Tomorrow is Monday!

Whoosh! It seems very strange to go from a cozy time home–skiing, making cookies, reading, watching movies–back to school tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to finding out what my students have been up to.

I’m planning to implement a few more of Scott’s ideas…one being that when we do write or speak, I’ll use his line that “Each book about Harry Potter would have been just a pamphlet without the description of people and places.” Having seen five of the HP movies yesterday for our annual movie marathon, I can say that Scott was right! The basic plot starts here: Harry is having problems at home. Luckily, he soon leaves for boarding school, where he makes/meets friends, has an autumn adventure, a winter adventure, and a spring adventure, and then he goes home, having been victorious in whatever challenges he has met.

Just as when we’re writing stories in our classes, certain themes and characters repeat themselves. The Dark Forest will always be dangerous, but the dormitory rooms are generally safe. Whoever is the new professor each year will probably be either evil or weak, but Professor McGonagall is always kind and wise.

I was thinking it was a bit of laziness or a cop-out to re-use the same themes or characters or locations in our class stories, even as I loved it (we often went to Loch Ness last year, for instance, and we have kids who always play the villain,  and so on). Now I realize again that these repetitions allow for us to have symbols of a sort developing in our classrooms, helping anyone who might not have storytelling structure firm in their heads.

How do I do that? I meant to write about how I revamped Scott’s analytical rubrics so that they fit Russian, and that I’m excited about starting my new schedule, but this is exactly why I need a schedule: I’m easily distracted.

2 responses to “Tomorrow is Monday!

  1. What actually happened:

    We reviewed rules and expectations in most classes, as well as doing the reading coaching. In one class, I collected tiny pieces of paper with NY resolutions and wishes for specific superpowers. We started to have fun with those already, though I realize I don’t know much vocabulary for superpowers in Russian. We’ll go slowly so that we talk about everyone, and so that I can get some language support from my native speaker friends and exchange students. I’m going to use Jody’s trick about seating the kid we’re talking about in the front of the room.

    I also set up my first regular Tuesday quizzes for tomorrow. Everyone is getting one of Laurie’s sliding-scale vocabulary/structure quizzes. I think it should be interesting!

    This post has Laurie’s comment underneath that explains her sliding scale quizzes for mixed-level classes. I’m trying the second of the two.


    • ooooh! Let me know how it goes!! Some classes take to it right away. Others look at me like I’m a whacko. What? WE get to choose which ones we do? The hurt and mistrustful are not quite ready to believe that it isn’t some sort of trick. (Tricks are, after all, the heart of much testing)

      I’m most interested to know what YOU learn from what they do…..I want to be a fly on the wall! We really have to get those classroom to classroom cameras going lol

      with love,


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