I needed some grades for the grade book. In level 1, we read a story on the projector and translated it. Then I posted five questions in English on the board (because I didn’t think to make/copy them in advance). Everyone wrote answers in English. I asked kids to read the question (from the projector) that answered each question. Each student graded his/her own paper. They all got all the questions right (predictable, right, since we just read it out loud and translated?) Then we went on and read the two extended stories. I asked individual kids to translate sentences or whole sections. When I got to the gradebook, I put in a B (meets expectations) for the whole class, and changed the B to an A for the kids who could do the extended translations without any help. It’s the first step in preparing them for reading quizzes. I want them to feel success first.
In my advanced class, we re-read the third chapter of a novel. The kids, in groups of three or four, were responsible for each drawing a picture from one part of the chapter. Then the group told those three sections to the class, in order. That way, the entire chapter got a re-telling, and I could mark a speaking grade. I told the kids that, with a new text, their progression was likely to be this:
Can tell in English
Can tell the bare bones in Russian
can tell the story with some details
can use some complex sentences in the retelling
can use new vocabulary.
It turned out that most kids didn’t try new vocabulary. It was just too fresh. But several of the brand-new level 3’s used complex sentences. I also heard some clear grammar mistakes that need fixing by my attention to using them frequently.