How to Maintain 90% on the First Day of School

My first challenge in meeting my goal of 90% target language use this year was in planning the first day of school for my French 1, 2, 3, and 4/5 class.  While I was confident that I could skip the reading of the syllabus, which bores us all to tears, I didn’t want to jump right into the first unit either.  I wanted the students to feel confident that they were ready for the year, and also to have a fun first day, so this is what I came up with.

In French 1, I’m going to teach the phrases, Je m’appelle…, Comment tu t’appelles?, Il s’appelle…, and Elle s’appelle…by introducing myself, introducing my student teacher, and then asking various students their names, the names of the others around them, etc.

I felt a good follow up to learning how to give your name would be to be able to spell it, so I’m going to play a video of an alphabet song, and then dictate the spellings of the names of several students in the class. The students will write the letters I dictate on individual whiteboards, and then the student whose name I have spelled will stand up.  If I have enough time, I will then give a short formative assessment in which the students write words that I dictate such as bonjour, Paris, France, etc.  I’ll use my 10% at the end of the period to assign the reading of the syllabus as homework and give the students information about various class procedures.

In French 2, I’m going to have the students interview a partner and then present that person to the class.  Here’s the form that they’ll use to conduct the interview: French2_firstday


In French 3, I’m going to have the students use pictures on their cell phones to discuss their summer vacations and then present the information they find out to the class.

Here’s the handout: French3_firstday


In French 4/5, I’m going to play the M & M game that I’ve seen described on several sites and blogs.  Here’s the directions sheet:


Wish me luck, tomorrow’s the first day with students!

Bonne Rentrée et Bon Courage à Tous!

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