“Piggy Bank” method as a way to review material at Russian lessons
by Ruzanova Natalia


               I have been a teacher for 15 years. I love my work very much. I am happy to meet children every morning and see their pleasant faces. I teach the Russian language and literature. It is one of the most important and interesting courses. During our classes we use a textbook, a computer and an interactive board. Control is a significant part of the learning process. It allows defining the level of students’ proficiency in Russian and identifying the gaps in knowledge.


                      Control provides necessary feedback and let teacher determine progress and drawbacks in students’ knowledge. This feedback is crucial when deciding if material needs to be reviewed again or if a particular student needs extra help.


                      Control plays an important role in upbringing process. Regular subject control and final control organize students’ and teacher’s work. It also allows higher level of teaching. It allows students to develop necessary and stronger skills. It helps students to be more objective in evaluating their own success, stimulate learning process, builds responsible, respectful attitude to their own learning process.


                      There are several ways of students’ knowledge check. We usually use oral questioning and testing for regular check. Most students experience negative emotions towards oral questioning. There are several reasons why this occurs. It includes insecurity, uncertainty, hesitation, stage fright, lack of knowledge, inability to express the idea clearly. We cannot rely on test results solely. I use a “Piggy Bank” method in my work. It consists of the following. Usually I use the questions located at the end of the textbook and include some from the previous topics for review. Students have to prepare at home independently. It is very important for a teacher to know students in the class well in order for the learning process to be successful. Before the test I divide the class into groups of 4-6 students based on my professional opinion. Each group is diverse and has students with various levels of knowledge in my subject. All students know that at the end of the test I will select one student from each group and his grade will be given to all students in the group she or he represents. I allow time to prepare the answers.


                       During this group work I stop by each group, listen and observe their discussions. Each student in the group answers the questions, thus 4-6 times students are able to comprehend the material. The examples to illustrate each question are not supposed to repeat. It takes a lot of work! Everybody is working for the final result together. Students with better knowledge assist those students who need more help in understating the subject by explaining studied material. Nobody knows who will be called to answer the questions from each group, however, everybody feels responsible for the work done. During my observation part I notice that even shy and unconfident students start to answer those questions. I also notice the lack of knowledge that some students have.


                       During this type of group work the feeling of solidarity and team spirit develops. This method removes pressure and preserves the mental health of children, who provides answers in the small circle of classmates. Of course, it is a little bit noise in the class, because several students answer those questions simultaneously, but this “work” noise does not disturb. Everybody is concentrated on providing the right answer. Students listen carefully to each other in order to notice the mistake timely and correct it. When one of students comes forward to answer the questions, everybody supports and feels for the students, tries to prompt. In order to avoid this, I provide each student with the assignment card based on their level of knowledge. Students consider that this method helps them feel more confident when answering the questions. Depending on the complexity of a subject, after group work I exchange one student from each group, so the group will ask a “new” student those questions, and I observe.


                      Students like this type of tests and assignments and look forward without any fear,


Ruzanova Natalia, the teacher of Russian languages,

Togliatti, Gumnazia №77