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Rethinking Dictation in language classes

Dictations have been a standard activity for language classes for a very long time. In particular, the traditional French dictée has a non-negotiable place in courses from Kinder through university level courses. Traditionally, dictations are used to learn spelling– a purpose which is debatable at best. Certainly, direct spelling instruction and practice has a positive…

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Free Write Form with Rubric

I updated my Free Write Form yesterday after a great conversation in our Electives team meeting about curriculum alignment and collaboration in our building. The Language Arts Department instructs and assesses student work based on the Six Traits Writing model, and next year all students will be given a universal writing screener that all faculty will…

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Partner Listening Quiz

As Carol Gaab would say, our brains crave novelty! We need new experiences to remain engaged. She shared this assessment (or something like it, at least) with us at our most recent TPRS course webinar. Divide students into pairs (working with shoulder partner is preferable). If there is an odd number, one group can have…

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Las aventuras de Sammy

DAY ONE Objective: Students will discuss adventure as it relates to their lives and the lives of others. Campanada: Students write their responses to these questions using complete sentences in Spanish upon entry. ¿Quién tiene mucha aventura en su vida? Escribe una lista de personas. – Who has a lot of adventure in their lives?…

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You have what I want!

DAY ONE Objective: Students can compare what they have with what they don’t have and what they want. Campanada: Students complete the following sentence starters using descriptive Spanish when they arrive. Yo tengo.. Yo no tengo… Yo quiero tener… Yo no quiero tener… Discussion/PQA: Ask students to share their Campanada answers. Circle each student’s answers,…

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Gradebook Categories

How did you decide how to structure your gradebook? Without exception, in every language class that I took from middle school through college, the gradebook looked very similar. Every graded assignment in the course was placed into a category that matched the assignment type: quizzes, tests, homework, classwork, participation, projects, etc. The weight of each category varied–sometimes,…

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Grades

Instead of letter grades, my students receive an abbreviation of one of the following terms on their assignments. Some are entered in the gradebook (summative), but others are not (formative). Formative assessments are given during the learning process and are a way for me and my students to see how they are progressing. Summative assessments…

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About

 Hello! I’m Martina, and this is my blog. The TPRS®/CI Transition My first two years of teaching were at Syracuse University while I completed my Masters in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. Teaching everything from Spanish 101 to 400-level conversation courses, my classes were filled with (mostly) highly motivated students who spent many hours on their Spanish…

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