La lecture guidée en maternelle - Guided Reading in a French Primary Classroom

Has this ever happened to you?

You're sitting at your guided reading table, with a group of sweet students who are gung-ho and eager to learn to read.

You spend 10-15 minutes painstakingly teaching them a new strategy to help them read new words on their own (look at the picture, look at the first letter, slide your fingers under the tricky word and say all the sounds, etc.), and they all nod their heads when you ask if they understand and can try it on their own.

You pass them a book, tell them the title, and they get started.

Things start out well, as they start reading the sight words that they know and get through the first sentence or two.

Then - along comes a new word!

You're so excited to see them try the new strategy that you taught them... this is the moment!

Your student arrives at the new word, you hold your breath expectantly, and then...

Nothing.

Your student lifts their eyes from the page and stares at you expectantly, waiting for you to tell them what to do.

Frustrating, right?!

This used to happen to me ALL. THE. TIME!!!

Five-year-olds are wonderfully sweet and want to do well and make you happy (for the most part!)

Yet, even my most motivated students were forgetting what to do every time they came to a new word... and I was tired of saying over and over "try your new strategy, try your new strategy" and have them blink back at me, totally lost and confused.

After a year or two of wanting to rip my hair out and having no clue how to get them to remember what to do when they come across a new word, I finally found a super fun solution.

Use animals to teach your students reading strategies!!

Yup - animals!

My students are suckers for anything cute, and they looooove animals. 

And I love when they remember what I've taught them 😉

Win-win!

Looking for French Guided Reading help for your primary students? Check out this blog post for a sample routine, organization tips, and a FREE reading strategies poster & cheat sheet of ideas for teaching 7 essential reading strategies!

Pocket chart sentences

Youpi, youpi!!

Last week, my brand new pocket chart arrived. It's my fourth year teaching, and I have never splurged on a NICE pocket chart until now! I bought a couple of little cheap ones from Michael's, but always balked at the prices at Scholar's Choice and Scholastic, and was too nervous about ordering online. Nothing worse than a pocket chart whose pockets stretch out and don't hold the cards! Anyways, I had some Scholastic Bonus Bank dollars left over from last year, and an activity that I really wanted to try out, so I took the plunge and ordered one from their Classroom Essentials catalogue. And let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!! I LOVE IT. It is huge - wider than my easel - but still hooks onto my easel nicely. We can fit so many words in there!

The picture above is the one I purchased. It may say 24.99, but with taxes and shipping, it came out to 35$. Ouch! I'm sorry, but I think that is too much for a piece of fabric with plastic pockets. But really I didn't technically pay anything and used my bonus bank, so I will keep my mouth closed and not complain, haha. 

Here is how it looks in my classroom:


So nice and big!!

The activity that I really wanted to try out with my kinders was building predictable sentences. We are getting so great at reading our sight words, but I find that my group this year is slow to make the transfer that they can use the words they know to build sentences in their writing, too. My word wall is 100% interactive, but isn't being used during Writer's Workshop quite as much as I would like. I felt like I needed a quick little activity to help build the bridge between reading sight words and using them to write, too. I had seen predictable sentences being used often in English Kindergarten classrooms as a literacy centre, but have never come across one in French. So, of course, I just had to make one! 


I picked 6 target sentences to start with. I only put 2-3 up in the chart at a time (both masculine and feminine versions). The sentences I pick contain only the sight words I have taught whole group. The target sentences stay at the top of the pocket chart. On the bottom rows, I placed all of the words that we need to build the target sentences, plus 12 vocabulary words that my students can select to finish their sentences. For November, to go with our math journals, I went with a farm theme. Gotta sneak that vocab in whenever you can! Then, I model, model, model. I show my students how to choose a target sentence (I think out loud so they can hear what their thinking may sound like, too). I get someone to help me find the words to build the predictable part of our sentence. I get someone else to pick a word to finish my sentence, and to select some punctuation. Now - we all know that French is a little more tricky than English in that the genre of the word is really important and affects the word you can choose. All of the cards where genre is a factor are labelled with a little stick boy or girl, to show if the word is masculine or feminine. We talk about how all those little pictures need to be the same in our sentence in order for it to make sense. 


Then we take turns reading the sentence using a pointer. Sometimes I will switch out the last word to try and "trick" my students, but they always seem to pay attention and realize when the sentence changes ;)

This activity only takes us 5-7ish minutes as part of our morning meeting, but I have already noticed a difference in their one to one correspondence, so that is exciting!

This week, I have turned this activity into a literacy centre, as well. My students work in partners during centre time (à la Debbie Diller), and at this station, each partner builds a sentence. Then they write and illustrate their sentences for me so that I can see the beautiful sentences they made! I forgot to take a picture of what they came up with today, but they did pretty well! I will continue to model making our sentences make sense during our morning meeting. 


I also love how it provides us with a great opportunity to discuss and practice reading with expression and looking at the punctuation. This morning, we talked about how our voices are different at the end of a sentence with an exclamation mark vs a period. 

If you are interested in trying out predictable sentences with your students too, just click HERE or on any of the pictures above to  check it out in my TPT store. In the download, you get 6 different predictable sentences (Regarde le/la_____,  C'est un/une_______, Voici un/une_____, Je vois un/une____, C'est un(e) petit(e)_____, C'est un(e) grand(e)_____) to build, as well as 12 different Farm themed vocabulary cards. You can use this resource whole group, small group, or as a literacy centre - I have also included an "I Can" card to help foster student independence. There are even two emergent readers included that practice two of the above sentences and the vocabulary words, and two writing paper options for students to record their sentences.

If you want to try out a non-seasonal version,  you can grab Phrases fantastiques - Les animaux en couleur by clicking HERE! There is also a money-saving bundle available right HERE.






PS - Are you a member of my FREE French Resource Library yet?? If not, just enter your name & email below and hit the button. I'll send you the exclusive password and instructions for getting your hands on every freebie I have ever made - and will ever make!

Five for Friday - November 13



Hi! It's Friday, and I have a few minutes to myself, so I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my favourite, Five for Friday! Five for Friday is a linky party where teachers post about five random things from their week.

We had a GREAT week this week. Having Wednesday off probably helped a bit (we didn't have our usual Friday fatigue today), and my class is in that sweet spot of just being all around lovely, engaged, excited, and pretty well-behaved. I am feeling so excited about teaching, and so pleased with some of the things we have been accomplishing lately!


My happiness began this week when Ben, my favourite human, finally caved and decided to give making clip art a try! He is SO SO talented, and I have been trying to convince him for ages to give it a go. How amazing would it be to have my own, personal clip artist in the house? ;)

He is starting out with some superheroes. Aren't they adorable?!


I just can't wait to see them when they are all cleaned up and coloured!!



I don't know if it is a Kindergarten teacher thing, but I love colouring and find it super relaxing. I am so excited that adult colouring books are a thing now and I really hope that Santa brings me one this year! In the meantime, I have been enjoying colouring these FREE tribal adult colouring sheets from Rebecca B Designs. I posted about them on my Facebook page, but in case you missed it, here is the link to them in her TPT store!



I just knew that Costco Sharpie pack would come in handy someday ;)


Yesterday, I only had 13 kids! I finished my report cards on Wednesday, so I was all set to dive into some new content after spending basically all of Monday and Tuesday squeezing in last-minute evaluations and tying up loose ends. But since I was missing so many, I changed my plans a bit. One of the outcomes we are working on this term is showing our understanding of a text through different means (like a drawing, retelling, skit, etc.). Some of my kiddos are still not solid in their second language, so comprehension is really important. Thinking about the characters, setting, and key details are essential to being able to retell a story, and if a student can identify and discuss all of those things, to me, they definitely understand what I read to them. To introduce them to this idea, I started with something every already knew - the Three Little Pigs. We read the book, then made some adorable puppets. They had to show me that they knew who the main characters were, and aside from a quick discussion, I gave very little guidance here. I showed them how to make a pig, and that was it - the rest was all them (I noted if they recognized they needed 3 pigs and a wolf to retell the story). I seriously did zero prep for this. It was totally on the fly when it was 8:40am, the busses had been and gone, and I realized no more kids were coming. I literally put pink, red, and black paper and googly eyes on their tables and modelled how they could find two different sized circles around the classroom (pencil holders, tape rolls, containers, etc.) to trace for a head and nose. No templates! I also showed them they could cut the corners of the paper to make triangle ears. Look how adorable they turned out!




The wolves they totally free-handed. The one above is a really bad wolf - look at those red eyes, haha! The sticks were a combination of left over stick thingys from when we grew beans last year, straws, and white coloured pencils (because who uses those anyway?!).

Then I gave them straws, wooden blocks, and Lego to make houses out of straw, wood, and bricks, and we "played" the Three Little Pigs. It was so much fun!! And so easy for me to see that everyone understood the main ideas of the story. Even though this is a story that probably everyone knew before they got to school, it is still great practice for later in the year when we get into some new stories! I was also SO PLEASED with how much French was being spoken! Usually it is hard to get them to speak French while playing - they don't have all of the vocabulary yet. But, since we had just read the story, they were using a lot of words that they had heard over and over in the book. "Petit cochon, petit cochon, laissez-moi entrer!" "Je vais SOUFFLER et SOUFFLER!" Love it!

Two wolves huffing and puffing!

Straw houses are actually really tricky to build
In the afternoon, we talked about how the wolf seemed mean and like he wanted to eat the pigs. But then I asked if they thought it was possible the wolf was just misunderstood... and we read one of my favourite versions of les Trois petits cochons :


This story is so cute! The wolf is actually sick and just wants some tissues... but the pigs won't share. So he gets frustrated, goes down the chimney, lands in a "warm bath", and ends up sneezing all over the pigs and sharing his germs! It's so important to cover your mouth when you sneeze ;)

After we read that story, we played again for about 15 minutes, and added some Kleenex into the game. They could decide if their wolf was mean or just sick.

I loved this activity and can't wait to build their French vocab and comprehension skills in the same way with more stories this year!



Our guided reading lessons have also been going strong. We started serious guided reading this week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this small group time!! It took us a really long time this year to get into the groove of our centres. I have another blog post coming up about how centre time looks in my classroom - it didn't always run smoothly, haha. But now we are pros and I am getting that quality time I need with my groups. Today we busted out my special magnet counters/magic wands and our Lentement comme un serpent mats for the first time and had a blast segmenting and blending sounds!

rrrrrr.....aaaaaah....rat!

I have been working really hard compiling all of my guided reading stuff into one big document for TPT. I am on page 75 or something like that and still have lots of activities to add! These snake mats and segmenting cards will be in there, along with all of the other things I do to teach reading strategies to my kinders. So if you are looking for help making your guided reading time run smoothly and efficiently, check back soon! :)


Number 5 was a big proud teacher moment for me today!!! On of my little munchkins successfully read his yellow sight words and fluency sentences perfectly! That means he already knows 30+ sight words and it is only November *all of the heart eyes*! I am LOVING my sight word lists more than ever this year. It's the first time I started early in the year, and I am seeing big progress for a lot of my kiddos. I love how it is differentiated depending on each student, and moves along at their own speed. As a class, whole-group, I have taught all of the red words and our first two orange. But, some of my kids still haven't mastered their red words yet - that's fine! They get to practice at home at their own speed and once they get them, they will get their orange list. I have three kids who got their orange lists today, and four who got their yellows. That's half my class who is ahead of the game - I love that they can progress at their own rate!


If you aren't sure what these lists are and are interested in a new way of practicing sight words with your students, you can check this product out in my TPT store by clicking HERE. Basically, I took 90 high-frequency words, broke them into groups of 10, and gave each group a colour. Students start with red, and when they master a list, they move onto the next colour, all at their own pace. There are certificates and progress reports/evaluations for each list, and fluency sentences that practice all 10 words from the list in context, and include words from previous lists as well, so they aren't forgotten. If your kids master all their lists, there is another product for practicing les sons composés, which you can check out HERE, or you can buy the bundle with both products HERE and save $$.

I hope you have the very best weekend! :)

PS - Are you a member of my FREE French Resource Library yet?? If not, just enter your name & email below and hit the button. I'll send you the exclusive password and instructions for getting your hands on every freebie I have ever made - and will ever make!

Un coquelicot pour se souvenir

Hi!

Long time, no post! I have been in big-time new resource creating mode for the past month. My students this year are so different than last year when I had the combined class, that I have been finding that I have needed to create more for them than I anticipated!

I am also a different teacher than I was two years ago (the last time I had a straight K class), so I have been changing things up a lot. Things are going really well in my classroom though, and I wanted to pop in and share with you a quick post about what we made for our school-wide Remembrance Day ceremony tomorrow!

Looking for a simple, beautiful art activity to help your students celebrate Remembrance Day? Check out this poppy craft - all you need are coffee filters, red washable markers, and water!

These were super simple and quick to make, but are very pretty! We are singing the song Un beau coquelicot during the assembly tomorrow, so I wanted everyone to have a poppy for the song. I had made this type of flower with a whole bunch of colours with previous students for Mother's Day the year before, so I knew I still had some coffee filters in my art cupboards (they come in a pack of 250 for super cheap!).

You can make these in just three steps!

1. Get your students to colour their coffee filter red with a (washable) marker. Sharpies don't work for this! Mr. Sketch markers work extra well. Get them to fill in as much white space as they can, but it does not have to be perfect. The more space they colour, the richer the red will be. I had a few different shades of red markers on the table, and some students used more than one.


I had my students put their coffee filter over a piece of scrap paper to avoid red tables. Some of them also used a clip board if they had trouble holding their coffee filter still.

2. Get your students to "paint" their red coffee filter, using only water and a decent sized paint brush. I had also put their initials on their coffee filter with a Sharpie. The Sharpie marker won't spread when it comes into contact with water.


They "painted" their filter when it was still on the scrap paper - again to save my tables! The filters don't stick to the paper once they dry.

3. Use a pipe cleaner to assemble when dry! I dried ours with a hair dryer - super quick to do. Then I just pinched the (dry) coffee filter in the middle of the circle and held it in a flower-shape. I twisted a pipe cleaner around the bottom (where I was pinching it) to hold it and make a stem.

Easy peasy!


If you are still in need of a quick craft to do tomorrow, I hope this will help! These are also a great craft for Mother's Day - I had each student decorate 3 filters with all different colours and patterns and we made little bouquets tied together with ribbon.

Let me know how this project worked for you, and enjoy the rest of your week!


PS - Are you a member of my FREE French Resource Library yet?? If not, just enter your name & email below and hit the button. I'll send you the exclusive password and instructions for getting your hands on every freebie I have ever made - and will ever make!