Friday, March 22, 2013

Poetry Cafe in French

Looking for a fun and interesting way to get your students to speak and present in French? Put on a "Poetry Café"! We learned about and practiced a variety of poems (email me if you'd like the Poetry Booklet with all the poems ready to print  and practice) on a variety of topics throughout the month. Once the students decided they would like to present them to their parents, they chose their best poem from their Poetry Booklet and wrote a little paragraph on why that was their best one (good time to talk about critical thinking and not just writing because it's pretty... because it's my favourite... because I like it...). Now came the time to prepare our Café! The students came up with a whole list of ideas that they wanted to do, so here's some of them:

  • "Publish" the poems onto a big piece of chart paper and add illustrations
  • Use a microphone
  • Make donuts and coffee mugs out of cardboard and hang them from a ceiling (looked really good!)
  • Bring in checkered table clothes to put over the tables
  • Make a "menu" for the parents (AKA a list of who presents when)
  • Bring in Coffee and apples for parents (some parents brought home made brownies as well!)
  • Make a background/welcome sign for the presenters
  • Create their own invitations (incl. how/when to RSVP, advertising light refreshments, time/place, etc.)
  • Create invitations for the Principal and VP
  • Have a student be the MC, have 2 students welcome and seat parents
  • Students run the whole show... teacher relaxes! (most of the time!! hehe)
It was an outstanding show and performance by all of the students! Best of all, it was all done within an hour so parents could easily go back to work in case they came during their lunch break. 
The students loved hosting their parents and were excited about speaking French! 

Monday, March 11, 2013


I'm curious to know if other teachers use "online classrooms" such as Edmodo, and if so, what are they and how do you use them? I have used Edmodo since the very beginning of the school year and have found it to be an absolutely amazing tool for various reasons: 

  • Builds a kind and caring classroom community where students can talk to each other, share information, compliment each other, and find common interests (every student and parent signs an agreement at the beginning of the year explaining what it IS and ISN'T supposed to be used for and consequences for when rules are broken)
  • Saves paper! Homework can be posted on Edmodo, whether it's a link to a game or article, or an assignment they can do on the computer and then upload again back onto Edmodo
  • Communicate with parents - parents can create an account as well, where they can monitor what their child does/says online 
  • Networking opportunities!!! We participated in the Global Read Aloud (I highly suggest it!) and connected with a classroom in another country to discuss the book we were both reading, and share thoughts, opinions, and activities
Please share if you have any other thoughts or ideas on online classrooms.