Hear from our Spanish teacher, Shannon Norquist, about new techniques for language instruction and feel free to check out her blog here.
It’s that time of year when teachers are exhausted because they are writing the midterms that they hope mean something more than just being memorized information that students will forget next week as soon as the new semester starts… Sigh.
Enter GOOGLE SITES
This semester I am setting out to accomplish the following with my semester assessments:
- 1. Establish a baseline level of proficiency
- 2. Create a system that charts growth over time
- 3. Celebrate my students’ accomplishments
- 4. Continue pushing myself to the sidelines and students to the center
So, I have created a Google Site template that will serve as a digital portfolio. It looks like this:
But is it an authentic task???
At my school, students complete a big senior project over the course of their junior and senior years. The culmination of the project is a presentation before a panel of teachers and professionals. I am asking students to do a presentation on their portfolios as part of their midterm exam. Their audience will be their classmates and me (at least for now).
Now, I know, I know this task is unlikely to replicated in a target language setting, so does it serve to continue to improve their communication skills? I’m wrestling with this one, but I do know that my students will be called upon to present their accomplishments over time before an audience at the end of their high school careers. It will be a big moment for them, and I hope that these small presentational tasks will serve them in preparation for that big moment.
Final Thanks – (#givecreditwherecreditisdue)
There are some amazing language teachers out there who are already doing amazing things in their classrooms. I am so thankful for Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell at Musicuentos for being a friend, responding to emails with my barrages of questions, and for her commitment to sharing and collaborating. I am thankful for Thomas Sauer and his incredible work at the TELL Project. I have only begun to be influenced by the work that he and his team are doing, but the Path to Proficiency chart on my site must be attributed to them. Also, they make cool t-shirts. I also want to thank Srta. Hunkemoeller and the department of Northmont Schools for the helpful infographic on what constitutes evidence on the portfolios. If I were starting HS Spanish again, I think I would want to be in their classes.
I’m kind of pumped about this project, but I know it’s not perfect and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE feedback.