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French Curriculum

At the French American School of Denver, our curriculum combines the academic traditions of France and the United States.

 

FASDenver's curriculum creates a stimulating bilingual learning environment that focuses on student learning and well-being and supports the intellectual development of each student.

 

Our educational programming aligns with French educational standards while also meeting Colorado State Standards.

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OUR IMMERSION APPROACH

FASDenver utilizes a two-way immersion (TWI) model, a specific type of dual-language education that allows students to learn a second language while continuing to develop their first language. While TWI programs vary in implementation, fidelity to the model includes the following characteristics: instruction in two languages, one language at a time, and peer-to-peer facilitated language sharing.

Kindergarten Curriculum Breakdown

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French is the language of instruction approximately 90% of the time throughout the day for kindergarten.

Subjects taught in French

Math, Science, World History, French Language Arts, Music, Art, and Physical Education  

Subjects taught in English 

English Language Arts and Social Studies

 

Read Detailed Curriculum Info

First and Second Grade Curriculum Breakdown

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French is the language of instruction approximately 80% of the time throughout the day for first and second grade.  

Subjects taught in French

Math, Science, World History, French Language Arts, Music, Art, and Physical Education 

Subjects taught in English 

English Language Arts and Social Studies

 

Read Detailed Curriculum Info 

Third and Fourth Grade Curriculum Breakdown

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French is the language of instruction approximately 70% of the time throughout the day for third and fourth grade.  

Subjects taught in French

Math, World History, French Language Arts, Music, Art, and Physical Education 

Subjects taught in English 

English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science

 

Read Detailed Curriculum Info

 

Learn more about our curriculum...

Language Arts


The language arts curriculum focuses on the acquisition and application of oral, reading, writing, and aural comprehension skills in both English and French. In this context, we provide materials and instruction to increase the complexity of vocabulary and content as methods of preparing students for challenging academic and career environments. English Language Arts: FASDenver utilizes a reading and writing curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, state priorities, and the mission and goals of our school. The curriculum has been developed by the Executive Director, Director of Curriculum, and members of the FASDenver curriculum design team. When selecting materials, careful attention has been be paid to include varied perspectives, diverse cultures, and topics that speak to the cultures represented in the student body. Curriculum materials include Wit & Wisdom by Great Minds, materials from EngageNY, and materials from the Vermont Writing Collaborative. French Language Arts: Curriculum elements in French align with the educational standards of the Ministry of Education in France, and authentic materials have been brought in from Francophone countries to support student learning. Research shows that in addition to Integrated Content and Language Development and second-language (subsequently referred to as L2) instruction in multiple subjects, there remains a need for formal L2 instruction to achieve native-like fluency and grammatical precision. FASDenver plans to use leveled books that are available in French from Reading A-Z. Leveled books are a component of differentiated instruction and can be used in guided reading and small-group instruction. FASDenver also uses materials such as Alpha-Jeunes: Trousse d’Evaluation de Lecture (“Alpha-Youth: Kit for Reading Evaluation”) as reading resources in grades one and two. For literacy building curricula, FASDenver employs materials such as Envol en littératie (“Literacy in Flight”) for grades K-2 and L’île aux Mots (“The Island of Words”) for grades 3 and above (going forward in 2023 and beyond).




Mathematics


FASDenver uses the Singapore Math curriculum, which aligns with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and centers on problem-solving and a three-step learning process (concrete, pictorial, and abstract), to help students master mathematical concepts and apply those concepts to complex math problems. Singapore Math emphasizes word problems, rather than repetitive math drills, and is used by many leading schools in the US and abroad. FASDenver teaches all of its math content in elementary school in French using Singapore Math materials from La Librairie des Écoles (The School Bookstore). This is supplemented with interactive online games developed by the French Ministry of Education and other entities including, “J’apprends les Maths! (I Learn Math!), IXL.com, and https://www.tablesdemultiplication.fr/contact/, etc. that provide opportunities to incorporate technology and differentiated instruction into the math curriculum.




Science


FASDenver uses the inquiry-based Full Option Science System (FOSS) to inform the science curriculum. FOSS is a research-based program designed for grades K-8, developed at the University of California, Berkeley. FOSS curriculum aligns well with FASDenver’s focus on technology and with the CDE’s 2020 Educational Standards and Essential Skills Directive. FOSS Science Kits are used across Colorado and around the country. One of the hallmarks of this program is its interactive site, which provides students and their families with opportunities to participate in instructional games and interactive simulations. Each module includes tips on how to connect the concepts in the lesson with activities at home, providing parents additional ways to participate in their child’s learning experience.




Social Studies


Social studies content is based on the Colorado Department of Education Standards and develops student knowledge and understanding of local and global communities, including those of the Francophone world. The curriculum includes United States history, geography, civics, and economics, and it supports the development of essential skills including critical thinking, information literacy, and collaboration.




World Civilizations


World civilization education is an important hallmark of the French curriculum. Starting in first grade, students at FASDenver learn about ancient civilizations, prehistory, African and Asian civilizations, and the Middle Ages up to modern day. We believe that understanding world history and civilizations is essential to global citizenship. History of the Francophone diaspora will also be incorporated. This curriculum is taught in French, and we use textbooks in compliance with the French Ministry of Education.




Music + Visual Arts


An exploration of visual arts and music is essential to the full development of a child, and as such, these topics are incorporated throughout the curriculum. To enhance our offerings, FASDenver has partnered with the Visiting Artist Program at La Napoule Art Foundation and with Opera Colorado.




Global Citizenship


In alignment with our mission and vision, an exploration of what it means to be a global citizen is integrated throughout the curriculum. An example of integrating global citizenship and science is Teach UNICEF’s four lessons related to water and sanitation for transitional kindergarten through second grade. These lessons guide students through understanding the problems facing children with inadequate access to clean water or sanitation facilities and the global water crisis; then invite students to explore how organizations, agencies, and individuals are working to address the problems; and finally encourage students to take their own steps in addressing the local and global issues of water and sanitation.




Life Skills and Social Emotional Learning


For students to be well-rounded and most successful, they need to develop more than academic knowledge and skills. The French American School of Denver’s teaching of life skills center on social-emotional skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and social decision making); collaboration; and personal integrity (including personal accountability and responsibility). Teachers explicitly guide students in learning how to use these life skills every day, and reinforce this behavior through norms, incentives, and other classroom management practices. For the younger grades, teachers may build these skills during the morning meeting and may also have other time dedicated to guided skill development.




English Language Development


FASDenver offers students support for all required content-based courses as well as an additional 45-minute block ELD session each day. FASDenver’s ELD program is based upon the National Geographic REACH curriculum. The REACH curriculum was selected because it conducts sessions in small groups with students of similar grades and English language levels.




French Language Development: Newcomers to French in Upper Grades


In France and across the Francophone world, students new to French are offered a Classe D’Accueil (Welcome Class). The class provides supports for students so they can learn and master the basics for understanding spoken and written French, and also have the ability to write and speak in French. After Grade 2, all incoming students to FASDenver will be evaluated for French language proficiency. FASDenver’s enrollment packets provide an opportunity for parents to request placement in the Welcome Class to accelerate the French Language Development (FLD) of their child(ren). Similar to ELD, students in FLD may be pulled out (or in) of a non-core class and given 45-minute French-language instruction with peers of similar language level. FASDenver will use the Alliance Française French Language Learner curriculum from Editions Didier, a program that has been used worldwide and has been shown to help learners achieve native-like fluency in French. To integrate the new French language learners and to deliver grade-level-appropriate content in English as necessary, FASDenver has budgeted for an additional bilingual French teacher each year to work with FLD students after Grade 2. These students will have the opportunity to take core classes Mathematics and Science in English (ELA and Social Studies are already offered in English after Grade 2) as they transition into the French immersion classroom. If at any time during the school year a student is having difficulty in French language as evidenced by classroom observations or a French language assessment, either the classroom teacher or Director of French Studies will notify the student’s parents, and they can elect to place their child in FLD. Students’ performance and achievement will be measured at least once each trimester. After parental consultation, parents may decide either to continue or discontinue FLD. Throughout the day, teachers at FASDenver use instructional supports, including scaffolding and differentiated education, to supplement FLLs and ELLs. The San Diego French American School, which has been in operation since 1988, continues to accept new students, even in upper grades with no previous French background. The New York French American School also accepts students with no French background. Both programs have had tremendous success with using language-acquisition techniques similar to those used with ELL students.




Gifted + Talented Instruction


FASDenver identifies students possessing high performing capabilities in specific academic, intellectual, leadership, and creative and visual/performing arts talent areas. FASDenver follows the guidelines set forth in the Exceptional Child Education Act (ECEA). We support students achieving above grade-level so that they continue to be challenged and supported in the classroom. The Director of Student Services will be responsible for identifying G&T and academically advanced students and completing ECEA required Advanced Learning Plans for all students identified as G&T. To ensure that all students are given access to an equitable screening process for gifted services, beginning in Kindergarten, all students will be evaluated on these 4 criteria every year: teacher checklist, parent checklist, exceptional work products, and reading level. Also, because of the under-representation of minority students in Gifted Education, we administer the CoGAT 7 online beginning in 1st Grade and a creativity test beginning in 2nd Grade to all students. Any student entering the school after 1st Grade or 2nd Grade will take these tests upon entry. Any measure we use must be able to be equivalently administered in English, French, Spanish and to students that speak languages other than English, French, and Spanish. To qualify for gifted services, a child must have at least 3 formal indicators, or 1 informal indicator and 2 formal indicators, which support that the student is gifted. Formal Factors: Gifted on Creativity Test Gifted on IQ test 2 years above reading level as shown by DRA/DELF Score as Gifted or above on any of the 3 CoGAT evaluation areas (Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative) Informal Indicators: Parent Checklist Teacher Checklist Exceptional Work Product