How was your student graded? Below you will find a detailed explanation of how Spanish is graded on the report card.
This year we will be grade students in three areas in Spanish. The ability to understand the spoken language, the ability to communicate in the target language, and their attitude towards learning about a new language and culture. Please read on for further details about what I look for, and what to expect on report cards.
Below you will find a detailed explanation of how Spanish is graded on the report card.
This year we will be grade students in three areas in Spanish. The ability to understand the spoken language, the ability to communicate in the target language, and their attitude towards learning about a new language and culture. Please read on for further details about what I look for, and how students should be graded at each point in the year.
Goal # 1: Understand
The first Spanish goal is to understand the spoken language. Each day in class students are given commands in class in Spanish (stand up, sit down, etc.), listen to, or interact with a story in Spanish, and usually follow directions in Spanish to complete a project. This grade is an indicator of how well they respond to the Spanish they hear. Learning a language is a large task, and most students will receive a ‘2’ at this point on their report cards. This means they are developing these skills and are right where they should be. In this area students are not expected to achieve a ‘3’ until the end of the year.
Goal # 2: Communicate
The second Spanish goal is the student’s ability to communicate in the Spanish language. This focuses on whether or not they can respond to questions such as ‘What is your name?’, ‘How are you?’, ‘What is the weather’, etc. For older students, this also includes responses to interactive stories with TPRS, and using more complicated sentences in new ways. Also included in this goal is the ability to sing the songs we learn in class.
At this point in the year, very few students will have a ‘3’ in communication. This is a normal place for students to be at in their language learning journey. Delayed communication (as students are processing lots of information, like a baby actively learning but waiting to speak) is the expected beginning stage on the path of learning a language. It does not mean students are not working hard, just that they aren’t quite ready to be ‘active’ communicators. When you see a ‘3’ in this area, you know your student has achieved a big step in language acquisition. For some students this may take several years to achieve. That is okay, it just means that there brain is processing the new language in a different way. They will get there, as long as they keep putting in effort, and having fun with the language. This level of achievement can only be reached with time and exposure. Trying to force this step usually slows the learning process. Most students will receive a ‘2’ in this area at this stage in the process.
Goal # 3: Attitude and Effort
The last goal, is the student’s attitude towards learning about a new language and culture. This includes the student showing effort in Spanish, participating in the activities, having a good attitude, and behaving well in class. The right mind set when learning new information is very important to language acquisition (to read more about this please see my blog post entitled "Classroom Theory". Students willingness to be an active participant in the process increases the rate at which they can learn a language. I consider a student to be doing their personal best in my class at school if they receive a '3' in this area. In this goal a ‘3’ can be expected (and is hoped for) at any time of the year!
New to the district this year?
Finally, if your student is new to Harvest and did not start the program in Kindergarten, it is likely that your student will receive a ‘1’ in the area of communication and comprehension. This does not mean that they aren’t working hard, just that they have not had as much time to learn the language as the other students. Generally speaking students that join the program after Kindergarten (i.e. they moved to the district in the middle of the school year, or at the start of 1st-3rd grade); generally “catch-up” on most of the information in roughly one school year. As long as they are putting in their best effort, it is a matter of the brain needing time to process all the new information. Playing on my website is a great way to support this process.
I hope this has helped you understand my grading system. Your students are doing an amazing job at the large task of learning a language, I enjoy learning and growing with them. If you have questions or concerns about your student’s progress, please feel free to contact me at any time for a more detailed explanation of where they are at in their language learning journey!
Erica M. Peplinski
I am in my 11th year teaching in Saline. I've taught: 3rd grade, 5th grade, Spanish/French/German Intro, Quest, Middle School Spanish, and Elementary Spanish.