Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Love France!

Not too long ago I experienced a milestone.  One of my former students followed in my footsteps and went to France to study at the same university and in the same program that I had!  I'm so proud of her.  I've had students go to France to study before, but never to the same university that I attended.  Melissa came by school to see me just before leaving.  

  Melissa has been blogging about her experiences in France, and I'm reliving many memories of learning French in France through her.  And this is causing me to have a strong desire to board the next plane to France immediately! 

I was able to take my husband and children to visit the city where I studied (and where Melissa is now) not long ago.  One day we decided to take our kids to McDonald's (I know, it wasn't very French of me).  We ordered 4 cappucinos.  And this is what we got:

Need I say more?  Vive la France.!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Fun in Escargotville

A week or so after starting the fabulous adopt an escargot project, I asked my students to write the names of their baby snails on a slip of paper and fold it up.  They dropped these papers into a hat, and then I passed the hat around the room for each student to draw a name.  I told them to keep it a secret.  Their homework assignment was to find out what that particular baby snail liked in a non-chalant way, and then think of a gift to bring to that baby on Friday.  Friday we had an Adoption Day Party for all the baby escargots.  Students had to present their gifts to the class in French (for a grade), explaining what the gift was and why they were giving it to that particular baby. 

This one was my favorite.  An escargot jacuzzi!! (a jar filled with water)

This young man is giving a map of Michigan to Jen, who LOST her poor baby (see previous post!), so that her baby will never get lost again!

No party is complete without treats.  We had sugar cookies shaped like snails, courtesy of a gift from Le Grand Escargot (The Big Snail...creator of the Adopt an Escargot program, also known as Nancy Hudson).  Nancy sent all of us an escargot cookie cutter one year as a surprise in our escargot kits.  Merci beaucoup, Nancy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Trouble in Escargotville

Almost every year at least one student loses their dear baby snail during the adopt an escargot project, and this year is no exception!  Jen came to see me after school last week to tell me the terrible news that she couldn't find her baby escargot.  So I told her she had to wear the "necklace of shame" (which is not unlike the Scarlet Letter, I explained), for the whole day at school, and that whenever anyone asked her about it, she had to tell them what happened.  The class found this very amusing.  In fact I'm now wondering if perhaps the snail might have been kidnapped.

Jen wearing the necklace of shame.  The snail is crying, and it says "I lost my baby escargot!"

I also required this student to make some fliers explaining that her baby was lost and I had her put them up in the hallways.  Here's what they look like:

So far, Jen's baby has not been the saga continues!  My students are getting more and more caught up in the story of their baby snails, and they're using their French the whole time.  I love it :).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Adopt an Escargot!

We're snowed in here in Michigan today and school is closed!  What a great day to drink coffee, sit by the fire and catch up on blogging.  My colleague John tells me that he doesn't understand some of my posts because he doesn't speak French, so I'll try and explain more clearly for any of you who aren't language teachers :).

Are you wondering what Adopt an Escargot is?  It's a project that French students can participate in and it involves adopting a baby snail, which is really an empty snail shell.  Shells come with unique personality profiles, baby books, games and more and are purchased from  Students write about the lives of their babies and share their stories with other students.  And of course, they do all of this in French.  My students adore this project.  This young lady wasn't able to take French III, but came to see me for a baby snail anyways!

I try to get the rest of my high school interested in what's going on in the French room by putting up posters in the hallways when the project begins.  They look like this:

The point of this project is to get students reading, writing and speaking French, and mine get so excited about the snails that they almost forget that they're really just practicing their French!  Voila the genius of it.  Merci mille fois (thanks a million) to Le Grand Escargot (the big snail), who also goes by the name of Nancy Hudson...she's the one who created it all!


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