Well, I have got to say that this March Break has not been overly exciting. Two snowstorms and 90ish cm of snow had the city pretty much shut down for the past couple of days! Lots of time to get work done, but hard to get visiting and other fun things in. Tomorrow I am going to try and squeeze in a couple of visits with friends and a yoga class (my body is starting to get antsy from sitting still!!) and then decide if I should head home tomorrow ahead of the incoming Saturday storm and risk being snowed in without internet, or stay in the city and risk not getting in to my classroom before Sunday. I have a LOT to do in there! Decisions, decisions.
I posted on the old blog a bit about our Saint Patrick’s Day I Spy activity (C’est moi l’espion – la Saint-Patrick). I wanted to post here again, because I have made an Easter version over the break for sight words. Also because I figured out how to block their sweet little faces so I can show more photos. Here are a couple of pictures of my little leprechauns working hard:
My students really enjoyed this activity, and it was very low-prep – all I had to do with print a copy for each student and find them each a magnifying glass. They used the magnifying glass to search for the hidden words in the picture. I find it hard for my students to get good practice decoding words, because in the French language there are a LOT of silent letters and sons composés that can throw them off. It is frustrating for a child who has just been told and told that certain letters make certain sounds to then be told “oh, well in this word, that letter is silent!”.
So, for my Saint Patrick’s Day pack, I chose words for them to find that ONLY use letters who make their sounds (parc, va, kiwi, etc.). The first time we did this activity, I gave everyone a magnifying glass and a sheet and they worked individually. I asked them to say the word out loud as they were working, but to be honest… you could hear a pin drop. They were so into it! Which was good, but… not exactly what I was looking for. The whole point of the activity was to get them READING the words, not copying them!
So, when we did the activity again a couple of days later, I kicked it up a notch. The 10 sheets included in the pack use words of different lengths. Some pages have 2 letter words, some 3, and so on to 5 letter words. I have a combined class, so it can be tricky to find stimulating activities for everyone.
The first page that we did together used only 3 letter words. The second time we did this, I printed out different sheets for different students depending on their ability to blend sounds, and put them in partners with someone else working on the same sheet. I gave each group only one magnifying glass. Then, I asked them to take turns. One partner (determined by “rock, paper scissors”) took the magnifying glass and found a word. That partner then had to READ the word they found out loud, saying every sound. The other partner had to WRITE the word as best they could, based on what they heard. Then they could self-check while the first partner also wrote the word they found. Then they switched jobs.
It was awesome! It took them much longer to finish the sheet (which I like to think was because they were using their little brains for more than just copying), and I heard many little voices reading the words on their sheet. Their brains were thinking and blending and figuring out what the words were. One little munchkin even came to me after and asked if some of the words were nonsense words, because his partner had missed a letter so the word just didn’t make sense! Bless him!
This activity was such a success the second time around that I decided to make an Easter version too, this time using sight words. I have some very strong grade ones (and one primary!), who are ready to practice more challenging sight words than the rest of my group, and a couple sweeties who are still mixing up the basics. The “C’est moi l’espion – Pâques” pack should help give everyone some much-needed practice, while having fun. If you’re interested in checking it out, click on the picture below to see it in my store.
Saint Patrick’s Day is over, but if you are interested in a Freebie to see what the activity looks like, there is one available in my FREE French Resource Library. It is in the “Seasonal/Holiday” section.
(Don’t have access to the library yet? No problem! Just CLICK HERE, enter your info, hit the pink button, and I will email you the password!)
Happy shoveling! :)