As those who are FB friends with me know, I had a culinary accident that made typing finals a bit rough. (Also interfered with a musical performance, but all went well there.) I had to depend on creative ideas and having an exchange student help me because I wasn’t going to be able to do what I’d planned.

New rule: don’t procrastinate when writing finals. I’m going to plan and write my semester 2 finals in January. Hmm. Will it happen?

And just so you know, I’m dictating this to my phone. Not typing. There will be no edits except to put in missed punctuation.

For the reading/listening portion of the final, an exchange student typed up a MovieTalk-inspired story based on a Simon’s Cat video. I made five levels of assignments to go with it, once I’d also collected twelve screen shots. I also painstakingly made changes so that there was a parallel reading of a little girl bothering her mother from outside the bathroom.

Students looked at the screen shots while I told them the story, while asking questions. That was to make sure that they understood the story and what the pictures were of. Then the final began.

First, the students labeled the correct picture when I told the story out of order. (They got to watch the 2-minute video for laughs and to make doubly sure they understood the story.) Then they got a copy of the story with questions in English. They answered the questions in Russian. That way I knew they understood the questions, but I didn’t want them answering on the basis of seeing the story!

Next, they all had to create QAR questions about the story. Level 1 kids could choose English for questions. Level 2 and up had to ask in Russian. They didn’t have to answer their own questions. Level 3 and up had to add a certain number of words to the story that changed it, improved the writing, or added details. Level 4 and up had to compare that story with another one.

This worked out because I could see what kids could do with exactly the same material at all levels, and because I got to make copies of the same three pages for all Russian classes.

If anyone wants a copy of the screen shots of the Bathroom story, I will happily email it to you when we get back from break, or by noon on Friday 12/19. Just say so in comments.

10 responses to “Finals!

  1. I would like a copy, please.
    Hope you heal up quickly. I know it must be hard for someone as active as you!


  2. Me too! Thanks for sharing your work 🙂


  3. Is it still possible to get a copy?


  4. I would love a copy if the screen shots!


  5. I would love a copy too, please! 🙂 I have really enjoyed following your posts!


  6. Thank you for sharing. I would also love a copy


  7. Thank you Michelle for sending the screen shots for your final.
    I carefully went over your explanation. When students get a copy of the story, is that the written part or is it of the screen shots? It seems to me that if they get the written copy and have to answer in TL there could be much copy and paste and difficult to know if they are understanding. How did this work out for you?


  8. It was very clear to me some kids were copying, partly because I had two parallel stories printed on the page, and a couple of kids picked the wrong story to answer from. But that turned out to be kids who were clearly not reading anyway, which is a whole different problem with Cyrillic. They had slipped through the cracks and I’ll have to apologize for not teaching them well and get them back to feeling confident right away.

    Because the questions are in English, I can’t honestly claim that the students had to re-read the story in order to answer the questions, since they’d seen the cartoon, and it matched the printed story, whereas the story we told in class based on the pictures did not. I did tell them I wanted them to check their spelling against vocabulary in the story. Most used slightly different verbs; some asked me if they had to use the exact wording from the printed story.

    Does that answer the question?


  9. Thank you Michelle. It does answer my question. I am going to try this out as a practice today. I won’t give them a text to read. Maybe it’ll be too difficult. So it’s really practice for me too to see what they can do.
    BTW, I’m using a cute video about a monk doing Tai Chi. Check it out:

    Do you want my sheet with screen shots?


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