La formation des lettres avec les élèves de la maternelle

Hi! Long time no blog post! Sorry about that - turns out pregnant Andrea is not my best Andrea ;) So, you may hear from me again soon, you may not - balancing is a struggle right now for me! #realtalk

Since the back to school season is coming sooner rather than later for the rest of you, I wanted to pop in today to talk about something that is a huuuuge focus for me and my students throughout the year. Letter formation!

Letter formation is a HUGE part of kindergarten! We need our students to know their letters and sounds like the backs of their hands if they are going to be successful readers and writers. Check out some of my favourite alphabet activities to do with my French kindergarten students!


As I'm sure you know, learning letters and sounds is a MEGA important part of kindergarten. If our students don't know their letters and their sounds, they probably aren't going to be able to read or write! It is our job to make sure that we build a super solid foundation for our students, so that they end up knowing their letters and sounds like the backs of their hands and can go on to be successful readers and writers.

Many students need a LOT of practice to get their letters down pat, and have a really hard time associating letter names/sounds with their symbol. There are lots of different things that I do with my students to help them master this important skill. Some activities are great to do whole-group, some are better in a small-group setting, and others I have them practice on their own during literacy centres.

Le meilleur jeu de communication orale

Happy long weekend! I can never quite believe it when this weekend rolls around, because it means that we are in the home stretch. The last "break" before the end of the school year! I love the extra day off, but I also panic a bit, because I am always concerned that I haven't taught my kids quite enough to have them 100% ready for grade one. There is always more to teach!

At this point in the year, I expect all of my students to be speaking in French all the time. And, although there are always exceptions, 99% of my students can and do make the effort to speak French as much as possible throughout the day (minus perhaps when they are on the playground and I can't hear them, ha!).

However, my big focus for communication orale at this time of the year tends to switch from are they speaking often? to are they speaking CORRECTLY? Although I teach at a francophone school, we are in a minority community, and the reality is that our students speak using a LOT of "anglicismes" and incorrect structure. In fact, our school improvement plan for elementary is totally centred around improving our students' correctness when they speak.

Today, I would like to share with you my FAVOURITE game for teaching and practicing correct sentence structure. In my humble opinion, it is the best oral communication game for young students. Read on to find out why I think so, and how to set it up and play!


Speaking with correct structure is important. I know that we are all about getting our second language-learners to take risks, and we don't want to correct them all the time for fear that they will stop trying, but I think it is super reasonable to teach and practice certain structures, and then expect students to use them. I have never had a student get upset at a reminder to try to self-correct a structure that we have practiced together.

Speaking is the foundation of all literacy. If our students cannot speak correctly, they will be unable to then write correctly, and read correctly - they won't be able to use the structure of a sentence they are reading to anticipate the next word, or self-correct, as they won't hear the mistake in what they said. So please, to help ensure their future success, help your students learn how to speak correctly, and expect them to use those structures that you have taught and practiced in every day conversation!

But, how can we teach and practice these correct structures in a way that is fun, engaging, and allows EVERY student to practice saying the structure over and over? Enter my favourite game...

Setting up our science centre - PLANTS

Well, spring is definitely hear in Nova Scotia! We haven't had snow in over a month, and it has been raining, raining, raining. Needless to say... spring fever is here, right along with it!

To combat spring fever, I have switched up our centres a bit, to keep my active little munchkins engaged. We have been working on observing with our five senses all year long. So, I decided to add a science centre into our rotation, where my students will practice using these skills independently, to make their own discoveries!

Tips and tricks for getting a science centre started in your French primary classroom. Plants are a great topic to start with, and this blog post has tons of ideas for getting your students exploring! There is also a FREE French poster about the parts of a scientist to build and display with your students.



We recently planted bean seeds and have been eagerly watching them grow. So, I figured that it would make sense to start out with a plant-themed science centre, and expose my students to other kinds of seeds, plants, tools, soil, etc.



Here is what our table looks like right now.

5 façons de travailler les RIMES en maternelle

Bonjour! If you are new here, please take a second to sign up for my newsletter and FREE French Resource Library. I hope you enjoy your visit! :)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi! Today I would like to talk to you about rhymes. Rhyming is SUCH an important skill to master, especially for our primary students. But, do you know why rhyming is so crucial to teach and practice in kindergarten?

Read on to find out what it is that makes rhyming such a key aspect of phonemic awareness, as well as five ways that you can starting teaching and practicing rhyming with your students as early as tomorrow!

Rhyming improves overall language skills in our students, and is a big precursor to learning to both read AND write. Research shows a correlation between rhyming mastery and future reading preparedness in children, so we definitely want to make sure our students become experts at rhyming, especially if they haven't had much practice at home! Check out this blog post for 5 easy ways to practice rhymes with your primary students, in French!

We all know that rhyming is fun. When we give children permission to play with words and sounds, invent their own silly, rhyming nonsense words, and just have fun instead of being serious, they become more at ease with the language and more willing to take risks. Isn't that what we want most for our second-language students??

À quoi ressemblent mes centres de mathématiques?

Do you run math centres in your classroom?

I do!

However, they look VERY different from my literacy centres, so I thought I would pop in today and share what I do.

The main reason that my math centres are so different from my literacy centres is because of one simple thing...

TIME.

I only get an hour of math time a day, and it always ends up being cut short because of music or gym. I teach math via a workshop model, so by the time we warm up, learn our new concept, do our hands-on activity with our partners, do our independent work, and then regroup and share, there are usually only 10-15 minutes left in our block.

We simply don't have time to do math centres in the same way that I do literacy centres! So, what do I do to make sure my students have lots of opportunity for independent, hands-on learning and exploring? Read on to find out!

Wanting to add some math centres to your daily routine, but short on time? This blog post discusses how you can set up and run free choice math centres in your French primary classroom!



Unlike my literacy centres, my math centres are free choice. My students choose which activities they want to do, and who they want to do them with. I do not have a rotation board, and there is no requirement for them to try every activity - although, they often do. But, if they pick the same bucket day after day, that's okay with me.

Des activités de Pâques pour la maternelle

Hi guys!

Can you believe that today is April 9th? And next weekend is EASTER already??

Easter has always been one of my favourite holidays (yeah... I have a bit of a sweet tooth haha), and now that I am a teacher, the love has not stopped. There are so many fun activities that you can do in the classroom to celebrate Easter! I have put together just a few of the things I do with my kinders each year in this blog post.


All of the following activities have been tried and tested by me (and my students, of course!) and work great in kindergarten.

First of all, let's talk about...

CENTRES
You guys know that I loooove seasonal centres! What better way to keep students engaged and excited about practicing the same skills over and over? Here are a few centres that we have in our current rotation. Just click on any of the pictures or links to see where you can get them!

1. EEK! Lapin de Pâques
My students love EEK! In this version, they have to collect as many letters as they can before the Easter Bunny arrives. To collect a letter, one partner rolls a die. If they can correctly identify the letter that corresponds to the number they roll, they get to keep the card. But, if they roll an EEK!, all of their cards go back in the deck!


2. Fine motor colour sorts
I grabbed this idea from Pinterest this year. It is from Little Bins for Little Hands. A sweet parent sent in a big egg carton for us, and I provided the plastic eggs and pompoms. I just chucked everything into one of our fine motor bins, but I love how Little Bins for Little Hands used buckets!

FREE French Resource Library!

Hi!

I am popping in today to share something exciting with you! If you are currently a newsletter subscriber, you may have already gotten and/or will be getting an email about this, so if this is old news for you, bear with me for today. We will return to our regular scheduled programming next week ;)

So a couple of weeks ago, just before spring break, I ended up having one of those mornings. You know the ones. I overslept, wasn't ready on time, my dog REFUSED to pee, and it had surprise-snowed the night before and I didn't realize I needed to scrape my car until it was already past time to go. I'm also 21 weeks pregnant right now, and while I used to always have all my photocopies done and nicely laid out and ready to go the night before each day... that is just not my reality right now. #reallife

So not only was I not ready for the day, neither was my classroom!

Routine is a huge part of our day, however, so even when I am not 100% prepped for the day, it is still totally possible for me to run with our regular routine and not skip a beat (or at least, not much of a beat). But I did know that I wanted to use a couple of worksheets during centres that are featured as freebies on my blog.

Guys.

I am SO sorry.