I have uploaded a bunch of resources to my TPT page to accompany both the French and English version of this story. (I'll add more English resources if there's an interest, so let me know if that's something you'd like! Enjoy!!
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS CONFERENCE
The intimate setting allows participants to interact with each other and the presenters in casual settings. And boy, do we have some powerhouses! The fact that I am able to put my name along side Justin Slocum Bailey, Joey Dziedzic, Tina Hargaden, Linda Li, well, gosh all hemlock!
We will also have some evening activities planned! And it's in my neck of the woods (the Upper CT River Valley, or the Upper Valley), so come and hang out chez moi!
Soo...here are the details!
Registration: options for lunch and no lunch
Lodging: Comfort Inn in WRJ, discount available; you must call (you CANNOT make the reservation online) before 1 July and reference code Express Fluency Conference)
Manchester NH airport: 1 hr 20 min
Boston Logan: 2+ hours
Burlington VT: 1.5 hrs
The Dartmouth Coach is an easy way to get from Logan to the UV. Drop-offs in Lebanon, NH and at the Hanover Inn in Hanover, NH. (It has snacks and a movie!)
There is free public transportation in the Upper Valley with Advance Transit. There is a line that goes to the Comfort Inn from the Hanover Inn. It is also possible to get from the Comfort Inn to the HACTC, where the conference is, but does require a line change. There is also an Enterprise Car Rental in WRJ, close to the Comfort Inn.
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS AND SITES (all sites are in Vermont, unless otherwise noted)
Montshire Museum of Science (Norwich)
King Arthur Flour (Norwich)
VINS-Vermont Institute of Natural Science (Quechee)
Hood Museum of Art (Hanover, NH)
Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Quechee Antique Mall (Quechee)
Simon Pearce glassblowing (Quechee)
Quechee Gorge (Quechee)
Main St. Museum (WRJ)
Billing's Farm (Woodstock)
Dan and Whit's(Norwich)
Upper Valley Aquatic Center (WRJ)
Saint Gauden's Memorial (Cornish, NH)
Here is a list of additional activities!
Dartmouth Outing Club website
Appalachian Trail (NH/VT)
Mt. Tom (Woodstock)
Boston Lot Lake (Lebanon, NH)
Hurricane Hill (WRJ)
Hazen Trail (WRJ)
Ballard Trail (Norwich)
Milt Frye Nature Area (Norwich)
Here are some of my favorites!
Tuckerbox (WRJ): coffee shop and Turkish food
Trail Break Taps and Tacos (WRJ)
Phnom Pehn (WRJ): Vietnamese
Yama (Lebanon, NH; the Hanover location is no longer open): sushi and Japanese
Carpenter and Main (Norwich)
Molly's (Hanover, NH): very family friendly
Tuk Tuk (Hanover, NH): Thai
Market Table (Hanover, NH)
Ramunto's Brick and Brew (Hanover, NH)
Salt Hill Pub (Hanover, Lebanon, and W. Lebanon, NH): three locations in the UV
Elixir (WRJ): my favorite bar!
A few years ago, I wrote a one-page story for my fifth graders. (At this point in time, students started French in fourth grade, so my fifth graders were still relatively basic with their language capabilities.) It's pretty ridiculous and the kids start to roll their eyes about half-way through the story, but they enjoy it and I believe it has some pretty useful elements. (I have since created two more Christophe stories but have not done anything with them in my classes. I literally wrote them yesterday!) I also intent to upload some of my accompanying materials to TPT, so when that happens, I'll let you know. (And I have A TON!) One of my favorite follow-up activities is really simple, and could be adapted for multiple situations. Because I've been teaching this story for so long, I basically have it committed to memory. I project the story on my screen and stand facing my students. I then attempt to recite the story from memory. When I finish each sentence, my students indicate whether or not I have said the sentence correctly. One point for Madame for back-door input! (Sometimes I legitimately screw up, especially with the times and kinds of balls, and sometimes I'll do it on purpose. My kids LOVE it when I make mistakes, and it's one of my favorite/easiest comprehension checks.)
I originally wrote Christophe et la balle de golf in French, but there were a number of requests in the elementary CI Facebook group for an English translation. So, that cohort is currently benefiting from my sleep issues!
Here are some of the main reasons why I like this story and think it's successful.
1-It's repetitive. Five of the seven paragraphs have the exact same formula, and the other two are similar in their set-up. This allows for the students to become familiar with certain structures, and my brainwashing woks, I mean, they internalize the phrases. I have loaded the story with some important and useful phrases, so the students are repeatedly exposed to things they might actually say!
2-I sneak days of the week and times in there! If you noticed in the note above, there are seven paragraphs! I know, I'm crafty! (I wrote an even simpler one with different times when I decided to use the story earlier in the year.) I get a silly amount of joy when I feel like I am doing something cunning.
3-It's absurd. I kind of modeled Christophe after one of my favorite "literary" characters from my childhood: Amelia Bedelia. All of that being said, I am seriously considering writing a series of Christophe stories to publish. I'm not in love with the options for younger elementary students out there in French. I wanted something simple, short, and accessible. So, when you don't find what you're looking for, sometimes you have to make it yourself.
4-It's accessible. I know that not everyone one lives in an area where golf is a "thing," or even exists. But maybe the format will be helpful to you and you can adjust it to fit your needs and the needs of your students.
So, PLEASE talk to me! Would you be interested in this? I would originally publish them in French, but would happily do an English version. I feel like I might be able to fill a gap that exists; I am be excited to create materials that will be useful to folks, but I want to be sure I'm meeting y'all's needs. Let me know in the comments, or email me.
Allison Litten, the 2019 VFLA TOY, teaches French at the Marion Cross School, a public K-6 school in Norwich, Vermont. This is her twentieth year teaching, and seventeenth at Marion Cross.