Bonjour! I can't believe that I haven't written a blog post since July... and it's DECEMBER! I have been a little bit busy since then, what with having a baby and taking care of said baby. Baby Leah is 4 months old, and I am so excited that I have started to be able to get back into the swing of things on TPT, and now my blog! I am not back at work yet, but I am going back soon! Leah's dad is going to be taking over parental leave after Christmas, and I am really excited to be going back to school. I don't know about you, but when January arrives in the classroom, I am suddenly  all about WINTER ! Whether or not we actually have gotten any snow yet ;) I have been thinking about and preparing some of my favourite winter resources, and I thought I might as well hop on here while Leah naps and share some of them with you!  Most of them are freebies , but I have included a couple of my most-used paid favourites as well. (Side note - any of my freebies in t...
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 ! 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/so...
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 studen...
Well, spring is definitely here 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. ...
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? ...
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! ...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
I've been talking all about guided reading lately! If you are just joining me now, click here to read the rest of my posts! And don't forget - if you love free stuff, subscribe below to my newsletter and get access to my exclusive FREE French resource library! Running records - fiches de lecture. Hopefully we all know what they are - a tool to use to help us notice student reading behaviours, and then guide our teaching. However, most teachers I know still have questions about running records - namely, how to do them, how to find the time to get them done, how often to do them, and what to do with the results. I believe that running records are a super important component of good guided reading instruction. Sometimes, we think we know our students and their reading habits inside and out, but… when we actually sit down, listen to them read, and write down exactly what they say or do, we may find that we don’t know them quite as well as we thought. The da...
Hey guys! Somehow, it is already almost Saint Patrick's Day! #whereisthisyeargoing?? Today, I will be taking a little break from talking about guided reading to share what we will be doing in my classroom this week to celebrate all things green and Irish! This week is our last week before March Break, so we will be celebrating hard, as we don't actually have school on Saint Patrick's Day. Read on for a plethora of fun, simple, exciting ideas - and even some free ones! ;) FIRST OF ALL... I will introduce Saint Patrick's Day to my students using Lucy from For French Immersion 's fantastic, FREE slide share presentation! Just click on the image below to find it for yourself. ART Art is my favourite, so we actually already got started with some leprechaun art last week! Look how cute their directed drawings are! ...
Bonjour! I have been talking a bit about what guided reading looks like in my classroom lately. Last week on my blog, I talked about how I sort my students into their guided reading groups . But once you have your groups together... what exactly should you be doing with them?! Guided reading blocks look different in just about every classroom. As always, I feel the secret to success is finding out what works for YOU, in your classroom! On my blog, I love showing you how I do things. But, I don't pretend for a second that I know everything! I only know what works for me - so feel free to give it a try, and adjust as needed for your own students :) Today, I will share with you what my guided reading block looks like in my classroom, and what general activities I squeeze in with each group during that time. I do guided reading from about 9:15-10:00am every morning. The rest of my class does centres at the same time, which really keeps me accountable - they LOVE centres and...
Bonjour! I am coming up to the end of our second term, and despite the plethora of snow days, being on work to rule here in Nova Scotia since December, protests and a (one-day) strike, I have been thinking a lot about guided reading lately. Work to rule means that we do exactly what our contract specifies - no extras!! - and I had to really time-manage and prioritize in order to get all of the important things done. And to me, guided reading is extremely important . It is my favourite time of day, and when I see the most progress in my students. It is when I get time to work with them (mostly) undisturbed at an excellent ratio of 2:1 (two of them, one of me). It is when I get to teach them about books, and all of the funny and interesting things inside of them. It is when I get to teach them how to read! I am currently meeting three groups of students a day, two students to a group. So, I get to read with six students each day. Work to rule meant no assemblies and no PD, so,...
Do you play mainstream French music in your classroom? Looking for some new songs to add to your Youtube playlist? As you may know, I teach in a francophone school. We are in rural Nova Scotia, in a minority community - French is rarely spoken in our community and many students only experience French at school/school activities and sometimes at home. A HUGE part of our students' education involves helping them learn to become proud of their heritage and their "francophonie." My school hosts many concerts and events to help students celebrate their culture and feel pride that they are francophone, and we are expected within our classrooms to provide students with as many opportunities to learn about and experience French and Acadian culture as much as possible. One way that we can do this is by playing mainstream music in our classrooms - students may not always have the opportunity to listen to the radio in French at home. Even if you teach immersion and not a...
Do you teach handwriting and proper letter formation to your kindergarten students? Kindergarteners need LOTS of practice correctly forming their letters! It may not seem  like a big deal if your students start at the top or start at the bottom or form their letters exactly right, but... it is! Read on to find out why I think handwriting is so important to teach and practice, and how I do it in my classroom. So, why is it that we want our students to form their letters correctly? Why does it matter if they start at the top or start at the bottom or somewhere in between? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. There is a right way and a wrong way to print your letters, and the reason it is so important to me to teach my students the right way has to do with both efficiency and neatness. First - efficiency. Our students are emerging writers. They are doing everything they can and stretching their little brains to the limit just to get their ideas down on paper. They are...
Teaching students to read is a complicated process! There are sooo many things that need to be happening in their little brains in order for them to become successful, independent readers. We need our students to both learn and use  a whole bunch of problem-solving strategies in order to figure out unknown words and make sense of the text that they are reading. These strategies are not automatic (at first) - we must explicitly teach them, and give our students opportunities to practice them. I wrote a detailed blog post about the seven strategies I teach my students (using animals) last year. You can find it here  if you missed it, along with a free reading strategies poster. I have been working on the second strategy (prépare ta bouche avec la mouche) with one of my on-level reading groups, and thought it might be interesting for others to see. When our students don't know a word, the first thing that we want them to do is look at the picture . PLEASE don't hide the pi...