Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stonehenge and Carnac

The second and third grade classes have been studying prehistoric time and specifically megalithic constructions of the Neolithic time at Stonehenge and Carnac. The students created to scale reproductions of these sites in the woods behind the playground using all of the materials in nature available on and around the actual sites. Grade 3 built Stonehenge and grade 2, Carnac. These creations were absolutely amazing and the kids had so much fun making them. Getting dirty at school and making projects can be very worthwhile! Very nice work!

Monarch Butterflies

In the Kindergarten classroom, we have been studying caterpillars and watching them turn into butterflies. The caterpillar tank has been the center of our class activities. Throughout this process, we made caterpillar art projects with a variety of materials. Using a paint brush, sponges and strips of colored paper, we made all sorts of caterpillars.
The playground is the ideal place to look for a variety of sorts of caterpillars, and now we know to be careful not to touch them with our hands! Finally, when they came out of their cocoons, we set them free! Nature is fascinating to observe!

Les portraits a deux

For our first art project of the year, all the students of CM1 and CM2 (4th and 5th grade) took the pose and did each other’s portraits. First of all, students took 5 to 10 minutes to pose while their partner was sketching them. And then, they switch positions. When the sketches were done, they did the outline of the portrait and afterwards painted it to be as realistic as possible. Their portraits are absolutely beautiful. Please come see them in the hallway!

YMCA Preschool Swim Program

Swimming lessons have started for the preschoolers at the Casco Bay YMCA.

Swimming is a lot of fun! Everybody did a great job at our first lesson! First, we had to try to put our chin, then our nose, our forehead and finally our entire head in the water. After some other little games, we were divided into three groups. One group started learning how to dive, another practiced kicking in the water and the last group learned a children's dance. We will go to the swimming pool for the next 30 weeks to improve our swimming skills.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yard Sale Saturday, September 29th 8am-12pm

Proceeds from the yard sale will help finance teacher Elodie LeNezet's second volunteer trip to Haiti. In Haiti, Elodie will once again work with teachers and students in St Barthelemy School in Terrier Rouge, a rural community in the northeast part of the island. Bravo Elodie for this important effort! We are all so proud of you!

Construction update

Renovation constructions continue on schedule. The concrete foundation for the stairway and bay windows has been poured. Doug Piehl, general contractor for Freeport Services has scheduled his crew on weekends and at night so as not to interfere with the school's instructional time. October vacation will provide the time necessary to complete most of the outside work. The stairway is safely covered after each working day until the brick wall and roof are built.

Lanscaping and ground maintenance is provided by Lanssine Traore of LTS Landscaping, Inc. Lanssine is multilingual and enjoys speaking French with the school staff as he grew up in francophone Mali in Western Africa. Thanks to Lanssine and his crew for keeping the school grounds looking great.

Doug Piehl refreshing the paint markings of the school parking lot.

Mission Laique Française


L'Ecole Française du Maine wants to express its gratitude to the Mission Laique Française (MLF) and especially to MLF-America for its generous and effective support last year. Sylvie Polin at the MLF headquarters in Paris and Jean-François Genay, director of MLF America in Portland, Oregon were essential in the school's success in securing its full accreditation with the French Ministry of Education.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, our staff participated in several workshops at the International School of Boston organized by MLF. On August 30 and 31st, Soizic Bonnet, pedagogical coordinator for MLF schools in America and a faculty at Awty International School in Houston, Texas led our two days of inservice for the staff of L'Ecole Francaise du Maine. Soizic presented strategies for teaching oral language and developing common practices throughout the school.

DELF: Advanced French Classes for Middle and High school students.

The question is frequently asked: What do your students do to maintain their French once they complete the grades levels offered at L'Ecole Française du Maine?

Beginning this fall, we are pleased to announce a new program, specifically designed to meet the needs of our graduates and other students who have attained a high level of French.

Several alumni of L'Ecole Française du Maine meet weekly and socialize in French during the first sessions of the afterschool club "DELF". Students will review and practice their French speaking and writing skills while working toward the DELF exam. This program is made possible through a partnership with the Alliance Française of Boston, The French Library, The Ministry of Education and the cultural attache at the Embassy in Washington.

The DELF is an official diploma from France’s national Ministry of Education. Scores are valid for life, and are awarded and recognized around the world. Each year, more than 300,000 diplomas are awarded worldwide . The DELF officially certify the ability of students to use the French language in real-life situations based on the six competence levels identified within the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFRL) for languages, an international standards. Thus, there are six separate examinations, including adaptations for all ages and all segments of the population.

At each level, five skills are assessed: listening, reading, writing, oral presentation and oral interaction. The assessors are trained by authorized experts, thus ensuring worldwide uniform standards of evaluation.

The class is fun and interactive and is open to qualified students. please call the school office for more information: (207) 865-3308

Mary Lou

Our dear friend Mary Lou came to school to wish our students a wonderful school year.  It was so fun to see her again!

Dans la peau d’un chercheur

This year, we started Science class with an activity that put us into the shoes of a scientist. “Dans la peau d’un chercheur” was the motto of the first Science classes, in which we had to figure out the contents of a closed box as precisely as possible. After first seeing the box, we were asked to imagine its contents without touching it. Could there be an animal, chocolate or maybe just air inside? 
In a second step, we could finally touch the box and discuss hypotheses just as a scientist would. For each idea, we did experiments in order to verify our thoughts. We compared the weight of the boxes with an empty box using a digital scale or smelled different herbs as well as soaps in order to figure out why one of the boxes smelled like “pizza” and another one like ”baby powder”. We also put rocks, sea shells as well as Christmas bells inside of an empty box and compared their shaking sound with the sound of the box. After documenting our experiments we were excited to finally open the box and proudly realized, that each group managed the task and found at least one correct object.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Close Buy

In case you haven't heard, the School is running a fundraiser, "Close Buy", which features a wide selection of wonderful products from "Close Buy" Maine artisans. 
Many of these unique items were available to see, smell, touch and admire in the school hallway last week, so we hope to have already perked your interest in participating.
You can order through the catalog, or directly on line, where an even larger selection of products is available. 
Please pass the link along to your friends and family, and tell them to select "L'Ecole Française du Maine" as their school when they place an order. 
Orders are being accepted until September 30, 2012, and will be shipped to the School.

The School and Parents' Association will be earning 30% of the profits from the sale, which is really great, so please consider doing your holiday shopping through "Close Buy" to support local artists and your School!

The fundraiser kick-off began on September 17th at a Wine-Tasting event, featuring a wide selection of delicious wines, which can be purchased at Bow Street Market in Freeport with proceeds going to the school!

Thank you parents, "Sue and Andy", for coordinating the wine-tasting and for making it so lovely with pretty tablecloths and tasty cheese and fruit platters to enjoy! Thanks also to their friend Phil, who selected the wines and shared his expertise to make the wine tasting possible. Sue has generously given her time and effort to run this fundraiser, and we are grateful for her enthusiasm and support- Merci beaucoup!
Stephanie Brewer (left) of the Parents' Association, 
volunteers at the Close Buy product display in the school hallway.