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Les Gros Matous

"Les Gros Matous"

La classe de Madame Catherine

The beginning of March was all about preparing for Madame's Sweet Sixty Birthday Party. We did lots of math, but even with practice, counting in French up to 60 was vraiment difficile. How about being 18 or forever 21? While the younger children are mastering recognizing numbers from one to ten, the older Matous began to work on addition using a variety of manipulatives to make it more fun. All the kids love the challenge and have been making steady progress.


Madame received many cadeaux (gifts) and we were lucky enough to receive un cadeau as well, all the way from France. Mademoiselle Karine, our lovely intern sent us une boite de of course we had to send a thank-you card. We all miss Karine and look forward to see her again, un de ces jours (one of these days).


March was also le mois de la grippe chez les gros matous (flu season) and finally rain arrived in California. C'est le printemps! To welcome Spring, Madame Isabelle and Madame had selected many new songs and we began singing and dancing to new favorite tunes.

Soon came preparations for Pâques (Easter), another good reason to practice numbers, counting as many oeufs (eggs) as we could.


Les Cloches arrived at French For Fun, since in France the Easter Bells bring chocolate eggs. We made our very own panier (basket) with recycled plastic containers and wood sticks. By Friday, we were all ready for Pâques, Passover and les vacances!



La classe de Madame Catherine et Monsieur Baimba

In March, we prepared for the National French Contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. We all did well and some of us even qualified for the oral, which was a bit scary even though it was administered at FFF by Monsieur Baimba. Being one-on-one in front of the computer, and being recorded, is intimidating for young children in any language! Results should arrive in April.

We also finished our unit LES DENTS and found out what happens to children from around the world when they lose their teeth. We learned a lot and shared some private stories as well.


Then came preparations for Pâques. This year we are working on reading, so we learned a new song, Omelette, and studied the sound EU, like in oeufs, feu, noeud, deux. We also practiced big numbers, playing an estimation game with colored eggs.


La classe de Madame Catherine

March was a very busy month in this class. We were working on a number of different projects. Of course the National French Contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French was coming up and we had to practice becoming more familiar with the test format.

Immersion IV  Immersion IV

We also had to make our Grosses Têtes out of papier maché. Grosses Têtes, big heads, are especially common at Le Carnaval de Nice, which was the focus of our Mardi Gras unit this year. We were also going to use les grosses têtes for Madame's big birthday party, so we had a deadline and the project had to be good. Take a look, the results were impressive and we had so much fun despite the usual mess of dealing with papier maché.

Then came preparations for Pâques and the traditional cooking project for the occasion - La Mousse au Chocolat. Délicieux!



La classe de Madame Catherine

Despite the fact that the 6th graders in the class were preparing to take the National French Contest at the Fles level, we did not spend our entire class time on review. There is so much pressure on testing these days, that I just don't believe it was necessary to use our 3 hours a week of instruction to practice over and over. The results should be in sometime in April and I believe all the students did well, even though some silly mistakes could have been avoided.

We continued our study of La Tour Eiffel and this time the students were asked to use their imagination and build their very own chef-d'oeuvres. We had fun, used a lot of glue and somehow were all pretty impressed that the final products really turned out great. Take a look!


pm7The Eiffel Tower has inspired many artists and poets. I chose to introduce the children to Apollinaire et Chagall. The students loved working on their own Calligrams, but were a lot more resistant to accept the work of Marc Chagall. Too many colors, too many cows, too, too, too. The challenge of working with Middle School students. Being determined to try to change their minds, I went on to present more paintings and more explanations focusing on Chagall's personal life, his Jewish background, his childhood spent in Russia and his years at La Ruche in Montparnasse.

I believe, I won my case.


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