Ahh, feels good to be back! Though I haven’t dedicated much time the blog over the summer, I have kept up with many wonderful bits of advice from my awesome interweb PLN. I’m ESPECIALLY grateful right now since I have recently found that I’ll be teaching Spanish II and III this year — a huge change for me, as I’ve had the exclusive pleasure of wading through the [short-lived] deluge of enthusiasm from Sp1 kids for two years. Still, I’m super thrilled at the opportunity and can’t wait see [most] of my students from last year!
So, I’ve been busy Pinterest-ing and reading/obsessing over Twitter feeds and educator blog accounts (I mean, what teacher doesn’t?) and have picked up a plethora of neat lesson ideas/authentic material/tips over the course of the summer. I LOVE to stumble upon stuff, and as it is I now find myself buried in Evernotes that may or may not ever see fruition. The worst of it all is that I feel I’ve spent much more time looking for lesson ideas/authentic materials than actually reworking my nearly nonexistent curriculum. It’s a sad reality: my school’s FL department currently teaches by the textbook (Realidades), is missing teachers (only two Spanish teachers two weeks prior to the beginning of school), and isn’t exactly vertically aligned (we only meet twice a year). I can’t wait to meet with new colleagues — my hope is to plant a much needed seed of change! Anyway, my next few posts will feature changes that I have for sure thought a lot about as our new school year approaches.
I have decided to adopt the JCPS World Language Assessment Documents (by @tmsaue1 — Thank you!) as a guide to better assess my students based on ACTFL proficiency standards. As a fairly new educator, my PD experience (outside of the Internet) has been incredibly limited, so to find these documents was just a dream. What a way, along with Kara’s posts on steps towards proficiency grading and Martina’s posts on assessments, to explain standards-based grading to a newbie such as myself. Thank you. Here’s what my Spanish II grading scale (a combination of proficiency targets/Martina’s standards and descriptions/Daugherty’s Bicycles) is looking like so far :
It’s really quite identical to Martina’s grading system, and I feel it’s what best makes sense both to myself and to a new student in class. Leaving out the letter grades is preferable, I feel, but students are likely to respond better to their inclusion as it is something they are familiar with. Holding an informational exercise a la “proficiency tacos” (@Musicuentos) is also in the works — perfect way to explain proficiency to students without overcomplicating it.