TPT Cyber Sale 2016

Did you know that TPT is having a Cyber Sale this Monday and Tuesday? You can save up to 28%!
It is the perfect time to fill your cart with things to use in your classroom during the months of December and January!

Here is what I have planned in my own classroom.

During the month of December, both of my French as a Second Language Classes are going to go on a trip around the world! They will sample tourtière in Quebec, Père Noel will leave them treats in their shoes while visiting France, and they will even get to learn about the REAL Madagascar! For more information on this fun trip, check out this blog post for some FREEBIES or check out the full product here.

Once we come back to school after Christmas Vacation, we will be starting to learn about Canadian History in Social Studies! This is one of my favourite units because we get to incorporate Interactive Notebooks, Research AND Project Based Learning! The entire unit cumulates by creating a Museum of Canadian History. The kids are always SUPER engaged and they blow me away with their exhibits. To check out this unit, click here. 

I am giving away a $10 TPT gift card to one lucky teacher! The contest will close on Tuesday and I will be emailing the lucky winner on Tuesday morning so that you can shop the sale!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

French as a Second Language Christmas Around the World

December is my favourite month! Christmas carols, holiday parties and gorgeous decorations make for a terrific combination! :) One of my favourite parts of this month is bringing a little holiday magic to my classroom.

A great blog post about Christmas Around the World in the FSL Classroom!

My French as a Second Language (FSL) classes travel around the world to see how different countries celebrate Christmas. There is a French twist to this adventure as we focus specifically on how Francophone cultures celebrate the holidays. This gives the students the opportunity to notice the differences, but also the similarities of these unique cultures. It is one of my FAVOURITE units to teach!

To start off the"journey", each student gets a passport and a package of boarding passes.

Next we fill out our boarding passes!  Students fill in the departure and arrival dates, cities and times. I even let them pick their own seats on the airplane. Many of my students have never flown on a plane before so this a fun new experience for them.

Once all of our boarding passes are prepped and ready, students make their way out into the hallway. I have them pretend to carry heavy suitcases. They pass me their boarding pass and I cut off the "airline copy" as they walk into the room, also known as the "airplane".

A great blog post about Christmas Around the World in the FSL Classroom!

Once all students have boarded the flight, I play an airplane take off video on our SMART board. Students lean back and pretend that they can feel the flight lifting up into the air. I model the airplane take off dramatically because the kids find it hilarious.

The first stop on our tour is always Québec City. Once the plane lands, our adventure begins!

We start by watching this video. I have students record any Christmas traditions that they see on their scrapbook page. (Grab this page for free here!) Then we have a discussion about the different traditions that they saw.

Some possibilities include:
  • Santa Claus
  • Elves
  • Real Christmas Trees
  • Carols
  • Ice Skating
  • Sledding
  • Playing in the snow
  • Christmas lights
  • Christmas Markets
  • Church
  • Festival of Lights
  • Skiing
  • Outdoor Concerts
  • Fireworks
Next, we talk about traditional French Canadian Christmas foods. I like to provide students with samples of Maple Syrup pie and Tourtière. They then circle the statement on their scrapbook pages that describes how they felt about the dish. We also practice saying these statements to one another. For example, their exit slip for the day might be to say "J'aime la Tourtière". This is a great way to build oral language development into daily routines.

Note: I usually ask families to donate the treats.

A great blog post about Christmas Around the World in the FSL Classroom!

Another important aspect of Christmas in Canada is the Christmas Tree! Did you know that Canada has 2 381 Christmas tree farms? To recognize the importance of the Christmas tree, we create Christmas Tree ornaments. Throughout this unit, students create a small craft for each country that we visit. I usually turn some of these crafts into ornaments and hang them on our class Christmas Tree. 

A great blog post about Christmas Around the World in the FSL Classroom!

If you are interested in traveling to Canada this Holiday Season with your students, check out this FREEBIE

I also have the full blown product available in my store. The paid product includes visits to Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Madagascar and France. You will also get boarding passes, passports and passport stamps for your students! Check it out HERE!

I hope that you enjoy bringing some magic into your classroom this Christmas :) 
Have a sweet week and don't forget to pin the image below!
A great blog post about Christmas Around the World in the FSL Classroom!

The Tiger Rising

This is my first year using the Lucy Calkins reading workshop. We just finished up the Grade 4 Fiction unit. This unit uses The Tiger Rising as a mentor text. It is truly a beautiful book and many of my students were able to relate to it!

The book talks a lot about Rob's Suitcase. This "suitcase" is where he keeps all of his "not-thoughts". This can be a hard concept for students to grasp. To make it a little bit easier, I found an old suitcase at Value Village and as we read the book together, we filled it with all of Rob's not thoughts. This helped students to understand that Rob's suitcase is a metaphor. They were also able to look back at the suitcase to find evidence to support their opinions about Rob as a character. This was especially important because Characterization is the focus of this unit!

Lucy Calkins Grade 4 Fiction - The Tiger Rising understanding Rob's Suitcase

What's your favourite activity to do with The Tiger Rising? Let me know in the comments below!