Monday, November 26, 2012

Class Dojo - points for speaking French

I have recently discovered one of THE most amazing motivators for students: Class Dojo! With a simple "PING!" students will do ANYTHING for a point on Class Dojo - and that includes, yes, speaking en Français! You assign a cute little furry avatar to each student, and as long as you have wireless and a data projector in your room, you can keep Class Dojo on all day. You can even assign points straight from your Iphone/Ipod - simply download the Class Dojo app! 

You can create specific "badges", such as "Spoke in French", or negative badges that take away points, such as "Spoke English". I also created a badge for "Mlle. spoke in English" - with that one, the entire class gets a point. They love getting that one! There are also generic badges that say "Hard Work" or "Teamwork", etc. 

Tally up points as a class, or individually. We usually pick a goal at the beginning of every week, for example, 500 points. If we gather up all the points, they can chose a "free time" activity to do at some point the following week (can be accounted for through QDPA). 

It honestly works like magic - the first day I introduced it, I just had it up on the data projector, and as students walked in and got to their seats I gave them the "Gets to work right away" point - you should have seen how fast the others followed! On top of it all, I could have heard a pin drop! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Another post by Madame Wiebe also talks about ways to get students to speak French - great read! 

If you know of any other games/techniques, please post bellow! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers

I have recently joined the fabulous network of TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers). You wouldn't believe how much time I've saved either buying or downloading FREE information, worksheets, presentations, and more for my class. Anything from full lesson plans on how to teach persuasive writing, to a "You are going on vacation" package for a student who is about to take off for 2 weeks. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!! You will need to create an account in order to buy or download the material - but for free lesson plans, I wouldn't hesitate!

Since I have created a lot of my own worksheets in French (we all know how many French resources there are out there), I've decided to put some of my worksheets up for sale as well. I have a couple of Math worksheets and French Grammar. Mainly they are for grades 5 and under, but as always, are easily adaptable. To view my "store" look on the right side of my blog, under my contact information. 

To browse the TPT general website, click here. Enjoy!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Global Read Aloud

I am thrilled to say I am back to blogging! As a new teacher, the first couple of weeks... OK, months, of school were quite busy! I had high hopes of blogging on a weekly basis, but clearly that was some serious wishful thinking! I have been loving my job more and more every day, and am so thankful to be at such a supportive school! Moreover, my class, which is a grade 3/4 French Immersion class (meaning that the first half of the day I teach them in French and the other half in English), has been so incredibly hard-working, kind, and fun to be in every single day! It has been great watching them learn and grow already!

So, during the month of October, we participated in the 2012 Global Read Aloud. Along with 30 000 students from 6 continents we read the book "The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate. I read aloud to them every day, knowing we had to read a specific batch of pages every week. We then connected with another class in the United States over Edmodo, where students from both classes were able to talk to each other and discuss the book. We did a wide variety of activities in class based on the book, such as creating a Wordle and Vokis. Here are two separate links from two students' Vokis: 
Click here to see Voki

Click here to see Voki

I highly recommend participating in the Global Read Aloud next year! It was a phenomenal experience to see students get so involved in their learning! It was great for them to feel part of something so big and international. To learn more about the GLR click here. You can already sign up for next year! If you have any questions about it, please don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I found out this past week that I will be starting my teaching career in a Grade 3/4 French Immersion class, and I couldn't be more excited! One of the first things I thought of was: How am I going to organize everything? So I started pulling from all my resources and found some phenomenal blogs and websites on classroom organization and I had to share. Below are my two favourite websites so far with really great ideas, both of which I found on Pinterest! I hope you find it as useful as I do! And if you have any other great websites to share, please do!
"Getting Organized":

"Teaching Takes Heart":

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Curriculum Resources

During a learning cycle with a group of Core French teachers, I was pointed to this website. It has fabulous curriculum resources, especially for French! It includes videos on examples of effective practice in FSL instruction and much more! Browse around and see what you can find!

General website: Click here
French project "On est capable": Click here

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Math Needs a Makeover

For any teacher, tutor, parent, or other people that teach Math, I encourage you to watch this video that is not only funny but extremely truthful and helpful. Pass it on to any Math teachers you may know.

Pinterest in Education

"It’s startling the way that children communicate with their teachers in today’s schools... But does Pinterest have a role to play?  An infographic by takes a look at just that and comes up with a whole lot of ways that an educator can use Pinterest." (Click here for the link)

I have to say I have not discovered the world of Pinterest just yet but it is on the top of my "Summer To-Do" list... let me know what you think or what peoples' opinions are of this!

Friday, June 1, 2012

5 reasons to raise your children bilingual

Do you have young kids about to go into the school system? You may want to think about putting them in French Immersion - here's 5 reasons why.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekly Language Live Stream

For all you Twitter junkies and language enthusiasts, join your language colleagues every Thursday evening at 8pm EST to discuss the latest topics in the world of education. You can follow along and/or participate using the #langchat hashtag. If you'v missed it, not to worry! Check out their summaries at 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

French Texting!

I saw this and had to post it... it made me laugh! French abbreviations for text messages!!! Amazing... check it out:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Breakfast For Learning

I came across an interesting article this weekend, which talked about the first large-scale study of school breakfast programs done in Canada. 
Click here for the article
The study, done within the Toronto District School Board, mentions staggering statistics such as the fact that 51 per cent of elementary students and 68 per cent of high school students came to school without eating breakfast! Thankfully, the study shows that students who ate breakfast through the school breakfast program showed in increase in general health, behaviour and academics. 

Nevertheless, as the article states: "Canada is one of few developed nations that does not have a national child breakfast program." I saw the breakfast program be an outstanding success at my previous school as well, and if your school doesn't already have it, I would highly encourage everyone to do what they can to encourage their schools to participate in a breakfast program. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Teacher Website!

As a new teacher myself I was thrilled to come across this website: "Survive & Thrive - Virtual Conference for Beginning Teachers". That's like music to my ears! What a great resource for lesson plans, stress management, teaching strategies, and more!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

French Resources For Parents

I found this great website today which is "a FSL resource for parents and students in Ontario". Great link to pass on to your students and parents! Does anyone have any other websites they give out to students and parents? 

Friday, April 20, 2012

French Lesson

I stumbled upon this website today which shows a couple of short lessons, followed by the opportunity to practice what they've shown you. Give it a try! I will add it to the "FSL" page and "Math" page as well. Bonne chance! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

First Nations in the news

It's been a while since I've blogged! School's been keeping me busy and I've been busy fixing up the pages and adding resources - it's overwhelming sometimes when you realize how much information is really out there.

I wanted to share this article I found today, which talks about Aboriginal people and the education system ( It really bothers me that there is such a lack of awareness surrounding this issue. There are Aboriginal people living in our country in extreme poverty, worse than I've seen while living in the slums of El Salvador, but yet no one seems to know, care, or do something about it. This is a very complex situation. It isn't a matter of sending money, or houses, or telling the aboriginal people to “just move”. 

In this article The First Nations Chiefs say that it is difficult to improve education unless the government also deals with the poverty, shortage of housing, under-funding of child welfare services, etc. In the meantime, however, how can we as educators, not only educate people on the atrocious living conditions of our fellow citizens, but also eradicate negative stereotypes that people may have in regards to aboriginal people? I will eventually create a new "page" on my blog dedicated to First Nations people and issues, and resources that can helps us, teachers, help and educate all of our students (including the aboriginal students) in our class. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Multiculturalism and The Arts

This past week we had to hand in an assignment for our Arts class. I really enjoyed doing this assignment in which we had to choose a theme, and with it, create 10 different Arts lessons touching on each and every strand in the Arts curriculum. I chose to go with the theme of multiculturalism - in my assignment, I take my students on a trip around the world, visiting 6 countries and exposing them to a world of culture, adventure, music, and tradition. Click here to see the assignment. You can also view more details on it in "The Arts" page. Do you have any comments/ideas on other multicultural themes or ideas for the classroom?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I discovered the SMART board a couple of years ago when I was working in a language lab at Laurier. I was absolutely flabbergasted by its features, abilities, and ease-of-use. Little did I know I'd be using it a couple of years later in the classroom!

At the beginning of the year I used the SMART board on a regular basic in the Core French room that I was doing my first practicum in. The kids LOVED it! My math professor at Laurier also used it frequently, and along with his very neat and entertaining lessons came the following piece of advise: "Do not edutain - if you can do the lesson on a regular black/white board, do not spend 5 extra hours designing a SMART activity just to "wow" the students, because it WILL wear off". I really appreciate his advice, because it's true - if you use things in moderation, especially something as "cool" as the SMART board, the novelty and excitement won't wear off. I noticed that if I used the SMART board once a week or even once every 2 weeks, the students became much more excited to use it than when it was brought out every day.

Enough said - remembering how much fun we had with the SMART board gave me the idea to add a "SMART" page. Feel free to look there for various SMART activities (for French) or various websites where you can find pre-made SMART activities. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Classroom Layouts

What I like about Laurier's program is that we, the student teachers, stay at the same school all year. I have found this a great way to really get to know the school culture, and watch the school and students progress throughout the year.

Right now I have 10 weeks to observe in various classroom, and after March Break I will doing my final, 6-week practicum. What I have been looking for are the various ways that teachers organize their classroom. I have been taking pictures of neat ideas I have found, in hopes to incorporate them in my own classroom one day. I will continue updating this list as I move along. Below are some examples:

This is an example of how to display various math problem-solving strategies. If you are interested in these posters, I posted a file with all of them under the math section in the "Subject Resources" page. (Gr. 3 class)

This teacher used the space on her blackboard very efficiently (it is located at the front of the room - for a picture of the full board, see image below). I like how she has her student's birthdays, the calendar, the weather, positive messages, classroom helpers, and a daily graph of the temperature all in one place, without making it look cluttered. I liked her idea of having students get into a daily routine of measuring the temperature outside, right from the first day of school. (Gr. 3 class)

Image of full board at the front of the room. To the left she has a display of sentences the students have created with their word wall words. In the center she always has the tasks written out and bell work available for when students come in. (Gr. 3 class)

This is a Gr. 1 French Immersion class. What I found really neat was that part of the daily morning routine was not just doing the calendar, but also counting how many days the students had been at school. The interesting part about this, is that the teacher had the students keep track of it with a tally chart (see below) and also using "ten's'" and "ones" sticks (see the red folder hanging beside the calendar?) What a great way to incorporate Math in a daily routine! (Gr. 1 FI)

This was the classroom I was in for my 6-week practicum. What I really liked about how the teacher organized this, is that he had the seasons and the months of the year close to where the students put up the date. He would also collect little items that students would bring in to represent the certain season (you can see the cut out leaves and real leaves to represent the fall). I had added in the schedule, which the students really enjoyed! Also notice the folder with "Je n'étais pas içi." - a student was appointed to collect forms and handouts for students that were missing that day. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My first post!

Ladies and gentleman, I have joined the world of blogging!
It was my New Year's resolution to start a blog, and here I am :)

I am just starting my second term of my Bachelor of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, and have been collecting so many great resources and coming across so many phenomenal blogs that I thought "I need to start blogging so I can share my resources, connect with other people online, and learn and explore what this extremely exciting online world has to offer".

I will be working on the site as I go, but I still hope you will find it useful! If at any time you have any suggestions or would like to see more or less of something, feel free to share your opinion. I hope to learn as much from you as you will (hopefully) learn from me! Happy blogging!