FSLAC News

Bonjour from Kristina Laperle,
Parent Co-chair French as a Second Language Advisory Committee


In this issue:

1. Grade 4 & 7 Application Deadlines
2. TDSB Library Anywhere, Anytime!
3. Reading at Home – Quick Tips
4. Welcoming English Language Learners in FSL
5. Growth Mindset: Je Suis Capable
6. Parent Survey: Special Education
7. Broadlands FI Students on CP24
8. A Big Thank You – Un Grand Merci
9. Save the Dates – FSLAC Info

Link for tweeting, posting electronically or printing this newsletter: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/FSLAC%20Newsletter-Dec%202016.pdf


1. Grade 4 & 7 Application Deadlines
Application process for Grade 4 Entry to Junior Extended and Middle Immersion &
Grade 7 Entry Extended:
• Opens – Monday, January 9, 2017
• Closes – Thursday, February 2, 2017
Note: This process is for entry in September 2017. Applications are done on PARS (on-line) – except for Grade 7 Extended which is a paper process as in the past. Information night and application information is posted on the French Programs page at: www.tdsb.on.ca/french

2. TDSB Library Anywhere, Anytime
Students can get help from their school library even when they’re not at school!
The TDSB Virtual Library has carefully selected resources, to enhance your child’s learning. Access the library online anywhere, anytime. This year’s redesign makes it even better for your child and easier for your family to find:
French online resources/tools. Click on Fran├žais, the black square with the fleur de lys
Variety of formats for K to 12 learners - eBooks, articles, streamed media, online tools
Subject links to help with math practice, games, homework
Resources to use when starting an inquiry or research project
Reading suggestions, student book reviews and lots more!
Parent section on how to use the Virtual Library with your child at home. Look for the orange Spaces button and click on Parent.

There are 3 ways students and parents/guardians can find the Virtual Library:
· TDSB Public site (http://tdsb.on.ca) -- Find Your School -- the Virtual Library link is on the left.
· Academic Workspace (http://aw.tdsb.on.ca), login using student number and network password. Click on the My Home tab. The Virtual Library link is on the left.
· Search online for “school name” and TDSB virtual library.

Some Virtual Library resources require a password. The 2016-17 Virtual Library Learnmark, available from your school’s Teacher-Librarian, lists the passwords needed to access the resources from home.

3. Starting to Read in French at Home?
Be sure to sit with your children while they are looking at French books and materials whether electronic or on paper. Encourage them to follow the text with their finger and to sound out the words. Ask them to predict what’s next in the story. Let your children be your French teacher!

4. Welcoming English Language Learners in French Programs
The Ministry of Education has a new resource document for educators and parents on equity and inclusion of students who are English language learners (ESL) in core, extended and immersion French programs. Recent statistics show that more than 25% of students in Ontario are new to English and are not always encouraged to learn French as well.

The document is intended to promote discussion, remove barriers and improve practices that will result in French classrooms that reflect the diversity of the student population. All Ministry French Second Language policy and curriculum documents can be accessed here along with some resources for parents.

5. Growth Mindset: “Je suis capable”
We teachers often hear our students say “I’m not good at _______” or “I can’t do it!” My student teacher, Julie Lesongeur, and I decided to address the negative self-talk in my grade 1 French Immersion classroom head-on. Inspired by Carol Dweck’s research on Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset and this Tedx talk on thePower of Belief, we developed a unit on replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Through literature, visual arts and drama we made explicit the put-downs in the minds of our students, and we gave them tools to help them persist when faced with challenges.

We read the book Courage, Antonin by Audrey Penn, in which Antonin learns to tell himself “tu peux le faire!” when he is afraid to do something. We talked with the students about self-talk in terms of friendly or mean voices we hear in our heads, and the kids could immediately relate to this idea. Students shared situations in which they have positive and negative messages in their minds, and we made 2 lists together of these messages. Then Julie and I did a skit for the class in which a friendly puppet and an unfriendly puppet gave Julie different messages. In the skit, she eventually stopped listening to the negative puppet and kept on trying with the encouragement of the positive puppet. The kids then made their own pair of puppets to represent their inner voices, one encouraging and one discouraging. We worked with the puppets, sitting in our circle, giving students the chance to voice their positive and negative messages. Later, we discussed whether one puppet was right, and talked about our power to make a choice about which puppet to listen to.

The kids came up with 3 strategies to counter negative messages or "unfriendly voices": 1) Ignore it, 2) Take a break from the activity, and 3) Talk back to the voice and tell yourself "I can do it!". We also talked about how the friendly and unfriendly “voices” are actually our thoughts, and we debated about whether we can decide to change our thoughts.

All this took place in French of course, and was excellent oral French practice. In the aftermath, I noticed students starting to say “I can’t do it” and then catching themselves. “Je suis capable!” became the mantra of our classroom.

- Mme Diane Hamilton
Lord Lansdowne Public School – new French Immersion Centre

6. Parent Survey: Special Education
The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is doing a survey of parents and guardians of children with special needs. SEAC wants to hear your ideas on how the TDSB can improve the education it offers to students with special education needs. Share your children’s experiences whether they are currently enrolled with the TDSB, or were enrolled in the past: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SEAC-TDSB

7. Broadlands FI Students on CP 24
Broadlands French Immersion students performed the Remembrance Day song ‘Je me souviens’ on CP 24. Their teacher, Mme Hetti-Marie Manu, wrote it! The song is available on i-tunes and proceeds are going to the Canadian Legion’s fund for homeless veterans. Be sure to keep this song in mind for French classes and Remembrance Day ceremonies next November!

8. A Big Thank You – Un Gros Merci
John Tancredi, Central Co-ordinating Principal with responsibility for French Second Language (FSL) programs is retiring in January. He has been an outstanding leader in FSL education throughout his career and at the FSLAC, he has supported and fostered effective and meaningful parent engagement. We have learned from each other and together, we have supported growth and excellence in French in the TDSB since his first meeting in November 2010.

In October 2013, John was recognized by Canadian Parents for French Ontario with the McGillivray Award for initiative, leadership and commitment to promoting FSL Learning in Ontario. John has also been a valuable contributor at the FSL Working Group of the Ministry of Education.

John, we wish you well in your retirement. A big thank you – un gros merci from the FSLAC and FSL parents from across the system!

9. Save the dates!
Parents, students, trustees, teachers and staff are invited to attend and participate in FSLAC meetings. The Board’s mission for the FSLAC is: “to consult with and advise the Board on French as a Second Language matters. As a Board community advisory committee, the FSLAC will contribute to the work of trustees and staff. This partnership of trustees, staff and parents will foster excellence and growth in FSL programs at the Board.” Meetings start at 7 pm at the TDSB offices at 5050 Yonge St., ground floor. FSLAC information is posted on the TDSB website: www.tdsb.on.ca/fslac
Upcoming meetings are: Jan 10, Feb 28, 2017.

Note: This email list is being maintained by FSLAC parent volunteers and will be used for this newsletter and occasional FSL news for interested community members. To get in touch, email us at fslactoronto@gmail.com .

Parent Councils: This email has been sent to TDSB school email addresses, parent council email addresses if provided and trustees with the request to forward it to parents. Please share this newsletter with your school through your own distribution network. If your parent council has its own permanent email address, please let us know at fslactoronto@gmail.com .

Wishing you a happy holiday season,
Kristina Laperle
FSLAC Parent Co-chair

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