I have decided we will start each class with a little Alice Ayel. (I want to know why I had never thought of this before!) We have started with the first episode of season one of Marie et Médor, and then we went on to her drawing activities.
Alice mentions the height of the Eiffel Tower in the first vide of the drawing series, and I asked my students which they thought was bigger, the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. That's when I came across THIS site
My page came up in French, but based on the URL, I imagine you can get results in various languages.
This IMMEDIATELY make brought the fabulous Ben Tinsley to mind, as he does A LOT with maps (though I've somehow managed to miss every single presentation on the topic).
If you end up using this resource, let me know how!
For those of you who know me, you know I am IN LOVE with Clip Chat. (If you don't know what it is, you can check out my presentation for the FREE Practical and Comprehensible conference starting this week. Or, if you're coming to CI Mitten this weekend, I'll have two Clip Chat (CC) presentations on Saturday!
We've also been playing "Hot and Cold": one student leaves the room and I hide one of my favorite Beanie Boos, Tang, somewhere in the classroom. When the student comes back in the room, we indicated how close to finding Tang they are by saying chaud for close and froid for far away. So, I did what I always do, and searched chaud et froid on YouTube. The first thing that came up was a Swan and Néo "hot and cold" challenge!
They have a wheel they spin to see if the person completing the challenge is going to get a "hot" or "cold" challenge. The first one to go, Néo, had a cold challenge: he had to lie in the snow for one minute.
We only did a few of the challenges today (I had student predict which they thought the wheel stop on), but I'll finish them next class. Afterwards, we'll rewatch but I'll ask before each turn if it's a chaud or froid. (This is one my favorite comprehension-type checks; I talk about it during my workshop on literacy in the elementary language classroom, but I'll write a post about it soon.)
Teachers of other languages, are there similar YouTubers/influencers in your L2? Let us know!
It's been a long, LONG time since I've connected with y'all via this medium. I don't know anyone who had a stellar year last year. There were some pretty specific things that made my year one of the worst, and a very concrete way for me to measure that.
My program has been going through some changes over the past couple of years, and I can't say I'm happy with them. Last year the specials' teachers did not have enough time in the schedule to see each class from each grade (we had three classrooms for each grade except for first). So, the solution was to create two groups, A and B. Each class was split in half, and one half would join one half of the other two classes. For example, we had three third grade classes: 3J, 3K, 3M. Half of each was put together to form Group A, and the other halves made Group B. So while classroom teachers had between 15 and 18 students, we had upwards of 22. 23 sixth graders in one class, 23 fifth graders, 22 kindergarteners. Suffice it to say, it was a nightmare.
We did manage to do some fun and productive things in the 2021-2022 school year, despite the challenges!
I tried to plug through, but it was exhausting. How did I know I had lost my motivation? By the amount of English I was speaking. The less energy I had and energy I wanted to expend meant that I slipped out of what I consider good teaching. I know my students learned something, but it was NOT my best year.
IF you've known me for any amount of time, or have read my blog, you know that I have struggled with depression for a very long time. And when I come out of a particularly difficult time, I always have the same realization: I didn't know how bad it was until it wasn't bad anymore. And that's exactly how I felt during the first few days of school this year.
So I'm putting last year behind me. I did what I could with what I had, and while I'm sad it had to be that way, I'm not dwelling on it, nor am I beating myself up. It is what is is, and I'm just gonna keep on movin' on.
Come back soon to see posts about my first couple weeks of this BRAND NEW YEAR!
Well, we made it! 2020 is behind us. What a long haul!! But 2021 is going to be incredible! And here are a couple of great ways you can start your teaching year. Free conference? Yes please! Internationally recognized speakers? Um, yeah! Hours of amazing sessions with rock star presenters? YESSSS!!! PD in your PJs? Absolutely! Here's what's out there for you.
Practical and Comprehensible
This is a FREE conference from 8-11 January 2021. Seven videos will be released on each day and will be viewable for 24 hours. BUT you can still access the videos after the weekend with a pass.
I have a BRAND NEW session for this conference that I am psyched about: "2 Weeks in a FLES Classroom." I walk through what two weeks look like in my kindergarten classes, and older grades. It has some concrete steps, simple ideas, and important things to consider when structuring your classes. Oh, and there are some super fun Brain Breaks!
There are a couple of ways you can access the videos for "Practical and Comprehensible." The first is to register to watch the videos for the 24 hours they are up on the site; that is completely and totally free. BUT you can also purchase the All Access Pass* for only $27, and THAT which grants you lifetime access to the videos!!
This is my second year presenting for Comprehended! (formerly "Comprehensible Online"). The format this year is a little different, and I think it's going to be great! The conference begins on 13 February 2021, and you can purchase a three, six, or nine month pass, with the option to purchase extensions! How cool is that?!
I have three sessions: a pre-recorded video on reading strategies for younger students with the extraordinary Kristen Wolf (La Loba Lista) We make a killer team! My other sessions are two of my "regulars" and will be live with Q&A. So come join me to talk Clip Chat (sometimes known as Movie Talk) and elementary curriculum design. I have received A LOT of positive feedback about both of these presentations and I'm happy to be able to do them again.
This is a conference chock full of sessions on strategies, research, demos, grading and assessment, curriculum, and more, you can check out the program here. But prices rise in two weeks, so go sign up now!
*This is an affiliate link. I will earn a commission at no cost to you if you choose to make a purchase.
I only recommend what I love/believe in. See my affiliate disclosure for details.
I have been a SmartBoard-o-phile for years. YEARS. I was the first person in my school to procure one, and it changed my life. I loved all of the interactive possibilities: the screen shade, the "lock and move" feature, the "click and appear" animation. I cannot begin to tell you how many Notebook files I have. Notebook is the amazing software for the SmartBoard, though I know teachers without SmartBoards who have used it.
OK, for iOS, you have two options. The easiest way is to simply export the NB file in PDF format. You lose the interactivity, but if that doesn't matter to you, then this is a fine solution. The other, which I mention in my video, involves a website called Smart Notebook Viewer and Reader. But, to be honest, I have no idea why anyone would bother with this; it basically gives you the same thing as a PDF file, except you're viewing it in a browser window. (The first thing I discovered for Mac users would have brought the pages of a NB file into GS as images, but if you watch the video, you'll see that it just doesn't work.)
So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, settle down on the couch with something brainless on TV (don't tell anyone, but my guilty pleasure is RBOBH!), and set up your PC to do some file converting!
Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
Allison Litten, the 2019 VFLA TOY, teaches French at the Marion Cross School, a public PreK-6 school in Norwich, Vermont. This is her twenty-third year teaching, and twentieth at Marion Cross.