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  Thursday, May 27, 2021

Les Ateliers Autonomes / Self-Learning Workshops

By Web Master

In the self-learning workshops, the goal is for the children to work independently on a task without the help of an adult. The students are encouraged to make their own choices, set up their activity, remember the task, carry it out, validate it by themselves, and then with the teacher put all of the materials used away. 

The method of the exercise evolves as the preschool students grow up but the rules remain the same:

  • One activity per child (except if it is a game)
  • Each student has to wait for his/her turn to take the materials
  • The room must be quiet so everybody can work
  • When the activity is finished, the student has to clean up and put everything back in its place
  • The activity must be completed

For the teacher, this approach means fewer interruptions, quality time to observe students, and an ability to tailor the next activities in an individualized fashion — helping a student who needs more steps to succeed or pushing further a student who is ready for more.

The benefits for the students are that they have fun, learn to work by themselves, are forced to be organized, need to concentrate, and respect the rules and steps in the process. It is also an opportunity to progress at their rhythm, with a focus on themselves without comparing with peers.

Blog written by Alexandra Lette – Pre K teacher

  Thursday, May 20, 2021

Le Prix Albertine 2

By Web Master

Part Two of my focus on the le Prix Albertine.

Our students are empowered to use critical thinking by expressing their own opinion on a literary work. In each class, the students voted for their favorite book, describe what they have read and/or explain their choice. Below is an example of a ballot from the Pk2 to 3rd grade.

Our students also have been given multiple opportunities to get more involved in the story or its characters, through activities like art. Our PK2C and KB’s classes worked on representing the character “Loup” — see example art below:

Our preschool Distance Learning students have discovered the Rorschach technique through the book “oeil pour oeil”. It was the common book of the whole selection, so it is interesting to see what the 2nd grade has done with this technique too. For our younger ones, it was a chance to work with color, start to understand the transfer that happens from one side to the other, and observe the mirror (symmetric effect). For our 2nd graders, those principles were understood and used to create an identifiable object or animals either using the symmetry to create a full animal or an object and its double (like in the book).

Talking about Arts, what activity allows a student to get a taste of culture, do some math, re-invest vocabulary, manipulate and observe transformations, and results in a wonderful snack? The Distance Learning students may have stayed home but they still got the full maternelle experience. Following Loup’s adventures in the forest, the fairy tale had a happy ending for us too, as we made the recipe of “Tatie Rosette”!

The students worked on identifying the characters, but also the different places in the book and the timeline. Our Pk2 class made individual models of the places in Loup’s story, allowing them to make an association between the places and the characters and to review the timeline.

As with most everything in a language school, these activities are also an opportunity to reinforce students’ mastery of French. In our preschool Distance Learning class, it translated to acquiring new vocabulary and using that knowledge to represent an audio sentence, practicing their skills to answer a simple question, and re-using a structure and becoming the hero of the sentence while practicing the use of “JE/I”. In CE1A, our students worked in groups to express their thoughts about the character of the story “Blob, le poison le plus laid du monde” and its attributes in writing.

The documents joining the selection allow the teacher to reinvest or try new innovative pedagogical practices to improve multilingual competence such as the use of visible thinking to analyze the cover of a book

Working on the same books allows for a different experience in terms of partnership between Francophone and Anglophone teachers. This year for the Distance Learning program we had to be inventive to allow our students to have a bilingual experience not just side by side but simultaneously. Natalie and I recorded our stories so the Distance Learning students could have multiple opportunities to hear them. I also edited them in order to obtain a new story alternating French and English — one version and English and French — to challenge our students with a different exercise.

Last but not least, the Albertine Prize encourages communication between authors and illustrators.

This year our students had the opportunity to meet with Orianne Lallemand (see below), famous author of the series  “Le Loup qui…”. In CE1B, the class read books from the series “Le loup qui…/The wolf who…” and wrote essays in the style of the author. Caroline Dumas, the SDFAS French teacher summarized the meeting with the author: “The students liked the meeting with Orianne Lallemand and they retained the principle of finding subjects that allow, on the one hand, to teach something to the readers and, on the other hand, to tell an interesting and sometimes mysterious adventure.”

Next year’s theme will be “humor” and we can’t wait to devour the new selection!

Blog written by Alexandra Lette – Pre K teacher

  Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Albertine Prize for Kids

By Web Master

The Albertine Prize for Kids/Le Prix Albertine Jeunesse was developed in North America for bilingual schools. It is a reader’s choice award in which children ages 3 to 14 years vote for their favorite book from a selection of works of Francophone youth literature that are available in English translation.

It’s more than just a literary competition though: It’s A bilingual journey to read, use critical thinking, and have fun! This initiative seeks to encourage and reinforce the love of bilingual reading for young students of French schools while taking into account the uniqueness of their context — living in an Anglophone country. The selected books serve as a means for developing links between French, the student’s “academic language,” and English, their language outside of school.

From PK1 to 6th grade, all classes are invited to participate. Next week, I look forward to sharing photographs and more news of this all-grades-level project.

To learn more about the 2021 Prix Albertine Jeunesse please click here.