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Thursday, 5 December 2019

Some thoughts after ACTFL and II Jornadas de ELEINTERNACIONAL- Let's talk professional development

Long-time no see I know, I am sorry this is taking so long.
Instagram posts are just so snappy and easy that this blog is not getting as much feed. If you want to stay updated more often make sure you either check into my Pinterest blog page
 Blog Laclassedemademoisele or my Instagram @laclassedemademoisele where you will see more posts and ideas that may not appear here.

Now, my November was full of professional development. It so happens that both took place in the same time frame. First, if you have not yet understood, I am hooked on the professional development offered by ELEInternacional for ELE teachers. The Jornadas offered 5 days of online conferences by some of their best teacher-mentors. I did the free versions and because of the overlap with the ACTFL 19 conference, I  only managed 4 days out of the 5. The offering was varied as per usual and some of my favorites bloggers also offered insights on how to modify classic games such as Bingo for example. Ana Gomez is amazing in the way she approaches her teaching a=with emotional learning as well and in the designing creative activity course she gives you a few examples as well. I also discovered Jardin de idiomas, where, Ana Marín Tabuenca explained how to use the software pages to create new activities. Enara Villán offered a thorough insight into how to use music in the classroom in 20 creative ways. This got me thinking and I was able to create my own bingo sheets and Clue game for my French classes.
Remember my focus this year is to develop my new French 6th-grade curriculum. 
I did all that while on the train to Washington and headed to ACTFL 2019.  I will be honest and will say that I Have a hard time totally adhering to ACFL's approach. It is possibly because I was trained in Europe in two various systems, the English GCSE/ A LEVEL  and the CEFR European model which was the one we looked at during my FLE Masters. So my teaching approach is a mix of what works best for the kids. My goal this year was to come to ACTFL ready to learn more about Comprehensible input, group work and authentic material use in the classroom. I enjoyed listening to how some teachers 'do it' I still have a hard time seeing myself completely buying into that. Why you ask?
because of the pace. I do do a lot of repetition, there is no problem with that but the fact that what I saw looked very teacher-focused and not so much student-centered is making me skeptical. So I have started implementing more ways to use only TL, but I am not ready to move to TPRS yet and I want to continue seeing my kids having fun and speaking a lot in the class and understanding the grammar, yes, the grammar as I don't think you can have solid students without explaining grammar as you go along. I am in awe of the teachers who are successful such as La maestra loca and I will be using many of her ideas and I also was very interested in Martina Bex's talk on Planning for proficiency who took time during her presentation to show us how it is done.
I added links to all these great teacher's pages so check them out if you don't know them yet!

Below I am adding some pictures of what I have created pre- and post conferences a little catch up :)

Saturday, 19 October 2019

October post on latest creations.- Qu'est-ce qu'il y a dans ton sac à dos?

Good afternoon,
This year has been very full already. My schedule is packed and with more classes at different levels I have more level meetings. I do love this system, we have an incredible knowledge of our kids. The only downside is that I have not been able to post as much, let alone creating.
Finally, this week I have been able to create new resources.
This year, posts will be mainly oriented on French 6th grade since that is my new course, and I am creating a new curriculum for it.

My first unit so far has included greetings, introductions, and a short unit on objects of the classroom to start grasping the concept of singular, plural, masculine, and feminine.
I am learning so much, and I am so grateful my two classes are made of an incredible bunch of kids.
My smartboard has also had a lot of issues, and they have displayed a fantastic level of patience.

So this week and the fact that we started doing more concrete vocabulary, I was able to create a few new resources.

The first one was actually pretty quick to create and is a backpack with 4 items. Students are paired up and must ask the question, 'do you have a ...?' to find out if their friends have various items pictured on their list.
The only vocabulary they have is the question.

To cater to students with various levels of handwriting and processing speed. I created an interactive vocabulary sheet where students have to cut and paste the vocabulary to the picture but also write the correct definite article.

 After many years, teaching at the next level, I realize that my students in the 6th grade will need about 3 lessons to process the new vocabulary in various ways to 'anchor' it. So I created a tic tac toe game which will allow students to review the vocabulary but also to add the numbers 1-60  in the process. And since I was already in the template I decided to create one for my 7th grade Spanish class about breakfast foods.

This last picture only shows a little bit of the fortune-tellers my students created to practice salutations and instructions. I hope to use this creative review game in future units at the end of the chapter since they can ask each other questions about anything. 

Monday, 1 July 2019

This week I've been working on summer palettes and resources!

Hello, I truly hope everyone is having a great summer! Just back from a hike with the pup so he is now happily sleeping under the desk. 
So as I create my French 5 materials this is what I have created this week, still using the powerpoint skills I learned with the ELEinternacional course.

Here is a rundown of the material and some links to the TPT Store references. This week the product of the week is not French but Spanish and it is a cracking discount on my Ropa bundle!! I spoke about some of these resources in this post ( Freepik worksheets), and this post (tic tac toe) 

Cherche et répond: this task to us adults looks fairly easy : 12 words, letters jumbled up in a circle, kids can figure out what the words are, add a question like how many, which and it goes to another level. Great for review of several topics at once, here you have seasons, numbers, colors, and months. (This is a French adaptation of a game seen on the ELE Internacional blog.) 

I also created two conversations for my 5th and 6th grade classes in French. I will make enough sets for two to share and cut them up and laminate so they can put the conversation back in order. Again I used what I learned in the course and created tables to make those. 

Finally and if you saw my stories on IG, I was asking colleagues if I should make dominoes or a memory match-up game. It turns out if you make dominoes and cut them in half you can make a match up game!
here they are the- j'ai qui a- on months and the dominos on time which I think have come out great in terms of color palette (flamingo for the time, grapefruit for the months)!
Again using tables, Flaticon and two typographies no more!!
 Here is a link to the pack of two!

Can you believe I am one resource short of 120 resources on TPT! I know most of us are on vacation at this point and not necessarily thinking of what is to come. I have 4 lessons left to work on for the French 5 course and I will also be studying a movie for them to work with Ratatouille or A monster in Paris.
Keep checking the blog for new entries, they may come far a few but maybe packed with new ideas for you to try and create your own materials with PPT or Canva!

If you have any questions get in touch through Pinterest or Instargram or here!!

Monday, 17 June 2019

New course, new game!!

I have just finished the new course that ELEInternacional offers on designing materials with Powerpoint and so with this comes new resources and some new ideas.

This past two weeks, I have learned all about designing essentially what I was able to do with Canva without the need to be online.

The result of both courses put together, learning about typographies and color matching etc has paid off and with new courses to design for 5th and 6th grade in French, it has gotten me started on some new resources that I will surely use next year.

The first thing was designing a weekly planner. I am a big fan of planning and if you are a beginner teacher, I can not stress the impact of planning on having successful classes. So instead of drooling over other TPT teacher author planners, I designed my own and some stationery to go with it for the folders I use for each class.
I need to get my schedule to be able to fully finish the product but I like the cactus themes so I went with it and here is how it looks to start with. I used a watercolor background from Freepik for the cover and the rest I designed following the steps taught by Laura Caldas  (@eltarrodeidiomas)

 The next activity was to design a boardgame. Nothing new here. But I needed some new material for my 5th grade  French class so ...PERFECT! I found hippie icons in Flaticon to design this one and rest is just following the tutorial again.
I had to design a set of cards so I designed the cards that go with the game and it is now available on my Tpt store here
 Finally, the last task was to make little medals or token of good work for your class that you can use as rewards. I decided to base my token on a system so that my kids in the 6th grade can keep track of their progress. I selected 5 skills that are basic but essential for them to have secured by the end of the year and as they go through the course, they get the token.

So here is what I have been up to this first week of vacation. I am taking a break from planning ( maybe) as I am putting my tourist cap back on at the end of the week. Wishing all the followers a great summer break full of creativity and relaxing times!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Tomorrow we close another chapter...

Hello Everybody,

Tomorrow is our last day with the kids.  Another year ends and with it many changes to come.
So how was this year... Fun, for the most part, creating resources for my three classes, 5th grade Spanish, 7th grade French, 7th grade Spanish. I took kids to Québec with a set of new chaperones. I continued with community service and with the yearbook elective.
It has been a busy year and some things are about to change.

 Next year, it looks like I will be switching from Spanish 5 to French 5. I am going to adapt the Spanish program to French and have already started pinning like crazy on Pinterest ( follow me if you are not yet!)

 I am also changing from French 7 to French 6 and this is also very exciting, I have not yet taught 6th grade but I have taught 95 % of the kids who chose it! I have to say that will make things a little easier at the start of the year. They had 3 months of French and did a unit on town in the 5th grade, we will start right back to basics, but I might need some guidance so watch for those Instagram stories!

 We are also switching to a new platform, ditching Bien Dit/ Expresate for Descubre and D'accord. I would love to hear your thoughts on that. We are not per se using every page as you can see here we make most of our resources based on the vocabulary from the book and will use the platform to assign homework and have them do more listenings and review for assessments.

I am not sure how many of you will be looking at blogs over the summer, I guess I will since I'll be researching for next year.

The TPT store stays open. There will be a sale for four days this week to celebrate the vacation! There will be a lot more product coming up next year...

Thank you so much for all the support this year and I look forward to seeing you on all the various platforms,  and maybe some of you at ACFL too!
Have a great vacation everyone!

Sunday, 5 May 2019


...this post is all about being a reflective teacher... especially when things go wrong.
This week, I tried a new thing. I don't think it as best as it could have...It was my first attempt to a breakout activity. I have designed the four puzzles to do in 60 min; the ideas are good, the kids managed most of the tasks and understood what they had to do quickly. The gap between what I thought they would manage and what they did manage was the issue I think on one particular task. I have to mention that I allowed the student the use of the dictionary to support them. 

The first task was a paragraph to put back together, each paragraph has a different color and the code element for the breakout is the 6th paragraph color. 
Theoretically a pretty good puzzle, but here is the catch I wrote the text a while ago which what the kids would have covered in mind and yet, they still had difficulty figuring the order of the text because I think it was too long. Also when one of the kids tried to use purple on the padlock... it wasn't here! 
So here is the reflection I'm still thinking the long reading is certainly an exercise I want them to do but I will give them a little bit more guidance, including that the 6th paragraph is not purple and that they it would be most logical to start with the part in the present tense. 

The second task went very well with the kids who knew their vocabulary. It is a version of  la palabra oculta and they have a series of code cracking to do :
1. find the word for the picture all  these combined will reveal a word we studied in the unit
2. they have to find a certain letter from each word, these combine make the code breaking word and the 3 rd letter is the letter to use in the padlock.
I think this went well for two reasons. My kids are used to working with visual cues, this was broken into smaller peces so more manageable as a group too. 

The third task worked well too it was a crossword puzzled designed to be done on the computer ( www. and again the clues I used were things we had worked on , either vocabulary or conjugations from this chapter. The clues were in Spanish and the kids needed very little help on that one.  

The forth one was also something my students were used to. It was of course a very different version. they have had puzzles before this one is a nonagon ,9 sided shape, and the work they had to do was to match a verb and the tense with the conjugated form that corresponded. The only hard pieces on this one were the fue, which could be either ser or ir,  and the nosotros -ar and -ir verbs  which could be either present or preterit. To me it is important that the kids have something to think about when they are doing these puzzles. The pieces have various colors and the final clue is a certain piece's color. 

Out of the 6 groups I had working on the tasks as they were, one finished 10 mn before the 60 mn was up and had three trials and broke the code. another two groups came very close to finishing the tasks. 

Second time around with a different class, smaller in size so  students worked in pairs this time, much better, the kids were really into it and the code was found and the candy was had. Also it was clear that these students paid more attention to the puzzle as they noticed that two verbs were repeated, so they are now all different and I am going to take a break form puzzle making!!

Saturday, 6 April 2019

POP ! French boardgame on daily routine=

Two weeks ago my students tried this new game. I was, as usual, very exited to see how they would like it and they did like it, I only had a 15 mn so they did not get too far but groups of three worked well for this purpose. I have not played KABOOM with them so this OP game, a board game version of it made working with reflexive verbs a little more interesting. 
Here is the TPT link if you are interested.

Here is the game description.

Groups of 3-4 students
To play you will need:
A dice and 1-36 cards cut

Students roll the dice to move around the board and find out what card they receive.
There are three kinds of cards
1. Picture card -> students need to say the word / they go back if they do not get it right
2. Word card -> students roll the dice and conjugate the verb for the form they roll ( 1-je, tu-2 etc)
3. POP card- students who turn a POP card go back to square 1.

How to win? Students collect the cards they get right, the first student to get to the end of the board wins.
Two students cannot be on the same square, if someone is already on the square they should land on then, they move back one square.