Saturday, April 16, 2011

I see I will have to up my game

So, the other day, I decided to wear my giant hamster-shaped mittens for the afternoon just to see if anybody would notice. And? Not a word. Apparently, they are so used to my crazy little antics now that the teacher walking in to the classroom wearing giant fury animals on her hands is just not enough to catch their attention anymore. Finally, halfway into my Grade 2 lesson, I had to take them off because I needed my hands to give out the work to them. And I was like 'doesn't anybody want to ask me about these?' and they were like 'nope, we're good...'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why I Love Teaching Kindergarten

I got the sweetest little invitation yesterday. A little JK child came up to me on the playground and said "you know, you could come over to my house if you wanted to, and look at my stuffed animals with me." After a moment's thought, she added "you know, I even have an elephant..."

Ah, I see. If I wasn't convinced before that this was just a splendid thing to do, the elephant was the cherry on top that would totally convince me, right?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A fun idea for those who enjoy props

Several of my students have been giving my puppet, M. le Bec, their spare Silly Bandz---for those who have not seen this fad, it's plastic elastic band-like bracelets which look like a bracelet while you are wearing it, but take on a shape when you take them off. The kids collect and trade them.

At first it was just a funny joke in my Grade 2 class, but to my surprise it has actually evolved into a real curriculum moment. He has too many to wear now, so he has been keeping them inside his hat. Every day we take five minutes and lay them out, and he gets to choose one to wear for the day. So we go through them all: tu veux le chat? tu veux le chien? etc.

The kids (even the JK kids!) are at the point, after a week, where if I don't say the word right away, they jump in with the correct word themselves. They are learning a ton of vocabulary for things that might not come up in another context. And the collection is ever-changing---my niece is into the Silly Bandz thing too and has volunteered some of her collection for the cause, and kids are still offering them to me because they get a kick out of seeing him in the bracelets.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Three Storybooks for Kindergarten

I have been doing storybooks this year with my SK classes. I found they were ready for more than colouring books, but not quite ready for a full AIM play so these stories use AIM vocabulary (and we use the gestures and seulement en francais etc.) but are a bit simpler and more repetitive. The kids have really enjoyed them!

The first story is about our principal's dog, so they all know the real dog and find the story very entertaining. I also used the names of teachers in the school. If you want to use this story with your own classes, you can of course change the names of the dog and other characters.

Daisy La Chienne: Story and Cahier

The second story was written with consultation from the children. The girls wanted a story about a princess and the boys wanted one about a dragon, so I included both! They really enjoyed this one---the humour of what the prince brings the dragon, and then the happy ending really appealed to them

Penelope n'aime pas les Princes: Story and Cahier

The third story is based on a doll house that my Grade 2 class made for M. le Bec, my puppet. All the children helped make accessories for the house and the children love playing with it. It has been a very popular prop. The kids wanted a scarier ending, so I changed it to make it seem like the maison really is haunted---if you want it to be!

M. le Bec at la Maison Hantee: Story and Cahier


Article: Teaching with the iPad

Article on my first few days teaching with the iPad. I talk about using it for reading with kids, in one on one tutoring, using the iTunes lyrics feature to enhance my music teaching and using game apps as story starters and to review basic skills. Read and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More About Music Friday

I have gotten several emails asking me more about the music I do with my students. I finally had the time to sit down and put together some playlists! I have each class every day and reserve one day for the music. I introduce a new song every 2-3 weeks and then we practice the songs we already know. I also show a short video at the end, usually something off YouTube like Pigloo or a French Disney. They love it! Even the littlest students know how to say 'ordinateur' when they see it coming!

Here are the songs I do with each grade:


Alouette and Alouette Comique (Jacquot)
BINGO (Kidzup)
Bonhomme (Gregg LeRock)
Fais Dodo (from a library CD, not sure by whom)
Je suis un Pizza (Charlotte Diamond)
Je t'aime Beaucoup (Jacquot)
La Belle Pieuvre (Charlotte Diamond)
Mouton Noir (Kidzup)
Napoleon (Jacquot)
Pomme de Reinette (Kidzup)
Qu'il y ait Toujours le Soleil (Charlotte Diamond)
Frere Jacques/Rock and Roll Frere Jacques (Matt Maxwell)
Une Poule sur un Mur (from a library CD, not sure by whom)


Au Bord de la Baie (Jacquot)
Au Clair de la Lune (Kidzup)
Comment ca va (Jacquot)
Embrasse 4 Fois (Charlotte Diamond)
Kumbaya (Matt Maxwell)
Loudi Lou (Jacquot)
Les Clowns (Jacquot)
Meunier tu dors (Kidzup)
Nageons (Jacquot)
Savez Vous Planter Les Choux (Matt Maxwell)
Si tu Aimes la Musique (Jacquot)
Tout le Monde Aimes les Bananes (Charlotte Diamond)
21 Amis (Jacquot)

Grade 1

Sur le Pont D'Avignon (from a library CD, not sure by whom)
Y'a un Chat (Charlotte Diamond)
Les Crocodiles (from a library CD, not sure by whom)
Fille Brune (Jacquot)
Cinq Bebites (Jacquot)
Mon Merle (Jacquot)
Jouez au Hockey (Jacquot)
Il a Tout L'Univers (Jacquot)
Bonhomme, Bonhomme (Kidzup)
Lundi Matin (Kidzup)
Dans Mon Pays D'Espagne (Marie Martine)
Day-O (Matt Maxwell)
Ma Tante a Perdu un Poulet (Matt Maxwell)
O Canana (from a library CD, not sure by whom)

Grade 2

Remainder of Charlotte Diamond and Gregg LeRock. They are not quite as into it by this point. My 2s won't touch anything without a rock and roll feel. I get into (certainly by second term) other stuff like using Powerpoint shows to work on the actual lyrics more and getting them to do some re-writes.

The big favourites this year were 'Tout le Monde Aimes les Bananes' and Gregg's 'Bonhomme.' 'Je Suis une Pizza' and 'La Belle Pieuvre' are perennial winners.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

On the playground today...

Student: (makes funny faces at me)
Me: You're so silly!
Student: No. You are!
Me: Me?
Student: Well, you're friends with a stuffed animal...

*gasp* You mean M. le Bec isn't real?????