Word of the week: Lendemain

Forgive me, here. I’m trying something new… I have long suggested that explicit vocabulary instruction is essential for students in learning how to read. In her book, Proust and the Squid, Wolfe discusses the importance of developing oral language in support of developing literacy, especially for second-language learners. She was speaking specifically about English Language Learners and I am applying her ideas to my context: French Immersion. My students, most of whom French is a second language, but some of whom are acquiring it as a third or fourth language, participate in a weekly PWIM exercise in which we use an image to shake loose as much vocabulary as possible and then use the vocabulary in context.

I recently had the opportunity to work with a teaching partner to team teach a PWIM lesson that lead into a beautiful math discussion, so I HIGHLY encourage the use of PWIM in support of learning. Mathematical discourse.

I have played with the idea of how to help the discussions from our PWIM work continue to live on so that students can access it later.

As a learner myself, I used CBC’s C’est la Vie podcast to learn French vocabulary. I liked that it provided a single word each week and provided multiple ways of using it. Information presented in English with word use in French. I’m going to try that context here and see what happens with not promises that I won’t adapt it at a later time…

So with that, the first of a (weekly) podcast series for my personal use with my students. If it’s useful to you in your context then I’m more than happy to share.

 

Show Notes:

Bonjour! Welcome to The Value of Wonder! The podcast where we look at new French vocabulary for the Primary French Immersion classroom!

Today we’ll be looking at the word “lendemain”. Lendemain is a word that is used to mean “the next day”, so imagine telling a story in the past… “En vacances, je suis allée faire du ski. Le lendemain, c’était plus relaxe! J’ai pris in café avec ma mère, puis nous avons magasiné au centre d’achats.”

It might also be used in the sense: the day after. For example, if I were talking about a ringette tournament I might say, “le lendemain du tournoi de ringette j’étais fatiguée!”

If I were thinking in bigger terms I might want to use “Pensons au lendemain”, which means, “Let’s think about the future.” In this case, I’m not talking about a day in particular but a general sense of “the days that come after this one”. “Pensons au lendemain” might be used if I were trying to make a big decision… “Je pense à acheter une voiture très dispendieux… un Lambourghini… Mais je dois penser au lendemain… si j’achète un Lamborghini je n’aurais pas les fond pour acheter du café.”

The phrase “les lendemains” might be used to mean consequences. “Les lendemains de ses actions aujourd’hui seront grave.” As in “Les lendemains d’acheter un Lambourghini aujourd’hui seront grave! J’ai besoin de mon café!

The most commonly used way students in primary school will use it is the first meaning, “the next day”. We read the book together, “un dragon sur l’eau” where a little girl goes swimming with her class. She didn’t want to go because the water was cold, but “le lendemain elle est allée à la piscine avec ses amis.”

If you can use “le lendemain” in a sentence to mean the next day, then you will already be a master of its basic meaning. Donc, à la prochaine, les amis! Je vais rendre visite à mon amie vendrendi et le lendemain, j’ai invité ma mère chez moi!

Au revoir et à la prochaine!

Resources: Thoughtco

The tired time of year…

December really is long, and dark, and cold, isn’t it? So, a personal recipe to push back on the tired…

1. Drink coffee. Bring one for a friend.

2. Immerse yourself in real things: crayons, knitting needles, books. Back away from digital things for awhile…

3. Engage in meaningful professional conversations with amazing educators.

4. Hug.

5. Put on something nicer than your mood feels. Your mood’ll catch up.

6. Run. 

7. Play a song you love really loudly and sing along unapologetically. Enthusiastically wave to anyone who catches you. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud and clear for all to hear.

8. Sound a barbaric yawp.

9. Find humour.

It’s the tired time of year, teacher friends, take time for yourself and the things that make the world a little brighter.

I’d love to know know where you put your focus that makes the world shiny when it feels tired.

The Wonder Wall (continued)

How do you keep a year’s worth of inquiry visible?

‪As we make our way through our year long inquiry, I have been struggling a little with how we can track a year’s worth of learning and keep it present and visible.

I wrote here about the wonder wall, which has evolved over the years. This year, the wonder wall evolved into a project where the entire bulletin board evolved into an augmented reality (AR) target that triggered a video about our reflection. I used the living bulletin board for two reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to spend the time creating an AR trigger related to each image
  2. I didn’t think each learner’s process video would be that different than the others

This resulted in a final AR bulletin board that triggers a video of a class discussion about our process. I have yet to have parent feedback but I’m not surprised parents haven’t really checked it out yet. I’ll leave it up through parent-teacher-student conferences and encourage them to try it then.

But… I have been stressing about taking the wonder wall down because it is physically an AR target. Once it’s gone the trigger is gone. The goal has been to track our learning through a year-long inquiry into connection but I have been stumped as to how to track a year’s worth of work and keep it all visible in a room that has no walls (seriously… one wall is smart board and white board, one wall is windows, one wall is a curtain between my classroom and my teaching partner… which leaves one wall) Enter a digital solution! The solution for now is to print the photo graph which we can keep on our blog and catalogue via tags, post beside the bulletin board as an evolving wall, and, at the end of the year (maybe, maybe, I’m not sure on this one yet) print an AR capable photo album that links back to our learning reflections.

*the featured image on this site functions as an Aurasma target (although, as a technical glitch I have not entirely solved yet, I think you need to follow our channel to view it. We are at: tcevans)

 

Developing Creativity: Give Them Agency

What if a classroom looked more like an artist’s studio?

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about student agency related to creativity in the classroom. Too often art supplies get shut away in a cupboard, or worse yet, rolled down to the storage room, only to be dragged out for art lessons.

This year, I’m trying something new to me: I moved art supplies out of the cupboard and onto the counter where they are accessible to kids as they need them. In our classroom set up we talked in depth about how to use materials responsibly and, in turn, they are given freedom to use them as they see fit. This means not only are they encouraged to create during art period, but they are also encouraged to use art to express understanding in other curricular areas.

Our classroom art cart includes:

  • A variety of paint brushes
  • Water colour paint
  • Tempra paint
  • Glue
  • Tape (masking tape, painter’s tape, clear tape)
  • Pencil crayons
  • Water colour pencils
  • Art pencils of variable softness
  • Mark makers (including bamboo skewers, straws, pipe cleaners, used-up ballpoint pens, q-tips)
  • Markers (Sharpies, Crayolas, Mr. Sketch)
  • Pastels
  • Pre-cut artist trading cards in a variety of paper textures (water colour paper, bristol board, construction paper)
  • Print making supplies (foam blocks, ink)
  • Texture plates and stencils
  • Our “maker space” includes a variety of materials (bits of paper, cardboard, yarn, etc.)
  • Table supplies include scissors, pencils, glue and erasers

I collected supplies over the years, holding on to bits and bobs forever (teachers are the worst hoarders, aren’t we?)

In preparation for art making, we spend time analyzing art work, being clear that it’s good to critique artist, style, and piece of work. In analyzing work, we have discussed line and colour theory and students picked out shade and tint as being something they wanted to work with.

Inevitably, almost, some students don’t use supplies properly, not out of malicious intent, but because of inexperience with the supplies (there is a technique to using a paint brush…) Students have been good about giving each other constructive feedback about art work how to use and care for supplies. I have been stunned by their willingness to make multiple drafts of work and take risks with technique and colour. We watched Austin’s butterfly, a video about using feedback in building excellence in student and the Class Dojo videos about Growth Mindset. Students have been thrilled to look at the results of their drafts.

We spent a lot of time setting up students to use their visual journals as their own. I often demonstrate something and ask that they try it but then they are free to make creative decisions about their own work.

All feedback is made in pencil or on sticky notes so that students are free to move or erase as needed. I have noticed that many students want a “perfect” draft without teacher marks on it and I respect that.

The sign for me that they take ownership is the number of them that ask to take their work home to work on it or share with parents.

If it matters that there is colour then it matters that there is artistic decision making.

 

 

Making Time for Creativity: One Second Each Day

How do we encourage creativity in the classroom?

 

Creativity in the classroom… why does it matter and how do we support students in developing creativity?

Creativity in Education-one second each day.band

Script: 1 sec every day

Links from the podcast

1 second every day

Campus Calgary Open Minds

Canada in a Day

Resources

Craig, C., Deretchin, L. (2011). Cultivating Curious and Creative Minds: The Role of Teachers and Teacher Educators, Part 2. R&L Education.

Cropley, A. (2001). Creativity in Education and Learning. Sterling, VA: Psychology Press

Egan, K. (1997). The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Halliday, A. (2017). Lynda Barry on How the Smartphone Is Endangering Three Ingredients of Creativity: Loneliness, Uncertainty & Boredom.

http://www.openculture.com/2017/09/lynda-barry-on-how-the-smartphone-is-endangering-three-ingredients-of-creativity.html

Robinson. K. Aronica, L. (2009) The element : how finding your passion changes everything. New York : Penguin Books.

Zomorodi, M. (2017). How Boredom Can Lead to your Most Brilliant Ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=c73Q8oQmwzo

Aboriginal Storywork in the classroom

Not My Story: the title for this one has been in my drafts folder for well over a year as I struggled with the how and why of making space for Aboriginal stories in my classroom. Every time I sat down to write and organize lesson plans I got derailed: ‘These are not my stories.’ ‘Why does this matter to me?'”How do I make space for these stories in particular?”

This year I got to take part in UBC MET’s ETEC521 Indigeniety, Technology, Education and I think I finally have it straight in my head. The course work challenged my thinking; I said many times over the term that the reading was only a small fraction of the work that went into this term. The reading took hours, as masters course work does, but the thinking took days. Some days I dug into conversation with anyone willing to bat around ideas and some days I got pushback and a reminder that a soapbox is not a helpful platform.

I won’t rewrite here everything I put in the academic paper because the link to there work is in my Website. I spent 50 hours on the final project and feel good about what I will be taking into the classroom in the fall. The catalyst for inquiry is Danielle Daniel’s Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox. I would love your feedback and hope that it can be carried into other classrooms, too. The student side of the project is an ever evolving project, so if you have stories you feel I could include to make the site even better I would love to hear from you!

Seek Joy

Dear Students,

Welcome to Grade 3. It’s two days before you get to walk into our classroom and see its unadorned walls and furniture that doesn’t seem to quite be in the right place. I did it on purpose. It’s hard though. I look around at teachers’ classrooms who are clearly excited to meet their students and their walls already wear student names, they have prepared notebooks, they have hung posters. Their excitement to meet students is electric!

So it’s hard for me to open the walls to a classroom that looks unfinished and I want you to know that I left it this way on purpose in an effort to know you better. This space belongs to you as much as it does to me. We will spend the first week planning our space together and making it something that meets the needs of everyone. I can’t wait to create with you!


I know I find joy in so many things: in stories, in coffee on Friday morning, in riding bikes, in my family, in my students, especially when we’re making productive messes. I cannot wait to learn about where you find joy! I want to know what you like to read, where your gaze falls when you get to wander, what you wonder, what makes you so excited you can’t wait to share? In this room, we will be learners, teachers, readers, designers, writers, questioners, mathematicians, engineers, scientists, film makers, friends, seekers of joy! 

Our classroom is ready for you and I hope you are as excited as I am!

Mme Evans