Today in class we tried something new using some of the sounds we’ve studied so far this year! Students worked in pairs to try to find as many French words as possible using the following 9 letters. (They cut them out first so they could move them around)
How many words can you find?
On a first pass, my student teacher and I found 27 but we quickly realized we had forgotten so many! Some students even found their names and the longest word found had 6 letters! It was a very loud but exciting activity and this activity gave students the opportunity to manipulate the letters and sounds themselves.
Let me know in the comments how many words you can find!
As promised (to my current parent group)…
Here are the list of current words in students’ sight word wallets. I’ve included in these lists letters that we’ve studied so far as part of our Jolly Phonics program. Students can practice naming both the letter in French as well as the sound it makes.
Over the past few years, I’d heard other teachers mention MindUp in passing and I was always curious about it but I never investigated the program in any detail. When a flyer came into my inbox from the Surrey School District advertising an after school session to learn about the program I was eager to register and attend.
During the session I felt excited knowing that this was something that I felt would benefit my students greatly. So what is MindUp?
MindUp is a series of 15 lessons related to the teaching of social and emotional awareness and psychological well-being. Students first learn about a few key parts of the brain and how they interact to cause states of flight, fright or freeze responses (from our amygdala) A.K.A. “glitter storms” in our brains that make it hard for us to think clearly. In teaching students the core practice of deep “square” breathing, students are empowered with a way to regulate and re-focus themselves when faced with stressful and difficult situations.
As a class we have been practicing the core practice once a day after lunch. We will begin practicing our breathing twice a day after recess and lunch.
I am excited to continue on to the next unit of MindUp which focuses on helping students become more mindful through exploring the senses.
Stay tuned for more updates as we progress through the program!
For more information about the MindUp program you can visit http://mindup.org.
– Jamie Robinson
Here are a few more math games to add to your home repetoire!
One is a variation of “couvre les doubles” called “Couvre les doubles plus 1“. This game is just like the previous game except this time you cover or ‘bingo dab’ the number after you roll the die, double the number and add one more. For example, if you roll a 3, you would double the number (6) and then add one more to get 7. Try to fill the board or be the first to get 4 in a row (if you are playing with a partner).
For the next game all you need is a 100 grid, a token and a die. You can play by yourself or race against an opponent to be the first one to reach 100. You simply roll the die on your turn and move your token the corresponding number of spaces on the board. Add an element of complexity by keeping track of how many rolls it takes you to reach 100.
Over the past few days, students have been introduced to two new math games. Students have responded very positively to both these games! In class, I am hoping to build a repertoire of math games to have on hand for students to use when they have extra time after finishing a given activity. I’ll provide the PDF version of both these games. Feel free to print them out and use them at home too!
The first game is called “L’astronaute”. This game is played between two people. You need the game board, a 6-sided die, and a token (this can be a coloured counter, a coin, or any small object). The object of this game is to be the first person to reach your destination (either the sun or the moon). Decide which player is going to be the moon and the sun. Place the counter on the rocket ship. After deciding which player is going first, he/she rolls the die and moved the counter the number of spots as indicated on the die towards their destination. Next, the other player rolls and moved the counter back toward their destination the number of spots indicated on the die. The token is moved back and forth in this manner until it finally reaches a destination.
This game is especially good for helping students master the art of subitizing (at least to six) as well as one-to-one correspondence. It also allows students to practice important social interactions with peers including deciding who goes first, taking turns, and loosing gracefully!
Here is the PDF of “L’astronaute”: Game Board (This one looks slightly different than the one I have in class).
The second game allows students to practice their doubles to 12 (1+1=2, 2+2=4, 3+3=6 etc.). There are a few variations of this game and so far in class students have played this game individually but it would also work as a partner game as well. Students roll a 6-sided die and then using a bingo dabber, stamp the sum of whatever number they rolled but doubled. Students play until their board is full. A neat variation on this game is to play with a partner and take turns rolling the die to stamp the corresponding double. Each player is trying to get 4 stamps in a row (like connect four). Either version can be played with tokens or coins as opposed to bingo dabbers.
Here is the game board for “Couvre les doubles“.
More games to come!
This week in conjunction with our study of the sound ‘m’ we are studying apples! Here is the little reader that we learned today. Students practiced reading with me, then they coloured their own copy. While students worked I circulated around the room listening to everyone read the book.
Reasons I love using this book:
- It has lots of repetition and uses very simple sentence structures
- Everyone can feel successful reading this book
- It practices the sight word ‘voici’ and other colour words
- It’s easy!
This year, in particular, I’ve heard quite a few students make statements about how they can’t read. Yes, this book is easy but it allows each student to feel like “yes, I can read”. Before colouring, I asked students to read the book by themselves first. I just happened to be near a table where a student was reading aloud to himself. I could hear a sense of pride in his voice, almost like he couldn’t believe he was reading. I could tell he was excited to be able to read this little booklet on his own!
Here’s the version I coloured. Feel free to ask your child to read it to you. I will send home this reader with next week’s home reading envelope.
I knew immediately last year when my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher sent home a “Sight Word Wallet” with her home reading envelope that it was something I wanted to incorporate into my own teaching practice. Every year I’ve done a Home Reading program and this year I am excited to be adding a sight word component to the program. I am convinced that learning sight words are an important part of learning how to read.
I am linking closely our new Sight Word Wallets with our weekly phonics program based on the very popular Jolly Phonics program (the French version though). So far we have worked on the sounds ‘s’, ‘a’, ‘t’ and this week is ‘m’. I have included these sounds as well as the small words ‘sa’, ‘ma’, and ‘ta’ along with some key sight words (voici and c’est).
My hope is that parents will not only read nightly in French with their child, but also review nightly these Sight Word wallet words and letter sounds. I will not label each side but words/sounds that the student can confidently read can be kept on the left side of the envelope and words/sounds that the student is still learning can be kept on the right side of the envelope.
I will add words every few weeks to the students’ wallets.