Saturday, February 8, 2020

Un FREEBIE pour La Saint-Valentin!!

There's something about Valentine's Day that makes me so happy! I love seeing the hearts everywhere and teaching my students about "l'amour" and "la gentillesse".

Our classroom was transformed and all of our centers were rosy and lovely.

Our small world play was simple and sweet: wooden houses, red, pink and purple loose parts, and peg people!

For Writer's Workshop (we call it l'Atelier des écrivains) this week, we did a whole class sentence writing activity with Valentine's-themed picture prompts and the sentence starter: "J'aime..." and thematic vocabulary. The students then tried the activity on their own, composing sentences with the vocab cards and then transcribing their sentences on the sheets and colouring the images.

Another literacy center that we did was a 3-part "Build a Sentence" activity, where students chose a setting, character and event to build a sentence or start a story, depending on their ability level. That resource can be found in my TPT store here:

This is typically when I focus on the words "J'aime" and "je t'aime" and all the vocabulary terms around family and love. I use this resource to introduce all of the vocabulary words and begin to create simple family trees.

A great song for introducing family vocabulary and the term "J'aime" is this one:

And Mini TFO is always a great bet for songs that introduce simple French vocabulary! This one is sweet:

Finally, if you're looking for a quick and FREE Kindergarten literacy activity for Valentine's Day, here is a freebie just for you! These heart shaped puzzles are bilingual (all of the images start with the same letter in French and English) so they are perfect for the bilingual Kindergarten classroom. Click on the picture below to access it in my FREE Resource Library.

Joyeuse Saint-Valentin à tous!

xo Jess

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Les dinosaures: A Kindergarten Inquiry

In my 11+ years of teaching Kindergarten and primary, I have yet to do a class inquiry or unit of study on dinosaurs. Isn't that weird?! So when my students started to express interest in dinosaurs, I was thrilled! I love learning alongside my students and exploring new topics with them.

Literacy and Vocabulary:

So far, we have talked about different types of dinosaurs and how paleontologists discovered that dinosaurs existed millions of years ago. We have read a couple of great French books about dinosaurs with relatively simple text to spark further interest in the topic:

Image result for si j'avais un triceratops Image result for si j'avais un triceratops

 This one is great for reviewing colour vocabulary:

Image result for Les dinosaures apprennent leurs couleurs

After reading it, I worked in small groups with my students to review the colour words in French. Before the students had arrived, I hid small, coloured dinosaur counters around the room. We worked on listening to directions given in French, using visual cues to help us understand the French vocabulary and it was a great way to quickly assess comprehension. For example, I would say "Nous cherchons maintenant le dinosaure jaune. Il se cache dans un endroit dans la classe où on lit des livres." Using this and other clues given verbally, the students would then try to find the dinosaur with their group and return it to me, adding it to this sheet from my Les dinosaures Unit:

For our Writer's Workshop, we did the classic "Si les dinosaures revenaient..." writing prompt (also found in my TPT Les dinosaures resource) and we used these dinosaurs and speech bubbles at our writing center. 

Dramatic Play:

We set up a paleontology dig site in our dramatic play area that was wildly popular. We had paleontologist's tools likes brushes, chisels, and magnifying glasses and desk area set up for observing our salt dough fossils. We opted for a sand-coloured rug for our dig site instead of a true sand-pit or sensory table because I wasn't up for the constant sweeping that this would require. The kids seem to enjoy it just the same!

Adding this activity where students have to match the dinosaur to its skeleton to our dig site for an extra challenge. 

You can find the activity above if you become an email subscriber to Madame's Little Monkeys! Simply click the image below to sign up and you will gain access to this dino freebie and so many more!


In terms of Math centers, we are currently focusing on Data Management and Probability, so our math table top centers centered around graphing. 

The kiddos loved polling their friends to find out what their favourite dinosaur is and then tallying and graphing their results. The tricky bit was trying to get them to ask their friends in French! That took a little (ahem.. a LOT) of prompting.

While our math focus was on Data Management, we also like to have a numeracy activity out each week. This coming week, I will putting this out and talking about counting by 2s and 4s with the students, since the dinosaurs walk on 2 or 4 feet. Any activity with playdough is typically a hit with my group!

Small World Play:

In our small world play area, we set up a dinosaur world with a volcano, grass squares, wood slices, small trees, and, of course, DINOS!

All of the activities in this post can be found in my "Les dinosaures" Resource on TPT which can be found here: