Grade 1-2

Last chance for summer reading materials in French through Bayard-Milan!

Bonjour tout le monde,

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will have a table of sample materials from the French language publishing house, Bayard-Milan, on display for your consideration in the Learning Commons.

My hope is that parents and families of students of all ages at BCD will stop by during or after school to peruse the selections, and consider subscribing to a magazine for your child for some enriching summer reading in French!

From Pre-school through Gr.9, there is something for everyone!

The samples on display will be organized by level and age, and include a plethora of themes, styles, and layouts. Please check out the link below for more information on the different magazines offered, per age.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/parents/quel-magazine-pour-quel-age/

What is Bayard-Milan?  … “We are journalists, graphic designers, early childhood education professionals, employees or freelancers … for forty years we have chosen to put our readers at the center of our editorial thinking. Listening to them, understanding them, astonishing them, nourishing them with inspirational works and accompanying them at each stage of their lives.”

Here’s a short excerpt on the mission of Bayard-Milan:

“More than anything, today as for yesterday, we have a duty of promoting enchantment in the younger generation. And in this particular situation where our magazines are not the voice of parents or teachers, but of caring accomplices, we can highlight the positive force that exists in everyone and in the many situations one encounters in life. And when you have the chance to live through words, thanks to talented creators, characters who can embody all their life experiences, it’s as if we invent small lights that will mark the lives of children and which they are will remember for a long time.” 

Please carve out a few minutes tomorrow to check out the selection of Foreign Language materials in the Learning Commons, for all grade levels and interests!

Best,

Mme. Daire

P.s for all inquiries concerning subscriptions, please refer directly to the US agent for Bayard-Milan ;

Ms. Catherine LAMY

catherine.lamy@bayard-may.org

*Orders are not placed through BCD.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/#

 

Merci beaucoup!

By |2019-05-14T14:11:59-04:00May 14th, 2019|

Mois de la Francophonie in full swing at BCD!

Good afternoon all,

Before we part ways for Spring break, I wanted to share a brief update on what the different classes in the French curriculum here at BCD have been up to lately.

From poetry writing and presentations, cooking demo’s, PenPal exchanges, cultural and geographically themed projects, and learning songs, French students of all ages at BCD have been busy abeilles! (bees)

The 7th and 8th-grade French classes are now putting the finishing touches on their Slam Poetry videos – for submission to the Slame Tes Accents! international competition proposed through the organization, Francophonie des Amériques. The students were challenged to create a poem as a class and choose how they wanted to Slam their poem, employing the pre-requisite vocabulary and meeting other requirements for the contest. The 7th grader chose a theme of ‘unity through different accents’ and ‘self-confidence’ under the umbrella of the international French-language community. Their project was filmed in a casual, walk-through style in the Learning Commons.

For their part, the 8th-grade class embraced a ‘high-tech’ approach, using a drone, filmed outside, and with voice-over audio. Their message is aimed at the importance of recognizing the shared community of the French-speaking community around the world, no matter skin color, orientation, religion, current events or other cultural facets.

I’m very proud of the energy, enthusiasm and quality of work that these students brought to their projects. The organization will announce the winners in April.

For more information about the contest, please visit : http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/

 

The 6th graders took a cultural microscope to the different regions of France, each choosing a region of the Hexagon and shining the spotlight on and outlining notable facts for each. If you are looking for any fun + tasty recipes to try over the Spring break, have a look at their posters for guidance! 

Our 4th and 5th graders have prepared their third round of letters to their friends in France. It has been an incredible experience to see the connection grow between these classes on both sides of the Atlantic as the school year has evolved. This project strengthens not only vocabulary use, sentence structure, talking about oneself, asking questions and letter writing, but more importantly, it brings the ‘human element’ into our French language learning experience. The children have been able to establish a relationship with their PenPals and with the Ecole Montessori d’Uzès since September; learning more about ‘a day in the life’ of their pen-friends, both personally and academically. Through these letters, here are some of our takeaways : we were all saddened to hear of the tragic deaths by fox of two of their school chickens, Le Chef and Flash, 🙁 we were intrigued to learn of shared interests in Harry Potter books and favorite flavors of ice cream, and felt a general curiosity and interest about the importance of the celebration of Carnevale in France.

I welcome you all to visit the French classroom in Ryan 22 to see our PenPal board, read the letters and see the beautiful drawings done by our PenPal friends.

Our Kindergarten and grades 1-2 friends are starting to prepare for the performance of a classic French song at the Spring concert. More on that to come!!

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun Spring vacation.

Bien cordialement,

Mme. Daire

P.s.. check out the BCD photo album to see some pictures of our continued adventures in French!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

By |2019-03-15T12:43:41-04:00March 15th, 2019|

Grade 1 and 2 Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Families,

The Grade 1 and 2 Service Learning project swung into full gear today. After identifying our project back in October as The Apple Problem and learning basic facts about apple trees, today we moved to action. This afternoon, the children embarked on letter writing. First, we read Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s picture book The Jolly Postman. This got us thinking about letters and how we can use them to seek information from experts by asking them questions that may help us solve the Apple Problem. After identifying who these people may be, such as orchard farmers and arborists, we filled three sheets of chart paper with questions ranging from “What do you do with all the apples that fall to the ground, rot and get mushy?” to “How do you know if your apple trees are healthy or not?”

The children then worked with a partner to write a letter in which they had to:

*introduce themselves

*explain why they were writing

*pose 3-4 specific questions

*thank the experts for their time

Our next task will be to edit the letters, write final copies, sign them and address the envelopes.

We promise to keep you posted as we move closer to solving The Apple Problem!

All the best,

Kay

 

By |2019-02-06T19:14:51-04:00February 6th, 2019|

Wintertime in the 1/2 Classroom

Dear Families,

The winter months are busy ones here in the 1/2 classroom. I often refer to January, February and March as “crunch time”. A great deal of work gets done during this time period.  With Ski Fridays replacing afternoon academic time, we find ourselves with our noses to the grindstone. Intense work across the curriculum leaves little time for free choice during our days. So please make sure your child has enough food to sustain them throughout the day and be forewarned that they may come home quite tired.

This winter our science unit will have us studying bears. January is our month to learn lessons in courage for Social Studies. On top of the continued work we do in math, reading, and writing, this year’s class has made an additional request. So enamored with our afternoon read-aloud The World of Pooh (which includes both A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner), we will be taking two of the children’s favorite chapters and making them into mini-plays. So there will be lines to learn and movements to memorize. Although very informal, there will be a performance here in the classroom for all of you. Details to be determined – stay tuned!

Report cards come out later this month. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

As always, thank you for sharing your children with all of us here at BCD!

Kay

By |2019-01-02T09:55:34-04:00January 2nd, 2019|

Developing a love of reading

Dear Families,

Developing a love of reading is something we work towards in the Grade 1/2 classroom. Although not every child is going to love reading, my hope is that every child develops at least an appreciation of reading. Fortunately, this year’s class is filled with children who love books of all kinds and who love to read. From the nonfiction books about volcanoes, which prompted many thoughtful questions in social studies, to the always popular children’s books like Miss Nelson is Missing, to our end-of-day read-aloud, The World of Pooh… The words we read spark images, the images spark imaginations, and new worlds open up our hearts.  All day, every day, we are surrounded by books, including books that we have written.

Ways to Foster a Love of Reading at Home

* Read aloud to your children as often as possible.

* Keep books of all kinds in your home. Children who grow up surrounded by books          tend to become lifelong readers.  It is said that a home without books is like a house without windows.

* Model reading whenever you can, by sharing what you read with your children:  online news, recipes, a local newspaper, or even a piece of mail.

A few days ago, two students walked across the room with their noses in their books. We were transitioning from reading time to music class, yet they just couldn’t stop reading.  It was one of those moments that teachers of young children hope for, and it is one that all of us can help to create.

All the best,

Kay

 

By |2018-10-30T08:03:12-04:00October 30th, 2018|

Fostering Independence

Dear Families,

Friday was our 26th day of school. Your children have been working very hard and already are developing into capable young people. How do I know this? By the many things they do independently throughout the school day. Establishing routines early in the year, paves the way for their newfound sense of security to move about our classroom with ease and confidence.

When the children arrive in our classroom they have three tasks to perform. First is to sign-in on a clipboard indicating if they will be picked up by a parent, taking the bus or going to PM at dismissal time. Second, they read the Morning Message and answer the question at the bottom. Third, they go to the white board to learn what the Morning Work is for the day and they get to work!

Do they sometimes need a reminder or some help reading words? Of course they do, but they own the process and the routine. At Morning Meeting they sit together as a class, and under their own leadership, proceed through the steps of greeting each other, sharing, re-reading the Morning Message, filling-in our calendar and weather chart before reviewing our schedule for the day.

Thank you for getting your children to school by 8:10. As you can see, your children accomplish a great deal within the first hour! I look forward to talking with you all during Parent Conferences on November 1 and 2.

All the best,

Kay

 

 

By |2018-10-15T08:01:49-04:00October 15th, 2018|

Why Kindness Matters

Dear Families,

On our first day together in Grade 1 and 2 we read Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Throughout the story we talked about ways to show kindness and why treating each other with kindness is important. In the story, the teacher has each student drop a small stone into a bowl of water. As they drop the stone each child shares an act of kindness that they performed. She tells them each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world. It is one of our classroom goals this year to spread kindness throughout our classroom and the BCD campus.

This week we will go on a hike to find “kindness” stones which we will gently drop in water so that we can see the ripples spread wider and wider.  Throughout the year, we will be putting paper stones (that we painted and cut) on our Kindness Wall each time one of us is the recipient of an act of kindness.

I hope your child enjoyed our first week of school as much as I did. Thank you so much for sharing your child with all of us here at BCD!

Kay

By |2018-09-11T11:38:10-04:00September 11th, 2018|

Always Enhancing French Classes—And a Win!

Bonjour et bienvenue to the 2018-2019 school year!

Over the summer, I spent time preparing materials for the new year. I tapped into new resource providers, like the publisher Bayard-Milan, and I am looking forward to implementing new resources in partnership with what is currently in circulation for native-speaking students in France. I’ve built on my visit last Spring to the International School of Boston (ISB), a bilingual French-American school, have reviewed my notes, and am bringing new ideas into play this year throughout the various grade levels here at BCD. While visiting ISB, I spent the day shadowing French teachers in different grade levels, 1st through 5th, to get a firsthand account of a day in the life of a French immersion school.

Reading in the target foreign language is a pillar in strengthening a student’s aptitude and comprehension. In French class at BCD, I will continue to include French stories and French language educational magazines into daily classwork, which will encourage the students to learn about themselves, the world around them, and about expressing their unique personality … in French!

In keeping with my goal of encouraging reading in French, earlier this summer I applied for a grant through the French Consulat General in Boston. https://boston.consulfrance.org/-English-

The grant was titled “The Magic of Reading in French; ” its goal is to bring free books to children enrolled in French classes in both public and private schools across New England. The objectives of this fund are to:

  1. Trigger children’s curiosity for French language and culture;
  2. Expand kids’ French language skills – all under the guise of having fun with French books;
  3. Improve and strengthen existing French tracks.

And…drum roll please…

On a gagné! We won! 

When I arrived on campus last Friday, I found four big cardboard boxes full of brand new French books for BCD! These 70 books will contribute greatly to our school’s French-language literature resources which will be used in French class across the grade levels. I also encourage students and parents to borrow books as often as they’d like to read at home.

The different resources and the experiences I refer to in this post, combined with the enriching, culturally appropriate, and level-appropriate novels and multimedia tools we currently use in my curriculum, will help enable the continued discovery and encouragement toward the enjoyment of literature in French at BCD.

I hope that you have all had a fun summer! I, along with my colleagues, are so happy to welcome you back to the BCD campus this week, or to campus for the first time if you are a new student and family! Here’s to a great year!

A bientot,
Madame Daire

               

 

By |2018-09-06T11:58:56-04:00September 4th, 2018|

Nurturing a love of writing in children

Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd Grade authors at BCD!  They recently hosted two very successful Authors’ Teas, reading aloud the stories they wrote and illustrated to audiences of family and friends.  Afterwards, many of the guests observed, “We never wrote stories like this when were in 1st or 2nd Grade!” and some asked, “How do you encourage children to write so well?”

The answer is this.  We read a lot in the 1-2 classroom.  We talk a lot about what we read.  We close our eyes and try to picture in detail the passages we most enjoy.  We wonder.  We question.  We reflect.  We predict.  We imagine.  In doing these things, we come to admire and care about the work of authors and illustrators.

When a love of reading, writing, and storytelling permeates a classroom, children naturally long to become storytellers themselves.  They look forward to the chance to weave their own tales through pictures and words.  They jump into the process (some more boldly than others!) by first creating a map of the story they want to tell.  Then, after writing a first draft, they share the draft with their classmates, answering questions and soliciting suggestions to fill in gaps and add details that will enrich their second drafts.  Some young authors are so inspired that they even write a third draft before producing their final work.

Just as we care about the authors and illustrators whose books we read, we care about our work as authors and illustrators.  We hope you’ll care enough to stop by the classroom sometime, browse our Authors’ Shelf – currently boasting more  than 18 books! – curl up on the couch, and lose yourself in a tale of imagination woven by one of our very own authors.  They’ll love it, and so will you.

By |2018-05-08T12:48:11-04:00May 8th, 2018|

What would you say if someone asked…

Dear Families,

This morning the First and Second Graders responded to the following prompt:

If someone were to ask you “What is your favorite thing about BCD?”, what would you say?

Here are some of their responses:

“I would say everything, like skiing, reading and gym.”

“I would say it is the teachers, because they are so nice and helpful.”

“I would probably say Writers Workshop or gym or music.”

“I would say that everyone makes you feel welcome.”

“I would say people will welcome you if you are new and they will not exclude you. The teachers are also very helpful. They will play games to help you learn and that is what I like about BCD so much.”

Kay

 

By |2018-04-10T12:48:05-04:00April 10th, 2018|