In today’s blog post, I want to talk a little bit about French morning messages.
I don’t know about you, but since the pandemic, I have learned to do a lot of things digitally.
For some things, I was happy to return to not doing digitally when restrictions eased. But, some other things have been surprisingly enjoyable to do digitally instead of how I was doing them before.
One of these things? Our morning messages!
I know many teachers, me included, like to start the day with a morning message.
I especially like to do morning messages when we are learning and reviewing the letters of the alphabet.
Year after year, I find having a morning message about the letter of the day is a great way to kick off our literacy block.
I hand wrote and then typed these on chart paper for MANY years. Then, when the pandemic hit and we weren’t allowed at the tapis, I switched to videos. In this blog post, I’ll share the pros and cons to both so you can choose which work best for you!
My previous morning messages
I had been using the same morning message structure for many years. I shared a couple photos of them on Instagram, and then teachers started asking me for them. So, I typed them up and and turned them into a resource for TPT.
Previously, I had always just handwritten my morning messages, and had never considered them as a TPT product.
How could I put them on TPT when I was handwriting them every morning?
But, I aim to please, so I typed them all up and added some images. After I typed them up, I realized that I could print them extra big (in poster mode) and glue them to chart paper, along with the images to decorate them.
These typed messages ended up looking much better than the ones that had my not-so-nice handwriting and really not-so-good drawings.
I continued doing my morning messages in this way for a couple of years.
Then, along came the pandemic!
How the pandemic changed my morning message routine
When we first came back to in-person learning the September after the pandemic began, I had to make some changes for two reasons.
One – we weren’t allowed on the carpet anymore. So, I couldn’t do my regular morning message routine with everyone on the carpet looking at my chart paper.
Two – I looped my students! I kept all of my students that I had in kindergarten, and went to grade one with them. To be honest, I just didn’t feel like I was done teaching them!
I knew that my students did still need alphabet review, but I didn’t want to do the exact same thing we had done the September before.
I also needed something that would be engaging and easily seen from their desks.
So, I made some video morning messages!
Video morning messages
My video morning messages are pretty cool, if I do say so myself!
Each video message contains 5 “parts”:
- Introduce the letter of your day to your students, and the sound it makes.
- Students will “skywrite” and practice “writing” the letter in the air (upper- and lowercase) with correct letter formation. I strongly suggest having them make the sound of the letter while skywriting!
- Students will say some anchor words that begin with the target letter. When the pause icon appears, pause the video and allow students to share other words they know that begin with the target letter.
- Students will determine whether three words begin with the target letter or not. I have my students flash thumbs up/thumbs down.
- It is so important to put our students in “les situations de communication” EVERY day. That’s why there I built a “tourne et dis!” right into the message. Students will turn and tell a neighbour as many words as they can think of, en français, that begin with the target letter.
NOTE: These videos and the timing in them cannot be edited, but you can pause the videos at any time if your students need more time. There is also no sound in the video; the teacher should read along with the video at whatever speed works best for their students.
My students LOVED the videos and were super engaged – even more engaged than the print version. They really enjoyed the animation!
So… Which French morning messages do I use now?
If you’re wondering which French morning messages I use now that I have both types, the answer is… it depends!
I do really enjoy the video messages and they are my first choice, but I have also shared them with the maternelle teachers at my school. So, if my première année students have already done them, I go back to the paper ones.
It also depends on how much prep I do over summer break, too… the videos are awesome because there is NO prep required! Just hit play.
Of course, you do need internet for them to work, and sometimes school internet is not the best. So, I love having the paper option as back up if I need them.
Where to find my morning messages
You can find both versions of the morning messages on TPT.
The digital version does cost a bit more than the print version, because they were much more complicated and time-consuming to create. So, keep that in mind if you are on a budget!
Want to try one of my video French morning messages?
If you want to know more about my digital morning messages and see one in action (or try it out with your students to see if they like it), great news!
You can actually try out the video message for the letter Aa completely FREE!
Just click HERE, enter your name & email, and I’ll send you an email with a link to the video. Save the link somewhere safe, and you can give it a go with your class.
That way, you’ll know if it’s a good fit for them.
Remember, there is no sound with the video messages, and if it moves too fast or too slow, you can adjust the speed by clicking the “1x” button at the bottom of the screen.
Again, CLICK HERE to watch the Aa video for free!