2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Bonnes vacances!

This will be our last week of French, as the teachers will soon be busy with activities to prepare for the Mother’s Day Tea, as well as many outings for the spring.  I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed working with your children and teaching them French this past year!  They are making amazing progress, and I hope they will always have a love of international cultures and languages from their years at Montessori.

This week, in addition to wrapping up our study of animals in French, we are learning how to say, Bonnes vacances! (Bun vah-kahns!), or “Have a great vacation!”

Since this will be my last year teaching French at Montessori, I will miss seeing all your children’s smiling faces in the fall!  But I will “be around” for five more weeks working in the toddler room during lunch, so I hope I will get to see some of your children in the hallway before or after lunch.

And looking ahead a bit, Bonnes Vacances to everyone!

Madame Anna

Madeline and the Eiffel Tower

I love it when kids bring home what we learn during French time and do puppet shows in French (like Chloe and Liam and others!) and also sing songs to their parents!  And I also love it when kids bring things to school from home that reflect French culture (like Nina and her T-shirts with the French writing!)

At the end of February, Jack shared his grandmother’s mini model of the Eiffel Tower and her little Madeline doll with us.  (Jack’s grandmother, Tanya, is former administrator of the Montessori School of Pullman.)  We talked about where Madeline lives (in Paris) and that there is a big and famous tower there called the Eiffel Tower, or la Tour Eiffel.  Since we were studying colors at the time, we also asked, Quelle couleur est-ce? (What color is it?) as we pointed to various pieces of Madeline’s clothing and her hair.  The kids remembered a lot of colors!

Thank you, Jack, for bringing your grandmother’s special Eiffel Tower model and Madeline doll to share with us!

We had fun opening up the special purple and gold box to find inside Jack's grandmother's mini model of the Eiffel Tower and her little Madeline doll!

We had fun opening up the special purple and gold box to find inside Jack’s grandmother’s mini model of the Eiffel Tower and her little Madeline doll!

Old MacDonald had a farm!

This week we started learning the words to the song, Le vieux MacDonald a une ferme (Old MacDonald had a Farm).  (Ms. Jane’s class will start learning them next week.)  The kids all got to wear animal masks and pretended to be the animals on Old  MacDonald’s Farm!  It’s already been lots of fun.  Here are the words to the song:

Le vieux MacDonald a une ferme (Old MacDonald Had a Farm)

Le vieux MacDonald a une ferme. I-A-I-A-O!  (In French, the letter “I” is pronounced “E” and the letter “A” is pronounced “ah.”)
Et dans sa ferme il y a un coq. I-A-I-A-O! 
(And on his farm, there is a rooster E-I-E-I-O!)
Cocorico ici. Cocorico là-bas. 
(Cock-a-doodle-doo here.  Cock-a-doodle-doo over there.)
Cocorico ici. Cocorico partout. 
(Cock-a-doodle-doo here.  Cock-a-doodle-doo everywhere.)
Le vieux MacDonald a une ferme. I-A-I-A-O!
  (Old MacDonald has a farm.  E-I-E-I-O!)

Continue with the rest of the animals, as below:

une vache—meuh meuh
un cheval—E-E-E-E-E-E
un chien—wah wah
une grenouille—croa croa
un canard—kwaihn kwaihn
un chat—meow meow
un cochon—graihn graihn

Click here to listen to your children singing Le vieux MacDonald a une ferme!

Les animaux!

This week, we met some new puppets–Monsieur la vache and Mademoiselle le chien!  (Mr. Cow and Miss Dog!)  They came from the farm of Old MacDonald (Le vieux MacDonald) to show the kids which animals (les animaux–pronounced “layz ahn-i-MO”) live on a farm and tell them their names in French.

We had fun meeting Mademoiselle le chien and Monsieur la vache this week!  They came to introduce us to their animal friend on the farm.

We had fun meeting Mademoiselle le chien and Monsieur la vache this week! They came to introduce us to their animal friends on the farm.

Also, did you know that French animals make different noises than American animals do?  Following is a list of the animals we are learning, their names in French, and the sounds they make in French.  (It’s hard to transcribe the exact pronunciation of the sounds the animals make in French, so you might want to ask your children to make the sounds for you!)

rooster:  un coq (uhn COOK) says “CO-co ri-COH!”
cow:  une vache (oon VAHSH) says “meuh”
dog:  un chien (uhn shee-EN) says “wah-wah, wah-wah”
horse:  un chevel (uhn shuh-VAHL) says “E-E-E-E-E-E-E!”
frog:  une grenouille (uhn gren-UY) says “croa croa”
duck:  un canard (uhn can-AR) says “kwaihn kwaihn”
cat:  un chat (uhn SHAH) says “meow” (the same as English!)
pig:  un cochon (uhn koh-SHAWn) says “graihn graihn”

Summer Actions

As the weather’s getting warmer and summer is nearing, this week we’ve been learning three new “summer actions” to add to our repertoire of action words we use when we play “Jacques a dit” (French version of Simon Says).

Here they are:

nagez (nazh-AY–swim)  Make swimming motions with arms.

faites du surf (fet doo surf–go surfing)  With hands out to sides, look like you’re balancing on a surf board!

faites du camping (fet doo com-PING–go camping)  Put one fist out in front of you, as holding a stick to roast marshmallows!

Have fun practicing our new summer action words with your kids in preparation for summer!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This week, we met one more new puppet: Mr. Caterpillar, or Monsieur la chenille (Miss-yur la shin-nee).  (The kids like to remember his name by thinking of their “shin” and then their “knee”!)  But he wasn’t just any old caterpillar, he was La chenille qui avait grand faim, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

We read the Eric Carle story together, pausing to count together in French, to say the names of foods we’d learned in French, and to repeat the chorus: But he was still hungry! (Il avait toujours faim!–Eel avay toozhoor fai(h)n!)  Each child also got to find one of the foods to put into Monsieur la chenille’s tummy at the appropriate time.  The first five foods we already knew, and the others were new to the children (except for du fromage, or cheese):

une pomme (oon pum–an apple)
deux poires
(duh pwar–two pears)
trois prunes
(twa proon–three plums)
quatre fraises
(cat(re) frez–four strawberries)
cinq oranges
(sank oronzh–five oranges)
un gateau
(uh(n) gatoe–a cake)
de la glace (duh la gloss–some ice cream)
un cornichon (uh(n) cornishoh(n)–a pickle)
du fromage (doo fromazh–some cheese)
un salami (uh(n) salami–a salami)
une sucette (oon sooset–a lollipop)
une tarte (oon tart–a pie)
un saucisson (uh(n) sosisoh(n)–a sausage)
un petit gateau (uh(n) peutee gatoe–a cupcake)
une pasteque (oon pastek–a watermelon)
une feuille (oon fouy–a leaf)

Of course, after eating so much food and then making a cocoon that he was in for two weeks, M. la chenille underwent a wonderful transformation and became M. le papillon (Miss-yur leu popp-ee-yoh(n)–Mr. Butterfly)!

Monsieur la chenille (or Mr. Catterpillar) came to read us Eric Carle's book, The Very Hungry Catterpillar.  Kids had fun putting various foods into his tummy!

Monsieur la chenille (or Mr. Caterpillar) came to help us read Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Kids had fun putting various foods into his tummy and repeating the names in French!

After eating lots of food and making a cocoon that he stays in for two weeks, Monsieur la chenille turns into--Monsieur le papillon!

After eating lots of food and making a cocoon that he stayed in for two weeks, Monsieur la chenille turned into–Monsieur le papillon!

If you’re interested in reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar in French, here is a link to download the book in French:  http://allsaintslanguagesblog.typepad.co.uk/all_saints_languages_blog/2009/01/la-chenille-qui-fait-des-trous-the-very-hungry-caterpillar.html

There is also a cute reading of the book in French by children on YouTube.  Can you can find it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBpHkMgWld8

Brand New Au Revoir Song!

We’ve been practicing a new, catchy, off-beat Au revoir song at the end of our French lessons, and we are now ready to perform it for you!  Below are the words, then a place to click to hear your children singing the song!

Au revoir, au revoir

Au revoir, au revoir, (Good-bye, good-bye,)
À bientôt, mes amis. (See you soon, my friends.)
Au revoir, au revoir. (Good-bye, good-bye,)
À la prochaine fois. (Until next time!)

Nous avons chanté (We sang a song) [Put hands out in front of mouth, as singing],
nous avons joué (We played a game) [Hands wave back and forth in front of body, as playing],
Mais c’est le temps de dire au revoir. (But now it’s time to say “Good-bye.”) [Tap wrist, as pointing to a wrist watch, then wave.]

Au revoir, au revoir, (Good-bye, good-bye,)
À bientôt, mes amis. (See you soon, my friends.)
Au revoir, au revoir, (Good-bye, good-bye,)
Je vous verrai plus tard. (I will see you later.)

Click here to listen to your children singing Au revoir, au revoir!

 

Do you know how to plant cabbages?

This week, Monsieur le Chef decided that since we’d learned mostly only fruits so far in French, we needed to learn the name of a vegetable (une légume).  The one he decided to teach us was cabbage, or un chou (uhn shoo).  Of course, the kids thought it was so hilarious that in French a cabbage is called a “shoe”!

We also explained that the French are very funny and when they like someone, they might call that person “my little cabbage” or “mon petit chou chou” (mohn peutee shoo shoo)!  It is a term of endearment and means “my special someone.”  So, if you want to surprise your children tonight, call them “mon petit chou chou” and see if they remember what it means!

We also learned a traditional French folk song called “Savez-vous planter les choux?” (“Do you know how to plant cabbages?”)  In this song, those singing ask if you know how to plant cabbages–but in the way they do it in their country.  In the various countries, they plant not only with their hands, but also with other various body parts, such as toes, feet, knees, head, nose, mouth and ears!  After the first verse, we changed “cabbagges” to other fruits we had learned and thus were able to practice body part names and food names at the same time!  See below for our song:

Savez-vous planter les choux?  (Do you know how to plant cabbages?)

Savez-vous planter les choux (Do you know how to plant cabbages) [Point to forehead, then outward for “you,” then make motion like putting seeds in the ground]
À la mode, à la mode (In the way, in the way) [One palm up and one down, then switch back and forth]
Savez-vous planter les choux (Do you know how to plant cabbages) [Point to forehead, then outward for “you,” then make motion like putting seeds in the ground]
À la mode de chez nous? (In the way we do it here?) [One palm up and one down, switch back and forth, then point to yourself with both hands]
On les plante avec le nez (They plant them with their noses) [Make motion like putting seeds in the ground, then touch nose]
À la mode, à la mode (In the way, in the way) [One palm up and one down, then switch back and forth]
On les plante avec le nez (They plant them with their noses) [Make motion like putting seeds in the ground, then touch nose]
À la mode de chez nous! (In the way we do it here!) [One palm up and one down, switch back and forth, then point to yourself with both hands]

At this point, we paused to let the children show us how they would “plant with their noses”!   Then we continued the song, replacing “les choux” with other various fruits we’ve learned in French and “le nez” with other various body parts!

Click here to listen to your children singing Savez-vous planter les choux?

New Fruits and a New Game!

We’ve had some requests by students to learn the name of their favorite fruit in French, so we’ve learned a couple of new fruits recently:

un kiwi (uhn keewee–a kiwi)
une cerise  (oon saireeze–a cherry)

We’ve also been playing a new game in class called As-tu la pomme?  To play this game at home, you’ll need the whole family!  Get out a variety of plastic or real fruit.  The ones we’ve been using in class are a cherry, a kiwi, an apple, an orange, a banana, a peach, a plum, a strawberry, grapes, and a pear.  (Plus, we’ve also been using cheese and chocolate milk–our puppets Minou and Trottine’s favorite food/drink!)

In this game, one person hides his/her eyes, while another goes around and picks which person to give one of the pieces of fruit to while the rest of the family has their eyes closed, with their hands behind their backs, palms up.  At the signal from the “hider,” all members then put their hands in their lap to “pretend” that they also have the fruit.  Then the guesser is told to open his/her eyes.  He/she gets up to three guesses to find out who has the fruit.  He/she would ask, As-tu la pomme? or whatever fruit has been hidden.  (“La” means “the” and is used for all the fruits except “le kiwi” and “les raisins.”)  Have fun!