Katherine D. from The Lesson Chef
3. Tammy from Teaching FSL
4. Mynda from B is for Bilingual
5. Liz from Liz's Lessons
6. Frau Leonard from The German Sektor
7. La-Nette from La-Nette Mark's Classroom
9. Michelle from Mrs. Brosseau's Binder
10. Sherri from Literary Sherri
11. Danielle from Study All Knight

To those who have been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have fewer than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You may have been introduced to Le Petit Prince via your Saturday morning cartoons, the Knowledge Network, library video/DVD rentals or perhaps you were fortunate enough to have had a parent or grandparent read you chapters of this short but amazing novel when you were growing up. In whatever way you discovered Le Petit Prince, it is almost certain that the adventures of le Petit Prince not only opened your imagination but it is sure to have warmed your heart.  I didn't experience any of the above while growing up.  But before you think - oh poor her - you must know that I had a wonderful childhood; it was just a "reading" that did show up at my house.  It wasn't until years later while training to become an FSL teacher that I was truly introduced to this story.  Simplistic in its presentation and of course "childlike" in nature - which if you have read Le Petit Prince you will know is essential for the true appreciation of the story - it presents the essentials to humankind.

If you do not already do so, I highly recommend you take some time in your teaching year to offer a chapter or two (if not the whole novel) to your students.  It is so rich in "teachings" and "discussions" that it will be worth your while!  Although I do not teach the entire story I sat and read it cover to cover one afternoon while waiting for a friend at the hospital.  - short and sweet - full of wonder!

Here is the URL of a mini-portion of the musical I use from YouTube.  Another gem.  :)

Le Petit Prince - musical - part 1 of 13

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A thank you - Thanksgiving Sale!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that as a "thank you" and to show my appreciation for all of the good things that life has brought me that I will be having a sale at my TpT store. - "mrslryan".  More than 140 products will have a discount of 10% off the regular price on October 12 and 13! 

Drop by and have a look!  There might be something you are interested in! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians on this holiday weekend! Safe travels!  :)  Lorraine

Friday, October 10, 2014

Building community

If you are like many educators you have a class with more than one "class" in it.  You understand, the split class. :) This is common in an elementary school but is also becoming more common at the secondary level. As teachers, we do as much as possible to provide our students the opportunity to excel in our subject areas at whatever level they are at. I have two split classes at the secondary level this year. - one with (FSL) French 8 and former immersion students in it and another one with former immersion students (2 different levels) and FSL students (a triple split class!). Careful planning and organization are essential when teaching classes like this but so is building community within the classroom!  When you have two different courses being offered in the same hour and in the same class you have to take advantage of every opportunity of bringing the entire group together to participate in similar activities whenever possible. One activity that I use to help bring the class together as one is the market place activity.  This is the perfect way to start the language class as it focuses the students on speaking in the foreign language while allowing them to stretch their legs before settling in to the class lesson.  I try to make the market place activities short with only 5 questions . This allows students enough time to practice the questions or concepts that they have recently learned and encourages success for all students.  The former immersion students are happy to be able to help out with pronunciation and the FSL students get an opportunity to hear another speaker besides myself speak in French. I always make a stipulation that students must talk to students from other tables.  Although we have two different courses being taught, they will always consider themselves as "one class" as long as the community is formed. 

Here are two market place products that I use to help reinforce concepts and build community in my class.
 Continuons à parler français

 Parlons français

Happy Teaching! and to all my fellow Canadians - Happy Thanksgiving!  Lorraine

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Speech, speech and more speech!

Speaking in the target language is essential to second language learning!

I really believe that there can never be enough time to practice this skill in the classroom and so conscientiously work at this with my students.

For this school year I put together 75 task cards so that I could add just one more idea into my classroom to promote speaking French - the target language.  Why so many cards you may ask? Isn't it impossible to go through every card in a lesson?  Well, yes it is impossible, but that really doesn't matter.  Our classes are so diverse in terms of the students' abilities that I wanted to be able to have my students feel success no matter what their ability level is.  The students have the choice of question that they wish to ask of another student and so it allows them to choose a question that they feel comfortable with.  Over the years it has become obvious to me that students will only "risk" making errors while speaking French if they feel a level of comfort in doing so.  They must feel "safe". This activity allows just that.  It also provides scaffolding of the activity with a variety of levels of questions in terms of difficulty. If a question is too difficult or if the student believes that there isn't anyone in the class that can "match the question" they are free to choose another question.  With 75 questions there is always one that they can choose.  One of the questions refers to a "jumeau" or "jumelle" - There isn't always a twin in the class that I teach although we do have sets of twins in our school.  What is the ideal amount of time to allow for the activity?  It really depends upon your class but I find that allowing 20-25 minutes provides enough time for the "slower starters" to get started while also providing a feeling of accomplishment for those who are actively participating.  With a "recording sheet" also provided you can do this activity as a warm-up activity over 2 - 3 classes if you wish as each task card is numbered and so is the "recording sheet".  All students will know which questions they have already asked and which ones are still to do. 

I posted this product at my TpT store at the following link: Getting to know each other task cards if you are interested in having a further look.  :)  Happy teaching to you all!