The day actually started out with 10 minutes of exercise. The little kids do this exercise willingly, the older kids not so much. They did neck stretches, arm stretches, leg stretches and a little bit of dancing to wake up and get ready for the day.
After the stretches, lessons officially started!
We saw one 10th grade class first. I started off with sharing the slideshow presentation made by my 8th grade class. It was a big hit! The students loved seeing all the parts of the school that we photographed and had some excellent questions. Do our students complain about wearing uniforms? How much time do we have between classes? How many classes do we have a day? They even asked about the different languages we have and how the students can communicate with each other. They all thought the 8th grade ESL class did a fantastic job with their presentation.
For example: I was so bored at the movie. A. board B. bored.
Of course, they couldn't see the sentence, so they had to guess. Some of the homophones were quite tricky. I think I might use this activity in my own class. After going through all the homophones, we had the more traditional part of the spelling bee. We said a word, they tried to spell it. We went through about 6 rounds before we had a winner! We didn't use the official Spelling Bee list because Anzhelika the Amazing wanted to stick with words that they knew from their vocabulary studies. After the spelling bee, Cindy taught us Homophone Tic-Tac-Toe
After the Spelling Bee, I passed out Tootsie Rolls which they had never had before. Most of the students liked them. Several of the boys had seconds or thirds!
When the next class of 9th graders came in, Cindy taught a wonderful lesson on stereotypes and what Russians think Americans think about Russians. It was a great discussion and the students had some great ideas. According to them: All Americans think that Russia is full of Bears, that Russians all drink Vodka all the time, and that it always snows. The snowing one is only partly right - It has snowed a little every day that I've been here in Yekat! Anzhelika and the students assured me that in summer it can get quite hot and they have very nice weather.
After teaching, Anzhelika and I went out for Pizza. Russian style pizza was pretty good. I ordered pepperoni pizza. The sauce was sweet, the pepperoni was mild and the crust was pretty good. Anzhelika the Amazing ordered a 4 cheese pizza and it came without any sauce AND with blue cheese.
In the afternoon, Anzhelika arranged for us to have a tour of the Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts main building. We got a personal tour by the main curator of the exhibit! There was a pavilion built in 1900 for the Paris Exhibition. It is made entirely out of cast iron! We also got to see an exhibit about a painter from the Ural Mountains named Denisoff Ouralski. Denisoff was a prolific painter, drawer, stone carver and all around artist.
The artworks were incredible and we were honored to have the tour from Ludmilla. She was so knowledgeable about her topic and was really dedicated to it.
Apparently, Denisoff had sent about 100 paintings to the World Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1890s and never got any of them back. So somewhere there are paintings by Denisoff in the U.S. She asked if we could keep our eye out, because they'd like to develop a list of his works and where they are located.
After the museum, we walked to a Ukrainian / Russian restaurant. We thought dinner would only take an hour, but 3 1/2 hours later, we were still talking and laughing and thoroughly enjoying ourselves! The only food that was new to me there was a soup that I didn't like and a dessert that I did. The dessert was called Sochni and is kind of like a strudel or turnover.
Answers to questions left in comments:
The Berezovsky school was built in the 1970s. Some of the schools in Moscow and Anzhelika the Amazing's School are both in Older buildings, but they look newer. Part of that is because the school in Berezovsky is not as well off. There isn't as much money there for the Principal to use to fix the school up.
Jovanny: It is really hard to answer that question! I have had so many delicious foods. I really liked the Katchipuri that I had the first dinner in Moscow. But that isn't really Russian - it's from the country of Georgia. I also really liked the borscht and the Solyanka soups. The Ant-hill dessert was delicious too! There's so much to pick from.
8th grade asked:
What year were those cars built?
Who is the man in the picture at the museum?
The little cars in the pictures from the Military Museum for the Glory of the Urals were built from the 1930s through the 1970s. I think they're really cute, but they're actually very dangerous. Many people died in crashes with them because they really were not very strong.
I'm assuming the man you mean is the man standing next to the blue car with the motorcycle next to him. According to Anzhelika the Amazing, there was a movie made during Soviet times about a man who stole money from rich people to help poor people and that the car the man is standing next to was the actual car from the movie. The motorcycle was driven by the police officer who was trying to catch the man and was also actually in the movie. The man is supposed to be the main actor, but Anzhelika says he doesn't look anything like it.
7th grade asked:
There were no paper towels at the hand washing station. How do the students dry their hands?
Good observation! There were paper towels farther down the wall and a couple of blow driers.
Do they have Kindergarten in Russia?
Yes they do! But Kindergarten is different than in the United States. In Russia, Kindergarten is for children aged 2 to age 6. It is more like Pre-school here. They also have something called "Creche" which is day care / pre-school for babies.
Are the classes in this school small or large?
At Berezhovsky some classes were small, like the language classes, and some were large, but Russia has a law that classes can't be bigger than 25 students.
Finally: Last time you asked about what instruments the students play in Music class. I'm going to give the answer from Anzhelika the Amazing's school: Gymnasium #13. The answer is: none! They don't have music class. If they want to learn music, they have to go to a separate music school.
My mom asked: What to the students think about Chicago?
Most of the students had heard of it. They knew about Michael Jordan because of Nike Air Jordan shoes, and they knew Chicago had something to do with gangsters.