Published March 26, 2012
Accountability , Achievement , Administration , Administrator , Assess , Assessment , Grade , Improve , online , Student
Tags: Accountability, Achievement, Administration, Administrator, Assessment, Feedback, Grade, improvement, online, Student
Administrators want accountability for learning in schools. One way to build greater accountability is for teachers to use online grading programs that give students and their parents access to the grades. For example, the teachers can use the free program of Engrade or a commercial program such as Blackboard.
As soon as the teachers enter a grade for any assignment, the overall grade is updated. If students know their updated grades on a regular basis, they can decide how to improve. Parents who have access to their students’ online grades do not have to worry if their children are correctly relaying their grades; they can help direct their children in areas for improvement. For example, when students and parents see a grade of 40/100 for homework, the students and their parents become aware of a critical area for improvement. When students and parents know grades on a daily/weekly basis, they feel on top of things; they do not complain that they did not know the grade until the five week period. Administrators and guidance counselors get less complaint phone calls about grades when students and parents receive constant updates on class grading. When students and parents see on-line grades as they are entered, they can nip any problem in the bud. Students can do much better in school.
Likewise, administrator have greater accountability since the teachers become constantly aware of the overall progress of the students. As the teachers enter the most recent quiz grade, they see the previous quiz grades as well as the overall quiz grade. The teachers see the class average on each quiz so they can decide if they have to re-teach the concept in a different manner. Administrators realize that when teachers use online grading programs, these teachers have up-to-the-moment feedback on how well or poorly the students are doing.
How does your school communicate grades to students and parents so the students can be more successful?
I have 15+ Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle
My formative assessment books: http://is.gd/tbook
Published March 21, 2012
Foreign Language , grammar , Modern Language , Spanish , Speaking , Spontaneous speaking , Talk , Target Language
Tags: Foreign Language, free speaking, Modern Language, oral, Spanish, Speak, Spontaneous speaking, Talk
I recently heard a modern language teacher brag about how much speaking her students did in the classroom. She said that her students orally did every book grammar exercise. She was amazed at how much they were speaking. Yes, the students were orally saying the grammar exercises but they were not spontaneous speaking. They could do the exercises perfectly but they could not use those grammar concepts in their own conversation about a topic. I asked her how closely the exercises resembled a real world conversation and she countered that the students had to know every grammatical form to be able to communicate.
To change grammar exercises to real speaking, we have to ask ourselves, “How would a target language person use this grammar point in an authentic conversation?” and try to duplicate that in the classroom. We can start our students off with just responding to their partners. For example, in teaching the Spanish preterite tense, students can start on their path to spontaneous speaking by seeing a long list of common verbs, selecting 10 verbs that describe what they did do in the past and then saying a past time word like yesterday or the past week and the verb in the “I” form. I always have my students do at least a three part sentence (Past time word +subject/verb +what or where or how such as “Yesterday I ate at McDonalds.” As a student says the sentence to his/her partner , the partner agrees or disagrees by repeating it or modifying it; a modification may be “Yesterday I ate at Burger King.”, “Last week I ate at McDonalds.”, or “Yesterday I ate two hamburgers and French Fries at McDonalds.” Once students realize that their partners are listening and responding to what they say, they begin to make more realistic sentences. Then the partners say a sentence and the listening students respond. They alternate until they each have said eight sentences. By saying their sentences and having their partners respond, they find out more about their partners. They start to use language in an interactive manner where they have to listen carefully to their partner and respond accordingly.
Harry Tuttle has over 15 Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle
Tuttle’s formative assessment books: http://is.gd/tbook