Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Thank you Baby Ben (and Tanis)!

As most of you know, we have been a Roots of Empathy class this year. Roots of Empathy focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression. P1 was proud to be Swansea's first Roots' class and to be a part of the 500,000 children who have participated in ROE programming.

On Monday, we will have our final meeting with Dr. Andrea, Ben and his mom Tanis. It has been an incredible experience. I have very much enjoyed watching Ben and the students grow and develop over the year. A huge thank you to Dr. Andrea, Ben and Tanis for sharing this program with us.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Going for a walk

On Monday, June 3, we will be walking to the Runnymede branch of the public library. The library program coordinator has a couple of activities planned to introduce the library to the students, help them locate books that might be of interest and tell them about summer reading programs at the library.

We will leave right after lunch (once attendance is done) and will return for afternoon recess at 2.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Tips for Watching French TV/Movies

We have been enjoying Téléfrançais in class, and I am impressed with how well the students seem to be following along and what they are able to pick out and understand of the French dialogue.

Movies are a great way to practise their French listening and comprehension so if you have access to French programming or can flip the language settings on their favourite DVDs, here are some tips to help your student. (I would recommend about 20 minutes in French.)

Strategies for watching a movie in French

* Look at the pictures / animations and try to figure out what is happening.
* Watch the expressions of the characters and pay attention to their body language to help you understand the movie.
* Look up a summary of the movie in French (une sommaire).
If at home you could watch the movie in your first language before viewing it in French. This might help improve your understanding.
* Use your prior knowledge (that's your schema at work again!) to help you understand the movie. Listen for words you know already (les mots connus) and for words that sound like English words (les mots amis).
* DON’T STRESS OUT if you don’t understand every word! Focus on listening for words you know, watching the action in the movie, and trying to piece together what’s happening.
* Enjoy the movie and enjoy practising French in a really fun way!

Friday, 3 May 2013

What's coming in May

May is shaping up to be a busy month in P1.

We will participate in Music Monday and the tree dedication ceremony for Mr. Samson this Monday (May 6). Several of our students have advanced to the conference track and field competitions to be held May 24th. Félicitations! And several of the girls will be joining me May 15th for the Grade 6 girls soccer tournament at Rockcliffe PS.

On the academic side, we have begun our study of le Moyen Age in les études sociales and it will take up a lot of our time in French as well as students work to learn the vocabulary as well as the history of the time. In Science, we are part way through Lights and Sounds. In math, we have moved on to division and will probably be working on fractions by the end of the month.

I am pushing the students towards more independence in French and most are rising to the challenge. Please encourage them to read out loud to you and use our strategies (looking for familiar words, words that are similar to English and using context and/or pictures) to increase comprehension. We have been watching some French programming and I am pleased with how much they catch. They can pratise this at home by flipping a favourite DVD to the French language track.

We have a couple of exciting activities for science and les études sociales planned for later in the month, early June. I will send more news home closer to the dates.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Les Bescherelles

As we move towards more and more independent reading and writing in French, students might find it beneficial to have access to a Bescherelle, a guide to conjugating 100s of French verbs. This is the type of resource they can, and probably will, use throughout their French schooling careers. I still double check mine for some of the irregular verbs.

I was not able to find any in stock at Chapters in Bloor West Village, but it is available on the Chapters website. I also located a (less expensive) version on Amazon's website. You may have some luck at local bookstores as well.

It is not a mandatory resource.

Chapters Indigo


Bonne fin de semaine!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Coming up in April in P1

Well, it looks like spring might finally be making an appearance. I know I am looking forward to the warmer days so we can, maybe, head outside and not just for DPA. We will be starting lights and sound in science so it'd be great to have some sunny days to experiment with sounds, sunlight and shadows outside.

We'll wrap up perimeter and area in math this week. Next up is multiplication and division and measuring elapsed time. In les études sociales, we'll soon be starting le Moyen Age.  I think we'll have a lot of fun learning about les chevaliers, les chateaux and la noblesse.

We've been doing a lot of work with verbs and simple sentence structure in French and I am encouraging students to select French books from the library. If you have a few minutes at home, please ask them to read to you and encourage them to use context clues like pictures and familiar words (les mots amis) to support their comprehension.

I am very excited about a project we are working on with Mr. Higgins. The students have worked very hard and stretched their creativity on this wrap up to our work in the drama workshops. I think you will be very impressed!

Last, but not least, this Wednesday is International Pink Day, a day to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of bullying and discrimination in schools and communities. Swansea students and staff will be putting on the pink to celebrate this important day!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Welcome back!

It sounds like many of the P1 families had some great adventures and also found time to relax over March Break.

Today, we started a visual arts project to support Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Households and businesses are encouraged to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

This year's Earth Hour is Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m.  Swansea will hold our own Earth Hour Friday, March 22 from 2-3 p.m.

Earth Hour 2013 Official Video