French Stamping Ideas & Activities

Hi!

Just popping in today to talk a bit about stamping in maternelle. My students LOVE using stamps! Variety is the spice of life, and stamping is a new and exciting way to make words.

Of course, stamping is not without its problems when you are doing it with a bunch of five year olds! The biggest problems I have come across so far when stamping with my students are: 

1. Making sure my students understand the correct way to use stamps and ink (ie. not for creating temporary tattoos or to help the local police station with fingerprinting),

2. Keeping our stamps ORGANIZED so that my students can find the letters they need right away, and not waste valuable time,

and...

3.  Getting my students to use the stamps to make actual words, and not to just fill the page with as many random letters as possible.

I usually have stamping as an independent centre. This means that only some students are stamping at a time (usually two), and I am busy with another group and thus unavailable for direct supervision. So, if the aforementioned problems are happening, then stamping is not going to work out.

Read on to see how I run the stamping centre in my classroom, and to hear my tips for keeping things running as smoothly as possible!



Problem #1: Following correct stamping procedure

As with anything in maternelle, teaching procedures and expectations has to happen first, before letting them loose. One thing that I find really helpful when introducing stamps is to give my students time to explore them and use them for fun, before expecting them to create words, patterns, or anything else academic.

How to play giant sight-word TWISTER, en français!

I have a busy class this year!

I know, I know. Don't we all?

Aren't all 5 year olds busy??

Mostly, yes :) But still, this year is one of my busier years. Which is fine by me! When I have busier classes, I find that I stretch myself even more than usual to try new things and become the best teacher I can be. Because, let's face it, when we have an "easy" class (as with just about anything in life), we have to be even more disciplined to try new things and grow... and I find myself taking the easier way out more often.

And those years are great to rest and recharge! But, this year is not one of those years ;)

All of that to say, this year I have been trying lots of new ideas to try and get my students as engaged as possible. In my experience, engagement is the name of the game. When our students' busy brains and bodies are engaged, there is less time for them to spend making questionable choices. And they learn more!

One idea that I tried a few weeks ago I will be sharing with you today. But before I share what we did, here is a little disclaimer:

90% of the time, I follow this philosophy: 

Do not spend more time prepping for an activity than it takes for your students to perform it.

AKA, be efficient. Create things that you can use over and over. Don't reinvent the wheel. Use your time wisely. Make sure your students are doing the work, and not you.

But, every now and then, an idea comes along that makes me abandon said philosophy, give up a little of my personal time, and provide my students with a really fun and exciting activity, even if it takes awhile to set up and can only be used once. Such was the case the other day, when we played...