Now we’re finally at the point where the newbies are fairly solid in the Russian 1 class. I’m not sure what I think of this experiment of having new kids come in at semester, but I do find that they have to “wanna,” even more so than the usual kids. They have to learn the new alphabet and just go with the flow of kids who know more than they do. They have to be willing to step out on a limb and show their ignorance and not feel embarrassed.
Today we did our first class write, which is nothing spectacular, except that we were doing it in Cyrillic cursive, which is different from Cyrillic print, which is still not exactly like typed print. Having an alphabet of 33 letters look three different ways is probably still nothing like learning Japanese or Chinese, so I’m going to stop thinking we’re special, but it does contribute to halting progress when we get newbies.
It was a huge relief to be able to stand at the Smart Board and write in cursive as we told our story so that the kids could write it too. There’s so much that comes up as we write: I can ask questions about how the story went, ask the kids to draw pictures, ask them to answer questions about what’s written already, or then go back in to add details. I find that it’s easy to get bogged down in adding details when we’re writing, and then kids get behind or need to edit, so I have learned not to do it too much until their notebooks are put away. Or I do it when I have remembered to enforce the writing every third line, but we still don’t add extra details until the story is complete in their notebooks.