Sunday, June 26, 2011

French Accents on the iPad

Inserting French accents while typing on the iPad2 couldn't be simpler!  Just start typing...

When you come to a letter that needs an accent added to it, just hold your finger on that letter, and then possible accents will appear.

Slide your finger from the original letter to the letter containing the accent you wish to use, and then tap the key.  And voila!

Stay tuned for more on how to use an iPad in your classroom :).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


All students & teachers in my high school will have the new iPad2 next fall!  The teachers were given their iPads last week, and then we had 3 days of training on how to use them.  My amazing colleagues John and Karen shared their vast knowledge with the rest of us and inspired us to figure out how to use them effectively in our classrooms.  

My favorite app so far is called FaceJack.  I can't wait to make some new movies about Jacques the mannequin to use in my classroom.  Here's what you can do with FaceJack:

It's simple, easy and in my opinion, INCREDIBLE!  In addition to making videos about Jacques, I've thought of a few more ways to use this:
  • Students could make FaceJacks of French or American celebrities or historical or political figures, or even of anonymous people.  They could be asked to say, "hello, my name is...., I'm x years old, I'm american/french..." (or more, for advanced students).  Then they could share them with the class.  Students could even vote on their favorite (using Google moderator!), and a prize could be given to the winner.
  • French III students could use FaceJack with the adopt an escargot project.  They could be asked to make a video about their escargots (snails), and they could use FaceJack to make their snails talk!
Stay tuned for more posts on how to use the iPad2 in your classroom!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to use a mannequin in your classroom #11: Creative writing

My first year students were learning to name methods of transportation, which inspired me to write a story about Jacques, the classroom mannequin.  In the story, Jacques is trying desperately to get to his girlfriend's house to pick her up for a date.  He tries various methods of transportation, but each one fails for one reason or another.  In the end, he has fallen off a bike and broken his leg, so he walks the rest of the way, dragging his broken leg behind him. When he arrives (late, obviously), his girlfriend's dad opens the door and says, "I'm sorry, but Suzette isn't here..."

Students were asked to write a 5 line ending to the story.  They worked in groups of 2, and were instructed to write out their lines on paper.  Then they had to act out their endings for the class.  Here are some photos of their endings.

These students borrowed some crutches for Jacques (left).  Suzette's father is on the right.

Notice the smiles.  These girls were having a great time with this!

Another student playing the part of Jacques (the baseball cap he's wearing is always used for the part of Jacques).
This boy brought a wig to class so that he could play the part of Suzette.

Poor Jacques is begging Suzette's father to tell him where she is.

I had the undivided attention of my students the day that I taught this lesson.  Really.  You could have heard a pin drop.  How did I accomplish this?  I acted out the story (with costumes, sound effects and various props) as I told it.  My students love it when I do this sort of thing.  As you can see, they were inspired to write some really creative endings.  We all enjoyed watching what each group came up with, and all of my students were engaged in trying to communicate their original ideas in French!   


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