Friday, February 27, 2009

Le compost

On Tuesday, February 17, we went to Wolfe´s Neck Farm to measure the temperature of their compost piles. The temperature ranged from around 80 ° F to 140° F in their smaller pile. We could see steam rising from certain areas of the pile. In the big pile, though, the temperature was only around 40° F. Measurements were taken from different areas and depths of the piles.
Afterward, Heather (a volunteer at the farm) came to our classroom to talk to us about trash.We learned that the average American generates about 4.4 lbs of trash per day. About 70% goes to landfills (American or foreign), 25% gets incinerated, creating toxic gases, and the rest ends up in the ocean, creating huge piles of trash, one of which is about the size of Texas. We sorted three bags of trash into four piles: compost, recyclable, reusable, and real trash. Close to 75% was not true trash.
While at the farm, as an additional treat, we had a lot of fun feeding and petting the animals.

The sixth graders.

Bonnes vacances!

The school is closed from March 2, 2009 to March 10, 2009.

Have a good vacation!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Thornton Ring for removing the snow on the parking lot
Mary and Eric Labelle for coffee and bagels for the staff

Wish list

Original Choice Potting Mix for Francis' class
Clorox wipes

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Au revoir!

I am going back to France in March. I have decided to get a teacher certification in France and will take exams scheduled in March and June.
Teaching at L'Ecole Française du Maine has been a very valuable experience and has inspired me to pursue a career in education.
It has been a real pleasure to work with the children and the staff this past year!


Les mangeoires...

Wednesday, we built bird feeders to help birds who have trouble finding food during the winter...

Les Petites et Moyennes Sections

Valentine's day

On Friday the 13, 2009 we celebrated Valentine's Day. We shared cookies in the shape of hearts baked by Kale's mom. Thank you! Merci!

Les Petites et Moyennes Sections

Field trip to Wolfe's Neck farm!

On Friday 13, 2009 we went to Wolfe’s Neck farm. We touched the animals, following our work on the 5 senses. We also listened to the call of the animals and breathed the good smells of the farm.

Les Petites et Moyennes Sections

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wish list

Tissues and Clorox wipes are always welcome, especially during the winter!


Doug Piehl and his crew for fixing the ceiling tiles, replacing neon lights and fixing the hallway water-fountains.
Thornton Ring for researching and ordering the magnetic lettering for the bus
Tara and William Magaw for the blankets in Valerie's class
Zeile Dougher and Stephen Fernald for the plant in Valerie's class and for providing lunch for everyone this Friday

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two concerts in one day on February 26th.

Thursday, Feb. 26th, 12:15 pm, First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., free!
Nathan Kolosko and the Kolosko Dimow Duo

Nathan Kolosko - guitar
Carl Dimow - flute, bass flute

This will be a short (30 minute) lunchtime concert. We'll be performing my new Nayarit Suite - a four movement work inspired by The Pearl by John Steinbeck. This is one of three works we're in the midst of recording for the duo's next CD.
I will also be performing an original solo work entitled The Myth of the Formorians.

Thursday, Feb. 26th, 6:30 pm, Institute for Contemporary Art, 522 congress St., donation suggested

Nathan Kolosko - guitar
Carl Dimow - flute, bass flute
Ben Noyes - cello
Yep, this is the same day, but a very different performance. We'll be doing free improvisations, responding to the installation Twilight, at the ICA. We'll specifically be responding to the work of Jim Campbell.
This is a unique and exciting trio and a special event.

I hope you can make it.

Nathan Kolosko

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

La chandeleur...

On February 2, the Petite and Moyenne Section children invited us to celebrate 'La chandeleur' - a French tradition. We ate crêpes together. It was delicious!
Merci beaucoup!
Les CP et CE1

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Annual meeting of AFSA (Association of French Schools in North America)

Beth and Willy were in New York on February 1, 2 and 3, 2009 for the annual meeting of AFSA (Association of French Schools in North America), This conference provides members with a wealth of valuable information on topics including: staff evaluation and compensation, AEFE updates, human resources, recruitment, financial planning- investments and cash flow, fundraising (annual fund, donations, events, grants & development), and this year particularly- the impact of the financial climate on our schools.

The conference was opened by Mme Kareen Rispal, Conseiller culturel de France à NY, who introduced M. André Ferrand, Sénateur des Français à l’étranger (Senator of French citizens abroad).

The opportunity to confer with our colleagues on all of these topics is invaluable. In attendance were the Heads of Schools, Curriculum Directors and Human Resource Directors from the other 40 French schools in America.

You will surely be interested in the information presented on bilingualism. A presentation of new research was made by Professor Mme Bialystock, of York University, Canada on the lifelong impact of bilingual education on brain development.

For example, recent findings indicate:
-Bilingual individuals have superior cognitive processing for their entire lives.
-Bilingual individuals resolve perceptual conflicts far better than do monolinguals.
-Bilingual individuals have superior brain executive functions.
-Bilingual individuals are less likely to be affected by dementia, and even if they do develop dementia, the onset occurs at a much later age.

In addition to the numerous and informative presentations, it is always useful to discuss day-to-day operations including topics such as: scheduling, school lunch, snacks, recess, teacher meetings, aftercare, etc. with other Directors, and to compare our experiences and get new ideas.

We find our schools, while in some ways very different one from another, all face similar challenges associated with running a private school in America. Furthermore, we share the added challenges (and benefits!) of operating these schools within multi-lingual environments. For example, we must consider visa requirements and limitations, culture shock, how to make the most of both French and American teaching methods, and we need to consider and support the cultural differences between the families we serve and the educators we employ.

The strength of our schools lies in these differences, and our concentrated efforts in the direction of harmony between the two cultures is what sets us apart and makes our educational opportunity so unique and rewarding.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Les histoires de Petit Ours Brun!

Thank you to the 2nd graders who take turns to come and tell us Petit Ours Brun stories!

Les Petites et Moyennes Sections

Le goût...

The two Maternelle classes have been working together on a common project on taste. Half of the Kindergarten children went to work with the little ones, while the children of Moyenne Section joined rest of the Kindergarten.
The older ones could thus help the younger children, and they enjoyed being together.

La motricité...

On Monday it was too cold to go outside for recess so we pushed the tables aside and transformed the classroom into a gym! We had a lot of fun…