Category Archives: Learning From Life

Week 5: Day 25


Today I was in Françoise Monclere’s class with CP. She started off the day by asking the children what the date was. She wrote it on the board as on of the pupils recited it out. She also had a pupil writing it on the board alongside her so that they could practice writing it. She then picked a few pupils to recite the date out and then tell what day was before and after this date.

I then taught my English lesson. I did the same lesson as I did yesterday to the CP/CE1s. This time I prepared my French script better so that I could do more translating from English to French since the children in CP are so young I wanted to make sure they were understanding and following.

At the start of ‘Spot Can Count’, the book about English numbers and animals, I introduced it in French and English and then I asked the children to count from 1-10 in English for me. I thought this was a good idea so that their brains were refreshed with the numbers before starting the book where they would need to answer with these numbers. After this I taught the lesson with this book the same way as I did yesterday as I thought it worked well for the children and me. I thought this class was more difficult to control regarding behaviour as there was a few pupils during the lesson who weren’t listening as well as others and misbehaving. Because of this difference from yesterdays class, who behaved really well, I had to use the phrase “Levre la main” more, which means “put your hands up” and write a few names on the board for warnings.

I then moved onto the book ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’. I also taught this book the same as yesterday but again with more behaviour strategies in place. I felt this class struggled more with the names of animals than yesterdays class but there was a few different children who confidently knew the names for certain animals that I was happy about. After I had finished the books, I told the class an animal in French and then asked them if they could tell me what that is in English. They managed to respond back with most but struggled with ‘bird’.


I felt this lesson didn’t go as well as the lesson the pervious day but I think it was down to the behaviour of today’s class. Because there is a language difference it is difficult for me to give proper sanction to the children, as I am not confident in the language. So I have to try my best but it doesn’t always work and the class teacher has to help and jump in for me.

After break they had singing with CP/CE1 and CE1. They sang a new song, which involved half of the children singing at one time and the other at another time. The children managed to do this well. After singing CP came back to class and they did some maths. The maths was counting involving adding tens and units. I helped a girl when counting sets of beads in tens and units and then adding them together to then figuring out which groups of beads had more altogether than others.

After lunch CP from Benjamine Duplouy’s class came through to our class and we watched and discussed how baby animals are born. I helped set up the projector for the videos. We watched the hatching of a chick and a turtle and then the birth of a horse. The children were very interested in the subject and had previous knowledge on which type of animal is the mother and father of the chick would be (a chicken and a cockerel). During the videos a few children misbehaved and I had to speak to them and give them warnings. At one point Françoise had to give a sanction to one of the boys. I was quite shocked when she proceeded to lift the boy over the table to then push him in the direction of the door. This type of hands-on punishment wouldn’t be seen in a Scottish school.

Week 5: Day 24


Today I was in Benjamine Duplouy class with CP/CE1. I started off the day with an English lesson. My lesson contained teaching of the colours, animals and numbers form 0-10. I used two books to aid the teaching. The books were all in English. One was called ‘Spot Can Count” and was about numbers and animals in English. The other book was called ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ and was about colours and animals in English. I really enjoyed the use of these books, as it was very visual for the children, which helped the children answer the questions I asked in English.

I started with the number and animal book. I explained in French that we were going to read this book that will help their English counting and animal knowledge. I started off reading each page of the book in English and the for the first couple of pages I also translated it into French so that the children could begin to understand what I am saying in English, thus I could remove the French translation after a couple of pages and they would understand what I am saying.

On each page I firstly asked the children the question “how many (animal) can you count in English” and for the first couple of pages I also said “Combien (animal) pouvez-vous compter en Anglais?” and I asked the children to put up their hands to answer. Once a child answered I would unfold the flaps on the pages and reveal the number answer. I would then say the number and get the children to repeat that number a couple of times to help memorisation. I then went over what the animal is called in English and got them to repeat that a couple of times also. I used the phrase “en Anglais” through out the lesson along with my English to help remind the children that they should answer in English. If at any point the children got stuck with the number in English I got the whole class to count up to that number from 1, as the children have learnt the numbers in English in an order so counting up can help the memory.

After I had finished the book I went back to the start and we went over the numbers and animals again. I asked on each page “L’animal qu’est – ce que c’est en Anglais?” after I picked a child to answer I then asked “Combien (animal)?” I think going back over and recalling the knowledge they had just learnt was important to helped to settle it in their brain.

I then moved onto the next book for my lesson. This book was about animals and colours. I explained to the children that this book was about animals and colours in English. I read the title of the book and then turned to the first double page where there were coloured stripes of each colour across the pages. I went down the stripes on the pages and went over what each colour is in English. I did this twice through. Next in the book on each page there was a picture of animal and each animal was a different colour. For each page I asked the children “what colour is the animal in English”, again for the first few pages I also translated this into French, “De quelle couleur est l’animal em Anglais?” The children put their hands up if they had the answer and after I picked a child to answer I then asked, “what animal is (colour) in English” For example “what animal is green in English” and they responded with “the frog” and again this was translated into French for the first few times, “Quel animal est (couleur) en Anglais”.

One of the last pages of the books displayed all of the animals and their colours that had been seen through out the book. I got the children to listen and repeat what I was reading. So I said “a red bird” and they repeated it back to me, and this was done for all the animals.

After the book was finished I went back to the start of the book and asked what each of the animals are called in English. On each page I said “Qu’est – ce que c’est en Anglais” which means “what is it in English”. They then put their hands up and responded with the animal’s name in English. This helped the children recall their memory of the animals we had spoken about already.

I really enjoyed teaching this lesson, it has been my favourite lesson yet that I have taught. The children all engaged really well and I think using books to teach worked very effectively, as they were colourful, interactive and visual for the learners. A lot of the children were very keen to answer which showed me they were willing in learning. My action plan is to teach this lesson again tomorrow in CP with Françoise Monclere and see if the different class has the same reactions and enthusiasm for the learning.

After my lesson Benjamine did a French lesson with the CP half of her class. On the blackboard she wrote ‘que ‘ and ‘gue’. She got the children to write these on their mini white boards, one on one side of the whiteboard and one on the other. She then shouted out French words with these sounds in them and the children had to show the side of their boards that fitted the word being shouted. For example she said “fatigue’ and the children should have shown the ‘gue’ side of their boards. She did another with ‘k’ and ‘qu’. An example was ‘kilo’ and the children should have showed the ‘k’ side. She also went over how to properly write a ‘k’ in French cursive handwriting. She then did two more with ‘er’ and ‘erre’, and ‘el’ and ‘elle’.

After break Benjamine then asked CP to spell and write down words on their boards that she dictated. The words were linked to the sounds they had just gone over. She sounded out the words and repeated them a few times for the children so that they could get an accurate go at spelling the words out.


CE1 then had a French lesson about what they are going to be when they grow up. They went over all the ways to say ‘go’ linked to a subject. This included; I’m going, you’re going, he’s going, she’s going, we’re going and they’re going. To finish these sentences they spoke about types of jobs they wanted to do, types of family names they would be called, for example grandma, and also age.

After lunch I went to Sylvie Lambert’s class with CE2 and did a group lesson on Mathematics. Specifically we did the topic of time. Sylvie explained to me how to play a domino game with a group of three children, it involved cards that had a clock face with a time on them and a different written time underneath, I had to read out the written time and then the children had to find a card that had a clock face which matched the time that was said. We started the game and I spoke the times out in French and then again in English and got the children to repeat the English. Whoever had the card to connect to the next domino had to show me the time on the interactive clock too. We played the game until the card that said ‘fin’ was placed and then the children counted how many cards they had left, whoever had the least amount of card left won. We played the game again a few times. I learnt the word for ‘to’ today when speaking about ‘to the hour’ and I was able to use it correctly when telling the time.

Week 5: Day 23


Today I was in the nursery again and I brought a new song for the classes to learn today. I taught the classes a song to do with the days of the week so that they could learn the order of the days in English.

I firstly went over the days of the week in French and translated them into English form each one, In each class they had the days of the week in French on the walls so I used this to point to when saying the English days of the week to help the children understand and follow. After I went over the French translation I went through the days only in English. I repeated this 3 or 4 times, starting by speaking slowly and building up to a normal rate.

I then sang the children the song and they listened. I did the chorus part of the lyrics and then they copied and then we moved onto the different versus and they copied. They lyrics repeat themselves but each time you change the volume of your voice or add an action. This was good as the children were just repeating the same lyrics, which meant they would memorise it better. The first time round we sang it all normally, the second time was with a whisper, the third time was speaking loudly, the fourth was with a clap and the fifth was with a stomp.



“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,

7 days are in a week”

Verse 1:

“We like to sing it quietly”

Verse 2:

“We like to sing it loud”

Verse 3:

“We like to sing with a clap”

Verse 4:

“We like to sing with a stomp”

Verse 5:

“We like to sing it proud”


They found this song quite difficult so the teachers told me that they will practice and when I come in next week again we will practice this song again until they are better at it.

Week 5: Day 22


Today I was with Sylvie Lambert and CE2. She started the day with asking the children to use a noun in a sentence with the colour blue, a verb in a sentence with the colour red and an adjective in a sentence with the colour green. I thought this was a good was to start the day, similar to the starters used back in Scotland, which get the minds started up and going. Sylvie then went on to speak about word order and which order nouns, verbs and adjectives come in. After that she joined the previous teaching to the masculine, feminine and plural types of words. She created a sentence and showed how it could be written as masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural.

Sylvie then moved onto mathematics. The children went over some sums on the topic of money before they were given an evaluation test. I asked Sylvie about the test and she told me they are given a test when she thinks the class are good at the topic, then she judges from the results if the class is ready to move on and advance or not. She said sometimes the class is split as a result of the test and one half move on and the other half practice the specific topic at that level more.

After break I taught an English lesson. I wrote the date in English on the board and got the class to copy it into their jotters then we went over ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ and I gave each child a hand out with the whole rhyme on it so that they could keep it and stick it in their jotters. The first few time we went over the rhyme I allowed them to look at their hand out and then I asked them to close their books and try to pronounce it from memory. Some children caught onto the English very well and were able to memorise it better than others.

I then handed out one biography to each table group. The biography contained everything I had mentioned in my Scottish lesson. The biography was about me so I highlighted all the parts that were personal to show that’s what they would change to suit their personal life. I started with “my name is…”, I practiced the sentence with them a few times and then I asked them the question “what is your name?” and they responded to the question with the answer on the handout. I then randomly asked individual children the question to check that they were all understanding and to give the children a chance to practice it, only hearing themselves. Next I did “I am … years old” and asked the class as a whole and individuals “how old are you?”. Then I did “I live in … in …” and asked the question “where do you live?”. And again I did the same thing with “my favourite colour is …” and “my favourite animal is …”. To check for understanding even more at the end of my lesson I mixed up the questions and randomly picked questions that we had gone over to ask individual children. I was impressed as most of the children understood what I was asking and knew which sentence to use to respond.

I am super happy with how this lesson went as they all were engaged because of the nature of my lesson the children always had to be prepared as they could be asked a question by me. Sylvie gave me feedback and she said she was very happy with the lesson and liked how I asked the questions to the children.

My action plan for next week with CE2 is to use the same answer sheet but without my answers so that they can copy and write their own biography using the handout again but filling in the blanks this time.

After lunch I was in the CE2 classroom but Laura Bellout was teaching. She was teaching a history lesson. The lesson was on ‘the man of tagon’ – translated from ‘l’homme de tautavel’. Laura wrote a few facts about the topic on the blackboard and the children had to write them down. They then swapped their paper with a partner for peer marking.

After their afternoon break they had singing practice. CE2 went with Laura’s CE2/CM1 class. They sang a couple of songs in French with actions. I had to give a sanction to one of the boys who were misbehaving, I told him to move and sit at the side where we would not be distracted.

Week 5: Day 21


This morning I was with Laura Bellout in CE2/CM1 and she started with a dictation lesson. The lesson was about new years resolutions. I was able to follow the dictation and translate it.

“La veille du premier Janvier, on à organisé un réveillon merneilleux pour fêter l’arrirrée de la mouvelle année”

It translated as “On the first of January, we organise an outlook for celebrating the start of the New Year”.

They then had a lesson on numbers and fractions in Mathematics. They were doing number from 0 – 9,999. The exercises in their textbooks told the written word form of the numbers and asked them to write out the numbers in digit form and visa versa. In French they put a dash between each number word, for example neuf-mille-huit-cento. In English that would be nine thousand and eighty five. They also looked at thousands, hundreds, tens and units and identified how many were in each number.

They then moved onto doing fractions. The fractions lesson was to do with fractions in time. The teacher created a time line on the board and marked the 10-minute intervals. She then explained how time could be fractioned and added fractions to the time line.

Whilst Laura taught a lesson in French I used the time to practice the French cursive writing. I enjoyed doing this at it was relaxing and was good practice for writing on the blackboard for future lessons.

After lunch I taught an English lesson to do with family. I had a work sheet for all the children with the Simpsons family tree on it. I got the children to look at the tree and then I discussed with them the English all the labels for the family members are. I wrote the English on the board and then the French translation beside them. I taught them mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grand-father, grand-mother, cousin, aunt and uncle. I then asked the children questions in English about the Simpson’s family tree. For example, “who is Marge’s son?” and “who is Bart’s uncle?”. The children answered in full sentences, for example “it is…” and “they are…” and I wrote their answers on the blackboard. I was impressed with how they picked up the English and I think the characters of the Simpsons helped as they engaged the children, as the Simpsons are familiar to them.

My action plan is to play a matching card game with the children later on in the week to test their knowledge on the English family.

It was Leo’s birthday today as well so we sang happy birthday to him in English and then Spanish and French too! His mum made a cake so Laura cut it up and we all got a piece to finish off the day.

Week 4: Day 20


Today the temperature in Orleans reached a high 22 degrees! A perfect day for a day of activities outside of school. The CM1’s from Laura’s class along with CM1/CM2 and CM2 classes all had a day of activities relating to health and well-being, which included nutrition, physical education and the body, CPR and how to react to accidents. The activities were scattered around the Saint-Jean-de-Braye area, around the school.

I started in the school with a group of children, learning about CPR and how to react to incidents. The children were put into 4 groups and each group was given a photo capturing an incident. The groups had to observe and write down what has happened and then write down what the next step to take would be, for example first aid. Then we spoke about phoning the emergency services and what to say in what order. The children were given a script jumbled up and they had to put it in an order that they thought sounded right to them. After we sorted them into a correct order. The teacher then used one of the children to demonstrate CPR and the recovery position. She showed the steps and then each child carried out the steps on one of the pupils she check for understanding.

I then went to the sports hall at the local secondary school, with another group, for a session of physical education and learning about the body. We were in the judo hall and there was stations set up for the pupils to do. One involved learning about your pulse and how to record it. One was about the heart and the other was about the body organs and effects on them. I helped with the pulse station, the children had to run around a set up circuit three time and then record their pulse rate. I had a stop watch so once they had done the circuit I started the stop watch for 1 minute and the children counted their pulse. This was a fun activity to do with the children and I got to join in too.



We then went to the local old peoples home. There we played a game to do with nutrition and the food groups. It was a board game and you got asked question on card to do with the topic of nutrition, depending on your answer you got to advance on the board. There was a mini game on the side, where you could earn bonus points. A piece of equipment was used where by a dart was inserted and you blew into it and it shot out in the end. You had to aim it at a target that had answers on it. I learnt that in France they have another food group than we do in Scotland. This food group involves oils. We then ate lunch outside in the sun.

After lunch we went to a community centre where the children finished off their art pictures they were doing the previous day in school to do with nutrition and sport. I helped a group stick their pained sport silhouettes onto their background. One of the children asked me for a rubber in French and I was able to understand what he was saying which I was pleased about, so I went to find a rubber for him.

They then went back to the gym at the secondary school to do basketball. A lot of the boys in my class do basketball out with school in a club so are very good at it. I got to observe at the side and it was interesting to watch what tactics they have.

I enjoyed this day at school as I got to see how the French teach their pupils about health and well-being.

Week 4: Day 19


Today I went between Agnés Courgeon and Christine Aué’s classes (CM1/CM2 and CM2). In the morning I helped CM1/CM2 in an ICT lesson. They were trying up biographies of heros/important people from history. I helped the children set up their computers and format their word document. I also helped the children put the French accents on letter from their keyboards. Some of the people they wrote the biographies on were Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, etc.

I enjoyed helping the children in this lesson as I had not helped in an ICT lesson before. One of the girls explained to me what happened to their hero. This man was injured in the eye when he was young and he was blinded in one eye. I was impressed with myself that I understood what she was saying.

In the afternoon I was with CM1/CM2 and CM2 again but this time for an art lesson. The two classes are studying health and well-being at the moment, which involves learning about nutrition, physical education and the body, CPR and how to react to accidents. In this lesson they were creating collages out of pictures of fruits and vegetables, cut out form magazines. Each group had a template of their school building as their background and they spent the afternoon cutting out magazines and sticking to create a collage of healthy foods. Some groups categorised the fruit and vegetables into colour and stick them on in groups of colours. For examples one group used all the green fruit and vegetables to collage a tree in the background.

I was in the classroom belonging to Christine and I was in charge of the behaviour and management of this room. I enjoyed this lesson, as I am an artistic person, which meant I was able to help the children.

In Agnés’s room they were painting and drawing on the topic of physical education. I observed one group and they were painting silhouettes of different sporting activities, for example, skateboarding and cycling. They allocated a colour to each sport and then mixed white paint in gradually so that each silhouette got lighter and lighter in that colour.

After break I went with Sylvie Lambert in CE2 to play maths games. I did a game of time bingo with a group of 5 children. 4 of the 5 children had a bingo card and the other child was given an interactive clock face. I read out each time card in French and then in English and got them to repeat the English twice through. The child with the clock would then show the time on the clock and show the rest of the group. If they had the matching clock face on their card then I gave them the time card. We did the game a few times and the children were getting better at pronouncing English numbers. This was a successful game and they all engaged with the English.

Week 4: Day 18


It’s Wednesday so I am in the Nursery. Today I was going to teach each of the four classes a song to help them remember the colours in English.

When I arrived I did some puzzles with my first class, I think this is a good activity for the children to do when they first come in as it is stimulating for the brain and engages problem-solving skills.

I then got all the children and gather in the corner to start my lesson. I taught the children the rainbow song;

“Red and yellow and pink and green,

Orange and purple and blue,

Now I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too”.

To aid the children in learning the colours I used coloured pens to help the children identify the colours.

I started off my putting the pens in rainbow colour order and telling them what each colour was in English, pronouncing the words slowly and repeating the word a couple of times. I then mixed up the colours so they were not in the usual order to test if they memorised the colours individually or if they memorised a pattern. I did this a few times to make sure they were learning each individual colour.

I noticed that they were confident with the colour blue, most likely as the word is similar in French but they found green and yellow hard to pronounce and remember.

We then sang the song, line-by-line and then all together a few times so that they learnt it. As we sang the song I held up each coloured pen as the colour was said.

At the end of each lesson I held up a coloured pen and asked the children if any of them were wearing this colour. This also tested their memory of the colour names in English.


After my lesson on colours the children asked me if we could sing the songs I had taught previously. They were very enthusiastic about this. We sang the other songs and I could tell they had remembered them well; this gave me a sense of achievement.

Week 4: Day 17


Today is my 20th birthday! I spent the Easter weekend in Paris with Beth, Briony and Lauren and we went to Disneyland and saw the main tourist attractions of Paris. But today I am back to school.

This morning Sylvie Lambert taught her CE2s about French sentence structure. It was interesting to see how the French teach such a thing. The class read a passage together, starting with the pupil at the back of the class, each pupil would say a sentence, one at a time, and it would pass in a snaked pattern through the class.

I taught Sylvie Lambert’s CE2 about Scotland. This time I made sure to repeat each word being taught twice through. This ensured better memorisation. After teaching about the Scottish animals, the children told me that in France they have red deer and red squirrels also. Once I taught the class the Scottish rhyme, Sylvie asked if I could print out the rhyme and go over it again with the class in a week’s time. This made me happy, as the teacher seemed to want the children to learn from my lesson and continue the knowledge learnt.

Sylvie discussed with me what I could do next week in sight of my Scottish lesson. She explained it all in French and I surprised myself in being able to understand what she was saying. She wanted me to; make copies of ‘hey diddle diddle’ for the children to practice, create an autobiography including things I speak about in my Scottish lesson and get the children to copy my structure but make it relevant to France and themselves and finally she asked if I could do some highland dancing for the children, as a memory of me being here.

At lunch all the teachers asked me how my birthday weekend was and I told them everything they did. They also said happy birthday to me and I got a lintdore chocolate from them all.

After lunch CE2 did a French dictation lesson. The lesson was on the topic of science and interdependence. They are learning about how to plant vegetables and how to grow them, to look at what happens when you change factors working on the vegetable and in its ecosystem, to learn how to make an ecosystem for a vegetable to grow in, to observe the changes in the vegetables and their surroundings over time and look at the different animals that live around the specific plants/vegetables.

We looked at different potatoes, ones that were newly bought and ones that had been left in the warmth and light of the classroom for four weeks. The ones that had been left in the classroom had started to sprout. Sylvie explained the conclusion to the children and they drew out a diagram explaining it.

I got to take five children outside to do part of an experiment we were starting on my own. We went over to the nursery where we filled two plastic boxes full of soil and one plastic box full of sand. I explained to them the words for sand and soil in English and how to use the tools to pick up the materials and put them in the boxes. This was exciting for me to teach. I then helped the children draw and measure out a diagram for the experiment.

We then spoke about how we were going to create our ecosystem for our experiment. In a transparent jar we would layer the soil and sand and then on top of that put compost and the worms. To allow oxygen for the worms to breath we put a cloth, secured with an elastic band, over the top to ensure the worms also didn’t escape. I explained that this jar would be left in sunlight and we would be making an identical jar, which would be placed in the dark. From this the children would be able to observe what happens to both ecosystems.

I got four pupils to build the experiment with me. Firstly we put soil at the bottom of the jar, filling 2/6 of the jar. Then we layer sand on top of the soil, filling 1/6 of the jar. Next we layer our final layer of soil of top of that, filling another 2/6 of the jar. To top it off the children layers some compost on top to give the ecosystem nutrients along with the worms. The children were very engaged and excited about taking part in the experiment. I sat back and let the children do it all for them selves after simple demonstrations. Once the jar was looking complete and the children had observed the worms moving around, the children secured the jar with the cloth and elastic band over the opening.

I really enjoyed teaching this as it was hand-on and fun to see the children enjoying themselves, it was also a bonus for my birthday!

When I arrived home from placement, Beth, Briony and Lauren surprised me with a little present and card, along with a birthday cake.

Week 3: Day 15


This morning I was observing in Françoise Monclere class, CP. They started their day with a French lesson on the sounds that ‘y’ makes. In French ‘y’ is pronounced as “eegreck’ and the sounds it makes in a word are ‘i’ and ‘ill’. The children put their hands up and came up with words that had ‘y’. Françoise put the words on the board under the correct column of sound – ‘i’ or ‘ill’. She used two colours of chalk to show the ‘y’ in each word. They then did an exercise on ‘y’ sound from a textbook.

CP then did a maths lesson. When they moved onto textbook work I got go round the class and help the children. I sat with one girl and helped her with the pages she was doing. The questions were about; partitioning, finding the numbers before and after, writing the words for specific numbers and what days of the week come before and after each other.

By helping the children I got to practise my French number vocabulary, which the children were able to understand correctly. I guided them with the use of finger counting.

After break CP, CP/CE1 and CE1 had singing practice. One song they did, I recognised as ‘We Will Rock You’. I joined in with the actions for this song. They also did the song they did last week, which I knew the actions to already.

After singing we went back to mathematics in the textbook. I again helped the children. I felt successful when I helped a girl fill in her number sheet with number words and symbols, as I did it all in French.

In the afternoon I went with Agnés Courgeon. She had a mixture of her CM1 and Laura Bellout’s CM1. A guest came into the class and started a lesson on the subject of theatre about a film. I gathered that he was speaking about a film called ’14/18′ and it was to do with the war.

He spoke about costumes and storyboards and explained that storyboards are used to plan a film and describe camera angles. He spoke about wide angles being used so the spectators get a sense or the surrounding setting and then part of the wide angle are zoomed in on with close up shots to focus on a subject. I am interested to see a clip of the film now that I sat in on the lesson about it.