Thursday, May 31, 2012

Geckos aborigènes

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

L'art est très important dans la culture aborigène, lié à la terre et célébrant le "Temps du rêve", qui explique l'origine du monde et de l'Australie.
Il y a la musique, le mime, les costumes, la peinture, la sculpture...
Les éléments naturels sont beaucoup utilisés comme support de décor: écorce de bois, parois des grottes, sol, cailloux, coquillages... On y trouve souvent des représentations d'animaux comme le gecko, le serpent, le kangourou...
Art is very important to the Aborigine culture, linked to the earth and celebrating "The Time for dreams", which explains the origins of the world and Australia.
There is music, mime, costumes, painting, sculpture...
Natural elements are used a lot as support for decoration: bark, cave walls, ground, rocks, seashells... One often finds animal representations such as gecko, snake, kangaroo...

Après avoir lu un conte des origines et écouté la musique étonnante du didgeridoo, nous avons peint et décoré de gros galets et des coquillages.
After reading a story about the origins and listening to the astonishing music of the didgeridoo, we painted and decorated big pebbles and seashells.
Nous avons utilisé des peintures aux couleurs naturelles, comme l'ocre, le vert, le rouge, le marron, car les aborigènes utilisaient des matériaux colorés qu'ils trouvaient dans la nature pour décorer leurs créations: fruits, pierres, terre, feuilles...
We used natural colors of paint they find in nature, such as ochre, green, red, brown because the aborigines used colored materials to decorate their creations: fruits, stones, dirt, leaves...

 Nous avons ensuite peint des geckos sur nos pierres ou coquillages peints, et décoré l'ensemble avec des petits points de différentes couleurs.
We then painted geckos on our stones or seashells, and decorated everything with little dots of different colors.

C'était très intéressant de peindre sur ces nouveaux supports que l'on trouve dans la nature!
It was very interesting to paint on those new supports we find in nature!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The linguistic genius of babies


At TEDxRainier, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another -- by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.
Patricia Kuhl studies how we learn language as babies, looking at the ways our brains form around language acquisition.

Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl is the Bezos Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Learning, Co-Director of the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, Director of the NSF-funded Science of Learning Center, and Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences. She is internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and studies that show how young children learn. Dr. Kuhl's work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech. Dr. Kuhl is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Rodin Academy, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. She was awarded the Silver Medal of the Acoustical Society of America in 1997, and in 2005, the Kenneth Craik Research Award from Cambridge University. She received the University of Washington's Faculty Lectureship Award in 1998, and in the 2007, Dr. Kuhl was awarded the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Kuhl is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Acoustical Society of America, the Cognitive Science Society and the American Psychological Society. In 2008 Dr. Kuhl was awarded the Gold Medal from Acoustical Society of America for her work on learning and the brain. In 2011 in Paris, she was awarded the IPSEN Fondation’s Jean-Louis Signoret Neuropsychology Prize.
Dr. Kuhl was one of six scientists invited to the White House in 1997 to make a presentation at President and Mrs. Clinton's Conference on "Early Learning and the Brain." In 2001, she was invited to make a presentation at President and Mrs. Bush's White House Summit on "Early Cognitive Development: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn." In 2000, she co-authored The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn (Morrow Press).
Dr. Kuhl's work has been widely covered by the media. She has appeared in the Discovery television series "The Baby Human"; the NOVA series "The Mind"; the "The Power of Ideas" on PBS; and "The Secret Life of the Brain," also on PBS. She has discussed her research findings on early learning and the brain at NBC's Education Nation, and on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, NHK, CNN, and in The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Les vies de Léon et Noèl en BD

The CM1 read Le Cochon à l’oreille coupée in class, which tells the story of pig twin brothers whose lives will be very different due to an accident…
Two groups were made and each of them had to retell the story from the perspective of one of the pigs.
Their work is in the hallway. Please come check it out !

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Les proverbes de Pieter Bruegel

For this project students have studied the biographies of Pieter Brueghel the Older and his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger. In class we have observed the masterpiece of Pieter Brueghel the Older called “The Flemish proverbs” which depicts over a hundred Flemish proverbs. The objective of this art class was to produce a composition starting with literal renditions of French proverbs of the day. Starting with this idea we have studied French proverbs and expressions like “to have the banana”, “to put a wagon before the bulls”, “to give your tongue to the cat”, “to throw a rock in the garden” etc. Then, we did sketches of each proverb. We were working in 5 theme groups: Animal expressions, Botanical expressions,Clothes expressions, Numeral expressions, Food expressions. Finally each group did a painting of all the expressions studied in their theme.  Please come check out our interactive exposition displayed in the hallway.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Playground Fun

“It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be 
creative and to use the whole personality,  and it is only in being creative
that the individual discovers the self.” ~ D.W. Winnicott (British pediatrician)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mineralogy and Petrology

Students in grades 2 and 3 explored the granitic pegmatite and its surrounding gneiss at a Topsham quarry where they found specimens of large minerals such as muscovite, biotite, feldspar, albite, and quartz in many colors and almandine garnet.  Students were very excited by this outing.  Plans are to build a rock collection with the samples collected.

Students discovered some interesting textures among the pegmatic rocks, such as this pegmatitic graphic texture created with crystals of quartz and feldspar/albite.

Les papillons

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Advanced Classes for Middle and High School Students, DELF preparation

Advanced Middle and High School After School French Classes:  DELF

Starting in the fall of 2012-2013, L’Ecole Française du Maine will be offering Advanced French Classes for our students who wish to keep up their French after completing their immersion education at the School.  We offer this class primarily to meet our former school students’ needs, to keep challenging them, and to help them reach a higher level of fluency in French. Many of these students were enrolled in our French immersion program for many years or have demonstrated interest in the French language and culture. We also welcome outside students who have had a French experience at some point and who are looking to improve their proficiency in the French language.

The goal of the afterschool program is to provide an opportunity for our graduates and other advanced French students to converse in French on a regular basis, and to keep up with written skills in a fun and challenging atmosphere. Regular attendance will be required to participate and benefit from the program. While there will be much to learn, there will be limited out of classroom assignments. We understand that students will already be carrying full academic loads in their current middle and high schools.

The classes will prepare the students for the DELF exams. The Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) (English: Diploma in French Studies) is a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers of French, administered by the International Centre for French Studies (Centre international d'études pédagogiques, or CIEP) for France's Ministry of Education.

DELF Exams
The DELF Exam (Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française), designed by the CIEP (Centre International d'Etudes Pédagogiques), is an official qualification awarded by the French Ministry of Education certifying a level of fluency in French. Such certifications are useful for school records, as well as college and job applications. Scores are valid for life.
The entire program includes six different units. Each unit leads to an exam and, if successfully passed, to a French diploma. The last levels of the program can give access to French universities without having to take another proficiency test before enrolling in a class.

Typically, French majors in college seek the DELF at the university level, but thanks to their immersion education, our students will be positioned to pass this exam prior to attending university. This is an impressive accomplishment that could exempt the students from foreign language requirements, or allow them to be accepted into higher-level classes sooner than is typical. The institution itself will make the determination, but the DELF will provide the students with an official record of their advanced proficiency in French. Passing the B2/ C1 level should waive language proficiency exam if attending a French higher education institution.

Enrollment form: DELF

Please complete and return to:

L’Ecole Française du Maine
PO Box 737
South Freeport, ME 04078

Student’s Name: _________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________
School: _________________________________________________
Grade: _________________________________________________

Classes will run by 10-week sessions per Semester on Wednesday afternoons:
Middle / High School level classes: DELF Junior A1/A2 Preparation from 4:00-5:30
Fees for the course are: $ 375 per semester / session.

Semester 1:
September 12, 19, 26, October 3, 17, 24, November 7, 14, 28, December 5.
Tentative Exam Date: December 12, 2012

Semester 2:
January 23, February 6, 27, March 13, 27, April 3, 24, May 1, 15, 29.
Tentative Exam Date: June 5, 2013

No classes will be held during the school vacation weeks or on holidays or snow days.

Test fees are in addition to the class fees and are still to be determined.

Thank you for enclosing a deposit of $100 to complete your registration.
The balance will be due in full by the first class on September 12, 2012.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alphabet game for the preschool class: a gift from grades 2 and 3

For this project, we chose to make an alphabet game as a gift to the preschool class. Amélie, their teacher, will be able to use it to teach the letters of the alphabet to the preschool children.
We started by sculpting letters, numbers and signs on potatoes cut in half. We then dipped them into paint and used them as stamps on little squares of paper, like it was done in the beginnings of printing. Next, we painted the letters directly onto white sheets of paper. We then laminated the labels we had created while another group painted the background of the game.
We finished the game in groups, some were drawing the last letters, others were sticking Velcro onto the board, and finally, another group finished covering the labels. We then went into the Preschool classroom to give them the alphabet game and presented some of the games they can do with the letters, numbers and signs. We really liked our work.