Monday, November 24, 2014

DAC Intermediate French Weeks 5-10

Bonjour à tous!

We just finished the 10th week of the TALK year! Where has the time gone? It has been quite a few weeks since I last updated. To summarize, here is a list of terms that we covered during Weeks 5-10:

Week 5: Dans la salle de classe (in the classroom):

Un crayon - a pencil
Un stylo - a pen
Un feutre - a marker
Une gomme - an eraser
Une règle - a ruler (Alee's words: "rulers are feminine because girls rule")
Un livre - a book
Un cahier - a notebook or workbook
Des ciseaux - scissors
Une feuille de papier - a sheet of paper (remember that "feuille" means leaf)
Une calculatrice - a calculator
Un sac à dos - a backpack
La salle de classe - the classroom
La porte - the door
La fenêtre - the window
La chaise - the chair
Le tableau - the board
Un(e) élève - a student
Un professeur - a teacher

Week 6: La famille (family):

Ma famille - my family
Ma mère/maman - my mother/mom
Mon père/papa - my father/dad
Mon frère - my brother
Ma soeur - my sister
Ma soeur jumelle - my twin sister
Mon cousin - my (boy) cousin
Ma cousine - my (girl) cousin
Ma grand-mère - my grandmother
Mon grand-père - my grandfather
Mon oncle - my uncle
Ma tante - my aunt
Le fils - the son
La fille - the daughter (also means girl)
Le petit-fils - the grandson
La petite-fille - the granddaughter
Le neveu - the nephew
La nièce - the niece

Week 7: L'Halloween (Halloween):

During Halloween week, we covered a whole bunch of Halloween terms and started introducing a few candy-making words. The majority of the Halloween terms I covered in class can be found in this video, which I showed about twice a day EVERY single day that week. By the end of the week, the kids (at least the ones who always showed up on time) could almost sing along! It was an interesting experience. The kids started complaining on the second day, but I stuck through, and by the end, they started treating it as a joke! Play it for your kids and watch the expression on their face!

Here are the lyrics and their translations. The colors words are the ones I made sure to cover in class.

Les sorcières sortent le soir; les fantômes aussi / Witches go out at night; ghosts too.
Le ciel est tout noir, et les nuages sont gris. / The sky is pitch black, and the clouds are gray.
Est-ce que tu as peur des méchants esprits? / Are you afraid of the mean spirits?
Ô Monsieur, oui oui oui oui oui! / Oh sir, yes yes yes yes yes!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

Pendant l'Halloween, tu peux être ce que tu veux. / During Halloween, you can be what you want to be.
Un tigre féroce, ou un serpent bleu. / A ferocious tiger or a blue snake.
Il se fait tard; rentres-tu à la maison? / It is getting late; are you going home?
Ô Madame, non non non non non! / Oh madame, no no no no no!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

La lune, elle est pleine; le hibou, il crie. / The moon, it is full; the owl, it screeches (or yells).
De toutes les branches pendent des chauves-souris. / From all the branches hang the bats.
Est-ce que tu as peur de cette nuit? / Are you afraid of this night?
Ô Madame, oui oui oui oui oui! / Oh madame, yes yes yes yes yes!

C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween, hé!
C'est l'Halloween, c'est l'Halloween!

During Halloween week, we also did two games of Halloween tag, in which a skeleton stands immobile in the center of the room, telling the rest of the class that "I am a skeleton" (je suis un squelette) or "we are skeletons" (nous sommes des squelettes) in French and then asking them to cross over if they are witches, ghosts, spirits, or pumpkins. While crossing the room, they have to act as if they were the object that they were representing.

Week 8: Les contraires (opposites):

Admittedly, Week 8 was not much of a success. On the bright side, after a couple of unintended "monkey in the middle" games, I think they now know June, July, and August (the months they've never previously been able to master) extra well! Here are the terms I tried to cover that week. The adjectives would be used without the portion in parentheses when describing a masculine term, while the portion inside the parentheses are added when describing a feminine term.

Grand(e)/petit(e) - big/small
Loin/près - far/near
Sur/sous - on/under
Chaud(e)/froid(e) - hot/cold
J'ai chaud/j'ai froid - I am hot/cold (literally "I have" but that's French...)
Fermé(e)/ouvert(e) - closed/open
Long(ue)/court(e) - long/short
Plus/moins - more/less
Vide/plein(e) - empty/full
Heureux (heureuse)/triste - happy/sad

Weeks 9-10: Les parties du corps (body parts):

La tête - head
Les cheveux - hair
Les oreilles - ears
Le nez - nose
La bouche - mouth
La langue - tongue (the same word in French as for language)
Les sourcils - eyebrows
Le front - forehead
La joue - cheek
L'oeil - eye (singular)
Les yeux - eyes (plural)
Le cou - nose
Les épaules - shoulders
Le bras - arms
Les doigts - fingers
Le ventre - belly
La jambe - leg
Les pieds - feet
Les orteils - toes
La queue - tail (because we've had a monkey theme in this class)
Les ailes - wings (because, as Chloe reminded us, turkeys have wings)

We did some pretty cool activities with body parts these couple of weeks. First, the kids drew and labeled body parts, cut them out, and taped them together to form interesting-looking creatures. Here are a couple of the end results of this activity.

This past week, we started the week off by celebrating Chloe's 9th birthday. Some of the words we learned pertaining to birthdays were joyeux anniversaire (happy birthday), un cadeau (a present), un gâteau (a cake). We also played a game of pin the body part on the turkey, which most of the kids seemed to enjoy. I used this opportunity to not only have them practice the body parts, but also to give directions. Words we covered to this purpose included à gauche (to the left), à droite (to the right), tout droit (straight ahead), plus haut (higher), and plus bas (lower).

Some other games that we did included go-fish with body parts and some other vocabulary words that the kids have had trouble with over the past couple of months. In playing this game, I also got them to ask rudimentary questions like est-ce que tu as (do you have). Some of the other common expressions that I am trying to encourage them use on a regular basis include je comprends/je ne comprends pas (I understand/do not understand) and je sais/je ne sais pas (I know/do not know).

We had another piece-together body part game, which made use of preexisting flashcards:

Over the past weeks, I began incorporating "mountain tag" (monter la montagne), a game that the kids enjoyed from Kristine's beginning class, into the curriculum, typically on Fridays. In this game, the kids line up on one side of the stage area and attempt to cross to the other side if they match whatever criteria I list. I stand in the middle and tag them as they cross the room. Whoever gets tagged joins the tagger. I started off with simpler phrases and gradually progressed to more complicated forms such as "montez la montagne si vous avez un crayon dans votre sac à dos" or "si vous avez une soeur qui joue au foot."

In December, we are only scheduled to meet for about a week and a half. I plan to use this time to incorporate the Christmas holidays into the lesson plan and to take a day to also celebrate Alee and Corrie's birthday. In the mean time, the best way that I have found to really internalize the French language is to listen to music. When we listen to songs, we gradually learn the lyrics, and even though we may have no idea what they mean in the beginning, when we do hear them in real life, we begin making connections. Sometimes these connections are all we need to start incorporating the phrases we hear into our own repertoire.

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday! A la semaine prochaine!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DAC Beginning French November Update

Hello Parents!

It's been a little while since I've posted, and in that time your kids have continued to blossom! We had a good time with Halloween and learning a number of vocabulary words & French Halloween traditions, as well as playing games.

In the most recent weeks we have worked a lot on animals of the farm, zoo and sea, the days of the week/months of the year/seasons. We've been having a lot of fun watching videos and working on pronunciation, all while playing games and making their French learning experience as fun as possible.

Here is a list of animals we worked on!

Les Animaux (Animals)

Les animaux de la ferme (farm animals): (pronunciation in videos provided)

le poulet/la poule (a chicken)
le coq (a rooster)                                                    This video is really good for learning the animals
les poussins (chicks)
la chèvre (a goat)
le cochon (a pig)
le dindon (a turkey)                                                This video was a hit with the kids! (Animal sounds)
le cheval (a horse)
le chat (a cat)
le chien (a dog)
le mouton (a sheep)
l'âne (a donkey)
le canard (a duck)
la souris (a mouse)
la vache (a cow)
la grange (a barn)

Les animaux du zoo (zoo animals):

l'ours (a bear)
le lapin (a rabbit)
le loup (a wolf)
le serpent (a snake)                                                This video has good pronunciation help
la tortue (a tortoise)
le singe (a monkey)
la girafe (a giraffe)
le panda (a panda)
l'éléphant (an elephant)
le tigre (a tiger)
le zèbre (a zebra)
le lion (a lion)
le panthère (a panther)
le chameau (a camel)
le coyote (a coyote)
le léopard (a leopard)

Les animaux de la mer (sea animals):

le dauphin (a dolphin)
le pingouin (a penguin)                           This video has good pronunciation help (& more words)                     
le requin (a shark)
la baleine (a whale)
la méduse (a jellyfish)
le crabe (a crab)

I gave the kids coloring pages and we did some counting and coloring activities to bring everything together. They really enjoyed the animal noises video and I promised I would send it to you parents so they could watch at home. I hope to continue to pull from the animals throughout the rest of the time we are together, as it is a fun subject and one they will remember as they grow up.

Here is what we worked on this short week. Some of these words had already been mentioned, they are now learning them formally. They wanted to know how to sing the Happy Birthday song, which we will be learning tomorrow, but I felt that in order to sing the song they should know how to say when their birthday is, or what the date is!

Les mois de l'année (The months of the year):
JANVIER                                            L'HIVER ( WINTER )
AVRIL                                                 LE PRINTEMPS ( SPRING )                HERE is a video 
JUILLET                                             L'ÉTÉ ( SUMMER )
OCTOBRE                                         L'AUTOMNE ( AUTUMN )

Les jours de la semaine (The days of the week):
MERCREDI                                           This video is just a simple song
SAMEDI                                             This video is how I learned the days of the week in my first
DIMANCHE                                                         French class! (More difficult, but catchy)


Aujourd'hui = today
Demain = tomorrow
Hier = yesterday
Prochain(e) = next 
Dernier(e) = last 
Préféré(e) = preferred / favorite

Aujourd'hui c'est jeudi le 13 (treize) novembre.
Demain c'est vendredi le 14 (quatorze) novembre.
Hier c'était mercredi le 12 (douze) novembre.

Le mois prochain est décembre.
Le mois dernier était octobre.

Mon jour préféré est vendredi.
Mon mois préféré est décembre.
Ma couleur préférée est bleu.

If you have any questions at any time, I am always available by email, or come in and see me before class. Things are continuing to go very well and I really look forward to coming in each morning to see what the day has to offer.

Merci à tous, et à bientôt!
Rachel Martin

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beginning Spanish-Birch Lane Elementary

¡Hola padres!

I wanted to share with you a glimpse of what we have been doing in Spanish class. Your kids are brilliant and have learned so much in these few weeks. Some of the things they have learned are: greetings, commands, numbers, colors and shapes, the alphabet, school supplies and this week they will learning about body parts. I will share with you the vocabulary words they have learn so you can practice with them at home, maybe ask them what the words mean. The more practice the better they will dominate the language, so please encourage them by practicing with them!

Hola, ¿como estas? buenos dias, buenas tardes, buenas noches, adios

Levantate, sientate, ¿puedo tomar agua? ¿puedo ir al baño? silencio por favor, escuchen, hagan un circulo

Spanish alphabet and new letters:
ch, ll, ñ and rr 

Colors and shapes:
azul, morado, rosa, verde, anaranjado, rojo, amarillo, negro, gris, plateado (silver), dorado (gold), café (brown) y blanco (white)
círculo, triángulo, rectángulo, cuadro, esfera, trapezoide, corazón y diamante

School supplies:
tijeras, pegamento, lápiz, libreta, lapicera, libro, marcadores, colores, sacapuntas y carpetas

uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez
Once, doce, trece, catorce, quince, dieciséis, diecisiete, dieciocho, diecinueve, veinte
Veintiuno, veintidós, veintitrés, veinticuatro, veinticinco, veintiséis, veintisiete, veintiocho, veintinueve, treinta.

Review week/This week
The seventh week was review week, we reviewed the topics we had learned since the beginning of the school year until now. This week as mentioned before we will be learning the body parts, here are the vocabulary words for the week:

cabeza, hombros, piernas, rodillas, pies, cuello, manos, brazos, ombligo, ojos, nariz, boca, orejas, cabello, dedos, uñas, estomago, codo, tobillo.

Well that's it for now, please don't forget to practice with your kids at home. Thank you for your time ¡hasta luego!

Maestra Elisa