Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Activities!

Enrich your classes and teach French culture at the same time by including some fun French Christmas activities!  I enjoy teaching students about the bûche de noël (Yule Log cake) eaten in France in December.  I like to bring a cake in as a surprise and let students eat it after I've explained what it is.  My students really enjoy this and even remember it years later.   
Some years, I've made the cake.  And sometimes I buy a cake when I can find one.  This year I found a beautiful bûche at Holiday Market in Royal Oak.  Here's a photo:

I always make sure to provide students with a recipe and encourage them to try and make one if they like to cook.  It seems like there are always a few students for whom this ignites an interest in French on a new level.

Because the cakes are expensive to buy & time-consuming to make, it's not practical for me to share this in every level of French that I teach.  Usually, I reserve the cake for one particular level.  My friend & fellow French teacher Mary has come up with a great way to share this tradition with her students.  I'm sharing her wonderful idea here with her permission.  She gives her students Little Debbie Swiss roll cakes and allows them to decorate them with frosting and other decorations so that they look like mini bûches.  Here are the results:
Aren't they lovely?  What a simple, easy, cheap and fun way to engage all of your students in this activity!
Sharing the bûche de noël with students is a great way to keep students interested and to bolster your program.  For me, it also meets a state standard for World Languages (Standard 2:  Gains knowledge and understanding of other Cultures). 
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année à tous!   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Morfo App for iPad!

Wow!!  I just learned about a new app called Morfo.  The English teachers at my high school were using it in their classes, and one of my students showed it to me.  This app allows you to animate a photo of a person's face and you can also add audio.  You can cause the face to show different emotions such as surprise, or you can make the face smile.  My mind is spinning with ideas about how I can use this in French class!

Naturally, I tried using it to make my classroom mannequin come to life!  In the past, I've used the FaceJack app (which I also LOVE) to bring my mannequins to life.  But Morfo offers even more possibilities!  Here's a quick sample of my classroom mannequin in the Morfo app.
I decided to try using Morfo with my French IV class last week.  We're currently reading Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. I assigned each student a character from the book and asked them to find a photo of the character online.  Then they each made a Morfo with the photo, and recorded themselves speaking as if they were that character.  Watching the Morfos was a nice way to review characters from the section of the book we were currently studying.  Here's an example of one.  This is Jacopo from The Count of Monte-Cristo.

Yay, Morfo! :)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finding Success with Middle School Language

I am a high school teacher and I've spent the majority of my time teaching French to grades 9-12, which I truly enjoy.  I am asked to teach the occasional middle school class, however.  This year I'm teaching a small class of sixth graders (in addition to my high school classes) and I chose to buy a brand new program to use with them called Ah, Bon? by Joanne Thomas (2011).  I'm almost finished with the first unit, and I am both amazed and pleased with how well it has gone. 
I decided to buy this program after hearing the author at a conference, and I'm so glad that I did.  This program is superior to anything I've used in the past for so many reasons.  My students are learning a lot, speaking a lot, and they are also enjoying themselves.  In fact, they talked so much about how much they liked French that two other sixth graders transferred into the class several weeks into the year.  Here's a video of my students performing a skit after only 2 weeks of class:
Ah, Bon? includes a reward system that middle school students respond to incredibly well.  It also includes web 2.0 activities and flashcard activities that are motivating and effective with this age group.  And I'm so happy to say that it also includes a wiki space with lesson plans and resources for both teacher and student.  I find that I no longer need to "reinvent the wheel" to help my middle school students learn.  If you teach middle school world language, I would highly recommend this program.  It comes in languages other than French!    

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Mannequins for my Classroom!

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I use antique department store mannequins in my classroom as a way to teach French creatively and with pizazz.  My students love the stories I write about Jacques and his girlfriend, Suzette.  I often act out these stories, which are written to reinforce whatever I'm trying to teach at the moment.  In my opinion, the use of these mannequins is one of my best ideas for keeping my classroom exciting & stimulating.  You can imagine my excitement when I recently discovered 2 antique mannequin children for sale!  I knew that these mannequins would be Jacques & Suzette's children, and would provide inspiration for me to write new stories.  It didn't take me long to decide to buy them, knowing that I might never find mannequin children again.
Here they are!

I love the detail on these...they have real eyelashes!  It will be one of my goals for this new school year to write & incorporate some new stories about Jacques' life.  And of course I will share what I've created with you here :)!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rethink the Syllabus

I recently read an interesting article, shared by a teacher I follow on Twitter, @Catherineku1972 (thanks, Catherine!).  This article suggested that teachers rethink the format of their syllabi...that they consider writing them in a more interesting, modern and creative format.  There are links to examples of such syllabi at the end of the article, and they are worth taking a look at!  To me, these examples looked more like pages from a magazine than traditional syllabi, and I was impressed.  I've been thinking for a few years now that I'd like to revise my syllabi, and this was the inspiration I needed. 

Here are the results.  Both of these syllabi basically contain the same information and both were created with MicroSoft Word.  I discovered that there were quite a few features in MicroSoft Word that I hadn't ever used before.
Old French I syllabus

old syllabus

 New & improved French I syllabus!

New syllabus
I concentrated on making the layout of the page more creative and on replacing text with pictures as much as possible.  I think it looks more modern and interesting now, don't you?

By the way, fellow teachers, this post is a great example of how being connected with other teachers on Twitter has helped me to improve my teaching!  I would highly recommend it to all of you:)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paint Chips & Grouping Students

Do you need a quick, FUN and easy way to put your students into small groups to practice speaking or to play language games like I do?  I put my students into smaller groups almost every day, and I like to make sure that the groups are varied so that students aren't working with the same person each time.  You can use paint chips from your local hardware store to accomplish this with pizazz!  It just so happens that I've been saving paint chips from our various home projects over the years.  Somehow I knew that I'd find a use for them someday :).  And then I heard a speaker mention this idea at a workshop I was at a few weeks ago.

Cut the paint chips into individual strips or squares, then put all the chips of one color (they can even be different hues of that color) into Ziploc bags.  You can see from the photo that I have bags of yellow, orange, green, purple and brown.  Then if I wanted to put my class into groups of 3, I would take 3 chips from each bag  (until I had the same number of chips as students in the class) and drop them into a basket.  As students enter the class, you ask them to take a chip. And then you tell all the purples to find each other, and so on.  An added benefit for me is that I can tell my students to find their colors in French, and therefore use this as an opportunity to review at the same time :).  It has occurred to me that students would catch onto this idea quickly and might try and take the same color as their friends after a while, defeating my purpose of mixing up the groups frequently.  A solution to this would be just to hand out the chips randomly rather that to allow students to choose their own.

Other ideas mentioned for grouping students in a similar manner included cutting small photos into pieces and asking students to find the other pieces of their photo, and giving students lyrics to a popular song and asking them to find others with lyrics to the same song.

I think all of these are wonderfully creative and interesting ways to group students, and I'm looking forward to trying them out in the fall!  How about you?

Monday, July 2, 2012

5 Things Exceptional Teachers Never Forget

Hoorah for summer!  Although school has been out for a while, today feels like the first day of summer for me since I've been busy attending workshops for the past few weeks.  I heard from several experienced edcuators who shared from their wealth of knowledge what they've learned over the years.  Mostly they reminded me of some important things that I already knew, but that are easy to forget when one is focused on the daily responsibilities of teaching.  I'd like to share what I was reminded of with you :).  
  1. Students will believe what you tell themDr. Sharon Faber reminded me of this truth...and it is so easy to forget!  High school students may look like adults, but they are truly still children in many ways, and will often believe what you tell them simply because you are the teacher.  So remember to say such things as, "This is going to be your best year ever!", because they will leave your classroom telling others that this is going to be their best year just because you said it would be.  Don't miss that chance to have this type of influence!
  2. You have more power than you realize:  Dr. Debbie Silver encouraged us to make connections with students in whatever way is natural.  For her, it was writing letters.  She wrote letters to each of her students every year at some point during the year.  She told us a heart-rending story about a student that contacted her years later that would make any teacher cry.  She had written him a letter when he was in the sixth grade, and the following summer he was abducted by a child molester while at a park.  He eventually escaped and returned home, but had become a violent person as a result of the abuse he'd endured.  One day his father told him to get help or leave because he was tearing the family apart.  As he was packing his things and thinking that the world might be better off without him, he found her letter.  When he read it, he cried for the first time since his ordeal began.  In that letter she'd said, "Always remember that you don't have a right to leave this earth until you give something back."  The letter gave him the courage to decide to try one more time.  He went to therapy one more time, and this time he turned his life around.  His counselor suggested that he keep the letter as a keystone, to help him remember his former self when he felt he was losing his way.  So he did.  He eventually graduated and went into the military, and he promised himself that if he made it back home again, he'd find Debbie and let her know what the letter had meant to him.  Isn't that incredible?!!  Teachers...this is a testimony to the power we have to make a difference.  The pain produced by evil was overcome in the life of this child by the positive words a teacher took the time to write down!!!  Thank you, Debbie, for sharing this story.  
  3. Sometimes, you have to "fake it":  Sharon Faber talked about how important it is to make our students feel welcome and how much our attitude sets the tone of our classrooms.  It's important for our students to feel that we're happy to see them.  It affects their learning!  Obviously, we don't always feel happy to see them every day of the year, because we are human and we have our own ups and downs.  That's when it's most important to smile and tell them (as sincerely as possible) that we're happy to see them, even if we have to fake it a little bit.  I couldn't agree more! 
  4. It's important to take care of yourself:  Teaching is a helping profession, and we spend so much of our time giving ourselves away to help others that it's easy to put ourselves last and to begin to neglect our own needs if we're not careful.  Don't let this happen!  Debbie Silver encouraged us to take care of our health (get enough sleep & excercise, eat well, and go to the doctor when you need to).  I encourage you to take time to relax, slow down and to "smell the roses" this summer.  It is so important to recharge during these months.  In other words, we need to make sure our buckets are full of water if we hope to be able to give any away!
  5. Teaching is the hardest & most meaningful job on the planet:  Every speaker I heard last week said this in one way or another.  I'm sure that there are other jobs that are even more challenging than teaching, but anyone who has spent time as a classroom teacher knows that what society believes about our profession is completely false.  I finally decided a few years back to quit trying to convince non-educators that my job was challenging.  Instead, I agree with them about how fabulous the hours and vacations are, and suggest that maybe they should have gone into teaching as well :).  I know what the truth is: it's really hard work, but it's worth it.  It was so refreshing to hear those who've had experience validate this. 
I hope you've been inspired by some of these reminders like I was.  Have a wonderful summer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Using iPad as a document camera

I've learned via Twitter that the iPad can be used as a document camera quite easily.  All you have to do is put your iPad in camera mode as though you were going to take a photo, but you don't actually take one.  You just leave it in camera mode so that it projects whatever it's pointed at...such as the document you'd like to show your class.  Because I am lucky enough to have Apple TV in my classroom, I'm able to mirror my iPad screen wirelessly onto the big screen at the front of my classroom.  Et voila...there you have it!  There is one necessary piece of equipment to make this all needs to be able to position the iPad above the document at the appropriate distance.  I started searching the web and discovered that teachers were making their own iPad stands for this purpose out of PVC pipes among other things.  But then I found a stand made just for this purpose.  It's called the Cobra SnakeClamp.  My family gave me one for Mother's Day!  Here it is.

In this photo, the Snake Clamp is attached to my desk.  As you can see, it has 3 adjustable joints, enabling you to get the iPad into any imaginable position.  Your iPad will snap easily and securely into the black grip, which can also be adjusted in any direction.  I used this for the last few weeks of school this year to project documents, and it worked well.  I discovered that I wanted to be free to roam about the room (and not confined to my desk) so I attached the Snake Clamp to an overhead projector cart so that I could move around the room.  I also used this to film student skits by pointing the iPad towards the students.  I love it!     

Saturday, May 12, 2012

4 Ways to Finish the Year Strong!

Yesterday was the last day of class for the seniors at my high school.  That meant I had to say goodbye to students that I've taught every day for the past 3 or 4 years.   I've developed a few ideas for how to do this in a meaningful way and have found that they work well.  I've become convinced that starting well and ending well are crucial for success in the classroom.  And ending well helps you to leave a legacy that your students will remember.  Here's what has worked for me:

  1. Communicate your love. This is the time to speak from the heart.  If you've built a good rapport with your students, they will listen.  You've earned the right to speak truth and love into their lives, so don't miss the opportunity to do so.  I tell my students how much they've meant to me and how much I love them and what my wishes are for their futures.  I remind them of how much they matter.  This is difficult for me because I am not ever able to get through this without choking up and crying.  But to me, this is even more important than all the French I've taught them, and so I do it.  And many of them often end up crying as well.  I will tell you this, fellow teachers:  students respond to love.     
  2. Take a walk down memory lane.  This is the perfect time to reminisce together about all the good times you've had in class.  I make a slide show with photos I've taken of their class starting with when they were in French I and going through French III or IV.  I also include some reminders about how far they've come in their language skills.  The background music I use for this presentation is always "It's You I Like" by Fred Rogers. 
  3. Honor each individual student.  Say something uniquely positive and true about each student in front of the whole class.  I use an idea that I stole from my daughter's teacher when she was in elementary school called Paper Plate Awards.  You give each student an award, written on a paper plate, but each award is different.  For example, my daughter was given the "brightest smile" award.  I wrote a few words that described each student on their paper plates.
  4. Give them something to remember you by.  I made a simple bookmark for each student with a famous quote from Le Petit Prince on it since we'd just finished reading it.  I was surprised at how much my students appreciated this small gesture.  Once I met a student for coffee several years after she'd graduated, and she showed me that she still had the bookmark in her wallet!   

James Taylor said it well, " Shower the people you love with love."
I think my students left my classroom for the last time feeling loved and valued, and that means that I made a difference.  That's what teaching is all about!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Puppet Shows & the iPad

 Have you ever had your students write and perform puppet shows in your world language class?  I've done it frequently over the years, and it's an activity that I highly recommend if you haven't ever tried it.  I can't believe how excited high school students get over playing with puppets.  We did this in first year French this week, and my students came skipping with joy into the classroom during these days.  I even heard one of them say, "This is the best class ever!"  There was a lot of giggling and laughing going on, but students were also actively engaged in writing and speaking French.  Here are a few photos:

I have a rather large collection of interesting puppets and also a puppet stage, but I bet students would have had just as much fun with a humble sock puppet.  Students began by writing scripts in groups of 2.  They had to choose from a list of topics I'd provided and write a conversation between the puppets based on that topic.  I checked over the scripts and returned them.  The next day, students recorded themselves saying the conversation on their iPads using an app called Audio Memos.  This is basically a voice recording app which also allows the file to be shared easily through email.  Students emailed their audio memos to me once they were done. 

Finally, students performed their puppet shows for the class while I played their recorded conversations from my laptop through large speakers mounted on the wall.  Here's an example of one of the performances:

This was truly a success!  Using Audio Memos instead of having students read their lines while performing accomplished the following:

  1. Improved pronunciation  Students were able to focus better on their pronunciation while recording themselves on their iPads than they would have if they'd been trying to read their lines from paper while also working their puppets.  Many of them listened to the recording and then re-recorded in order to fix mistakes they'd heard.
  2. Everyone was able to hear better because the conversation was projected throughout the classroom over the speakers.
  3. Shy students felt less intimidated about speaking French because they only had to worry about working their puppets in front of the class when all eyes were focused on them.

Puppet shows are a wonderful way to review material students have already learned, and they are also a great motivator, especially at this time of year when everyone is getting weary.  I felt encouraged and energized myself!  Why not give it a try?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Listening Activity with iPad!

I'm so lucky to be in a high school that has launched a 1:1 iPad program!  If you've been reading this blog, you already know that I've been writing posts about different iPad activities that I've tried.  Today I used the iPad for a listening activity that I used to do on paper.  I was reviewing vocabulary about the house, incorporating other words students have learned in the past such as prepositions, colors and daily objects.  Last year, I gave students a drawing of a house on paper, and told them to draw different objects in different rooms.  Today, I had students take a photo of a dollhouse that I keep in my classroom for this unit.  They used their iPads to take the photo.  Then they imported the photo into an app called ArtStudio Lite.  Basically, this is a drawing app that allows students to use different colors, line styles and photo effects.  Students can also draw on photos they've imported.  So, I asked students to draw different objects in the different rooms of the dollhouse photo in this app. (in French, of course!)  Students were asked to email the finished product to me for a grade.  Here are some examples from today's class:

Students were asked to draw a black dog in the bathtub, a green toothbrush on the bathroom sink and an orange cat on the toilet.  In the kitchen, they drew 4 red apples on the four plates that are on the table.  You get the idea.

This was my favorite one.  Her email said, "Please ignore the yeti, ivy and fire."  Ahh, yes...there is NEVER a dull moment when one is a high school teacher :).
I was able to quickly look at the photos in email, then reply to the emails with the grade I'd given to each student.  I noticed that the whole activity seemed more colorful and interesting to participate in because it was being done on the iPad rather than on paper.  A color photograph is always better than a black and white drawing, in my opinion!  Students were engaged and enjoying themselves during this activity, and I felt like it was a success!  Hooray!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Celebrate Mardi Gras!

One way to keep your students interested and excited about learning a language is to celebrate various holidays important to that culture in your classroom.  Not only that, but students do learn important cultural information as a result of doing this.   I typically celebrate different holidays in different levels of French in order to spread it out and to give students something to look forward to in each level.  I usually celebrate Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in French II.  This year I explained a little bit of the history behind the holiday, showed a video of some of the parades in New Orleans, had students complete a Mardi Gras Maze and gave away beads to the winner, decorated the classroom, and made a traditional King Cake.  Here are some photos.

The King Cake takes a while to make and is not a simple process, but any doubt about whether or not it was worth the effort was removed when I saw this:

Translation for non-French speakers:  I love you Madame.  Thanks.
What teacher doesn't want to hear that?  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Incredible Trip to France & Spain!

I just returned from a 10-day educational tour to France & Spain with my students, and it was truly one of the best student trips that I've been on yet.  This was only my second time leading a tour as the head teacher, and the first time was quite a few years ago with a different travel company.  I've also traveled on other tours as an assistant teacher.  The travel company I used this time is called NETC, and I could not have been happier with the service they provided!  All of my students came back so excited about what they'd experienced, and most of all, with renewed resolve to work harder at learning French or Spanish.  What music to my ears!  I had a wonderful time as well, and found that even I was inspired in new ways.

Here are some of the reasons that I love NETC:

  • Tour directors who live in Europe.  This person meets you when you arrive and directs the entire trip.  Having such a person in this role gives your students a truly international experience.  These people know the cultures they're introducing you to because they are part of them!
  • High quality hotels & restaurants.  While this company may not be the cheapest option around, they do not skimp on the quality of hotels or restaurants!  Sometimes you get what you pay for.
  • Educational activities.  In addition to sight-seeing, my students had a fencing lesson from a master fencer, a calligraphy lesson from a master calligrapher and a Spanish cooking lesson in Spain.  These activities were some of the highlights of the trip. 
  • Excellent communication between the company and the teacher during the planning process.  I worked with several different people from the company who regularly called, emailed and made themselves available for questions.

Here are some of the highlights of our trip:
Calligraphy lesson.
Seeing the interior of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Spanish chef on the left, our tour guide, Yinka, on the right.

Eating crepes in Paris.

We absolutely adored our wonderful tour director, Yinka.  She was personable, friendly, gracious, flexible, inspiring, incredibly knowledgeable, and an all-around gem of a person.  She had an enormous influence on the wonderful success of our trip.  Thank you, Yinka!

Are you considering taking a trip with your students in the future?  I would definitely recommend NETC to you.  I'm already looking forward to planning the next trip.  Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day!

I've been meaning to write a new story for The Adventures of Jacques & Suzette, my classroom mannequins (see previous posts on How to Use a Mannequin in Your Classroom for further explanation).  In particular, I've intended to write a story about Valentine's Day, but have had difficulty finding the time to do so.  I was inspired anew on a recent trip to Rome, where I saw padlocks covered with the initials of lovers locked to chains and posts on the bridges crossing the Tiber River.  I learned that the tradition is for lovers to lock these padlocks to the bridge and throw the key into the river as a symbol of their love. This tradition also spread to France, where lovers lock padlocks to the Pont des Arts (this is the name of a bridge, for those of you who may not speak French) in Paris.  How romantic! 

So, I wrote a new adventure about Jacques planning the perfect Valentine's Day date for his girlfriend, Suzette.  They went to Rome, where Jacques bought Suzette flowers from the Rome Farmer's Market and also some Italian pastry.  Next they visited an Italian chateau with a beautiful fountain.  Then, they took a super high-speed train to Paris, where Jacques put a padlock with their names on it on the Pont des Arts.  Check it out!

I made this video on my iPad2 using iMovie.  I used the FaceJack app for iPad to make my mannequins talk!  I also used the Doodlebuddy app to make the title pages and the end page. Students were asked to answer some questions after viewing the video.  They learned some new words, used listening and writing skills, and also learned some cultural information as a result of viewing this new episode about Jacques & Suzette.  But even more importantly, I think they were having fun and finding the lesson interesting :). 

 Bonne Fête de Saint-Valentin! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Even More Adopt an Escargot! (& StoryKit app for iPad)

I've begun the fabulous adopt-an-escargot project in my third-year French class this week, and there is definitely excitement in the air!  I love how much this project awakens the interest of all of my students...even those in other levels of French.  Today, students in lower levels of French could be found gathered around Escargotville in the corner of my classroom :).  It warms my heart to see this.

Today I used the iPad2 in conjunction with this project.  Students were asked to write a haiku poem for their dear baby escargot.  After reviewing how to write haiku, students used the StoryKit app to create a page which contained a photo of their baby, the text to the haiku they wrote, and a recording of their own voice reading the haiku.  Students were able to send the link to me through email, and I was then able to project the pages onto the big screen so that everyone could enjoy seeing and hearing the poems.

Here's a screenshot of one of the pages.  You won't be able to hear the audio, but I was able to play the audio on my laptop after students emailed the link to their page to me.

   For those of you who may not read French, this baby's name is Bubbles, and the poem says, "Bubbles is very beautiful, she is very smart, Bubbles is the best" (there are some errors in the French).

How was this better than having students stand up to read their poems from a piece of paper, as I've done in past years?  The entire class was able to see the text of the poem and also a photo of the snail since it was projected on the screen.  This would not have been true if students stood up to present the poems to the class.  Also, I notice that students spend a little more time on their pronunciation when they record their own voices.  Finally, students are able to observe their own presentation and enjoy the reaction of the class to their original creations.  I thought that this activity worked very well, and I was pleased with the results! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tips for Motivating the Unmotivated Student

"If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect." ~Benjamin Franklin

I saw this quote on a poster on the Persuasive Writing teacher's classroom door this week, and it got me to thinking about how, in my experience, teenagers do need a lot of persuasion to be convinced that studying any particular subject is worth their while.  So how do we persuade them in a World Language class?  Appeal to their interests, such as:

Cultural Differences

All of the above are easy to weave into French class if you're willing to exert a little extra effort.  Let's take music, for example.  Over the years I've developed a list of French music that I use to
 teach listening skills and to reinforce grammatical concepts at appropriate times.  Students also learn cultural information when they listen to authentic French music, so they're really learning on so many levels when a teacher can use a song in their lesson.  I've attended some great workshops here in Michigan on how to use music in teaching.  I learned from French teachers Suzie Martin & Marge Mandl at one of their workshops how to show the history and impact a particular song or singer had by tracing a modern version of the song back to the original singer.  This week I did this in French I by introducing students to Edith Piaf and her beautiful love song, l'Hymne à l'amour.  I played a YouTube video of Edith singing this song.  To show how much importance the song has today in France, I also showed a YouTube video of a young French singer who is singing the song at Versailles, and you can hear the whole crowd join in.  Here's the video: 

This is such a moving video!  Eventually, I'll show my students videos of Celine Dion & Johnny Hallyday singing the song and also Josh Groban. 

So back to motivating students by appealing to their interests.  After showing the above video last week, a student who is generally not motivated in any of his subjects stayed after class to talk with me about the song and about music and about how much he liked it.  This is a student who also struggles to fit in socially and who just has a hard time in general.  It thrills me to see such a student become engaged and motivated to learn!  This is not the first time this has happened, and I'm always reminded that the extra effort is worth it to see the spark of interest ignited in the hard-to-reach student.  Wouldn't you agree? :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Junk Mail Snowflakes

As I've said in previous posts, I like snowflakes!  So naturally, I like to decorate my classroom with them.  Recently I discovered a lovely new way to create them via Pinterest (if you haven't heard of it, it's definitely worth checking out!).  Michele shows you here how to recycle junk mail and make beautiful snowflakes at the same time!  I decided to try it for myself, and I was so pleased with the results that I used some of them to decorate my kitchen.

 I can't wait to take more of these to my classroom.  They'll make a nice addition to the wintry decorations I've already put up for the new year.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!! :)


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