We have all needed a mental health day and these offer the perfect solution to protect yourself a little bit on the days when you are feeling frazzled while remaining present and available to students.
These stories are intended to be used during one class period to give you a bit of time to relax.
Step 1: As a pre-reading activity, introduce the story in the target language for a few minutes. This will be about 3-5 sentences using comprehensible French. Be sure to define any words necessary for comprehension on the board and ask some questions to clarify meaning for all of your students.
Step 3: Have students do a Think-Pair-Share (the first time you do this, model for students the “Think” part by speaking aloud and trying to retell what you think happened using the pictures to help you); for the next part, students will briefly discuss in English what they think happened; finally, ask for a volunteer to help you validate your ideas about the general plot of the story in English (you can still stay in the target language by giving instructions/transition words/encouragement in French).
Step 4: Redirect students back to the text and have ask them if they have questions about specific words or phrases that they would like translated. Then, have your students translate the story to English above the French. Walk around to see which parts they are not getting.
Step 5: If you have comprehension questions (or any post-reading activity) to use after the translation part, you can give these to students to complete. These can be assigned as homework if needed. Students who are absent on these days are still required to complete the reading using a modified set of instructions (you can take a video of yourself reading the story in class and have them start by watching this and reading along followed by the translation and comprehension questions/ post-reading activity).
Refocus & Recharge: Strategies for Finding Balance in Teaching
My name is Jennifer Geroux and I am 15-year veteran high school French and Spanish teacher. In my professional life, I hold a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education (French major, Spanish minor) Degree from Central Michigan University. I also hold a Master in the Art of Teaching Degree from Marygrove College and a Master in English Language Learning Degree from Western Governor's University. I love organizing student travel and exchanges, continuing to learn about a variety of subjects, studying new languages, and mastering the art of teaching.