It’s just turned from September to October, and our class has spent a total of 18 days together. Not very much time, really, and yet, what a lot we’ve accomplished! We are a class now; no longer a collection of individuals. What bonds us, what is that magic glue? That’s easy to answer. Talking, singing, and playing games together. Learning to look one another in the eye and listen. Helping each other. Showing compassion when a classmate is sad. Taking our first trip together to Magic Wings (more on that later!). Sharing. This “coming-together” in these early weeks is so vital, and sets the stage for happy and productive learning for the rest of the year. Its importance cannot be understated.
Meanwhile, our classroom has been full of activity. Everyone has come up with a school “Hope & Dream,” and from these we’ll develop our classroom rules over the next few weeks. In addition, everyone has completed September portfolio art, Four-Square, and Weekend News. Each has made a self-portrait – these will be hanging up shortly – come and take a look!
Our focus in math is on shapes and patterns, and work with pattern blocks, pegboards, and beads continue to be popular choices.Here are some of their creations!
More: we’ve also written class books together and had “Mixer” with Grade 1-2. We’ve gone to the Library and shared stories with the 5th grade. Dr. Segar came to our room and taught us some fun songs. Our twice-monthly Community Circle, with two-year-olds through third grade, have been a great time to gather as a larger community, to play games, to sing, and to hear what’s going on in other classrooms.
Caterpillar update: our 25 healthy, fat caterpillars have each gone into a chrysalis! The children were able to witness several caterpillars actually forming their chrysalis – a rare sighting in the classroom. The class has documented the egg, caterpillar and chrysalis stages. We expect our first butterflies to hatch next week. This too, we’ll document by careful naturalistic observation. Our trip to Magic Wings was great fun, and I send out thanks to Alex, Rachel, and Jennie, who were our parent drivers and chaperones. We had a wonderful time there!
I’m having a great time with this class, and they are, too, with each other. Earlier last week, during Inside Choice, play spontaneously arose where all nine decided to create an airplane. With great enthusiasm, they made choices: “Let’s fly to Paris!” “I’ll be a pilot!” “Me, too!” Others chose to be flight attendants or passengers. They used their rest mats to form seats and brought in food from the dramatic play area to serve to each other. It was so much fun that I promised to make time for some more “airplane time” soon. Who knows next where their imaginations will take them? I, for one, am eager to see!
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!