Friday, September 1, 2017

Class reading of Les Aventures d'Isabelle

OMG!  I decided to read Les Aventures together with my level 2 kids (yes, easy, but a great way to make everyone feel confident...especially since my kids come to me from 3 different French 1 teachers and we're trying to get on the same page) this week.

I only have 5 copies of the book right now, so I used a document camera to project the pages.  I wasn't quite sure where I was going to go with this simple chapter, and the magic happened!  I really focused on questioning the students about every sentence or two.  Here are some of the questions I asked, based on the first chapter of the book:

  1. How old was Isabelle's mom when she had her?
  2. Do you think that's young to have a baby?
  3. What is the perfect age to have a baby?
  4. Am I, at 38, too old to have a baby?
  5. Would you like to have a baby at 17?
  6. If her mom is brunette with brown eyes, what do you think her dad looks like?
  7. (and here, someone suggested she might have been adopted) Could her mom have adopted her at 20? (then, someone suggested she could have adopted her as an older child when she was older or Isabelle could have been kidnapped.)
  8. Do any of you have a parent who travels a lot for work?
  9. Who the heck still uses a real camera?
  10. Who wants to be famous?
  11. Do famous vets exist?
  12. How about famous dancers? (then we named some)
  13. Can you be a famous dancer and then be president?

The higher-order thinking was off the hook and when we finished the chapter in my afternoon class, a student said "Can we keep reading that book?  It was really fun." 

I have to admit that I honestly thought that teachers who quoted their students saying similar things in the past lived in a utopia where every student is the child of a college professor or something.  Now that it's happening in my class, I'm astounded!

FVR this year

This year, I started my reading program a little differently, focusing on making sure that students knew how to pick a just-right book, taking out the authentic books out of my library (for now) and increasing the days per week that we read.  I have seen a HUGE difference!

First, the kids are FINISHING books!  When they finish, I have them write a quick post-it review (title, stars out of five, one or more French words to describe the book, and their name) and they put it on their spot on the wall.  I got this from someone else, but I don't remember who...

Second, the kids are TALKING to each other about the books!!  At the end of FVR, I hear them asking what their book is about, where they are in it, and if they like it.  On their own!

Third, there is NO GROANING when I say that it's time to read.

Fourth, I am 1/3 of the way through my own French book already this year...

Read my next blog post to find out about another way reading is working well this year!

3rd Week of school

I have to admit that I didn't think I was going to survive this week.  I haven't yet gotten into a routine where I feel like I know what I'm doing...  But I haven't given up yet because I want to be a better teacher this year than I was last year (It was a hard year for me).

BUT!  It was a wonderful week full of really great things that happened.  Here's what I did:

French 1:
Monday, we started with a "warm-up" where they had to fill in blanks with a word bank (Like Il _____ Jeff.)  Then, we did special person and sang Bonjour and the Alphabet song together.  We also started our first song together, the ridiculous Foux de Fa Fa.
We continued the week doing special person, spicing it up finally by finding out what people like and what they can do.  This brought us to watching a video of David De Gea's best blocked goals and things like that to add some interest.  Free write.

French 2:
Monday we talked about our weekend, started a new song (this week is the classic Aux Champs Elysees), and continued with special person.
Tuesday and Thursday we did Special person and FVR.
Wednesday we took a break from special person and sang children's songs and did an EdPuzzle about a French girl introducing herself.
Friday, we read the first chapter of Les Aventures D'Isabelle together.  I'm planning to blog about how awesome this was later today or this weekend if I have time.  Free write

French 3:
Monday we started a new song (Laisse tomber les filles), talked about our weekend and continued our stories from last week.
Tuesday we retold the extra details from the story and did FVR.
Wednesday (short day), we read and then we just hung out in the language.
Thursday, we did an 8-panel re-tell of our story.  I wrote the sentences on the document camera, they copied the sentences and then drew a picture representing each sentence.
Friday, we read all of the stories and looked at the pictures.  Then, they did a free write.

French 4/5:
Monday we started a new song (je te pardonne), talked about weekend and then continued talking about education by discussing the easiest/hardest classes and compared a high school class load in US with a class load in France.
Tuesday we talked about the differences between our district and the urban district and which education was better and why.
Wednesday I handed out articles in such a way that each student in a group of four had a different article to read.  They were supposed to read it at home and prepare a brief summary to start a discussion the next day.
Thursday, students recorded their discussion, trying for each student to speak for at least five minutes.