Monday, November 26, 2012

Let the french fly!

La nouvelle aventure de Christian Fleury et David Simard nous emmène dans le Maine pour y découvrir les vestiges de la culture francophone. Construit chronologiquement, ce court documentaire scrute d'abord l'histoire de l'immigration francophone aux USA à travers le récit de ses personnages attachants venus d'une autre époque. C'est seulement vers la fin que nous entrevoyons, ô douce ironie, un avenir pour la culture francophone qui pourtant fut pratiquement balayé par la réussite sociale et l'intégration culturelle des générations antérieures. La rencontre avec les artisans de l'École française du Maine ouvre cette perspective inattendue, ici l'illustration parfaite de la libéralisation de la société américaine qui tend à valoriser sa diversité. C'est sans nostalgie et avec une simplicité technique des plus contemporaines que les réalisateurs abordent ce sujet méconnu.

A great documenary on Maine's French Culture, featuring the enthusiasm of our school staff .

We thank Québécois Film producer: DAVID SIMARD

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast for School Community

On November 21, the school community gathered for a Thanksgiving meal, prepared and served by parent volunteers and jointly sponsored by the Parents' Association and the School. In the Community Hall of the South Freeport Church, 120 students and parents sat together to enjoy the delicious turkey dinner, complete with all of the fixings, including stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots, turnip, and potatoes - brought directly from Northern Maine by a school parent with family up in "The County". Everyone enjoyed not only the wonderful food, but the opportunity to share in conversation with other members of the school family, including teachers, parents, grandparents and friends. This was a wonderful event, and the School is grateful to the volunteers who made it possible. Some parents cooked, set tables, and served, while others stayed afterwards to stack chairs, fold away tables and clean up. Many thanks to all who pitched in to help, and to those who took the time to join us.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Suzuki Concert November 19, 2012

Congratulations to all of the students who performed in the Suzuki Concert on November 19, 2012.
Their daily practice and weekly lessons paid off, and the concert was a great success. Thanks to the music teachers and parents who guide the children each day, without whom such an achievement would not be possible. Thanks to all of you who came to attend the performance and encouraged the children in their pursuit of music. We hope you will enjoy this short video which captures a few highlights of the concert.

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” 

“When Love is deep, much can be accomplished”        Dr. Shinichi Suzuki,  1898-1998

Saturday, November 24, 2012

French Ministry of Education (AEFE) ~ Washington, D.C. Nov 14-16, 2012

"Nous ne construisons pas chez les élèves la conscience malheureuse de leurs insuffisances, 
nous construisons chez eux la conscience heureuse de leurs capacités."
"We do not build in the minds of students the unfortunate awareness of their shortcomings,
we give them the satisfying awareness of their abilities."

"L’estime de soi et l’autonomie des élèves sont les clefs absolues auxquelles se mesure la réussite."
"Self esteem and independence are the keystones used to measure accomplishment. "

"Ce que les élèves sont capables de faire : c’est très exactement l’évaluation que nous mettons en place.""What students are able to accomplish:  that is precisely the assessment we have designed."

Joëlle Jean
Pédagogical Director at  AEFE / French Ministry of Education ~ Washington, DC ~ Nov 15,  2012
Translation by Willy LeBihan

Body Painting in Kindergarten

"Bon appétit ! Monsieur Lapin"

Lire à la maison {Reading at home in first grade}

Vous pourrez désormais retrouver quelques histoires lues en classe, pour les écouter à la maison à partir d'un livre numérique. Pour tourner les pages du livre, il faut cliquer en bas à droite.
Pour entendre le texte lu, il faut cliquer sur l'icône "lecture".
Pour accéder au livre, il suffit de cliquer sur "Livre 1" ci-dessous.

You can now find some stories read in class, to listen at home from a digital book. 
To hear the text read, just click on the "play" icon. 
To turn the pages, you must click on the bottom right. 
To access the book, just click on "LIVRE 1" below.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Winslow Homer at the Portland Museum of Art and the crêperie

Last Tuesday, the 4th and 5th graders went to the museum to admire the fantastic exhibit called “Winslow Homer and Maine”, featuring many of his most acclaimed masterpieces such as “Weatherbeaten”. Nature in its wildest state is a theme we have been exploring for some time in art. The docent was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and the students had a great time learning about the artist’s life and techniques. After the exhibit, we went to have lunch at the crêperie…everything was delicious and we left with full stomachs and big smiles on our faces. What a great day it was!

Projects with Colors in Preschool

At this time in the preschool class, we are working on colors. We are learning their names, how to sort them, and we are also going to create a book of the colors. We have already made the cover using ink. We are very proud to make our own books!

Nature Works inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

Pebbles by Andy Goldsworthy

Pebbles and Hole by Andy Goldsworthy

Nature has been an on-going theme in our art classes these past few weeks…Studying the art of Andy Goldsworthy was a logical follow-up to the rest of our discoveries. The children first researched his life and his art in little groups. They were absolutely mesmerized by his work…he finds inspiration in nature and uses natural elements to do his sculptures and photographic work (stones, leaves, sticks…) In groups, the children discussed a project and the material they would need. We then went on an expedition in the forest to collect all they needed. Afterwards, they started working on their sculptures only using glue and thread as elements to unify their works. You can see the amazing sculptures that they have created in the hallway!- La classe de CM1 et CM2

Japanese Maple Leaves by Andy Goldsworthy
Ouisty the Oyster- student work

Emperor of Fall- student work

Everest Mountain climber Ed Webster

Mountain climber Ed Webster came to L'Ecole Française du Maine to tell the students all about his adventures hiking the Himalayan Mountains, including the highest peak- Everest. He gave 2 presentations, one to grades Kindergarten- Grade 1, and another to grades 2-5. Some parents also attended to hear the presentations. Ed's presentations were interactive and passionate, including photos and objects he brought back from his trips. He explained that life is very different; there are no roads or shops everywhere like here, no trees either, and people do not eat the same things we do or dress the way we do. But children are the same everywhere; they go to school, play and run around. The children were very excited by the idea of camping in the snow. He explained that it was a dream to climb as high as the planes fly, and that he had to work very hard to prepare for the hikes. Sometimes it was very hard, exhausting, and even dangerous. Sometimes he was scared, but with his guides, they encouraged one another, and they were able to reach the top. Before he left, the children were able to touch all of his gear: his shoes, his hammers, and ropes that made it to the top of Everest. Encore bravo et merci, Mr. Webster!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Portland Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert- Tchaikovsky and the 1812 Overture

Our students were fortunate to attend this sold out performance on October 22nd at Merrill Auditorium.
From the PSO website:  "This concert is devoted entirely to the music of one composer – Tchaikovsky! You’ll hear some of the greatest classical music ever written, and learn about one of the most famous Russian composers through a conversation between Robert Moody and an actor who portrays Tchaikovsky. We’ll recreate historical moments from the composer’s life and celebrate his place in musical history."

Preschool attends PSO Kinderconcert: Fire in the Big Top!

On the 17th of October, the preschool and kindergarten classes went to Freeport high school to watch their first kinderkonzert of the year. There was a professional brass band playing music just for us! We were very impressed! The band accompanied a story about two kids who were going to watch a circus. It was sometimes a little scary, especially when there was the tiger, but we enjoyed it a lot!

Freeport High School Students Visit

Today, the class of CM1 and CM2  shared some reading and math skills with 7 senior high school students (French level 5). We are not sure who was the most intimidated. We taught them about French grammar and explained what " verbe transitif and intransitif " are. They taught us how to do a division in the English style!! We cannot wait to meet them again to share. And the moral was : It is better to learn a language when you are young because it is easier to understand. You may have the chance to meet these students. They have to spend 1 hr a week doing community service, which they plan to do her at L'Ecole Française du Maine. It will be great for the school to partner with them. Some of the high school students may come to help out at our Thanksgiving Luncheon, or with covering books in the library.

Uncle Sean's handiwork- chairs get a makeover

Thanks go to Beth's Uncle Sean, a mostly retired but still sought after master upholsterer. Sean originally came from Ireland, where he learned the trade, and his work is appreciated by many. In fact, when the Governor's Mansion/Blaine House was remodeled a few years back, Sean was asked to do all of the upholstery. Sean recently shared his skills to complete a makeover of stuffed child-sized chairs. These chairs had been at the school for over 6 years, and the fabric had become faded and worn. As the chairs are a little larger than typical children's chairs, they are ideal for children in early elementary grades. We would have been sad to see them go because this size is hard to find, so we are thankful they have been given a new life! The outcome is adorable, and sturdy- thank you so much Uncle Sean! Thanks also to Beth's mom who selected and donated the fabric, we know the kids will enjoy the chairs very much!
 Sean Brosnan and Beth, in his workshop
Third graders test out the chairs in the library

Preschool Turkeys

The preschool children are getting ready for Thanksgiving. This week, we created turkeys to decorate our classroom. The Toute Petite and Petite section children painted the shape of a turkey and made the imprints of their hands in paint to create the wings. The Moyenne section students painted a plate to make the body of their turkey and cut out a circle in paper for the head. Then, they stuck feathers onto the plate. It was a lot of fun!

Ancient Greek Pottery

Students of CE1/CE2 (grades 2-3) studied red and black figure pottery in art. We talked about the pottery wheel, the shapes of vases according to their purpose, and the three-phase firing technique. Each student was in charge of "making" a vase out of the pizza cardboard and then reproducing the figure of his/her choice onto the cut cardboard. Make sure to take a moment to admire the beautiful Greek vases displayed in the hallway.  -Bravo les artistes! 

Hike up Bradbury Mountain State Park

The students in grades 2 and 3 took a hike up Bradbury Mountain on a beautiful fall day. On the way up, they made rubbings, and at the top of the mountain, they did paintings of the landscape.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trip to Maine State Museum

The students in grades 2 and 3 took a trip to the Maine State Museum where they were able to see Native Americans artifacts first hand. They learned about the history of Maine and its industry; and viewed and sketched the wildlife of Maine. Students learned how to make rubbings and took part in a special activity at the museum. They ended the trip with a tour of the Capitol and a picnic lunch before heading back to school. It was a great day.

Halloweeen 2012

The streets of South Freeport were filled with superheroes, princesses, literary characters, animals, pirates and more on Halloween! The whole school community gathered on the school playground to share costumes before the annual parade to the Post Office for treats! The festivities continued on into the evening. Many school families went trick-or-treating in the village together while Beth and Willy gave out candy at the school. Graduates of the school returned to help distribute treats- namely Holly Golightly, Scarlet O'Hara, and a CanCan Dancer! Jack O'Lanterns lit the way and spooky music filled the streets; it was a  night to remember. As you can see from the photo of the staff- Halloween is not just for kids!

Not a typical day in the hallway...
Lions and Tigers and Bears- Oh My!!

Argh Argh!!
Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxanne (No, not just a Musketeer with a weird nose!)
Elodie with class

Yassine with class

Howdy Becassine! Cultures collide!
 Holly Golightly, Scarlet O'Hara and a CanCan Dancer hand out treats
The Faculty takes Halloween seriously!