If this is your first year jumping into TCI, you have a lot of things to figure out as you anticipate the first few weeks of school. One of these is certainly Open House: what on earth are you going to tell the parents of your students?? How do you explain to them that you do not have a textbook and will be teaching language to their students in a way that is almost certainly completely different than the way in which they were taught a language in school?

The first way that I broached the topic was with some good ol’ syllabus homework. Click here to view my syllabus and click here to view the syllabus homework that I assigned after the first day of classes. In the one year that I used the syllabus homework (I’ve been home with my kids since then, otherwise I’d still be doing it), I was extremely pleased with the quality and quantity of the responses received from both parents and students. I curated their questions and developed this Syllabus Homework FAQ sheet (pictured below) that I sent home to answer the most recurring questions.

The next step was explaining everything to parents face-to-face at Open House. My plan was to do a mini-story/PQA session with parents at Open House, but the scheduling was always wonky and no one was in the room when they were supposed to be, so it ended up being a free for all that didn’t make for good story asking. I finally made up this Spanish Class Information sheet for parents to just grab and go if they didn’t want to hang around for the demo and in-person Q&A.

I know that many other teachers have shared their parent info sheets online, so please share the links to any such documents in the comments! As I find them, I’ll be adding them to this Pinterest board (which already contains a link to an Embedded Reading of Krashen’s theories…which is pure genius!).

7 replies on “But what will I tell their parents?

  1. Martina… This is great! I have one question about the retake policy. Do you give unannounced vocabulary recognition tests to see how much students are retaining? And if so, do you allow them to retake these too? And when you give retakes on any test, is it the same test? Thanks so much!

    1. No vocab recognition tests; just formative assessments from time to time (ex: having all students close eyes, saying words in Spanish, and students have to gesture them). All ‘vocab’ tests are done in reading form: if students can understand the reading, they have retained the words it contains. Retakes are different versions of the assessment; the new reading might be totally different but contain the same words or some key details might be altered.

    1. Never. If they are working diligently in class to finish assignments, most of the time I don’t care whether it is finished or not. For individual assignments in class where all students are working independently at their own paces, I actively monitor and assist students that are struggling. They might not get through the entire assignment on their own, but they will work through the whole thing when we go over it together–and I don’t wait for everyone to finish everything before going over it. If behavior is the issue, they need to come in to finish it before or after school or during lunch. We work really hard in class so that we don’t have to work hard outside of class.

  2. Thank you so much Martina! You, Bryce, and Grant have definitely moved my practice in the right direction. I purchased your Somos bundle on TpT and I am so loving it. Are you presenting at ACTFL in San Diego? Thanks again!

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