Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chinese New Year !

To celebrate the year of the Ram, the school community gathered for a delicious Chinese meal thanks to Chef Steph, Taylor and Cécile Williams, the Parents Association, and many parent volunteers. We'd like to thank Cindy Han, a board member of the Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine, who presented the traditions of Chinese New Year to the school community.

The community hall was adorned with festive decorations made by parents and students.
The menu included: wonton soup, dumplings, fried rice, egg rolls, and Chinese pork.
We ended the meal with oranges for a sweet life and fortune cookies. Students especially enjoyed stepping on sheets of bubble wrap to simulate the sound of firecrackers!

Thank you to all who helped make this event such a success. The students had a wonderful time along with the parents, grandparents and special friends who joined us for this wonderful treat! We could not have done it without all of the helping hands who pitched in to set up, prepare, serve and clean up afterwards. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

creative writing






The 3rd graders studied the detective story genre through books read in class. They studied the specific vocabulary as well as the recurrent characters and intrigue. We made two groups after that and each created a detective story using all the information that was gathered earlier on. The result is great, very creative and filled with imagination. You can read these stories and check the great illustrations the students did by our classroom door!

Meanwhile the 4th graders have been reading a great collection of short stories by Bernard Friot. Those shorts are organized through themes. You have stories of childhood. Stories of school. Stories of family.

One story we particularly enjoyed was Histoire au Menu, a hilarious story about the personification of foods during a meal. The students got inspired by that and created their own short story and illustration. They are awfully cute! Come look at them!

Sensory jars in preschool

We have been working a lot on fall and its characteristics lately. The final step of our project was to make fall sensory jars. Each group prepared a jar containing some of the elements we had collected during our walk in the school woods. First, we filled the jars with water. Then, we added 1 cup of vegetable oil and 10 drops of food coloring (yellow, red, blue and green, which are the 4 colors of our groups in class). We were mesmerized by the beautiful lines and shapes that the food coloring made in the water. Finally, we added leaves, pinecones, mushrooms or pine needles. We were very proud of the result and several students even said: "c'est magnifique !"




Knitting Club on Tuesdays!

6th grade students did not have to work too hard to convince Kelly that they should have a knitting club. (Kelly is an avid knitter and was overjoyed with the request!)



Students had one week to gather their materials as they would begin knitting together during morning recess the following Tuesday.
6th grade students quickly picked up knitting and were thrilled with the progress they had made in just one lesson! They can't wait for knitting club on Tuesdays!
Kelly loves to knit and enjoys sharing her passion with others. Knitting is calming and therapeutic, and also has many other health benefits such as engaging the right and left side of the brain, as well as fine motor skill practice.

La longue marche des dindes ... de Kathleen Karr

The story takes place in the 19th century when Simon Green, a 15 year-old boy, decides to live an original adventure with 1000 turkeys! His goal, walking them from Missouri to Colorado...with the very special Mr. Peece, his dog Emett, four donkeys, an old trolley and other friends they met during their journey. The students from 5th and 6th grade had so much fun studying this incredible story and realizing how courageous Simon has been! Come discover the students' perspective and display on this intriguing story....

Les élèves de la classe de CM2/ 6ème ont étudié les aventures de Simon Green, un jeune garçon de 15 ans, qui a décidé de mener 1000 dindes du Missouri jusqu'à Denever, dans le Colorado...dans une chariot, accompagné de ses acolytes Mr Peece, Emett son chien, quatre mules, et d'autres amis rencontrés en chemin. Une histoire pleine d'humour et de suspens qui se passe au 19ème siècle. Comment va se terminer l'aventure de Simon, si courageux et intrépide! Venez découvrir cela à travers les récits et illustrations des élèves!




Johnnycake




 

Johnnycake, formerly known as 'journeycake', was a popular type of bread during the Revolutionary War.  It was formerly carried in the packs of soldiers because it traveled so well and stayed edible for the length of the journey.  The cake was quite popular in homes because it was a hearty meal that could last a week after it was made.

4th Grade students have recently started reading a new novel in English class, The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare.  The novel is set in Maine back in the 1700's and refers to the Johnnycake bread.

Today, students made Johnnycake and while it was baking, they read the novel together. Johnnycake is made with few ingredients including cornmeal and molasses.  It is hearty, dense bread that is more of a meal rather than a treat.

Students couldn't wait to taste the Johnnycake as it smelled quite delicious when baking.  However, most agreed that the bread smelled a lot better while baking compared to the actual taste of the cornmeal based bread! 

                                  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Food Pyramid Poster

This activity was a fun way to introduce our students to the concept of a balanced diet. We made our own food pyramid poster.



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!