I hope all the Americans remember that commercial so I don't feel like such a dork for making it the title.
The monster class is driving me insane. Yes, I was lucky enough to have those little angels yet again this year. Every day with them is a joy, as you can imagine. Discipline is actually going better this year, I'm just a hard ass from the minute class starts until the minute it finishes and I think I'm slowly breaking them (or so I tell myself). But what's driving me nuts about them right now isn't their inability to behave but their inability to listen, understand, and reproduce English sounds. They can't hear the difference between thirteen and fourteen (and half of them STILL haven't learned their numbers in English) and they can't pronounce English sounds correctly. We just played a number pronounciation game where they got upset that I wasn't giving them credit for the right number, but how can I possibly do that if I can't understand them?!? So after pulling my hair out about this for weeks, I've decided to do some phonics with them. I think part of the problem is that they just don't understand that in English the sounds are different and that they are supposed to try to reproduce and understand the sounds I make, not do whatever they want. We all know the problem of the French not hearing anything in English because all movies and TV shows are dubbed in French. This group of kids is also already at a disadvantage because many of them come from poorer and more troubled backgrounds. So we're going to try phonics and hopefully that will help, and I'm also going to tell them to watch a DVD in English this weekend. Otherwise I am at my wit's end. If anyone has any other listening or pronounciation activity ideas please share!
This weekend I had my first choir concert in France! It was fine. I find it a little unsatisfying musically to be in a "just for fun" choir like this. We don't prepare our songs to the same level that I did in high school and college, so it feels sloppy to me. And last night when we were learning new music we didn't even have to sight read, the director just played our notes for us. In any case, they are all super nice, and I enjoy singing in a group and making music and using my voice for more than singing the ABCs and the Hello Song!