Thursday, January 29, 2009

Beth attends conference in Dallas- L’enseignement de la langue orale en maternelle en milieu multilingue

Over the Dr. Matin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 17-21, 2009, I attended a conference at the Dallas International School as part of on-going training and professional development offered through our membership with the Mission Laique Française. The focus of this training was to learn more about how to best teach oral language in early childhood classrooms. The conference was particularly intended for directors and curriculum coordinators of Maternelle programs interested in the challenges of teaching oral language. This training was part of an on-going series of training offered to French schools in America affiliated with the MLF. Beginning with the Maternelle, and in future years continuing this work into cycles 2 and 3 (elementary grades), the focus of our training is in the area of oral language development.

The objective of this training was to identify and address the challenges associated with oral language development, of both French and English, in early childhood classrooms and particularly in our bilingual environments. Topics presented included practical instructional methods and techniques, resources and tools to build vocabulary and accelerate articulation development, and a thorough presentation of the syntax development of the young child- beginning with first sounds mastered and moving into to more complex blends. We learned when to expect the mastery of each of the sounds, (sometimes different in order than in English) and also when and how to intervene - should concerns arise in the areas of syntax, vocabulary and articulation.

The training was presented by Philippe Boisseau, Inspecteur honoraire de l'éducation nationale, conférencier.
For many years, Mr. Boisseau was a Maternelle teacher, first in the XXème arrondissement de Paris, then in the suburbs and north of Paris, and finally in the ZEP in Bezons. ZEP (Zone d'éducation prioritaire) schools in France are those schools identified to have the greatest needs and challenges. In 1985, M. Boisseau became an Inspector for the Ministry of Education in the south of Rouen, then he went on to become a coordinator for teacher training. Today, retired, Mr. Boisseau gives conferences on the development of oral language in Maternelle (70 conferences per year) and continues his research. He has published many books on his area of expertise.

It was an honor to participate in this training. Like all of the participants, I went away from the experience motivated to share my discoveries with our teaching staff. I am looking forward to ordering some of the classroom materials presented, such as the Oralbums, also created by M. Boisseau, which are books of fairy tales, written in oral form, and which target the specific oral vocabulary destined to each section of Maternelle.

I am pleased Elodie Lenezet and Valerie Legentil will also receive this valuable training, which will be presented by Soizic Bonnet of Awty International School, Houston, at the Boston International School in April, 2009. Soizic is a teacher trainer for the AEFE. As for Elodie and Valerie, this will be part 2 of their training in Orale en Maternelle this year. They attended Part 1 at the Awty International School in Houston, in November, 2008.

Elizabeth LeBihan

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year Celebration...

Celebrating Chinese New Year at L'Ecole Française du Maine will first start with traditional Chinese New Year food -dumplings and New Year cake for lunch, and will be followed by a performance at the South Freeport community hall at 2pm. Students from 3rd grade up to 6th grade are going to put on a short play " The origin of Chinese New Year". The dialogues in this play will be spoken in Chinese and the play will end with a New Year song sung by all participants. Following the play, students will march back to the school with lanterns they made and decorated themselves. Our students have designed and decorated the stage and costumes themselves.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yann Arthus-Bertrand à la manière de Vincent Van Gogh


Thank you to all who participated in the creation of the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders art book on Yann Arthus Bertrand!

*Group photo courtesy of Marie Préaud.

La motricité...

On Wednesday January 21, 2009, we tried to make a UFO fly! We jumped, went forward, backward, to the left and to the right. Then, we did the little train.
We also rolled our hula-hoops. We had a lot of fun!

Les petits et moyens.


'Picture a metallic cube, packed with hidden spaces that slowly reveal themselves. Imagine dancers, acrobats, gymnasts, and actors turning that cube into a pyramid, then three pyramids, then a wall, a bridge, a labyrinth, a peak – all the while rolling, twirling, and flying across the surreal landscape they've created. Led by founder and choreographer Jacques Heim – the brilliant creator of Cirque du Soleil's Ka – Diavolo redefines dance through dynamic movement, creative expression, innovative use of lighting, sets, and props, and the music of Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer and conductor of the Los Angeles Philarmonic'
The students of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade of L'Ecole Française du Maine were part of the audience of this wonderful show on Friday January 23, 2008. Merci beaucoup to the parents who sponsored this event! Thank you also to Timothy Bowden and Marie Hamann who volunteered to chaperone.


Michael Begley for clearing the school's parking lot
Horst and Marie Hamann for their presentation of iMovie to the 6th garders
Dan Sassé and Ed Hodsdon for insulating the pipes in the boys bathroom
Eric and Mary Labelle for blankets and clorox wipes in Valerie and Elodie's classrooms


Welcome in Francis' class to Mathis who started this week!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wish list

Tissues and Clorox wipes are always welcome, especially during the winter!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inaugural Ceremony

Exceptionally, students of L'Ecole Française du Maine will be watching television at school!
On Tuesday, January 20th , 2008 our 3-4-5-6 graders will be following the inauguration events from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
For your information, following is the schedule for the Inaugural Ceremony:

10:00 am Musical Selections
The United States Marine Band

Musical Selections
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

Musical Selection
Aretha Franklin

Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
The Honorable John Paul Stevens

Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet

12:00 pm
Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.

Inaugural Address
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama
Elizabeth Alexander

The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”


Congratulations to our parent volunteers, Ed Hodsdon, Doug Piehl and Chas Foehl, who have taken and passed their bus driver's license to drive the school's bus for Field trips. Thornton now has substitute drivers ready to take the wheel. Thanks for offering to help out!

Group Guitar with Nathan Kolosko's Studio

L'Ecole Française du Maine is proud to announce that Nathan Kolosko will be offering Group Guitar Lessons at the French School for all the students from his studio.
This is a great opportunity for our guitarists to meet advanced players and for some adults to join the fun.

Group Dates - 1/26, 2/23, 3/30, 4/27

Students Group : 3:30 - 4:30
Adult Group : 5:00 - 7:00

For more information: Nathan Kolosko


Welcome in Toute Petite Section to Sophia, who started this week!

Shelter building...

Last week I put all of your Christmas trees to good educational use and had a shelter building party! Monday I began clearing a site and chopping boughs off the trunk of the first tree. I looked up to find a bunch of eager little faces looking at me and asking "What are ya doin?". This was day one of a three-day demonstration devoted to shelters, specifically the lean-tos. Shelter building is the first step in the sacred order of nature living (aka survival) followed by water then fire and lastly food.

The kids really enjoyed the whole process, from collecting materials to building the structure and finally testing out the comfort that a lean-to provides. Things were a bit crazy on the first day from the moment that I said the word "sticks". Some children produced not sticks, but logs, and others brought sticks probably better suited for Macworth Island fairy houses. I was looking for something in between. The second day I reviewed the mayhem of the previous day and introduced them to the rule of 5Ps (ask the kids what they are), which reminds us that impulse gathering wastes time and energy, something that may be in short supply. Within an hour to 90 minutes, we were able to erect a framework and cover it with boughs. On day three, we had a wonderful snowstorm that gave the kids a chance to see how the shelters worked.

Thanks to all the parents and teachers for your trees and your assistance during the actual demonstration!

Steven Koskinen - School parent

Wish list

Tissues and Clorox wipes are always welcome, especially during the winter!

Happy New Year from Barcelona, Spain!

Those who were at the school four years ago surely remember Emilie Drouard. She taught at L'Ecole Française du Maine for a year before moving to Spain. She just wrote to wish everyone a happy new year! She was impressed and pleased to see how much the school grew in such a short period of time. She lives in Spain and teaches a 1st grade class in the Bel Air French school of Barcelona. Her year in Maine made such an impression on her that she decided to organize ski trips for her class. Above is a photo of Emily and her class this year.
Bonne continuation Emilie!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adult Education: Learn French!

L’Ecole Française du Maine offers multiple options for adults seeking to improve their speaking and writing skills, or simply trying to keep up with their children!

Private Classes
Personal curriculum to be created and taught according to the level and needs of the person. Cost: $40 per hour.

Group Classes (10 persons per group)
A session of 15 weekly classes that will meet from 6pm to 7:30pm. The curriculum consists of oral and written comprehension, and oral and written expression. The French textbook “Campus” and workbook will be required and can be purchased through EFDM. Classwork will cover: grammatical points with explanations and application exercises, vocabulary, phonetics and repetition of different sounds, conversation and practice of dialogue between the students, and cultural experience. Group classes are offered at four different levels:

Intermédiaire 1 : begins January 26, 2009
Débutant 2: begins January 27, 2009
Débutant 1: begins January 28, 2009

Cost: $375 per person, or $700 a couple.

For more information, please contact Elodie LeNezet Soule
(207) 865 3308.


Linda and Scott Vaillancourt for tissues
Dan Peistrup for tissues and clorox wipes
Tara and William Magaw for sleds

Friday, January 9, 2009

La recette de la galette des CP/CE1:

La galette des rois...

This week, we have celebrated « la galette des rois » through the reading and singing of Roule Galette. We also made and baked a galette, 4 actually because we invited the PS and MS to share our fabulous treats with us. We celebrated with crowns we made by ourselves. It was a lot of fun!
The CP/CE1 also celebrated this tradition and are happy to share their recipe with you.
Bon appétit !
Les Grandes Sections

Wish list

Clorox wipes


Mary and Eric Labelle for new blankets for Elodie and Valerie's classrooms
Laurin and Steve Koskinen for baking cinnamon rolls for the staff
Victorija Smith for ink cartridges in Murielle's class
Dawn and Ed Hodsdon for ink cartridges in Francis' class


Welcome in Moyenne Section to Sadie and Ry, who started school this week!