The following language educators attended the last meeting of Penobscot
Foreign Language Collaborative on Wed., January 26 at Brewer High School: Andrea
Nicoletta - Mattanawcook Academy, Tricia Carver - Brewer Middle(student
teacher), Ray Bussiere- Central High Schoo, Anita Tassel - Bangor
Montessori School, Marion Harris - Ellsworth High School, Valera Crofoot -
Millbridge (ESL), Anette Rodrigues- UMO, Violet Smith - Old Town High School,
Paula Tarr- Brewer High School, Janice Clain - Hermon High School, (There was
one other attendee, who did not sign the sheet)
Due to inclement weather, Don Reutershan was unable to be present to explain the
status of local assessments for Modern and Classical languages. Several of the
attendees expressed concern and anxiety regarding local assessment. Some
districts are asking instructors to prepare assessments. Others have worked on
local assessments at the institute last summer, and are wondering when those
will be shared. Instructors want to know what the time line is for
implementation and want to see examples of assessments. (To date there are
examples on the state department of education website for assessments currently
being used in other content areas. Language instructors should check the
assessments for English / Language arts on
http://www.mecas.org/LAS/resources.htm) Members of the collaborative
who have specific questions regarding local assessments should send questions to
email@example.com. Questions will
then be forwarded to Don Reutershan, and he will respond. He will also attend
the FLAME conference on March 3-4, and will be available to help relieve teacher
stress regarding the unknown. We will try to reschedule Don's presentation
to the collaborative at a later date.
Janice Clain reported on a meeting held in Augusta with members of the State
Department of Education and representatives of the content area organizations.
Cut-off points for the Praxis II test in content areas were recommended.
Beginning in August of 2005, all candidates for initial certification will have
to take Praxis I and Praxis II tests, and will have to meet certain levels on
Check the FLAME web site for information about the Year of Languages 2005.
Check also http://yearoflanguages.org .
The next meeting of the Penobscot Collaborative is scheduled for March 23 at
3:30 pm at Brewer High School. The topic is "Technology show and tell."
The following language educators were in attendance at a meeting of the
Penobscot Foreign Language Collaborative on March 23, 2005 at Brewer High
Andrea Nicoletta - Mattanawcook Academy, LeeAnne Small - Hermon Middle School,
Anita Tassel - Bangor Montessori, Paula Martel Tarr - Brewer High School, Karen
Lavoie - Etna Dixmont School, Anette Rodrigues - UMaine, Bangor
Adult Ed, Nancy Sparacio - Lawrence Junior High, Leslee Fiveland - Bucksport
Middle School, Jae Rose - Orono High School, Dennis Michaud - Orono High School,
Janice Clain - Hermon High School
There is good news from the legislature regarding proposals to reaffirm the
important role of Modern and Classical Languages. News of the current bills
before the legislature have been forwarded from Don Reutershan to collaborative
members. There are also strong concerns about the future of elementary and
middle school programs, as word comes of schools cutting languages programs
because their AYP scores show that students are not meeting standards in English
/ Language Arts. It becomes more important that ever that language educators
advocate for their programs. The video made by FLAME and distributed to all
attendees at the FLAME conference will be an important tool in promoting the
language instruction. Any collaborative members who did not receive a copy of
the video can contact Catherine Hobby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Work on local assessments continues at the state level. The ML&C
commission met on March 22 with Don Reutershan. Assessments developed at he
summer institute in 2004 have been reviewed and revised, and will be
piloted this spring. The commission worked recommendations for elementary
programs in terms of time and curriculum and on a list of resources and support
services for instructors.
Those in attendance at this meeting shared resources and strategies that
they have found successful. These include:
**Conversations Starters (2001) - Sue Fenton - booklet obtained at the
FLAME conference (Andrea Nicoletta)
**Menu activity using http://www.mcdonalds.fr
**Words created on magnetic strips, used to help students create sentences -
most purchased sets are too
advanced for younger students (LeeAnne Small)
**Zut board game - (Karen Lavoie sent instructions to the collaborative list)
**Box of game cards - Karen Lavoie keeps a file box with printed games
**Electronic Jeopardy games available from KBee Toys - makes keeping track of
game play easier (Jae Rose)
**Mega Markers - students use to self correct quizzes - eliminates possibility
of altering answers (Leslee Fiveland)
**Self assessment sheet for group participation (Leslee Fiveland)
**Collection of paintings post cards used to promote speaking and writing (Leslee
**Amsco Publications culture / history readings- first year students make power
point presentations using information from the text (Dennis Michaud)
**Visuals used to help students learn vocabulary and accompanying articles
**Information regarding Montessori schools - many of the activities we now use
were adapted from the Montessori concept (Anita Tassel)
The May social meeting will take place on Wed., May 18, at Margarita's in Orono.
A reminder will be sent the week before.
Notes - Penobscot Colaborative - September 28, 2005
The following language educators attended the latest meeting of the
Penobscot Foreign Language Collaborative on September 28 at the Dedham
School: Leslee Fiveland - Bucksport Middle School LeeAnne Small - Hermon Middle
School; Katharine Wormus - Glenburn School; Anita Tassel - Bangor Montessori
School; Norm Fineman - Holbrook Middle School; Lynda Millar - Connors- Emerson
Elem. School; Carolyn Horth - Dedham School;Janice Clain - Hermon High School
Carolyn Horth explained that she will participate in the Learning Results
review. Work will begin in October. She will work with other middle school
teachers to review all the performance indicators in the middle level
grade spans. Any concerns or recommendations by readers of this article
should forward those to Carolyn (email@example.com)
Anita Tassel shared information from her visit to a meeting in Paris this
summer of the British Council. They presented a document very similar to
the Maine Learning Results; a set of comprehensive standards to clarify
educational standards. Anita distributed copies of the rubric used by the
Council of Europe to determine language proficiency. The performance
indicators are well defined and easily identified. Check out this document
Katharine Warmus is asking for guidance in organizing her program in her
new position teaching French at the Glenburn School. Other elementary /
middle school educators offered advice and leads on materials. This
discussion led to a plan to share curriculum and scope and sequence plans
in future collaborative meetings this year. Information will be compiled
to offer guidelines to other language teachers who will be in a position
to establish new elementary and middle school programs.
Tentative plans for future meetings this year are:
October 26 - curriculum development / scope and sequence
December 7 (tent.) status report on LAD, Learning Results review
January 26 (tent) - create a lesson / unit that ties to a performance
indicator in another content area
March 22 (tent) - swap shop
Mid May - social gathering
Carolyn Horth explained some of the realia on display in her room. Her
curtains are shower curtains, purchased at Walmart and depicting a Paris
street scene. She uses a variety of magnet clips on her white board to
hold cards with information or illustrations. She has a large poster board
with pockets made of envelopes cut in half and labeled with students
names. The board has a title line "J'aime". Each student has made a card
with names and illustrations to show what they like.
Norm Fine shared a project he uses in his seventh grade class. Students
find information on chateaux for rent at
www.rentavillas.com. They report
back to class on where the chateau is located, what it offers, how much it
costs, and how it compares with properties in the US and with properties
found by their classmates.
Norm also uses paper plates on which he writes letters and asks students
to spell words, or numbers and asks students to put themselves in an
Janice Clain explained the "Pop up" game she uses to reinforce several
lessons. Make up four or five sets of cards, each with the same
information: numbers, months, adjectives, verb vocabulary. The class is
divided into teams, and each team distributes the cards to the group.
(Each team has the same information.) The teacher gives a cue (math
problem, description, number representing a month. The student who has the
"answer" must stand and shout out the right answer. The student who stands
first and correctly states the answer earns a point for his / her team.
The team with most points wins a prize. Students love the competition and
don't realize they have to practice listening comprehension and know
vocabulary. Team members help those who have not learned as well.
The next meeting of the Penobscot Collaborative will take place on October
26 at 3:30 at the Dedham School. Focus of the meeting will be curriculum
development and scope and sequence. Teachers are asked to bring copies of
their written curriculum and an outline of the sequence in which content
For further information, contact Janice Clain at Hermon High School, 848 -
3283 ext. 1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The following language educators attended a meeting of the Penobscot
Foreign Language Collaborative on December 7, 2005.
Anita Tassel - Bangor Montessori; Andrea Nicoletta - Mattanawcook Academy;
Paula Martel Tarr - Brewer High School; Leslee Fiveland - Bucksport Middle
School; Betsy Hudson - John Bapst; Johanna Bridges - Bucksport High;
Nancy Sparacio - Lawrence Junior High; Lynda Millar - Connors Emerson - MDI;
Katharine Warmus - Glenburn Elementary; Janice Clain - Hermon High School
Don Reutershan was unable to attend the meeting, as he has been busy with
site visits to evaluate school systems' compliance with Maine Learning
Results. (Don explained to the FLAME board that the commission working on
local assessments will reconvene early in the coming year.)
The group heard about two heard about two projects that will benefit
language educators in the state. The state board of education, with
participation of high school and college instructors, has been
investigating ways to alleviate the shortage of foreign language
instructors. Proposals include a fast track to certification, a summer
program to provide courses, and removing the enrollment cap on CED courses
imposed by the universities. The state board of education met recently to
finalize a proposal to be presented to the legislature in January. A
separate movement, Project Maine France, developed by a joint panel of
leaders at the state universities and private colleges, will establish an
MAT program that provides course work, summer immersion institutes and
overseas study. The project will begin this year with French, and will add
a program in Spanish if all goes as planned. Through this project, an MAT
could be earned in two summers and one school year.
Those in attendance shared their curricula and scope and sequence for
elementary and middle school programs. In most cases, these programs do
not have a textbook, as there are few packaged programs available and each
district has its own schedule, with frequency and instructional time
dependent on administration and availability of teachers. Leslee Fiveland
and Lynda Millar distributed their curricula for middle school Spanish and
K-8 respectively. The lack of packaged programs and textbook series allows
for greater flexibility, but leaves new instructors or new programs with
the burden of deciding what to include and in what order. Those in
attendance advised that anyone beginning to plan a K-8 program should
consider Leslee, Lynda, LeeAnn Small (Hermon Middle School) or Carolyn
Horth (Dedham Schools) as resources.
Lynda likes the song set to the Gilligan's Island theme for memorizing
Qui asks who, oł asks where
Combien asks how much
Quand asks when, Pourquoi asks why
Qu'est-ce que c'est - what's this?
Janice noted the possibilities for student practice using
www.quia.com . Paula
adds that Fred Raven, who teacher Spanish at Brewer High, will use the
site for mid-year testing. As the National Spanish Exam will be
administered on-line this year, students will benefit from on-line
Janice also described uses for puzzles, including word searches, to
present and practice vocabulary. Students love the puzzles, and they can
be used as class openers for review or to give students a list of
vocabulary items that will be used later in class.
Paula Tarr described the one week total immersion she attended in Trois
Pistoles, P.Q., last summer. The program included classes, excursions,
activities and homestay. Paula says it's perfect for busy people who only
have a week to give, and it's close by. Contact Paula for further
Lynda will explain how to administer oral tests using MP3 "Sound bites"
files at the next session.
The next meeting of the Penobscot Collaborative is tentatively scheduled
for Wednesday, January 25 at 3:30 at Brewer High School. The topic for the
meeting will be cross-curricular lessons. Attendees will be asked to bring
lessons they've developed that reinforce curriculum in other content areas.
For further information, contact Janice Clain at Hermon High School.