Yesterday I had my wonderful adult classes, but I also had one of the last five days my daughter will be home, so I really didn’t plan the adult classes. Instead, I started the beginners with a children’s song we’re doing in my Russian 1 class about a little boy who won’t help with anything but doesn’t mind coming for dinner. I put “wants to help” and “wants to eat” on the board and asked about the parents’ kids. I learned a lot! I tried to tell the parents what wonderful kids they had, and they told me how their kids will help at home, but they don’t want to. That was introduction of vocabulary and PQA. We added some discussion of who wants to work, and who is retired and some time words: sometimes, never, always. I got a little scared (had one new beginner) about getting out of bounds, so went into gesturing the song. In between verses, I discussed whether the boy in the song wants to help, to work, to eat. We sang the song a couple of times, compared everyone in the room to the boy, compared the (absent) children to the boy, added some conversation about who likes to speak Russian, and then we wrote the story of the boy. Finally we watched the little video of the song. Adults like videos just as much as their kids do.
About the reading quiz: as you may know from earlier entries, I’m doing reading groups in three classes with leaders. It’s very rewarding, because kids are getting to read a lot more than they used to! But today I had “reading/listening quiz” on my self-induced schedule, and I didn’t know what to do. I’ll be interested to know whether this horrifies any of you (for any reason: not a good assessment, the obvious level of laziness, or something else). I told the kids to look back at something they’d read in the last week and a half and find five sentences in a row that they could translate to demonstrate their level of competency. They had to put the book title, the page number, and the paragraph down so that I could find it. It’s a little bit of a pain to grade; I have to sit surrounded by six books and keep pawing through them. But I can compare the level of reading to the kid, and while it’s kind of loose (I used the ACTFL speaking rubrics that we came up with as a guide, and will now try to do my best to create reading ones), I am pretty happy with the results.
Listening is a whole other problem.