TPT Back to School Gift Card Giveaway!

Did you know that TPT is having a Boost Sale Tomorrow? That means that my entire store will be 28% off! To help celebrate, myself, along with some other awesome bloggers will be giving away $10 TPT gift cards. Be sure to read to the end of this post to enter and then hop to the next blog! 

Once school starts, one of the first activities that I will be doing with my students is my new Digital "All About Me" resource. Its a great way to create a caring classroom community, get to know your students, and introduce students to technology all at once! Best of all, if you are new to Google Slides, it walks students through each step with detailed images.

Check it out by clicking on the image. 

One of the projects that I am currently working on laminating are my new First Nations, Metis and Inuit Alphabet cards. These gorgeous alphabet cards use real images and are a fabulous way to represent the FNMI culture in your classroom! Check it out by clicking on the image below. 

The Final Back to School product that I wanted to share with you today is my Editable Pocket Chart Calendar Pack. I absolutely LOVED using this calendar in my room last year as it brightened everything up! As you can tell, the picture below highlights my French version as that is what I use in my classroom. However, there is also an English version available in my store. Click on the image below to check it out!

Here is the giveaway :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the image below to continue on your blog hop!

Launching Genius Hour

It is no secret to my colleagues that I absolutely LOVE Genius Hour! Some people call it Passion Projects, others call it 20% time, but the idea is essentially the same. Providing students with one block a week to work on something that is important to them or that they are interested in.

One of my favourite aspects of Genius Hour is launching it. I love the sense of anticipation and excitement that is created. I love hearing students talk about how excited they are for Genius Hour during recess time, at lunch and on the bus. It truly makes me want to sing and dance!

In my mind, launching Genius Hour is one of the most important and crucial components. The launch sends the message to your students that you value Genius Hour and that they should too. It builds their excitement for learning and what could be better than that? Over the past few years, I have launched Genius Hour in a few different ways. 

Here are some of my favourite ideas:

1) Watch Caine’s Arcade

This video is truly inspiring! My kids love watching it because Caine is a little boy just like them who achieved something great by using his imagination! Here is the link to the video in case you want to check it out!

2) Read an Inspiring Book

Some of my favourite books to launch Genius Hour include:

What Is It? by Nicole Hoang and Dustin Nguyen

What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

I love all three of these books because they talk about creativity and making mistakes.

3) Be inspired by Kid President and his darling PEP Talk! 

My students absolutely adore Kid President. He is just the right mix of funny, clever and insightful. If you haven’t checked him out yet, be sure to do so!

So there you have it, my favourite three ways to launch Genius Hour! How do you launch your Genius Hour?

4 Tips for Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom!

As a second language teacher, I really struggle to find substitute teachers who are fluent in French. Most of the time, I need to book a sub weeks in advance. The problem is though, I never plan on getting sick.

The struggle is real!

Here are a few of my best tips for those days when you don't have a French sub in your Second Language classroom. Because even though we would like to deny it, sometimes we just NEED those sub plans!

Tip 1:

Have an emergency French Sub Tub. This way, if you wake up sick, it's not a mad race to find activities for your students. But wait... what do I put in my Sub Tub? Remember all of those activities that you ran out of time to do? Those activities that you were planning on doing until a last minute assembly came up? That extra vocabulary worksheet, crossword puzzle or colouring sheet? Put all of those copies into your Sub Tub. That way, all of those extra copies that you made won't go to waste! Best of all, even if your substitute teacher doesn't speak French, the kids should still be able to do these activities because it is all review. Interested in creating your own Sub Tub? Grab my FREE label here!

Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom - FREE Sub Tub label

Tip 2:

Utilize Student Leaders! The main problem that I find with having a substitute teacher that doesn't speak French is that when the kids have a question, there isn't anyone there to answer it! I like to solve this problem by using student leaders! Simply leave your sub with a list of names of students that are very strong in French. I like to ask students at the beginning of the year if they would be comfortable being a student leader as it is always good for them to know ahead of time! You can switch out your student leaders throughout the year as needed.

Need a badge for your student leaders? Grab a FREE copy of mine here!

Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom - FREE Student Leader Tags

Tip 3:

When all else fails, watch a French movie or TV show. The national film board of Canada has a French section. Check it out here. There is also a paid version of this site. If you subscribe, you get access to other great shows such as television renditions of Robert Munsch classics! I suggest trying out the free version before committing. If you are out sick, simply leave a note for your sub with the links to the videos that you want the students to watch. I like to have my students respond to the videos that they watch with substitute teachers for a little extra accountability. You can find the response sheet that I use for FREE here. Simply print out a few class sets of the response sheet and keep it in your Sub Tub. Easy as pie!

Preparing for a substitute teacher in the second language classroom - free short film response sheet

Tip 4:

Provide the substitute teacher with activities that have sound built in. That way, students are still hearing the French language but the sub doesn't have to do the talking! This is probably my favourite option because it allows you to continue moving forwards with your curriculum. You can do this yourself by creating small videos of mini French lessons. Then simply have the substitute teacher play them. Alternatively you can add sound to your PowerPoint presentations. If you are interested in some activities that already have sound built in for you, check out my FREE spring clothing vocabulary PowerPoint activity here.

Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom - FREE French Clothing Vocabulary PowerPoint Presentation with sound

Also, if you enjoy using the spring clothing PowerPoint presentation, I also have a bundle of all 4 seasons in my
TPT store!
Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom - FREE French Clothing Vocabulary PowerPoint Presentation with sound

These 4 tips got me through the stomach flu last year and I hope that they prove to be as useful for you!

Don’t forget to pin this image so that you can grab these freebies the next time you are sick!
Preparing for a Substitute Teacher in the Second Language Classroom - 4 Tips and 4 FREEBIES

What is your best French substitute teacher tip? Comment below!