Sunday, December 7, 2014

"For Haiti with Love" by Elodie LeNezet

As many of you already know, I went to Haiti again this year, for the 4th time. I have had the chance to find a strong support from the school, my friends, my students and friends of the school to help me make this wonderful opportunity happen each year.

Some of you might not know why I go there every year so allow me to tell you a bit about my experience.

I go to the same school every year, l’Ecole St-Barthélémy, which runs from preschool to high school and enrolls about 900 students. The official language in Haiti is Creole as well as French. With Creole being the language spoken at home, students arrive at the school and learn French there. Even though most teachers speak French, they still need help to fully master it and this is what I do. I organize workshops in French grammar, conjugaison, and spelling to help them with their French, both for their personal and professional use.

In the morning, I visit classrooms and spent time observing teachers during class; I observe the activities they do and their interactions with their students. In the afternoon, I conduct the training.
I have been extremely happy this year to observe some of the things we covered during the past trainings being used in the classroom as tools. I have seen happier and more engaged students and happier teachers. This was really rewarding to actually see that the concepts we had learned previously were applied correctly by the teachers. It felt like I had done something helpful for them. They were extremely eager to hear more advice when we talked about the workshops.

Hopefully, I will be able to go again next Thanksgiving. 
I have already been asked to work on certain grammatical points. :-) 



 



 









 



Sunday, November 30, 2014

cursive writing using ropes

Study of sounds: phonemes and graphemes

The Kindergarten class has been studying the [L] consonant in French.
Like in English, the [L] consonant has several variations, depending if it is located before or after a vowel. Special words, like papillon, were explored, to dicuss the [L] consonant.

Students took the time to play with ropes to write in cursive, then they wrote their names making sure the letters were properly formed (correct hand movement) with a specific size. The letters were then "attached" to one another to make words. 
All this takes time and practice but the reward is enormous !
It is amazing to see the pride of a child writing his/her name in cursive for the very first time !
Bravo to the students and their teacher, Philomène !
En Grande Section, cette semaine, nous avons travaillé sur le son [L].
Nous cherchons des mots dans lesquels on entend le son [L], au début, au milieu ou à la fin.
Nous voyons que le son [L] s'écrit avec la lettre L. Nous avons aussi remarqué que parfois on voit la lettre L dans un mot, mais on n'entend pas le son [L], comme dans papillon!
Nous découvrons les différentes façons d'écrire ou de lire la lettre L: en capitale, en scripte et en cursive. Pour écrire cette lettre en cursive, il faut tracer une grande boucle qui monte.
Tout naturellement, les enfants ont donc utilisé des cordes pour faire des boucles: des petites, des grandes...
 
Puis sur de grandes feuilles, avec des feutres de toutes les couleurs, ils ont tracé des boucles dans tous les sens: qui montent, qui descendent, des petites, des grandes, des minuscules... Ce sont des gestes importants qui vont nous servir à écrire de nombreuses lettres en cursive!
Enfin, certains enfants commencent à écrire leur prénom en cursive. On prend le temps de tracer correctement chaque lettre, des respecter le sens du geste, la taille des lettres, la liaison entre les lettres: elles doivent toutes être "attachées".
Quelle concentration! Bravo!

Sleds are ready for recess !

With the recent snow storm and the delivery of hay bails, our sledding hill is now ready for recess fun ! Thanks to Willy, Colin and Thornton for preparing the sledding trail today!






How playing an instrument benefits your brain

How playing an instrument benefits your brain by Anita Collins
Photo: How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

"Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?"

That's the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is "the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng#t=19

What's more: Neuroscientists have found that some of these aspects of mental work are different from any other activity studied, including playing sports or engaging in various creative pursuits.

"Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?"
That's the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is "the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng#t=19

What's more: Neuroscientists have found that some of these aspects of mental work are different from any other activity studied, including playing sports or engaging in various creative pursuits.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to all !

Photo: At L'Ecole Française du Maine we are thankful for .... having electricity :-)
Happy Thanksgiving to all !



At L'Ecole Française du Maine we are thankful for .... having electricity :-) 

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving basket food drive was a great success again this year, thanks to all of the families who contributed to this effort. Yesterday we delivered 13 baskets with all of the makings of a full Thanksgiving dinner to the Freeport Community Center. The sixth grade students made a great impression at the Community Center and are looking forward to more volunteer opportunities in the near future!









Sciences au CP : les empreintes digitales.

Après avoir écrit une auto-description, travaillé sur le portrait en arts, nous continuons en sciences à en apprendre plus sur nous même. On a discuté sur le plus grand organe de notre corps : la peau.
Est-ce que l'eau peut rentrer dans notre corps? Est-ce que l'eu peut en sortir? Est-ce ce que notre peau peut changer de couleur? Pourquoi y-a-t-il différentes couleurs de peau?
On s'est ensuite concentré sur nos empreintes digitales...
Pour mieux les observer et les comparer on a imprimé nos empreintes digitales dans notre cahier de sciences.
Alors, avons-nous tous tous les mêmes empreintes?