Wednesday, September 07, 2011
I have a very lively group of 5 kids for English camp this week. Our rule of thumb is that we conduct the class as much as possible in the goal language, even though the kids are only 4th and 5th graders.
Two of the boys are best friends so speaking English with each other is difficult for them. Sitting still is difficult for them, too. Listening to the teacher and getting along with the other 3 kids - also not so hot. Giggling and jabbering in German - excellent!
So, I had the idea to have all the kids bring a hat to class. This morning, I gave the "respect each other" talk and reiterated the standard rules about not throwing things, etc. Then I told them that we would be wearing our hats for 40 minutes at a time and that, during those 40 minutes, we would all speak English. We would then take a break, take off our hats, and we could all speak as much German as we wanted for the next 5-10 minutes.
It worked! They all made an extra effort to speak English, knowing that they could speak German for a few minutes at intervals throughout the morning. I used the breaks to answer questions and explain upcoming tasks, but otherwise just let them chatter. I think they actually learned something today, although I had to back off our "goal language" policy.
Thankful for the answer to the prayers I said for wisdom in disciplining this group. I was really wondering how we were all going to survive the week!
Prayer Update: I got a good report from one of my missionary friends. He does apparently have a very slow-growing cancer in his liver but will not need a transplant. He'll be taking medication to stop the tumors from spreading to his other organs. I'm not sure if he will need surgery in the future; they are taking one step at a time. But he and his family are very encouraged by this news.
Fall Challenge Update: On the Fall 5% Challenge front, places are filling up. I just read that there is only room for 23 more challengers to bring the total to the cut-off of 550. So if you're going to take the plunge, this is the time to do it! www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i