Saturday, 6 October 2012

What have we been up to?

Last year, I fell into a trap where I stopped posting when things got crazy at school and in life.  This year I am truly working towards consistency with my blogging as it truly helps me grow as an educator.    I will do better, I promise!

So what have we been up to for the last 3 weeks at school?  LOTS of cool stuff!

In primary we have been doing lots of signing lately.  I have a group of little sweeties that just love to sing.  I have been making great use of Sylvia Duckworth's YouTube channel with these guys.  They can all count to twenty thanks to this video I scooped up from the channel.  My 1/2s squeal with delight when I play this song and dance along with the worms.  Most of them know all their days of the week because of this song, which I use before we do our calendar each day. I like this song because it is slow enough that they are getting the pronunciation correct!  And just for fun, we've been learning L'Abre est dans ses feuilles, which is a favourite from my childhood.  So much fun is happening in my class this year.

I think my biggest challenge for me with primary FSL was that there are no strict guidelines as to what has to be taught to them. (i.e. there is no curriculum in Ontario)  The focus in my board is on oral for these students but it took me a long time to let go of now having assessment pieces in my hands and letting go of much of the 'paper' work.  This is where technology has saved me!  Although I don't have iPads when I am teaching the primary students, I do have my personal computer and my iPhone which I have been using to take clips of the students interacting and filing them the same way I would with 'paper' assignments.  It's been life saving for me and honestly the students love to see and/or hear themselves doing many of the activities!  The best part is I don't feel the pressure to try and remember everything I am hearing them do.  I can always fall back on the recordings for more accurate assessment after class.

In my junior/intermediate classes we are adapting to using iPads in FSL. We have installed the French keyboard and have started doing some great writing on our iPads.  I've spent much of the first month teaching procedures/rules for iPad usages and reviewing materials from last year.  This is the first time I have taught Core French for two consecutive years in one school.  I am pleasantly surprised at what they remember and how easy it is to trigger their memory when they don't.  This month we will start our guided reading and get things moving along at a much faster pace.  I am so excited to see how these iPads affect their learning of a second language.  

What have you been up to in your classroom over the last few weeks?

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