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:)



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