This map idea comes from Bryce through Jenny. We were discussing our delayed attempts to pair kids. I didn’t assign partners last year at all, a practice that would have kept cliques from developing. How do I get partners for pair work and for seat mates? Two years ago, I just assigned everyone a new partner about every week and a half. That was a bit of a pain, because they would forget. Jenny reminded me of what we used to do with clock faces: kids would assign themselves different partners for each time slot.
Jenny said that Bryce assigns partners with a map, or maybe with Spanish-speaking countries. “Meet with Columbia now!” We have only one main Russian-speaking country, but I did have a convenient blank map with dots for cities. I had kids stand in order of family members, shoe size, a rainbow of what they’re wearing, hair length, etc. to get them next to new people. Then I had them fill in a line near that city with their partner. (In Russian 1, we’ll learn cities along with the partner assignments.) We did a “domino line” of pairs turning to each other from one end of the line so that we could switch kids around if they ended up next to a former partner.
I used a partner activity in the middle of class today so that everyone would have to stand up and find a new partner. One of our presenters today would tell us just to stand up to answer processing questions he would assign. Teachers groaned a bit, and my kids hate that. I have to give them a reason to move. Sometimes it’s still just for the sake of a brain break of course.
We sat down and started the “Persona Especial” interviews. Since many of the kids know one another, but we do have new kids in the class, I asked the class some of the basic questions first, and if they knew the answers, I circled with those. Bryce was right. A big question was age, because if the kids are 16, then we find out whether they have their license, and then we find out about cars.
I also found out that both the kids we interviewed in one class really want to be called by Russian names. They are going to go research names tonight. We can ask them tomorrow.
It seemed to me that this language would be too easy for level 3 and 4 kids. It turned out that I haven’t used a bunch of words, including “prefer” and “name.” (We use “is called,” as does Spanish.)
I’m always blown away by how interested kids are in one another and in getting time for all.
Oh, and we still had time to begin the next story in one class, but the second class took all the time possible to get “through” some simple information on two kids. Wow.