Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Decoration for your Desk

I love snow, snowflakes and snow globes!  I like to decorate my classroom with such things to celebrate wintertime, and the possibility of a "snow day", which does occur regularly where I live here in Michigan :).  I had some time to do some shopping over my Christmas break, and I found an Austrian snow globe, which I bought for my desk.  Here's a photo:

Apparently, Austrian snow globes are special and have superior "snow fall"...which I do think is true as I look at this globe.  I tried to take a photo that would capture the effect.  If you look carefully, you can see that the snowman is holding a green balloon in his left (your right) hand.  It is lovely, and I know it will draw students to my desk.  They love the interesting objects I place there throughout the year.

Why place novelties on your desk?  It helps to make your classroom a stimulating and interesting place to be.  It also helps communicate the message that you are approachable to your students.  They might just stay and chat with you a while when they stop to shake your snow globe :).

Happy New Year, fellow teachers!  Wishing you love, joy, peace, happiness, good health and success in your classroom in 2012!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Simple Christmas Treat!

Today I brought in a delicious French Christmas treat that was so easy to make, and it was a big hit with my students.  It's called a Saucisson LU au Chocolat (rough translation: chocolate sausage), and it's made with French butter biscuits (LU brand preferred) and dark chocolate.  I couldn't find the LU brand at my local grocery store, so I used a German brand (below) instead.   

First, you crush the butter biscuits.  I just crushed them with my hands, which I actually found to be quite therapeutic :).  Then you mix up a chocolate sauce and pour it over the crushed biscuits.

After mixing well, you'll have a mixture that looks like this:

Pour it onto foil, and roll it up into a "sausage" shape.

Put the sausage in the refrigerator overnight.  When you take it out the next day, it looks like this:

Slice with a knife and serve!

As is typical of French desserts, the saucisson is not overly sweet, but it's very chocolaty and I love the crunch of the crushed cookies.  I was touched when one of my students brought her mother to my classroom after school today.  She had saved a piece of the treat for her mom, and both of them wanted to make sure they could read the recipe correctly, which I had given to my students in French, of course. 

I can't remember where I got this recipe, but I know it came from a French woman's recipe box.  Here it is:

  •  one package LU butter biscuits
  • 3.5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 11 T sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 1/2 an egg white
  • Crush the butter biscuits
  • Melt the butter & chocolate, then add the sugar and stir
  • whisk in the eggs yolks & white
  • pour the mixture over the biscuits & mix well
  • pour the mixture onto foil and roll up into a sausage
  • leave in the refrigerator overnight

Note:  the eggs in this recipe are not really cooked, so I made sure to keep the saucisson in a cooler when I brought it to school for students.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

French Show & Tell

My third year students recently finished studying how to describe objects in detail.  They learned how to describe the shape, texture, surface, weight, size, capacity, temperature and general condition of an object, including how to name what the object is made of.  In order to help them practice what they'd learned, I gave them a homework assignment to bring an interesting object from home for "Show & Tell" in French.  I asked them to be prepared to describe their objects in detail to the class.  They had to speak for a minimum of 30 seconds at a normal speed.  Here are some photos:

Students were allowed to look at a written description of their object as they spoke, but in my opinion, this activity was less like a memorized presentation and more like informal conversation.  Informal speaking is one of those areas that is difficult to assess, and I think this activity was a good way to do just that.  Also, it was a very enjoyable lesson for everyone, and a great way to get everyone speaking French! 



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