All posts tagged: teaching

27 mars – clues

Today I had a lot of different slices in my head, but I can’t seem to get any of them out today because I’m excited about something else. Three of my fifth grade classes have been working on rooms in the house, hobbies, and family. vocabulary in English. These classes are really motivated and their classroom teachers do a lot of reinforcement of my activities on days when I’m not there, so their level is really high. I decided to try an activity that is a bit more difficult than our standard fare of flashcard games and charades. Tomorrow we are playing CLUE! It was always one of my favorite board games growing up, enamored of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown as I was. I always wanted to play be Professor Plum. My sister was usually Madam Scarlet, and if I remember correctly, I believe my dad often played as Colonel Mustard. Tomorrow, we won’t have the same colorful characters. I’ve modified the game to include the vocabulary we’ve been working on all year long. Instead of wondering …

7 mars – English is hard

English is hard. Well, sometimes it’s easy: no crazy verb conjugations, no gendered nouns to memorize and accord with adjectives, no difference between formal or informal “you”. But then it gets complicated: pronunciation that has absolutely nothing to do with a word’s spelling, exceptions on exceptions on exceptions, not to mention all of the variations of English spoken around the world. This last one is what trips me up most often in my job. Overwhelmingly, British English is preferred over American English by my colleagues and those of my friends. Students are exposed to both, but by and large, BE is the rule. Things I’m asked to teach that aren’t natural to me, an AE speaker, include: Have you got brothers and sisters? I’m wearing trousers and a jumper. It’s 23 past 4. Today is Tuesday, the 7th of March Take out your copybook and rubber. François is a CM2 (5th grade) teacher who loves to teach English. In his class, I co-teach with him, rather than intervene on my own. He is teaching his …

6 mars – actuellement/currently

Currently: Shivering as the wind storm clatters through the shutters and the drafty windows Sipping warm vanilla tea Tapping through tabs Prioritizing my to-do list Slicing just one more morsel of the Parmigiano-Reggiano brought back from Italy Googling the spelling of Parmigiano-Reggiano… Learning about “cheese crystals” on wikipedia Crunching on them in real life Refocusing on tomorrow’s English lessons: Hobbies in CM1, Houses in CM2, and ??? for CE2 Laying out my options, Considering what I already have prepared, Wondering what will be the most fun, Wondering what’s realistically achievable Hoping my next day off will be more productive than today… What are you doing, currently? ❂ Thanks, Fran McVeigh for the inspiration!   Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.  

4 mars – Things that I do in France that I don’t do at home

Eat yogurt When you first come to France, you expect the grocery store aisles of cheese and wine, but you don’t expect an equally long aisle dedicated to yogurt. It’s like a way of life in France. I don’t think I have a single colleague who doesn’t finish their lunch with a container of yogurt and/or a fruit. For some, it’s a simple fromage blanc, others prefer a classic fruit on the bottom, and still others go for a dessert flavored yogurt. Despite almost never craving yogurt in the U.S. I took up this custom, and now enjoy yogurt daily at the end of my lunch, and occasionally as a snack or with some granola. Drink tea The French are obsessed with coffee. And not even particularly good coffee: in fact, a high percentage of French people I know frequently drink instant coffee. A French teachers’ lounge would be incomplete without a coffee maker, and there is usually a line during every recess and lunch break. Luckily, for those who don’t drink coffee (myself included) there …

Backwards and Forwards

So, I got some cool news today: After being placed on the TAPIF waitlist (as all returning assistants are) I’ve finally been accepted to teach at the primary level in the Académie d’Aix-Marseille! When I reapplied to TAPIF, I decided that I would only go back if it was for a good reason. Yes, it’s fantastic to be young and un-attached and travel and do whatever, which would be reason enough for some…but I’m getting to the point where I’m tired of living temporarily, figuring things out one year at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a single thing about doing TAPIF the first time, and I wouldn’t change that year for anything. But coming back afterwards, I felt like I had taken a gap year from life and found myself pretty much back at square one in terms of being a poor, unemployed recent college grad, while many of my friends had a full year of ‘adulthood’ under their belts. I want to live in France again. I miss the language, …

overheard at school

The architects of our brand new school building are documenting their works with photos and videos during the school day. Two girls are watching a camera crew get video footage of another grade at recess through the window of their classroom.  Girl 1: I think they are filming a movie on the playground. Girl 2: Those kids get to be in a movie?! Girl 1: Yeah, I it probably starts like, ‘They were all having a great time at recess. It was a beautiful day. And then the ZOMBIES ATTACKED.’ ❂ *full disclosure: this is the same mastermind behind the piñata diaries   Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.

creating with emoji

Yesterday, I wrote about my day using only 57 different emoji. I loved reading all the comments of people who said they still totally “got” it, or followed most of it despite the lack of words. Prompted by mom, and her awesome post about why literacy includes both words AND pictures (and, yes, emoji!) I wanted to share some more about my process creating my post. I actually started by writing this post on my phone, to have easier access to the emoji keyboard. (If you haven’t yet learned how to find the emoji keyboard on your phone, directions are here.) I used the WordPress App on my phone to type in all the emojis I wanted, going moment by moment and finding just the right little picture to describe what I did or how I felt. Reading over the emoji and turning them into a story requires a lot more imagination, inferring and close reading than simply describing my day with words. But there’s no real mystery to reading emojis, no secret information teenagers have that …