Ahhh… I finally started! I’ve been talking about this one for quite a while now it seems. I started planning French centres last year and have been actively gathering ideas and resources ever since until yesterday we finally started them in class. And so far so good! There are a few areas that need some adjustments but that’s all part of trying out something new.
I chose to go with six centres so that all my students are in groups of four. I’ve kept it organized so far by posting the centres on the board with the groups below and then I can just rotate the cards around so students know where to go.
The centres are general ideas for now and I’m hoping to have them more polished by Christmas break but this is what I have for now:
We have all set up DuoLingo accounts so when the students are at this centre they just log onto the iPads and get started. Super easy for me and they LOVE it!
This station will be one of the stations I will change up frequently. . Right now they are working on finding Mots Amis (words that are almost the same spelling in French and English) and Mots Familiares (common French words we know) in flyers that I have printed off. They cut out the words they recognize and glue them in the right column on a sheet. My plan is eventually to have some vocabulary activity books (similar to the ones on our Teachers pay Teachers store) that students can work through in groups.
I had planned this station last year but was having so much trouble trying to find time to set it up until… Teachers pay Teachers to the rescue! Someone had already done the work! (Find it here) For this centre I have a box of the questions and then the reference list that says what the question means and how to answer it. Basically students take turns asking the questions to each other and if they know how to answer it right away without help they get 2 points, if they need to ask for help or use the sheets they get 1 point, and if they don’t answer it then no points. At the end of the centre I have them write down their score for the day and they will be competing against their own scores each week to see their improvement. I was worried that the 15-20 minutes would be too much time for this station but once they got the hang of it everything went smoothly!
Karley wrote about this app last year here. This app is so much fun for students to use and I am very excited about my plan to use it as a tool throughout the year (when I get my full time, full year contract!) Every student is creating a character on Tellagami and then they are going to make the 30 second video a basic introduction to their character. The plan is that every time I do centres they will make a new video for the same character so first round is introductions but after this it might be a 30 second description of their hobbies, or foods the like, or summer plans… whatever fits in with our French vocab!
This station is pretty straightforward – they read out loud to each other. I left about 5 books and magazines in French on the table and each student read for 3-4 minutes and then they discussed what they thought was happening in the story. Once the centres are going smoothly, this will be the station I will spend the most time at assessing oral language and helping guide comprehension. For now they seemed to have a lot of fun reading children’s books!
This is another centre that will have a lot of changes depending on what we are focusing on. Right now they are making “All About Me” posters in French. I got these posters from a colleague and they are really fun, pretty simple and look really nice when they are done. I like that it has the creative component in designing the poster and the basic introduction language that they will be using in their Tellagami videos.
So those are my six centres for French right now and I will keep you posted as to how everything is working out.
Any suggestions for my centres? Has anyone used a centres based approach before?
What are some good picture books with simple language I should get?