Skateboarding – French Reading (and Listening)

Skateboarding – French Reading (and Listening)

I gave everyone a break from their “cahier bleu” Thursday and today and although I asked that everyone continues to read in French at home (without writing about it), I worry that many won’t do it.

Here is something for your child, in case he/she hasn’t done any French reading at home today. Save it for later if needed!

Pierre-Luc Gagnon – Le pro du skate

There is a short article and a 6:27 minute interview with Pierre-Luc. Listening to a French interview is a great way to improve one’s listening skills.



Online French Reading

Online French Reading

Good evening parents,

Your child temporarily has access to French novels online. I believe it will be available until the end of June. If he/she is looking for something new to read, please visit the following site.

All you will need is a password to access the novels. I gave the password today in class.

I was able to view the novels from my computer. I hope it works for you as well!

Have a great evening,


French Reading – Online

French Reading – Online

The students have access to Info-Jeunes. I used some of the money we received from the Federal Government to cover the cost of this subscription.

I think Info-Jeunes is an amazing resource. It follows current events and for those who have more difficulty in French, there is also a recording of the article that the students can play while reading. I just tested it on my iPad and it works on it as well.

As I’m aware that not all students have the same rules around computer usage at home, I haven’t asked anyone to do it as homework.

If you would like to have access to your child’s account, please add a comment to this blog post to let me know. I will give you your child’s log in information.

Thank you!


Book Club – Final Assignment

Book Club – Final Assignment

The students will be exploring stop animation during the next few weeks. They will use the Stop Motion app to present a scene from the book they read during Book Club.

Stop Motion is a free app so if you have an iPad at home I encourage your child to download it. I also have access to Stop Motion Studio Pro but I much prefer to use the free version at the beginning as it has less features and has everything we will need to create the projects.

Here’s a project I worked on with a small group of teachers many years ago, when iPads weren’t available. You should hear my voice at around the 0:49 mark. Your child should be able to recognize me. 🙂

Text Features – Continued

Text Features – Continued

Our work with text features continues. We are digging a lot deeper than what I’ve done in the past and so far, it has been a rich experience for all of us. The skills that the students are learning during these sessions are important to have, especially when doing independent research projects.

On Monday, while working with Ms. Hong in the library, all students were able to start typing up the information gathered while reading a nonfiction book of their choice. They used the Book Creator app to do this.

Here is an overview of the steps we followed to get us to this point:

Step 1: We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books. (see  this blog post for more info)

Step 2: The students did a scavenger hunt, using the school library books. The pictures they took can be viewed on Showbie, in the “Text Features – Scavenger Hunt” folder.

Step 3: The students selected a nonfiction book from the library. Many students found the selection process difficult. Their greatest challenge was to ensure that most text features appear in the book they chose.

Step 4: Each student created a “Wonder Web”, using the following graphic organizer. They were not allowed to read their book prior to doing this.


Step 5: To find the answer to their questions, they read the table of contents and the index.  This is what they used to do this. I’ve modified the document as I felt it was not clear enough and a bit confusing.

Step 6: I asked the students to only read the sections that were pertinent to their questions. When we research information, we rarely read an entire book and I wanted the students to get better at this. It seems pretty obvious to us but you would be surprised to see how many students don’t know how to do this. Many also found this part challenging as they were not always looking in the right section. In the end, most students were able to find the answers to their questions.

We also had a great discussion around book selection and what makes a book great as opposed to just okay. Here are the books that turned out to be great:

Step 7: To practice reading headings and subheadings, we also asked everyone to come up with new questions connected to these text features. Although it wasn’t mentioned, I noticed that many used the pictures found on the page to help them write questions. This is what good readers do. We may not necessarily be aware of it but it happens all the time.

Here is the document they used for this step. I apologize for the blurry picture. I took it with my phone and the lighting wasn’t great.


What next?

During the next month, the students will be writing a short nonfiction book using their findings. Their work will be published using Book Creator, a fantastic app we have access to on our school iPads. This will also give them the opportunity to include and create many of the text features they have been learning about during this personal research.

As you can see, learning takes time and for complete mastery of a skill, it is important to dig deep and to revisit what is being taught over a longer period of time. If you would like to support your child at home with this, don’t hesitate to discuss text features with him/her. Here are some keywords for you:

  • Table of Contents
  • Heading
  • Subheading
  • Text Box
  • Caption
  • Label
  • Graph
  • Pictures, Illustrations, Images
  • Maps
  • Glossary
  • Bold, italics
  • Index

Have a great day,