Friday, August 18, 2017

First three days

As I wait for my contract time to end on this Friday ;), I thought I'd blog about how the first three days of school have gone for me, and what I've done so far.

French 1:

  • Day one, I started out by giving them a brief introduction of my class and me, then had them "write" in French for five minutes so I could see what they already know.  What a surprise, but they only knew like one or two words.  Good!  I am starting from scratch!  Then, we started by asking one student what her name was.  I was surprised because I had everything on the board and I thought I was being very slow and deliberate about pausing and pointing...but I guess not because one of my students (thank God for him!!) visibly showed his confusion and frustration, which made the rest of class much better for everyone else.  Before we started asking the girl about her name, I taught them the signs for Repeat, Slow down, I don't know that word, and Write it down.  We really only had time to talk about this one girl and her name.  
  • Day two, they started class by answering a few questions about themselves so that I can know now if there are any problems I need to be aware of.  Then, we continued on with names, adding what the first girl's preferred name is and adding a second student (my confused vocal student).  We were able to talk about both of their names, preferred names, how they are spelled and compare them to my name.  Things are starting to go more smoothly.
  • Day three, we added a third student, and another question, "Where do you live?".  Turns out, we all live in the same city!  Imagine that!  
French 2:
  • Day one, same brief introduction and same five minute free write, but we were able to go faster when it came time for the Special Person.  I was able to find out a student's name, preferred name, and grade before the bell rang.
  • Day two, we filled out the questionnaire and then we went back to that first person and added where he comes from, whether or not he has a license and car.  We were also able to talk about what he likes to do.  All about the one kiddo.
  • Day three, we started class with a song (Toi Plus Moi) activity, and then talked about reading.  I read some quotes that I got from Bryce Hedstrom's page and then we went over the PowerPoint on comprehensibility.  I narrowed down my FVR library significantly at this point and told the kids that I only wanted them to choose from the level one novels for the time being.  I had them organized easiest to hardest.  I really think that going over that PowerPoint made a HUGE difference.  Kids were able to understand how easy something had to be for it to be enjoyable.  At the end of the hour, I had seven out of 45 students who were ready to check out a book.  And I told them it was an option for level 2 and that they could check out a book if they were really interested in it!
French 3:
  • Day one, intro, free write, and then we chatted about the summer in French.
  • Day two: they fill out the questionnaire and then instead of me leading the special person (since almost all of them went over the questions with EVERY student in their class last year), I had them interview each other and they are presenting their partner, along with 3 interesting facts, to the class.  I was hesitant to ask them to do this, but they really rocked it!  There were quite a few errors (like saying il est huit ans instead of il a huit ans), but nobody stood up there and looked un-confidant.  I was very impressed.  We didn't have time to get through all of them in one day.
  • Day three: I introduced our first song (Sarah par Kyo), we did the reading presentation and read (in this level, 17 out of 34 students checked out a book...but they were encouraged to check one out more so than the level 2 kids).  
French 4/5:
  • Pretty much the same as French 3

Some things that I've changed from NTPRS: 
  1. I have word posters for each level for the words that "come up" each day.  I'm hoping that by keeping them visible, I will remember to circle the structures and not just use them once and then forget them.
  2. I am doing a pretty good job of remembering to stop and do brain breaks about every ten minutes of direct PQA, TPRS, etc.
  3. I am using more gestures and call-and-response.  I have done the Alina "mais" call and also the "Classe?" "Oui"
I think that's it so far!  I'm REALLY REALLY happy about how reading went today.


  1. Where can I find the power point on comprehensibility? I really could use this at the start of the year! Jeff

    1. I thought I had linked it! I'm sorry. Here it is and the post is updated:

  2. Thank you for blogging your year! We have had only two days at my school, and the second was devoted school-wide to going over safety and anti-bullying, behavior expectations, etc. followed by a rally... so not much subject specific teaching happened in any classes Friday! I'm hoping I can arrange my books from easiest to hardest before the first FVR day which I plan will be on Tuesday. Do you know of a list that orders them from easiest to hardest? How do you make sure that the books are returned to that same order? Gracias!

    1. You are very welcome! I'm hoping to do more blogging during the year as I've been inspired reading what others actually do in class.

      I guessed a lot on the order: Isabelle, Jean Paul friends and then ideas, Brandon wants a dog, Brandon tells the truth, Picasso, Pauvre Anne, Pirates... Those I had as "level one"

      I just asked them to put them back where they found them, and there were multiple copies so it was easy for them to see where they belonged.

      If I remember, I'll try to take a picture on Tuesday (we have Monday off for the eclipse).