One of the things I do for the last few weeks of the school year is to evaluate the reading of every single French Immersion kid in my school, except for the Kindergartners (most can’t read yet) and the Grade 7s (they’re going to high school next year; I don’t care any more about their reading). In total, I probably listen to about 300 kids read a short story to me, and then I ask them 10 or 15 comprehension questions. I then get a fairly accurate idea whether or not each kid can read words at their appropriate grade level and whether or not they actually understand what they have just read.

It’s a time-consuming process that takes pretty much the entire month of June. But the information gleaned is important for report card writing and also for planning for next year, so I think it’s worth it and I do it.

This year, however, I experienced a first during these reading assessments. No, it wasn’t that a kid couldn’t read at their grade level at all. No, it wasn’t that a kid could read way beyond their grade level. It wasn’t that a kid could read every single word perfectly but not comprehend what happened in the story at all. It wasn’t even that despite being mostly unable to read most of the words, a kid somehow fully understood exactly what was going on.

No, this was nothing like that.

This was a little boy in Grade 1 who sang the entire story to me.

Yes. He sang it.

He was obviously creating the melody as he went along, but he sang me every single word in that story without a hitch. He even had terrific intonation and expression, and he stopped appropriately when there was a period at the end of a sentence (an awful lot of primary-aged kids don’t do this, for some reason).

I have never had this happen before, in probably 20 years of evaluating the reading of young children.

In addition, this little boy answered all ten comprehension questions correctly.

Unfortunately, he didn’t also sing his answers.

I should have taken a point off for that.


12 responses to “Solo

  1. That is weird… but also kind of cool.

    • bevchen – Yeah, I’m waffling between rolling my eyes at the kid’s weirdness and giggling at his chutzpa! And he’s only six!

  2. But Catherine Deneuve makes it all worthwhile. She makes much of anything worthwhile in my humble esteem. Now, about that singing kid. that is impressive but also amazingly weird. Does he sing at other intervals in his life? Is his uber-mom anticipating a career on stage? Is he in love with you and wanted to impress the pants off you?

    • mrwriteon – We are SO related! Even in the crappiest movie, I think Catherine Deneuve would still be sublime! And the singing kid? I really don’t know him at all, so I have no idea if any of your scenarios are likely. I’ll have to ask his classroom teacher.

  3. How cute is that!?! And personally, I didn’t much like Parapluies… But that’s just me. Let us know what you think of it.

  4. I am useless at this linking stuff……

    • Oh wow – thank you! 😀 Can’t beat Catherine Deneuve, I’ve always thought. I’ve only watched a bit so far, but I’ll finish it tonight.

  5. I didn’t expect the video to pop up when I did the link.
    never mind that one – here is the whole movie

  6. oh you must find it. it a most charming movie where actors sing all the dialogue. it is a love story set in a rainy Cherbourg France and involves an umbrella shop with a young Catherine Deneuve.

  7. How very odd.
    It does makes me think of that movie “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”