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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!



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! :)
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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!



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!



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!


3. Easter Bingo
I don't usually have Bingo as a centre, because my students are in groups of two. But, I still have a couple of students struggling with vocabulary, so I will play Easter Bingo with them during our small group time (sans chocolat haha).


4. Trouve, tourne et tamponne!
These are new in my store, but a huge hit in my classroom! I will play this game with my other guided reading groups. Each set includes game boards for letters, beginning sounds, sons composés, syllables, and more - so I always have something for each group to practice!


We also have a few other Easter games and activities out for centres right now, including Youpi!, les Phrases fantastiques, Écris la salle and C'est moi l'espion, as well as our Easter word wall cards for the writing centre.

ART
We got started on our art last week, because I had so many projects I wanted us to do!

1. Easter bunny directed drawings
This directed draw is from Proud to be Primary. It's free, and the kids loved it! To make the pastel colours, we just mixed our regular liquid paint colours with white.


2. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs!
We have a bit of an egg theme going on for our other projects ;) Painting eggs (real and paper) are a great way to practice a variety of techniques!

We started with these simple pastel and watercolour eggs. We drew the eggs (freehand), divided them into sections, and then I showed them a variety of patterns they could choose to decorate their eggs. They could also invent their own. We traced our pencil marks with a Sharpie, and then coloured our eggs using oil pastels. Finally, we painted over the whole page with watercolour (disk) paints.

They love how it is like "magic" that the pastel resists the paint and still shows up!



After oil pastels, we moved into chalk pastels. This was only our second chalk pastel project of the year, and was a lot more involved than our first one. To get us ready, I let my students practice with the chalk pastels by drawing anything they wanted the day before on plain black paper.

I think they did a GREAT job on their eggs!!


To make these, I cut out two ovals from old file folders for each student. They placed them on black construction paper, and when they had the placement/orientation they liked, they traced them in regular pencil. We added stripes, zig zags, or other types of lines (in pencil). We also added some lines for grass.

Then, during centres that morning, instead of pulling reading groups, I pulled three students at a time to trace their pencil marks using bottled white glue. It works best if you remind them to keep the orange glue nozzle touching the paper!

You could do the gluing with your entire class at once, if you have enough glue bottles. None of them really needed any help - but we usually use glue sponges, so I only had three bottles!

The glue took all day to dry, and for best results, I would recommend letting it dry overnight. The glue dries clear, so it just looks like raised black lines - almost a stained-glass window effect. Then just get your students to add colour with chalk pastels. We started with the sky (various shades of blue + white), then did the eggs (any colours they wanted), and finally finished with the grass (various shades of green). I showed them how they could blend different colours together with their fingers - it was a huge hit!

(And a huge mess ;) Maybe don't do it the same day as parent-teacher, like I did. Ha!)




On Thursday, I will have each student bring in two hard boiled eggs that we will dye. We will add designs with oil pastels before dyeing them. I find them easiest to dye in the big red Solo cups. I buy my dye kits after Easter each year for like 25 cents and save them for the following year!

EASTER EGG HUNT
Let's be honest - the best part about Easter is hunting for eggs! You can do that at school, too... and even make it educational ;)

I type up a simple, four-word sentence for each student. Then, I cut them apart (including the punctuation). An example of a sentence would be something like "Marissa joue avec Saryn." or "Brogan a un chat." I hide each word in a plastic egg, along with a jelly bean or Easter gummy. Each student gets five eggs, if you put the punctuation mark in its own egg. Then, I hide them outside! You could also hide them around your classroom, if the weather isn't cooperative.

Here is a picture of my students hunting last year:


So that my students know which eggs are theirs, I close them using a piece of Washi tape with their name on it. We practice what to do if you find someone else's egg... aka NOTHING, because it is no fun if someone else tells you where all your eggs are!


Once everyone's eggs are found, we bring them back inside to open. They eat their candies and assemble their sentences, then illustrate them. I just give them a big piece of construction paper to use for that, and send them home the same day!


AND, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT LAST YEAR...
I have two FREE Easter colour-by-sight-word worksheets in my Free French Resource Library! They are in the seasonal/holiday section.

(Don't have access to my library? Don't worry! It's easy. Just click the button below, enter your email/name, and I will email you the top-secret password right away!)





I hope those activities are enough to keep you busy this week! If you are still looking for more, CLICK HERE to head over to my TPT store and see every single Easter product I have ever created!

If you try any activities featured in this blog post in your classroom, I would love to hear about it! Just let me know in the comments which activities your students liked best!


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. 

Enseigner et pratiquer la fusion à travers des jeux

Happy Sunday!

My aim was to talk about Texte dictée today, but... of course, I forgot to take pictures of them at school this week! So, they will have to wait for next week. Instead, I want to talk to you about how I teach my students blending - la fusion - or, how to "sound out" words. This strategy corresponds to the "serpent", if you use my animal reading strategies.

We all know that being able to sound out/decode words is key to being able to read. While it is not the first strategy I teach, it is definitely an important one, and you may find that many of your kinders are ready for it at this point in the year. The big question is, how can you teach decoding in a fun, effective way?

Decoding can be stressful for kinders to practice only when they are reading books. There are so many other things going on in their brains while they are reading! I find it works best to isolate the strategy and practice it using games. That way, my students already know that they can do it, and don't hesitate to give it a try in context. I can also control which letters and how many letters they are trying to blend at a time, and can adjust depending on their level of ability. By practicing in a relaxed, fun environment, my students don't always even realize that they are practicing something that is actually pretty tricky!

Read on to see a few of my favourite games and activities to do with my kinders who are ready to practice blending.



I like to practice blending using both nonsense words and real words. Nonsense words are fun and silly, and real words are obviously very important, as they are what my students will actually be reading in their books ;)
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