I have a group of beginners who like to sing. They just got me to sing with them the whole period (they thought they were keeping us from our lesson). Since I’ve been somewhat voiceless and at least hoarse for the better part of the last month, it was fun to do that.
There’s one song with numbers that goes very fast, and I’m having all my classes learn it, now that someone told me numbers are relatively late acquired. I am also going to do Scott’s Kindergarten approach to numbers (go to his TeachForJune page on the right sidebar) whenever we do stories from now on. I figure that every class can concentrate on some aspect of the same number/group of numbers each week, and that will help keep me sane.
Learning songs through gestures and then later reading the words does so much…helps kids vocalize Russian sounds quickly (I mean that they say the words faster than they might); it also gives them reading ability faster, because these are all words they’ve heard, and we read them over and over. Finally, they remember all these words forever.
Just when it seems there’s no chance that kids could learn a complex song, they do, because we learn it in small chunks, with lots of gestures. One kid stayed after today to tell me that he’s trying to speak Russian all the time now, and that he uses all our gestures to help him remember the words that he wants to say. What a way to make my day at the end of my last class on a Friday!