ARCHIVES: CLASSROOM NOTES: February 2010
Les Coquelicots - 5-Day Program, Pre-K
Quel cirque chez les Coquelicots!
A terrific unit to beat the winter blues. Le cirque was our Mardi gras theme this year (click on February Newsletter for pictures), however it took les Coquelicots two weeks (30 hours of instruction) to discover how many people it takes to set up le chapiteau and put on le spectacle. Of course we needed to tame our circus animals to teach them new tricks and learn ourselves how to walk on a straight line, how to juggle, how to lift weights, etc. The children brought home their own circus scene to play with, practicing to make complete sentences. Example: "Le dompteur dresse le tigre.", "Le trapéziste se balance." …
We ended 2 weeks of fun with les clowns bien sûr. La séance de maquillage was a great vocabulary extension for new words like paupières, les lèvres …
Le chapeau du clown made with papier-mâché was of course the biggest hit. We also played charades and made a clown's face using a paper plate and various strips of paper with clowns showing different emotions.
Les Coccinelles - 5-Day Program, 3-4 Year Olds
Les Petits Chats - 5-Day Program, 2.5-3 Year Olds
During Carnaval, the Petits Chats learned to pull on a few strings, while making their own Jumping Jack - Polichinelle.
The song by Christiane Lelaure offers great opportunity to review body parts such as les jambes, les mains, les bras, les pieds, la tête, and prepositions, such as en haut, en bas.
It was a lot of fun to sing and act as Polichinelle wakes up when we pulled the strings.
We used simple paper plates, round head fasteners, and little pieces of fabric to make and dress our own Polichinelle.
Les Tournesols are in Les Alpes, and there's a lot of creativity involved as we are now in the process of creating a large French Alps landscape on the walls of our class. The children have made snowy mountains with skieurs, une patinoire (ice rink) and le téléphérique (cable car). They have also crafted Le Mont Blanc (Europe's highest mountain) and its famous tunnel. We have learned that it is so big that it spreads on 3 countries (France, Italy and Switzerland).
Since we are all enjoying the winter Olympic Games of Vancouver, we made une torche olympique and the 3 types of Olympic medals (or, argent, bronze), a fun project and a great way to develop fine motor skills!
Let's have a little competition with un parcours, where the children have different challenges and tell me in French what movements they're making, for example: Je saute à côté de la banane (I jump next to the banana), Je marche sur la ligne (I walk on the line), Je lance le ballon (I throw the ball). Using TPR (Total Physical Response) exercises like this one allows us to review the present tense, prepositions and vocabulary all at the same time, in a fun and instinctive way, as the children can move around the class and get competitive telling me the correct sentence to earn as many points as possible!
PM Immersion II - Les Tortues
Keeping up with French tradition, les Tortues sent their best wishes for la nouvelle année to all their friends and family members.
Many students actually have relatives abroad, so we took the opportunity to discover l'Angleterre, la France bien sûr, la Hollande, etc.
Show and tell is always a great way to capture first graders' interest and attention and provide hours of conversations.
We shared with the children, stamps, a doll collection and many other artifacts all authentic. We had a tasting party. The favorites were le gouda de Hollande and lemon curd from England. To review vocabulary, we also made a big map of Western Europe and talked about la météo, the weather conditions in the various countries. Reading temperatures allowed us to review numbers and learn Monsieur Celsius was suédois (Swedish) and Monsieur Fahrenheit polonais (Polish).
Our European tour ended with a costume party for Mardi Gras and crêpes bien sûr. Pictures of Mardi Gras celebration are available on our February Newsletter.
PM Immersion III
In February, the immersion 3 students performed the play Bon Voyage, created in class, about the Montgolfier brothers. (They invented the hot air balloon.)
The king Louis XVI and the queen Marie-
Antoinette were present.
The Montgolfier family did an amazing
job. And with the help of a sheep, a
duck and a rooster, the experiment was
The special effects were just awesome.
The audience had a great time and asked for a new play.
So there is
only one more thing to say: A bientôt!
PM Immersion V Advanced 4th, 5th and 6th Graders
Immersion V, la classe des artistes!
This winter we traveled to l'Alsace, the smallest region of France bordering l'Allemagne (Germany). Just before Christmas, the students prepared for le Marché de Noël making beautiful maisons à colombages with display boards. Once again using display boards, dollies, metallic paper and more we built the renowned "Cathédrale de Strasbourg" with its famous Flèche.
This project allowed us to introduce new vocabulary on architecture and religion. The gigantic clock of the cathedral attracts hundreds of visitors each year so we felt a need to include l'horloge in our décor. To better satisfy our needs for vocabulary, our "horloge" became very unique, indicating months but also symbols for the Chinese New year and signs of our horoscope and symbols associated with the various holidays celebrated in France.
PM Immersion VII, 7th and 8th Grades Advanced
Ça c'est la France!
After reading the famous novel by Jules Verne "le Tour du monde en 80 jours" the students are about to begin a new unit on the French cinema and its specific vocabulary through the story of les frères Lumière. We will introduce to the class well known French actors and view two movies: Les choristes (2003) and Entre les murs (2008). A fieldtrip to the Berkeley art museum is planned.
This winter, each child made a snowman and a man on a sled
(using foam and paper to built the sled and a fake marshmallow and
yarn to create a head). These projects allowed me to use a lot of vocabulary taught in class in another context such as:
-winter - "la neige, un bonhomme de neige, la glace, les boules de neige…"
-clothes - "l’écharpe, le bonnet, les gants, les bottes…"
-body parts - "la tête, les cheveux, les yeux, le nez, la bouche…" (learned in the first trimester)
It was also a good way to introduce and learn some verbs like :
couper, dessiner, coller, peindre… and school materials : ciseaux, pinceau, feutre, colle ...
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