Thursday, May 28, 2009


My name is Alex and I am a senior at Cheverus High School. Every senior at Cheverus is obligated to volunteer for one month at any location of the student's choosing. I had never heard of this school before reading about it on a list of volunteer locations. French being my first language, I thought it would be fun to work at a school where I could practice my French. For the past month I have been helping out teachers with certain jobs. I have really enjoyed working at this school and I have learned a lot about raising kids.


Horst & Marie Hamann for a photocopier

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kindergarten Track meet in Boston

After having trained for several weeks, the children of GS were highly motivated to meet the children from the French schools of Boston and Rhode Island.
They were put into 8 different teams, each of which had to go through 8 workshops: there was a relay, a race with obstacles, 3 workshops for throwing, one a ball, one a javelin and the last one a disc.
The children did extremely well and were very excited to speak French with the other students.
After the track meet, everyone received a medal and each school a cup. We were very proud of the GS participation.
We also want to thank the parents for all of their help and support through this event. We could not have done it without you !
Merci beaucoup,
Elodie and Valerie

Bienvenue Rose!

This week, we welcomed a new friend into the classroom named ROSE. Even if she is a puppet, she is going to be our new classmate until the end of the year. She is three years old, she is a cheerleader and she likes sports. Sometimes she does or says something funny. We can talk with her on lots of subjects and she also loves to hug us. The other day something bad happened to her: she fell from the stairs and she broke her arm. So, we talked about that in the class and we went to the hospital with her to help her feel better.
She is very funny and we think we are going to have good time with her.

Teddy bear clinic

Last Friday, we went to the hospital with Rose, our class puppet, and our teddy bears. It was really interesting. At the beginning, a performer sang us a song on what we have to do to be in good health. Then, we went into a room where nurses were waiting for us. They asked us where our teddy bear was hurt and they put band-aids and bandages on different parts of the body- as needed to make teddy better. We also put a mask onto the teddy bear's faces to help them breathe. A nurse explained how a visit in the hospital would be, showing us some scrapbook pictures of a little girl's visit. Another nurse who was dressed like a penguin showed us an X-ray of a teddy bear who had swallowed a penny. We could see it in his stomach!
When we left the hospital, we were given a goodie bag full of stickers, pencils and drawings. It was a really interesting field trip, and now, if we have to go to the hospital we won't be afraid of the doctors and nurses. They are so nice! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feather Dance

The Suzuki music students gave a wonderful concert on May 13, 2009. The audience was delighted to hear pieces of violin, guitar, piano and cello. In this video you will see guitar students and their teacher, Nathan Kolosko playing "Feather Dance", an original piece composed by Nathan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Career exploration

Chelsea, a sophomore at Yarmouth High School, is interested in teaching French and likes working with children. So when the time came for her career exploration, she chose to come to L’Ecole Française du Maine.
Chelsea stayed with us for three days, visiting all the classrooms, and spending most of her time in the PS/MS classroom. She had a lot of fun helping in the class and interacting with the children, and she discovered how demanding, but rewarding teaching could be.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Joseph Hluska & Jennifer Ely for art supplies
Steven & Laurin Koskinen for a basketball
Tara & William Magaw for hand sanitizer

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Workshop on Phonology and Dyslexia

Friederike traveled to Montreal to attend a workshop on Phonology and Dyslexia at the Collège Stanislas. With about twenty other teachers of French schools in Canada and in the US, she studied the subject for 2 days. The workshop was led by a French speech therapist, Nathalie Castello-Niederberge, who works full time in a French school to help students who struggle with oral and written language.

On the first day, the participants focused on theoretical approaches of oral and written language development in order to familiarize teachers with dyslexia. The second day was dedicated to application of practice in the classroom. Using concrete examples, all participants discussed how every teacher can prepare classes by integrating the needs of students who struggle with the concept of language. At the workshop, participants developed classroom materials and gained many practical ideas.

Thank you for this interesting and enriching workshop!

Atelier cuisine chez les Grandes Sections!

On Tuesday May 12, we made brownies in the class. We ate them in the afternoon after singing 'Joyeux Anniversaire' (happy birthday) to Elodie. They were delicious!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Elections des Français de l'étranger

Cher(e) compatriote résidant dans le Maine,

Comme vous le savez des élections vous concernant se dérouleront le 7 juin 2009 :

- les élections à l'Assemblée des Français de l'Étranger, et pour lesquelles vous avez du recevoir récemment de ce Consulat une documentation et le matériel de vote (vous avez la possibilité de voter par correspondance, par Internet ou en vous rendant au bureau de vote à Cambridge le 7 juin)

- les élections au Parlement européen (vous votez en France soit personnellement, soit par procuration).

Dans ce cadre et pour répondre à toute question relative à ces élections, ainsi que pour remettre les documents nécessaires au vote par procuration ( ne concerne que les élections au Parlement européen) une permanence consulaire pour le Maine se tiendra dans les locaux du cabinet Preti, Flaherty - 1 City Center à Portland le mardi 12 mai de 12 heures à 15 heures .

Vous trouverez par ailleurs sur le site du consulat toutes les informations nécessaires sur les élections, et notamment sur les conditions d'établissement des procurations. Merci de vous y référer.

Merci aussi de faire savoir à Madame Elizabeth GEFFRAY (par retour de courriel à ) ou à M. Cyril du BOISROUVRAY ( si vous comptez vous rendre à la permanence de Portland.

Bien cordialement,

Consul général de France
31, Saint-James avenue
Park Square Building
Boston, MA 02116

(Veuillez cliquer sur le titre pour plus d'informations)

Souvenirs d'automne - Bande Annonce

This is the trailer of the movie Souvenirs d'automne (Autumn Memories). This movie will be ready in June 2009 and is the work of the children of the school. The sixth graders are doing a wonderful job with all the editing!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Felicitations Jacob!

Congratulations, Jacob, for a well-deserved book two and a half graduation!

Dr. Suzuki believed the graduation process was a vital and intrinsic part of the Suzuki approach. Each graduation piece represents a significant milestone in the development of a child’s musical and technical ability.

Jacob's classmates got to hear a world premiere performance of guitar music by Nathan Kolosko from his upcoming Guitar Method for beginner level guitarists.

For more info about Nathan Kolosko:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Meeting in San Diego

Beth just returned from San Diego, where she participated in this year’s final meeting of the curriculum directors in French schools of America who are members of the MLF (Mission Laique Française). Over the past two years, since becoming members, we have been consolidating our efforts towards the completion of a number of projects to benefit all of our schools.

First, we selected a theme of utmost importance in all of our schools- teaching oral language. Next, we planned how we would best work to improve on that theme, putting heads and resources together and planning for staff development concentrated in this area over the next few years. This year, we completed our training for Cycle 1 (Preschool). As you have been reading in past blog posts, our staff has been attending workshops at other schools throughout the past 2 years (in Rhode Island, Boston, Houston and again in Boston). The training created by the MLF and received by our faculty members continues to build in our schools, with practical classroom activities being implemented in our classrooms each day.

Our next step is to continue this work in Cycle 2 (K-2). At this meeting, a plan for the next phase of training was set forth. We created a calendar and decided on where and when each “stage”/ workshop, would take place. It was agreed schools would partner together with schools in geographic proximity. L’Ecole Française du Maine will work with the International School of Boston again next year. There will be a two-part training offered to the teachers in Cycle 2, and we also will be visited by the new Pedagogical Director of the MLF, Soizic Bonnet, in the fall. She is stepping up to replace Philippe Vanhille, who has left her big shoes to fill, but she is ready for the challenge of constantly traveling across the country to fill this important role of Educational Coordinator, MLF-Amérique.

Another of our projects has proven very successful. We worked collaboratively to create a training workshop for newly recruited teachers arriving from France, to help with their adjustment and successful acclamation into a new country. This training takes place in Paris- before the teachers head for the states. At the workshop, the teachers receive a wealth of practical information, as well as advice on what to expect in America; (ie, Cheerios instead of a croissant for breakfast...). The reality of culture shock, and cultural differences in day-to-day life and work are discussed in depth, giving the teachers a chance to ask specific questions as they prepare mentally for their new life experience. We wrote a brochure that is distributed as well, covering the contents of the workshop for later reference. It was a pleasure to learn in San Diego from a colleague who attended the meeting in Paris last year, that it was helpful to him. This year, we have already made arrangements for our newly hired teachers for the fall, Clarisse Bizot and Didier Carribou, to be in attendance.

Hosting students:


I am looking for families to host students from China and France who will be traveling to Portland with the Educational Homestay Program,

The Chinese students will be here from July 14th - Aug 2nd and the French students will be here from July 9th until August 14th.
The students will be attending class Monday- Friday at SMCC. The host family is asked to house, feed, transport to school (carpooling is an option) and treat the student as a family member.
Besides the obvious benefits of hosting, if you host with EFP, The host families can get a 10% discount on many of EF's travel and study abroad programs.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about another culture while sharing yours.

For more information please contact Lisa Bowe, or 207-329-0704.

Lisa Bowe

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stage à Boston

Elodie LeNezet-Soule and Valerie Legentil went to the International School of Boston for the second half of the training started in 2007-2008 and continuing at the Awty International School of Houston last November. The theme of the training, “oral language in the maternelle”, is also a primary objective of our whole school project. At the workshop, participants shared their victories and struggles in teaching French syntax and grammar to young children. In immersion schools, developing oral language in French requires creative techniques that teach children to speak correctly, and to constantly develop their oral language skills.

We explored different pedagogical methods to encourage oral language in the classroom. There was a practical aspect to the training, where we went into the classrooms to apply the techniques with the children. Now, we are able to use these practices everyday in our own classrooms, back at l’Ecole Française du Maine. In the GS classroom, you will find 2 “albums” (books) the students wrote and that they love to read out loud everyday. These books are written as we speak, not as we write, as the goal is to develop oral language. This is an excellent way for them children to encourage oral language in French…and the students are really proud to be the authors.

In the class of PS and MS, some of the children already have their own books too, which we call “albums echos”. For the MS, we take pictures of each child during familiar activities, and we select a few photos to create a special book for that child. We look at the book with the child, and he/she tells about the pictures. Next, we use their own words, and just improve the language a little bit, to challenge and encourage them to gradually advance in their oral language development. Each book is unique to the child, and we read and reread this book with the child over time. Children best develop language around their own personal experiences, and these “albums” give them the tools and opportunity to discuss their own experiences. Children love to talk about things they have done and seen as they find these topics most relevant and satisfying.

For the PS, we create a small album with photos of the teacher and the child engaged in familiar activities. For each photo, the teacher asks: “ I am… (naming activity) …and you, what are you doing”? The child answers, “Me, I am…” For example: Moi, je mange… et toi, qu’est ce que tu fais? We call these “Moi, je albums”. We can create these books as tools to help children whose language development needs a boost, or to enrich the language of every child. Since beginning to use these books, Valerie already observes progress in oral language. Using the “Albums echos” and” books in the Maternelle classroom is both motivating and effective, and the professional development opportunity was a valuable and rewarding experience.

Le jardin!

This week, we planted the plants we had sowed in the class in the school garden . There are peas and carrots. We made a hole and put the plant inside it. Of course we didn’t forget to water them… Now we will take care of them, and we can’t wait to eat them!
We also drew a fully-grown carrot.
Les petites et moyennes sections.