French For Fun, Lafayette, California



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L'Automne 2012

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Morning Immersion

La classe de Madame Catherine, Madame Isabelle, et Monsieur Baimba

French For FunThis fall, our smaller group of morning immersion children began the school year with la lettre "A".

French For FunLe "A" comme avion (plane) and aéroport. Since at FFF we act out just about everything we present, teachers and children proceeded to build un grand avion et une haute tour de contrôle.

Of course before boarding we needed un passeport et un billet. Children took turns being pilote, hôtesse de l'air, mécanicien ou passager.

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French For Fun  French For Fun

So the children could practice at home, each of them made une piste, un avion, and une tour de contrôle.

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Our airline FFF served homemade salade composée with fresh produce containing the sound A.

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The unit officially ended with a visit to our local airport in Concord.

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Moving on with other letters of the alphabet we stopped on le "i", yet not forgetting la lettre "a".

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Abracadabra c'est magique la magie.

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Our magiciens especially liked mixing colors. On this topic, we did a science experiment, art, and even acted out a song.

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French For FunOur color in September was bleu comme le ciel (blue sky). Dans le pays bleu we practiced our numbers, we played house, we learned many new words.

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By mid-October everything was orange -- especially in the Bay area! "Go Giants!"

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We welcomed Winnie l'ourson et ses amis and celebrated la semaine du gout (taste week) only tasting fresh foods with the sound i.

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We will be spending the month of November au pays des indiens.


PM IMMERSION II

La classe de Madame Catherine

Almost all the children in Immersion II have grown up at French for Fun, so they expect each year to be involved in discovering new lands through a variety of units. They also look forward to the French traditions and holidays they have learned to associate with their own childhood.

So this fall was no exception. We focused our conversations on safety and how we each get to school, what we see on our way etc. Since all our students attend different schools throughout the East Bay of San Francisco, we had plenty to talk about.

Using various props, we created a French city with its buildings and stores but focused our attention to street signs and their meanings. This exercise allowed us to learn a lot of new vocabulary as well as reviewing numbers and directions. At this age children love to play green light/red light and act out speeding up, slowing down, parking. So we had plenty of TPR (Total Physical Response) opportunities.

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French For Fun   French For Fun

French For FunSince La Semaine du Goüt taste week is in the fall, I had to come up with a way to extend our unit and have something different for the children to try.

From the city streets, we took off on les autoroutes de France. The children paired up, chose a major city, deciding who they were going to visit there and what they were going to do and eat.

Using the metric system of course and reviewing now much larger numbers, we went on Google.fr to check distances from Paris to our villes de province, talked about various culinary dishes commonly associated with a given city, met different characters like Guignol in Lyon.

The kids were perfectly ready to try it all but let's say that our budget and lesson plans just did not allow it. However we enjoyed a homemade far aux pruneaux en Bretagne and some Choucroute en Alsace. Who says that American kids only like Hamburgers?

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French For Fun French For Fun

PM IMMERSION V

La classe de Madame Catherine

What a privilege and a joy to have the opportunity to continue working with these children who have been with me since they were preschoolers.

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This year we are beginning our two year long Tour De France. As always the students worked with authentic materials.

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Once I had presented a brief background on the famed bicycle race, we spent a few weeks getting to know France and its neighbors, since often the Tour begins outside of France now. This geography unit not only teaches names of mountains, cities, but also a lot of basic vocabulary, yet going beyond parts of the body or fruit and vegetables, which our immersion students have known since preschool.

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French For Fun  French For Fun

At French for Fun, we also believe students need to use French freely among themselves. The class was divided into two teams and each began selecting their cities, paying attention that each ETAPE was no longer than 270 km or so. This exercise was a great review of numbers. Each team had to make 20 stops and of course end in Paris.

When it became time to test their knowledge, I was so impressed. Who says that Americans are not good in geography?

The Tour is well known for being a challenge, and it was, but the rewards were great and we really had a lot of fun learning so much.

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French For Fun  French For Fun

Les Abeilles

La classe de Monsieur Baimba

The past few months have been full of fun and hard work in our class.

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For most of the children, this new school year was a little bit different. They are transitioning from the morning program to the afternoon immersion class. They are also now going to kindergarten in an American school. Talking about their new schools and comparing them to ours was a perfect opportunity to review nouns, verbs and prepositions used in their daily life à l'école. They brought pictures, shared stories and made individual little books to show their school to their friends.

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The name of the class being Les Abeilles, we had to brainstorm and find out what we had in common with them. We ended up learning a lot of new adjectives. We then tried to find the opposite adjective for each of them, and find another animal that could fit the description. This whole process included spelling, writing, counting, acting and drawing. That was a great way to learn new words but also reinforce the vocabulary we already have, which is crucial this year given that they come for less hours. We made a big poster with all our work to decorate the class and share the fun work with the rest of the school.

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They are growing up so fast. They had to learn about the metric system to be able to measure themselves in a French way. Once we compared everybody's height, we started measuring around the classroom. We also selected a few objects and tried to guess how long they were to really understand and remember the difference between un pouce (an inch) and un centimètre.

It is already the end of fall and time to celebrate Saint Nicolas. We talked about this tradition and worked with illustrations of Saint Nicolas getting ready. We matched the images with the right sentences. It was a really good reading exercise.

After the winter break we will be moving to a new location. This is going to be so exciting to start the New Year fresh in a new environment. Stay tuned to see our next projects!




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