Monday, April 30, 2012

Rummage Sale and Spring Carnival

Donations for baskets received so far:
(Please note the baskets will be organized and put on display the week before the carnival)

1 night stay at Freeport Hilton Garden Inn
1 night stay Freeport Hampton Inn
1 night stay Portland Harbor Hotel
$100 Seagrass Bistro Yarmouth
$50 Casco Bay Ford
$10 Clay Play Yarmouth
2 tickets aboard Portland Duck Tours
$30 Standard Bakery Portland
$10 Ben and Jerrys Freeport
1 lb coffee and signature mug Starbucks Freeport
Seasons Family Pass to Winslow Park
$25 Rainbow Toys Falmouth
Butterfly Mobile Island Treasure Toys Yarmouth
Casco Bay YMCA Splash Party $100 value
$50 Saltwater Grille So.Portland
$25 Casco bay Variety
$50 Ricettas
Free Massage at Second Nature Massage in Portland
Gift card to Mr. Bagel in Westbrook
Hammock from Ace Hardware
Maine State Park pass

Les mobiles

In Science and Technology Class, the 4th, 5th and 6th Graders started a sequence about simple machines. We first studied the lever and included it into the creation of animated posters.
Then, we learned about the use of equilibrium. With Emile, we built mobiles and tried to place different objects into balance. You can see our results in the classroom.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

To Avoid Stupid Mistakes, Think in French

Business Psychology

April 25, 2012 by , staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek

So how does French or Japanese or Spanish help? One would think that having to puzzle out a question in a foreign language would make people more likely to foul up the answer. Not so, say Keysar and his co-authors. Cognitive biases such as loss aversion are deeply emotional responses, and understanding a second language requires conscious thought in a way that processing our native tongue doesn’t. Because we have to think more to make sense of the question when it’s in a foreign language, we automatically think carefully about the answer—we don’t just answer based on our cognitive biases. 

“A foreign language is like a distancing mechanism,” says Keysar. “It’s almost like you’re a slightly different person. You’re removed from yourself.” Interestingly, other researchers have found that you can get a similar effect by writing a question not in a different language but just in a difficult-to-read font.
Asked how people might put his findings to use, Keysar says it’s too early for recommendations to inoculate people against making silly mistakes. Thinking through things in a second language, then comparing the answer to what someone else comes up with in his native language, is one idea. Not everyone has a second language to use, though, and for those people there are other distancing mechanisms: Phrase a question so it describes something in the distant future, or write it in a font that a reader has to puzzle over.

Keysar emphasizes he’s not arguing that distancing people from the questions they’re considering will always lead to better decisions. On the contrary, a large body of experimental evidence shows that emotions are immensely valuable in making good decisions—that gut instincts derive from hard-earned experience and are ignored at our peril.
The trick, then, is to figure out which questions are best considered in the fumbling cadences of our second language and which can be entrusted to our mother tongue.

Thinking in a foreign language helps economic decision-making

In a study with implications for businesspeople in a global economy, researchers at the University of Chicago have found that people make more rational decisions when they think through a problem in a non-native tongue. 
People are more likely to take favorable risks if they think in a foreign language, the new study showed. "We know from previous research that because people are naturally loss-averse, they often forgo attractive opportunities," said UChicago psychologist Boaz Keysar, a leading expert on communication. "Our new findings demonstrate that such aversion to losses is much reduced when people make decisions in their non-native language."
"A foreign language provides a distancing mechanism that moves people from the immediate intuitive system to a more deliberate mode of thinking," wrote Keysar, professor of psychology at UChicago, in the paper, "The Foreign Language Effect: Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases." The paper, which appears in the current issue of Psychological Science, was co-authored by UChicago graduate students Sayuri Hayakawa and Sun Gyu An.
In one of the most telling experiments, they tested native English speakers at the University of Chicago who gained Spanish proficiency in the classroom, in order to see how loss aversion influenced their decision-making. The experiment explored how likely the students were to take attractive bets depending on the language in which they considered their options.
Each participant received $15 in dollar bills, from which they took $1 for each bet. They could either keep the dollar or risk it for the possibility of getting an extra $1.50 if they won a coin toss. So in each round, they could net $2.50 if they won the toss, or get nothing if they lost. The bets were attractive because statistically, the students stood to come out ahead if they took all 15 bets.
When given the experiment in English, the students thought myopically, researchers found. The students who considered the problem in English focused on their fear of losing each bet, and took the bet only 54 percent of the time. In contrast, students who did the experiment in Spanish took the bet 71 percent of the time.
"Perhaps the most important mechanism for the effect is that a foreign language has less emotional resonance than a native tongue," co-author Hayakawa said. "An emotional reaction could lead to decisions that are motivated more by fear than by hope, even when the odds are highly favorable."
The team also tested asymmetry in decision-making, which happens when the same choice is framed either as a gain or a loss. In general, people avoid risk when the question is framed in terms of gains, but they seek risk when the question is framed in terms of losses. This behavior runs counter to economic theory, which states that risk evaluation should be independent of how a situation is described.
Through a series of experiments in Korea, France and the United States, the team showed that asymmetry disappears when a person makes decisions in a foreign language. The students were able to evaluate the choices based on expected outcomes, rather than having their decisions influenced by the different presentation of the problems. 
The new findings are relevant to how people in a global society make decisions as more individuals use a foreign language on a daily basis, the researchers wrote. The results suggest that thinking in a foreign language could be greatly beneficial in making decisions in a business setting or in personal finance.
"People who routinely make decisions in a foreign language might be less biased in their savings, investment and retirement decisions, as they show less myopic loss aversion. Over a long time horizon, this might very well be beneficial," the authors wrote.
So, is it always better to make economic decisions in a foreign language? The team is currently investigating decisions where the opposite is true. "It depends on the role of emotions in the specific situation," Keysar said.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ciné-club April 25 at 6:30PM

Come enjoy the opportunity to socialize in French and English and see a great French movie (in French with English subtitles).
6:30PM: Conversation, food and drinks
7:00PM: Start of the film

Movie: OSS 117 - Rio ne répond plus

by Michel HAZANAVICIUS, 2008, comedy, 1h40, with Jean DUJARDIN, Louise MONOT, Alex LUTZ…

Synopsis : Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka OSS 117, returns... this time the French spy is sent on a mission to Rio de Janeiro to track down a former high-ranking Nazi who has been in exile in South America since the war. He is accompanied on his eventful journey by female Mossad agent who is also on the trail of the Nazi. While detective work perseveres, romance blossoms...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu April 23 to April 27, 2012

Tomato Soup
Ham & Cheese Biscuits 
Fresh Fruit

Chicken and Rice
Caesar Salad

American Chop Suey
Cucumber Salad
Cup Cakes

Cheese Quesadillas
Black Bean & Corn Rice
Fruit and Yogurt

Chopped Salad

All meals are served with milk and water.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


After our trip to see the exhibit « Edgar DEAGS : the private impressionist », we have started to study the different techniques used by the artist.
Using a copy of the sketches they had seen at the exhibit, the students were to choose one or more and work on their sketching skills, focusing on shadows, different types of outlines.

They did a fantastic job. Please come see their works in the hallway !

Des poupées Kokeshi

Don't forget to visit the K-1 class blog for more amazing articles! (

Depuis très longtemps, au Japon, les enfants aiment jouer avec de petites poupées de bois appelées kokeshi. Elles sont très reconnaissables à leur corps cylindrique et leur tête ronde.
Children in Japan, have always liked to play with wooden dolls called kokeshi. They are recognizable by their cylindrical body and round heads.

Nous nous sommes inspiré de cette tradition pour créer nos poupées.
Nous avons choisi des tissus pour le kimono, avant de les coller, d'ajouter des bras, un col, et un noeud dans le dos.
We drew inspiration from this tradition to create our own dolls. We chose the fabric for the kimono and then glued it, we added arms, a collar and a bow in the back.
Nous avons aussi dessiné le visage, et colorié les cheveux.
We also drew the faces and colored the hair.
Tout le monde a trouvé nos poupées magnifiques! Nous sommes très fiers!
Everyone thought our dolls were magnificent! We are very proud!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu April 9 to April 13, 2012

Baked Mac & Cheese
Fresh Fruit

Pork Stir Fry
Mixed Vegetables

Grilled Cheese
Carrot Soup
Celery Sticks
Blueberry bars

Pesto Pasta w/Chicken
Caesar Salad
Magic Bars

Meatball Subs
French Fries
Fresh Fruit

All meals are served with milk and water.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Transvasement de l'eau

Last week we poured water from one bowl to another one as carefully as we could (we had to put the least amount of water possible outside the bowls). In order to accomplish this task, we used different utensils: bottles, spoons, glasses and cups of different sizes. It was a lot of fun!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Edgar Degas at the Portland Museum of Art

Last Thursday, the 4th, 5th and 6th graders went to the Portland Museum of Art, to discover the remarkable exhibit on the famous of French impressionist Edgar Degas, entitled  « Edgar Degas: the private impressionist ».  The exhibit presented a large collection of sketches, prints and etching by the painter, as well as other artists of this era (ie: Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet…) .
The students admired the different techniques and media used by Degas.

After the visit, students enjoyed crêpes at the Merry Table Crêperie! The owner had prepared a special menu "en français": salade verte, crêpe jambon/fromage and for dessert, the delicious crêpe au sucre.

Everyone had a great time !  The perfect way to enjoy "La semaine de la francophonie"

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Dear parents and friends,

I’ll be sharing photos and stories following my volunteer trip to Haiti a few weeks ago.
Please join us on Tuesday, April 10th from 2 to 3pm at the South Freeport Church Community Hall.

Open to the public.

The Sound of Success: Suzuki Method for Guitar

April 4, 2012 /Suzuki Association of the Americas

Thanks to the work of the SAA Guitar Committee and producer Laura Wong Burnett, the Suzuki Association of the Americas is able to present a new, informative introduction to Suzuki Guitar. Whether you are a parent or a classical guitarist interested in teaching, the information is now available in the video “The Sound of Success: Suzuki Method for Guitar.” (Click here to watch the video)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Institut Suzuki Montréal 2012

Institut Suzuki Montréal 2008

Main week July 22-27 / Bloc principal 22-27 juillet
Chamber music July 20-27 / Musique de chambre 20-27 juillet
Teacher development July 21-29 / Formation des professeurs 21-29 juillet

Inspired by Shinichi Suzuki’s summer school in Japan, Institut Suzuki Montréal is an enjoyable and inspiring musical experience for both children and adults.  It brings together students, parents and guest teachers for a lively week of learning.

The Institut has been aptly described as a "musical immersion week". It is a unique opportunity to be immersed in a nurturing and musical environment of playing, singing, performing, studying, attending concerts, and being with others who share the same interests. Parents (or a guardian) accompany and participate in their childrens’ activities throughout the week. Parental accompaniment is not required for all teen activities.

The Institut is bilingual. Individual instruction is given in either French or English, according to preference. Some group events may incorporate both languages.

Performance is highlighted at the Institut. Students and parents are encouraged to attend daily concerts given by guests of the Institut, faculty members, orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Along with their peers, the Institut participants all get a chance to perform in a solo concert as well as in the final group concert.