Admissions Blog

Playing: an absolute necessity for the child and the student

From the very first months of life, play is an essential source and vehicle for a child's learning, joy and development.

The importance of play for children and its role in learning has long been known and well documented. It is therefore natural that play has been an important element in the classroom since the creation of the Maternelle in France.

 

The current trend of replacing play time with structured activities during family time and the reduction of recess hours during school has been criticized in recent studies and articles that have focused on the role and benefits of play in learning. 

After a period of time where the nursery program was significantly influenced by the elementary school structure, the new official 2015 program of the French Ministry of National Education (the one we follow at the Rochambeau pre-school campus) very explicitly emphasizes the importance of play in school and its role in learning.

The game, in all its forms (free, guided, structured, exploratory, symbolic, rules-based, collective, construction, etc.) is a natural part of spontaneous, autonomous or specific learning. There is, therefore, no contradiction between play and work at school.

In addition, the game offers a space of autonomy and safety necessary for the well-being of the young child and allows a necessary break time in cognitive activities to maintain attention, concentration and avoid overload.

As for recreation, beyond its benefits on health, brain oxygenation, concentration, social, motor and emotional development, it is a source of joy and development for students. 

Guided tour in our playground. Start by closing your eyes (long before you see the children in the yard... you hear them!); the unique sound of the playground... The intensity, power of laughter, pleasure and joy are incomparable and unforgettable. Open your eyes, cut the sound: joy on your faces, the crazy energy spent, friendship, exploration, total, absolute commitment: pure enjoyment.

Frédéric Tavernier
Director of the Rochambeau nursery school

Posted by mhlinka in Bilingulism, Academic, Parenting on Monday October 1
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Differences and similarities

Developing intercultural understanding is the theme of the school project in lower school. Many actions are carried out in the classroom and a week was dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination.  Below is a video of a project that was carried out in the Immersion class on differences and similarities.

 

 

Posted by vmeriot in Academic on Friday June 15
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Alumni experience: Healing Through Technology - A South African experience

Nicolas Trad | Princeton Graduate & Medical Student at Harvard University (Class of 2013)

Nicolas Trad was born in Washington, D.C. into a family of Lebanese, Slovenian and American heritage. Raised in Beirut, Nicolas and his family lived through the 2006 conflict in Lebanon. It was at this time that his family returned to the U.S and the Rochambeau community became a part of his home. Nicolas's capacity to adapt and problem-solve in challenging environments has inspired him to pursue a medical career in global health.

Nicolas has spent the last 7 months in rural Eastern Cape in South Africa collaborating with doctors and clinic managers. He has been designing and implementing a mobile platform allowing clinics to report stock levels of essential medications, from vaccines to HIV and TB treatment to antibiotics, via a weekly phone survey. By providing real-time visibility on the availability of medicine in clinics, the system encourages designated hospital staff to proactively redistribute medication between health facilities and prevent stock-outs before they occur. Nicolas hopes that the use of basic mobile technology will help to ensure that patients have reliable access to medication when and where they need them.

Nicolas is a Princeton University graduate having earned his Bachelors degree in Public Policy with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. In his next academic pursuit he will be enrolling in the Harvard Medical School in the fall of 2018.

We are sure Nicolas's experiences in South Africa will inform and inspire his future medical training and career. 

A word from Nicolas about Rochambeau...

"Attending Rochambeau helped ease the transition into my new life. Within the school’s perimeters, I found a like-minded community with as complex a mix of identities as I’d grown up with in Lebanon. This was a source of familiarity and comfort, but it also challenged me to engage with new and sometimes conflicting perspectives, and to approach those unlike me with openness and humility. 

-Nicolas Trad (Class of 2013)

Posted by Admissions Parents in Testimonials on Thursday June 7
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Gaming Advice for Parents

Education Blog - DC School Hub

Denise Lisi DeRosa, Founder, Cyber Sensible

The specific concerns parents have about gaming are very similar to the overall issues parents have with regard to technology: time spent, interaction with strangers, and inappropriate content. Some of the top games kids are playing include: Fortnite, Rocket League, NBA 2K18, Madden (NFL and Mobile), FIFA, Super Mario Odyssey, Star Wars Battlefront II, Clash of Clans, Trivia Crack, Minecraft and Call of Duty. Most games for Android, iOS, Xbox, PS4 and others have an interactive component. This means kids can join up with friends (or strangers) to play together. So what can parents do to address their concerns? Parents can empower themselves to take the lead in online safety instruction. Following are my top 5 tips for parents to get started.

Keep an Open Dialogue

First, I tell parents the most important action they can take is to talk to their kids. Ask them about the games they are playing. Learn what the goals of the game are, how it is played and try to get your child to verbalize the skills needed to succeed. Don’t be judgmental or dismissive about their game playing. Keep an open mind and try to understand the attraction to the games they like to play. Video games are an important part of socializing today for kids so part of the draw is the ability to play and to discuss strategies with friends. Plus, gaming helps kids to develop digital, cooperative and problem solving skills that they will need for future success. READ MORE


Posted by Admissions Parents on Wednesday June 6
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Oiticica exhibit at the French Embassy for the EU open house May 12

Please join us at the French Embassy for the EU Open house event this coming Saturday, May 12, 2018.  We will be sharing the latest art exhibit from the l'école Maternelle: Oiticica, a supra-sensorial experience.

Helio Oiticica was a Brazilian artist who devised an art form that activated all the senses in order to promote the idea of individual freedom.  Inspired by this interactive art form, the Rochambeau maternelle students worked together to create a supra-sensorial experience, combining pedagogy and art.  Our students were encouraged to physically enter art and experience it not just with their hands, but with the whole body! It was designed to stimulate the viewer's emotional and intellectual participation.  More photos



Posted by Admissions Parents in Events on Tuesday May 8
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The National Gallery comes to Rochambeau….in miniature.

Using art as a means of expression is part of the French primary school* curriculum. It is also a fun medium to acquire and develop language, particularly for our immersion students.

After a visit to the east wing of the National Gallery of Art, students from the maternelle and immersion classes worked to create a model museum with paintings, sculptures, mobiles. Together they then assembled them to bring the East wing to Rochambeau. While improving their oral skills, the immersion class created a “Kahoot”, an interactive game for the maternelle students depicting the different works of art.

“We had a great time, and what is extraordinary is that the students are now unbeatable on some of the artists,” says Hélène, one of the immersion teachers.

*primary school is comprised of the maternelle and elementary schools (nursery-5th grade)

Lexique: glossary

Une sculpture | a sculpture

Une peinture | a painting

Une photographie: a photograph

Un cadre | a frame

Un chavalet | easil

Observer : to observe

Une palette : artist palette

Un portrait «  a portrait

Un paysage | a landscape

Un musée a museum

Une galerie | an art gallery

 

 

Posted by Admissions Parents in Academic on Wednesday May 2 at 02:12PM
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Bilingualism: Interview with Dr. Fred Genesee, Professor Emeritus & Author

Rochambeau welcomed bilingual specialist, Dr Fred Genesee, McGill Professor Emeritus & Author for a conference on the benefits of bilingualism on April 7.

Q: How quickly will my child acquire a second language?

FG: Languages are complicated! Don’t make too many judgements too soon, because it doesn’t happen overnight.  Acquiring advanced levels of proficiency in a second language is a long term commitment. In one sense, second language learners never stop learning their new language because, as they get older and have increasingly more complex uses for their second language, they need to learn more. 

In the case of students in dual language programs in schools, to achieve the maximum benefit of the program, parents should be prepared to keep their child in the program throughout the elementary grades and, preferable, in secondary school.

For parents who want their children to acquire highly advanced levels of proficiency, it is a good idea to consider ways in which to expand their children's opportunities to use the language outside school by visits to countries and areas where the language is spoken or by finding opportunities to use the language with native speakers in their own community. 

In the case of students in dual language programs in schools, to achieve the maximum benefit of the program, parents should be prepared to keep their child in the program throughout the elementary grades and, preferable, in secondary school.

For parents who want their children to acquire highly advanced levels of proficiency, it is a good idea to consider ways in which to expand their children's opportunities to use the language outside school by visits to countries and areas where the language is spoken or by finding opportunities to use the language with native speakers in their own community. 

Q: Can learning a second or third language be detrimental to my child’s native language?

FG: If children speak a native language that is used at home and especially if it is used outside school on a regular basis, then research indicates that their competence in that language will not suffer, and they are not at a disadvantage. To the contrary, research has found that such situations can enhance students' native language skills, especially in the domains related to literacy and schooling 

Q: f you were to give advice to a family at Rochambeau, or considering bilingualism for their child, what would you recommend?

FG: I would recommend that they make a long term commitment to this endeavor; this means keeping their child in the program as long as possible and creating opportunities to use the non-English outside school as much as possible. Cognitive and other benefits of bilingualism result from full bilingualism.  Since the students live in a community which is dominated by English, there needs to be much less concern for reinforcing that language. Reinforcing the value of multilingualism is an asset for future job and life-style choices.


The myths of bilingualism



 

Posted by vmeriot in Bilingulism on Wednesday May 2 at 02:12PM
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Forest Rd Campus
Elementary • Secondary • Administrative Offices
9600 Forest Rd Bethesda, MD 20814
301.530.8260
3200 Woodbine St Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.907.3265
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Maternelle • Preschool
7108 Bradley Blvd Bethesda, MD 20817
301.767.1683
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