Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adopt an Escargot: The Arrival of Baby Escargots!!

This week my French III students started an incredible project called adopt an escargot.  This project can be used in any level of French, and can go on for as long as one wants it to.  Adopt an Escargot was created by a former French teacher, and in my opinion, it is absolutely brilliant! If you've never heard of it, you really should check it out!  

Students were asked to fill out "adoption papers" for homework, in preparation for the day the baby escargots would arrive and they would become parents.  I talked to my students about this project many times over the years, and they were already looking forward to it.  The day the "babies" arrived was an exciting one.  Here are some photos.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Galette des Rois!

January 6th is the day the French commemorate Epiphany with a special cake which has a small trinket hidden inside.  The lucky person who gets the piece with the trinket in it is crowned king or queen of the day!  I made a galette for my French I students.

They were soooooooo interested in where the trinket was that once I started to cut the cake, I noticed that most of them had crept forward out of their seats and they were closing in around me :).  I had to send them back to their seats, but found a few minutes later that they had all crept back once again!  I'm still smiling at the memory.  They all liked the cake, and I made sure to give them the recipe as it is very, very easy to make! 

Here's the queen of the day with our classroom mannequin, Jacques!

My students remember these special days when they were able to taste some French food for years to come!

Monday, January 17, 2011

French Yule Log Cake

The way to a teenager's heart is through his stomach!  Promote your program and teach your students about another culture at the same time by serving some food in class.  Each year I try to serve a Bûche de Noël (yule log Christmas cake) in French III.  Sometimes I make the cake, but this year I bought one at Whole Foods. 

I'm never disappointed at the delight, interest and motivation that food evokes in my students!  I'm always glad that I expended the extra effort to include it in my lesson.  I provide students with the recipe as well, and some of them always try it at home. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hand-made Snowflake Cards

I've learned over the years that high school students don't necessarily perceive reality accurately.  I've also learned that however inaccurate their perceptions may be, they do matter!  I recently became aware that I need to do a better job in one particular class at communicating my care and concern for my students.  So after giving the matter a lot of thought, I decided to send each student in that class a hand-made Happy New Year card. 

I chose a snowflake design because I LOVE snowflakes, but also because I always encourage my students on the first day of the new semester to set a goal for themselves since it's a new year, a new semester and a chance for a fresh start.  The presentation I created for this is entitled "Fresh Snow" (to represent a fresh start), and features photos of snowflakes.  

I gave this presentation to my students today!  And they should also be receiving these cards in today's mail, so I hope the significance of the snowflakes will occur to them.  

 I added lots of silver glitter to the cards, and wrote a very short personal note of appreciation to each student inside.

I hope this will help to communicate my care for my students to those who aren't yet convinced of it.  The truth is, my students are like snowflakes to me...each one unique, different and special in their own way!


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