Grade 4

Jun. 26th, 2009 10:56 am
stormy1x2: Ruthie babushka dog (Default)
[personal profile] stormy1x2

The grade 4's are a lot more wild than my 5's or my 3's, but they're also quicker on the draw to pick up on things in general, and they're far more creative. As much as I love my 5's, getting them to do something artistic was like pulling teeth. ;D

From L-R

Tim:  is Dictionary Boy. He collects dictionaries, brings two of his favorite to every class, and is constantly looking up new words in class to use. I got so used to hearing him say what became his catch phrase: "Just a minute Mandy, let me look the dictionary!"

  is one of those kids who tries so hard but only manages to scrape by. But he never gives up, and he's one of my strongest advocates for no Chinese in the classroom. At any given time, if the Chinese rumblings grow too loud, you can count on Jason, standing up and shouting, "Hey! This ENGLISH class, no Chinese class! Speak ENGLISH!"

Jimmy (top): is one of my trouble-makers. If I had to pick a candidate for ADD in my class, he would be the one. He can't sit still for a minute to save his life. He collects pen toppers, and his father works in another province. When we did the travel unit, he proudly told his he went to Hainan Island - but.... "Mandy, I in my mother's stomach I go to Hainan!". Apparently trips conducted whilst in utero count...

Mike (bottom): one of the students I'm sorry to say I gave up on. 4 years in my class, and he never did any of his work, or did well, ANYTHING, unless someone was standing next to him, poking him along. His English level is somewhere BELOW my grade 1's from Qingpu and he doesn't care. When I have 18 kids who are doing reasonably well when they try, it's very hard to put so much effort into a student who DOESN'T. I didn't ignore him by any means, but if I asked a question (that he really should know by grade 4) and he just stared at me without answering, I stopped trying to prompt and prod, and just moved on. English is not for everyone.

Owen: is a surprise story. :D Much like Mike for 3 years, this year he apparently decided to knuckle down and get something accomplished. Not the best student in the class by far, and still easily distracted, he nonetheless made an amazing improvement this term. :D

Willy: Sarcastic, intelligent, excellent English skills - and the first to give answers to others on tests. >.<;;;;  Willy had an appendectomy this year and missed 2 weeks of class. He was not happy about that. "Mandy they is cut my stomach and is take out!"

Jack: is like a little yorkie terrier: yapping all the time, but so cute and cuddly you just wanna pet him on the head and give him treats. A very quiet student in English, he loves talking to others in Chinese in my class. When I call him out on it, I get this adorable, cheeky, dimpled-grin, his hands held up placatingly, and a "Sorry Mandy, sorry sorry."

Potato: is simply put, a character. The most memorable moment I have of him is from grade 2, when we were doing the clothing unit and he started telling me about triangle shorts. He was so frustrated that I couldn't understand him, so to help faciliate the conversation, he dropped his pants, showing off his briefs, and pointed at them saying, "Triangle shorts Mandy! But for swimming!"   He was talking about Speedos. I wish I had video of him doing his Monkey-man imitation. :D

James: is Potato's right-hand man. Whereas Potato has very high-level English skills, James does not, and so Potato endeavors to help him at all times - even feeding him lines and information during tests. >.<;;;    For the longest time - G1 to G3 - he and Villa were deskmaes and best friends. Then they reached the age where the opposite sex has cooties, apparently. The only one NOT affected by this is Potato (who still sits with Margaret and I'll tell you why when we get to the girls photos).

Drew (bottom):  Was like Mike in grade 3 but tried a bit harder this year.

Liam (bottom)
: is a Mike clone. And a fighter. If I turn my back on him, he is the one most likely to hit someone for well, just about anything.

Top L-R:

Margaret: is in a permanent competition with Potato to see who does better in their English classes. They have been a staple in my class since grade 1. In g3, when he talked about familes, they showed me their understanding of new vocabulary:

Margaret: "Potato is my husband."
Potato: "Margaret is my wife."
*pretend to kiss*
Margaret: "Oh my honey!"

Margaret both loves and hates her name. I called her 'Margarita' in grade 1, and it's stuck as a nickname ever since - but only her friends can call her that. Whenever Jimmy calls her Margarita, she throws something at him and tells him, "My NAME is MARGARET." Her main complaint is that her name has too many letters.

Betty: is the dancer and gymnast of the group. We did an exercise unit back in G3, and Betty was unanimously voted within her group to be their aerobics instructor (they were putting together little exercise routines). Betty took charge like a champ, demonstrating exactly how she wanted everyone to perform, counting out the reps, and snapping her team back in line. "Together now, 1! 2! 3! Elly, you too slow!" She's also the one who traumatized me for life when she told me - back in g2 - "Look what I can do!" and sank into the splits, leaning her head back in an arch that almost touched her leg. I had back pains just from watching!

Kelly: is shy and quiet - except when I give her a puzzle to solve. She is very proud of her travels - her mother has taken her to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and this summer they're spending a month in Toronto! Her mother, who speaks very good English, has promised to email me when they're ready for a personal tour of Niagara Falls. :D

Grace: gave me 5 notes on my last day with instructions carefully printed as to when I could open them. Note 1: "I love you!" Note 2: "I miss you in summer."  Note 3 (could not open until next day): "Why yuo no com back in Spetmbre? Who teach we?"  Note 4: "You is a good teaacher."  Note 5: "Goodbye!"

  the classroom leader to whom everyone defers. She tries to keep up to Potato and Margaret in English ability, and gets upset when she doesn't quite make it.   She had long hair back in g1, but her mother cut it off and it's been short ever since. It was only in g3 - at which time , three other girls had their hair cut short too - that she started to forgive her mother for it!

Elly: is a sweetheart with a photographer for a grandfather. I got ambushed at the most random times by hIm pushing Elly in front of me (in the classroom, outside the school, on the way home) and saying, "You smile!"  The good thing was I got copies of all the pics. :D Elly tries so hard, but has admitted to me, she doesn't like English class very much. I suspect it has more to do with her Chinese English teacher saying she's stupid then it has to do with me though.

Bottom L-R:

Villa:  Reminds me a lot of Kitty from g5. very popular and friendly, athletic AND artistic. She loves working on art projects (English-based art projects to help show comprehension) and takes them very seriously. This is the first year she and James aren't deskmates, but she still seems to have a vested interest in his grades - she has been known to shout at him in anger if he doesn't seem to be trying, even though they're now across the classroom from each other. And Villa is still the first person he goes to if he needs to borrow something. :D

Selina: is going to be an artist. No if's, ands or buts about it. i still have the Vaporeon picture she drew me back in G3. In g1 and g2, she was copying a lot of anime pictures, particularly Sailor Moon (copying, not tracing), but this year she's really started to develop her own style.  She enjoyed the art classes we had in the final week because she got to express herself creatively. That's not something they do a lot - as she once told me, "In draw class, we is do what teacher says. I no want draw this but she say yes must draw."  Selina, sweetie, I had the same problem as you, which is why I dropped the art course at college for something else entirely.

Ilia: is a cheerful girl who isn't very good at English but tries hard anyway, and often surprises herself with her marks. :D While none of the girls are particularly scared of Liam (I have a group of scrappers!), Ilia was the first person this year to hit him back and stand up, sceaming "You no hit girls! Bad Liam!"  Liam was thunderstruck and couldn't move. :D  The class gave her a round of applause.

*note, I do not advocate violence in my classroom, and I did make Ilia AND Liam go to the teacher's office, with April to explain the situation. But honestly? it was so good to see Liam shot down, just once. And he did restrict his fists to the boys after that (they fight a lot out of class, where I have no jurisdiction), so Ilia did make an impression. :D

Group shot! See? Margaret and Potato, always together. ^^'

Margaret tries to keep her balance. Elly laughs at her fom the slide:

February 2013

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