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...