It is the time of year when students and parents are asking how to improve their grade before the end of the year!
I try hard to make grades in Spanish reflect a few things:
1) A student's work at learning a language
2) What students know and can do in Spanish
This year middle school has separated grades into Project/Product, Process, and Skills/Content. I have found this very helpful for making these grades clearer, and I hope it has been clearer for families and students, too. Many of my students have found that is impossible to get a great grade in my class without completing any homework outside of class. This is because learning a language requires practice beyond the classroom, and how much time students spend on practicing is directly related to how much they grow. With this said, my policy
has been that students are not able to make up missed homework since the purpose of homework is consistent, ongoing practice outside. Students can improve their language proficiency (and often their grade) by practicing more, but if they have not practiced or completed work until the end of the trimester it is not possible to get an A (unless they have a time machine.)
If students are not happy with their current grade, they do have one option since we do not have regular June homework (due to the end of the school year.) Students have a chance to get some extra points
if their grade is below 100% by doing the following:
- Get in some more practice by completing at least 2 new skills on Duolingo (not counting what is included on May homework)
- Complete a survey about what homework options you tried and enjoyed this year, and opinions to help me improve our practice options for next year!
Details and the survey are available on Google Classroom.
As always, Tarea de mayo is due on the last day of the month. Don't forget that this can include work on skills or projects that you complete at home!
7th graders are working hard on the culminating piece of this trimester's Soy Yo project
- creative pieces that express their identity through words and visuals!
We're drawing, painting, making word clouds, embroidering, animating, photographing, and writing on ourselves to share bits of ourselves. We can't wait to show off what we come up with at exhibition night on March 2nd!
It's exhibition week!
I love seeing all the amazing student work and presentations around the building. Check out some of our Spanish work:
Thanks to my husband for spending two hours helping me hang up zines, and to all my wonderful students for sharing their beautiful work.
Lectura Independiente en español: Independent Reading in Spanish
One of the challenges of working with a very diverse range of language levels is finding materials that are appropriate for each and every student - from new Spanish learners to native speakers. Over the years I have been trying to collect a variety of Spanish books to meet all my learners' needs, and figure out the logistics of using that book collection without a classroom.
This year there have been some exciting developments. We got a very nice rolling bookshelf, copies of all middle school class novels in Spanish, and 3 iPad minis thanks to a DonorsChoose
project. In class we have been learning how to find books that are just right for our levels (using the "five finger rule") and doing some independent reading in class. Students are also able to check out Spanish books to read as homework. Check out some of the books from my collection here: https://profesara.libib.com/
(This is not yet a complete list. I am still working on scanning and labeling books, and am looking for parent and student volunteers who might like to help!)
Other reading resources:
- For everyone:
- The San Diego Public Library has an excellent collection of books in Spanish for kids, teens, and adults.
- Looking for more book ideas? Here is my ever-growing wishlist of books in Spanish (that I've resisted buying so far!)
- For novice learners:
- For beginning readers, build vocabulary (and fight world hunger): Free Rice
- For young readers:
- For teen readers:
- Read about current events and a wide variety of topics and answer comprehension questions with Newsela (You can adjust the reading level on each article.)
- Read online magazines in Spanish:
Last week we spent time learning about the celebration of El Día de los Muertos.
8th grade took a field trip to the nearby Sherman Heights Community Center to explore community altars set up there. It was a great field trip and I would love to set up a display there next year!
After we learned about traditional items used for ofrendas, we set up our own in the empty middle school lockers. We will leave these up through exhibition week until Thanksgiving break, so please stop by and check them out!
Recursos: Día de los Muertos
Zine Fest this past Saturday was a success! We displayed and distributed lots of student zines, got donations for future zine projects, chatted with the community about their experiences learning languages, and made some zines with some new people! We couldn't have pulled off this project without all the help from parents and community volunteers, who helped print zines, fold zines, lend us canopies, and so much more. ¡Muchísimas gracias!
After grading the zines I hope to display them in the school. Grading may take a little bit of time, since I will be out of town Friday through Sunday for a family wedding. I want to make sure I give your hard work the attention it deserves, so they might not be completely graded until next week. However, I have updated PowerSchool to show which zines have been turned in and which have not - feel free to take a look if you are worried.
Today is the day - I'm heading to Zine Fest with over 70 student zines! We'll be at the Centro Cultural de la Raza from 12-6pm. (2004 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101)
Many thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers who helped us print, copy, and fold zines yesterday!
This week we are finishing up our zines for Zine Fest on Saturday! Students should be turning in their final zines in the next few days. I'm already so inspired by what our creative students have come up with, and I'm excited to share that inspiration with our community. If you are free on Saturday, stop by the Centro Cultural De La Raza in Balboa Park and check out our zines!
Can you help us at all this week?
I've got a Sign-Up Genius here
and am also looking for any inspiration on displaying all our zines.
Need resources or help in finishing your zine on time?
Check out our project overview
, contact me for help, or come in during office hours on Thursday before school!
Just want a peek at what we've been up to?