Nicole Baker Visits Quebec for Teachers of French Convention

French teacher Nicole Baker received a grant from the Carlisle Education Foundation to attend the American Association of Teachers of French Convention in Saguenay, Québec in July 2015. Here are some reflections on her trip:

baker_1Attending this conference allowed me to learn so much more about the language, culture and history of Quebec and also other parts of the French-speaking world. The workshops were helpful, useful and the lectures often inspiring!

I teach some aspect of the culture and language of Quebec in grades 3-8 and more specifically in 8th grade when I do an entire unit on it. Students make a “Virtual Field trip to Quebec” for which, thanks to the help of our Librarian Maya Bery, we now have great resources on our Library website:

I attended many workshops at the Convention, found out about French speaking singers that are good to teach about in the classroom, the future of the geography of France (fascinating!), and I also discovered a wonderful language program called “Planet French” which the middle school students will have access to on their iPads. It contains film clips on different topics, many about Quebec but also other French-speaking countries and is made for the beginner level. It can often be very hard for beginner students to understand native speakers, but this is made specifically for them, and is adapted to help them understand better. I intend to write lesson plans around these film clips and ask students questions to ensure that they have understood correctly and grasp the meaning of each topic. I am thrilled with this new teaching tool!

baker_2After the Convention, I had a chance to explore the area two hours to the North called “Lac St Jean,” a famous vacation area for the people of Quebec. I went to a zoo where the animals were free and the people on a train, so they came close up to see us. I will share these pictures with my students to teach names of animals and other nature-themed vocabulary.

Knowing that their French teacher was in Quebec will hopefully make students want to go to that part of North America, too, and to be educated travelers when they do! They will hear how different the French is from the one in Europe, they will understand more about the history and culture of these people and also know what one can do there, which animals live there and what the geography looks like. It will give a clear purpose and meaning to them while learning a language they do not hear around them on a regular basis. Students will better understand that French is real. It is part of life, of traveling and of discovering our world.

MERCI! to CEF for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!

Fall Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

The deadline for the first round of CEF Professional Development and Innovation Grants for the 2015-16 academic year is October 16, 2015. CEF grants have been established to enhance and promote exceptional teaching in Carlisle Public Schools, to encourage creativity and leadership in teachers and administrators, and to positively impact as many students as possible.

Goals for the program are:

  • To encourage new and innovative programs which are consistent with the Carlisle Public School goals but beyond the scope of the regular school budget.
  • To enhance and promote exceptional teaching in the Carlisle Public Schools
  • To encourage creativity and leadership from teachers and administrators
  • To support grants that impact a significant number of students
  • To support professional development and innovative programs that have a lasting benefit on the Carlisle Public Schools – to empower the Carlisle education community to “think outside the box.”

Two types of grants are available: Professional Development Grants and Innovation Grants. Requests for Professional Development grants can include the following:

  • Off-site professional workshops/training without students/conferences
  • Visit other schools to observe “best practices”
  • Guests lecturers for training in-services or training sessions

Requests for Innovation grants might include:

  • New pilot academic programs
  • Equipment, supplies, and materials necessary for implementation of new programs (CEF grants do NOT fund general classroom supplies)
  • New technology enrichment for the school and students

Please remember that all grant applications need to be approved by the superintendent before CEF can consider them. If you would like to discuss the feasibility of an idea, please contact the CEF Grant Committee.