Greetings !

This week both the Kindergarten and the pre school cohort began a unit on Family which will culminate in our Mother`s Day show on March 8, 2012. This unit has the primary focus for the pre school cohort of familiarizing them with basic English language vocabulary revolving around the family unit e.g Mother, Father, Grandmother etc and incorporating that with creativity through simple daily art projects. For our ambitious kindergarten cohort we will be focusing on nuclear family vocabulary this week and extending that next week by including larger family members such as uncle, aunt, cousin and even pets! Once this vocabulary has been verbally mastered (students can identify through pictures who is a sister vs. mother for example) we will be making a personalized family tree with student`s specific family pictures! This is definately going to be purposeful application.

On Tuesday both classes took the to honour a very special person: their Mother! It was Valentine`s day and by popular demand we all made special English language valentines for Mommy.

Both cohorts spent Wednesday and Thursday mastering English language vocabulary for the nuclear family. For the Kindergarten students this included: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Baby, Son, Daughter, Grandfather and Grandmother. Rather than being an exercise in rote memorization--mastering this vocabulary proved to be a great opportunity for bilingual and cross cultural interactions as both the Russian and English were honoured and used---as they will always be in our classroom. The younger cohort kept their learned vocabulary far more simple: Mother, Father, Grandmother and Grandfather were learned this week.

As it is always our focus to learn new words and verbs in an immediate context and become comfortable with them before generalizing them to other parts of English speech or communication situations. For example students have learned that when they need or want something they should use the phrase: 'May I have?' This week we extended the verb `to have` and used it in speaking about our families: `how many brothers and sisters do you have?,` We will continue to practice this next week too but thus far the Kindergarten cohort is applying their learned skills wonderfully, as demonstrated in their latest `Friday Review.`

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