First Marking Period Favorites

Bonjour à tous!

Again with the blogging. I know, I know. This is a big year for me, however, as I am teaching a completely full class load of French 1-4, with no prep hour and a personal goal to stay true to proficiency-based/TCI methods in every class. It has certainly not been easy so far but I am already seeing wonderful growth in my students and am excited to see what this year holds.

As I continue to develop my own proficiency in teaching French, I hope this blog can serve as a place to collaborate with other educators and collect resources to better my instruction.

And as our first marking period winds to an end (seriously? Where did it go?), I thought I’d share a few of the resources that have been helpful to me so far this year.

First Marking Period Favorites

The Creative Language Class: Though most of the instructional resources are in Spanish, the ladies at Creative Language Class have created an incredible collection of tools for any language educator. The proficiency-based rubrics have been especially helpful so far this year, and I’ve been able to easily adapt them to my many levels of French. They provide students with a clear picture of where their proficiency currently stands and where they’re headed as this year progresses.

Madame’s Musings: A French-teacher resource blog! Be still, mon coeur. The IPA lesson “packages” that Madame Shepard has made available on her blog have completely changed my French III/IV split and have inspired me to incorporate many more IPA-style practices in my class to prepare them for the actual assessment. All of my reading and listening practices so far have been modeled after what Madame Shepard has done with hers, which are based on ACTFLs recommendations for the interpretive part of the Integrated Performance Assessments. Once we get to our first “big” assessment in November, I think my students are going to do very well.

Français Interactif: Long a favorite resource for French grammar practice, I never realized until just recently that the University of Texas-Austin’s Français Interactif offers MUCH more than just grammar exercises. They have vocabulary lists, grammar review & practice, an authentic song for each unit with accompanying listening exercises, a cultural component for each unit, videos and audio samples of authentic French speakers and an “activité internet” that students can easily complete in-class or at home. Formidable!

EduBlogs: This year, my French III/IV students are blogging as way to improve their writing proficiency, in both the presentational and interpersonal modes! EduBlogs allows a teacher to create a class that students can then “join” – which gives the teacher complete access to EVERY student’s blog. I can also customize the security settings so that I can moderate each post and comment before they go “live” and so that only members of our class can view the student blogs, making internet safety the least of my concerns with this assignment. It does cost, but it is nothing astronomical and I think the price is worth it for that peace of mind. My French II students this year have the great fortune of having French pen-pals to correspond with! E-pals has been awesome so far; like EduBlogs, I can assign each student a unique and secure e-mail address to use for sending and receiving e-mails to their pen-pals. Can I just say that my students were absolutely OVER THE MOON the day they received their first letters? Also like EduBlogs, I have access to each student’s mailbox and can monitor their outgoing and incoming e-mails, making security a virtual non-issue.

So that’s a wrap on my first marking period favorites – if you have anything else to add that’s been invaluable to you and your students so far, please feel free to share below!

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