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!
By BCD Blog|2018-09-11T11:38:10-04:00September 11th, 2018|Categories: Grade 1-2|Comments Off on Why Kindness Matters
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!
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:
Trigger children’s curiosity for French language and culture;
Expand kids’ French language skills – all under the guise of having fun with French books;
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!
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 BCD Blog|2018-05-08T12:48:11-04:00May 8th, 2018|Categories: Grade 1-2|Comments Off on Nurturing a love of writing in children