Monday, 31 July 2017

Back to School: Icebreaker Games



One of the best parts about Back to School is getting to know your new students. I enjoy playing these icebreaker games to get to know my students.

Name Games

Have students come up with an action word or an animal that starts with the same letter as their name. For example, Sarah started with "S" and some action words in French that start with "S" are saute, serpent and ski. Once everyone has their action word chosen have students choose a physical action to do that shows what their word is. If Sarah chose saute, she could jump up and down. If she chose serpent she could slither like a snake. It might be useful to have an alphabetical list of example words to use handy so students don't spend a long time finding their word.

Once everyone has their word and action have students form a circle. The first person says their name and does their action. The next person in the circle has to first remember the first person's name and action and then say their own. For each turn, you first have to go through everyone else's name and action before you say your own. The repetition is great for remembering names!

The last person has the toughest job of remembering all the names and actions! This game can be just for fun so students can help each other remember the names and actions.

Human Bingo

Human Bingo is a little different than traditional bingo in that students are given a grid filled with spaces that need to be signed by other students in the class. For back to school you could use my human bingo card filled with icebreaker cues such as how many siblings someone has, their favourite sports and activities and best subjects in school. To win the game you have to be the first to get all the spaces filled on your card. You need to have a different student sign each space. It is a good idea to go over what the sentences mean in French first. Encourage students to only speak in French when playing this game. It is a fun way to get students up and talking.




Saturday, 29 July 2017

Back to School: Setting Up Classroom Rules and Routines

TPT is throwing their site wide Back to School Sale next week, so I thought I would round up some of my ideas for the first few days of school.

As a Core French teacher, one of my goals for the first few days of school is to begin the daunting task of learning over 120 students' names. I travel from class to class to teach a 45-60 minute lesson to five classes each day. Name tags can be a big help in the first few days of school. I would have students fold a piece of paper twice to form a triangle as a name tag. They can decorate their name tag on the front and on the back they can write 3-5 goals that they have for French class this term. Some goals might be to learn five new words each week, to write a journal entry every day, to attain a certain average grade in the class or to improve their reading level.

The first few days of school are crucial for setting up classroom routines and rules which are followed throughout the rest of the school year. I find it useful to write a poster of classroom rules with the class. They will offer suggestions for rules and I will help them write them in French on a bristol board.


This is a classroom behaviour agreement that was created with a grade 6 Core French class the first day of school. We discussed classroom rules and the students helped to pick out the five most important rules. They are: listening to and respecting others, being prepared for class, participating in class, raising your hand before speaking, and following the instructions. The class signed the behaviour agreement after.