We’re off and running….already 3 weeks into the 2018-2018 school year! There are some new changes around here:
- We’re one-to-one with technology for the first time; every little darling has a school assigned Chromebook. I’ve been experimenting with new tech tools… but that’s another post for another day!
- I have a new trailermate. My dear friend and colleague Paula retired and there’s a new teacher sharing my Portable Sweet Portable. I miss Paula terribly but I am delighted to welcome Amy back to DHS. She was my student in Spanish 2 and 4 years ago and now we’re colleagues. How cool is that?!
- Our department totally reworked our grading policies and philosophy to reflect the ACTFL proficiency guidelines. (Thanks for your help, guidance and Wisdom, Julie!) Our gradebook categories are now aligned with the 4 skills. I’m having fun digging into the 4 skills and thinking about how to assess them. A few nights ago I had one of those in-the-shower-moments-of-brilliance and I couldn’t want to try out my new idea. You guys! I think I’m really onto something: a super simple way to grade quizzes that are totally based on ACTFL’s proficiency guidelines. And that’s what I want to tell you about… so read on, dear reader, read on!
Some background knowledge:
- The Great State of Nevada has assigned proficiency targets for each level. If these don’t match your state or district targets, you’ll want to adjust the rubrics to match your targets. In The Silver State:
- Level 1- Novice Mid
- Level 2- Novice High
- Level 3- Intermediate Low
- Level 4- Intermediate Mid
- Level 5/AP- Intermediate High
- So as a World Language department, we decided that:So in other words, if a kid is doing what Nevada says they should do in any given level, their grade should be a B. If they’ve progressed to the next proficiency level, they should earn an A, and if they’re not quite to the prescribed level, their grade should be a C.
This is a total paradigm shift for me…I used to grade reading and listening by asking comprehension questions: the kids who got them all right earned As, the kids who missed a few earned Bs, the kids who sorta kinda understood it earned Cs and so on.
So, in my quest to align my quizzes with our departments’ new philosophy and in my never ending quest for simplicity in grading (aside: I hate grading…I love spending hours lesson planning and developing new activities to load my little darlings us with comprehensible input but I feel like time spent on grading is not a good use of my time or creative energy, but anyway… ) I present to you my Reading and Writing Quick Quiz Rubrics:
If you’d like to edit any of the documents above, just make a copy and knock yourself out!
A few things…
-What I love most about these is that they’re generic and you can use them with any listening or reading. You can have a stack copied and they’re ready to go when you are! You don’t have to write a new quiz every time you give a reading or listening quiz. Have a few minutes free at the end of the period? Give them a listening quiz!
-The rubrics look suspiciously similar across levels…that’s OK! Obviously the listening sample or text is going to sound/look at lot different in a Level 1 class than a Level 4 class. Roll with it.
-I tell my kiddos to start at the top of the quiz, then move down as far as they can. You can see below what an A looks like verse a B verse a C. I enter these as 10 point quizzes and enter the points to reflect the percentages. So 85% is entered as 8.5/10 Easy peasey!
(Edit)One more thing: I’ve been using these a lot the past month or so and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers who have been using it in their classrooms also. Every once in a while a kiddo will throw a curve ball and miss the main idea but nail the details! Or not fill out section C but fill out A and B! WHAT TO DO?! Don’t stress!! In my mind, if they complete 1 out of 3 sections that’s a C, 2 out of 3 is a B and 3 out of 3 is an A.
And remember you’ve got freedom in the grade. The grade should reflect how much they showed you they understood. Maybe they wrote 6 basic details but they didn’t show you excellent comprehension- that can still be an A, but make it 90%. For me a 100% tells me they understood everything and their quiz proves that to me. You’re still the teacher. You still grade the work and you are in charge of making sure their score reflects this comprehension.
This kiddo below just joined our class the previous period. He did as much as he could and is welcome to retake it after he gets some more exposure to Spanish.
The previous (Spanish 1) class we did a little Calendar Talk a la Tina Hargaden, talking about who likes which days of the week, After we talked plenty, we did a little Write and Discuss, documenting the fascinating things we learned about their classmates.
Then, the following class, Quiz Day, I explained to them the fascinating things I learned about a different class. (I’ve got 3 sections of Spanish 1 this year…the Calendar Talks were all similar, but of course personalized for the students in that particular class- I wanted to share with them something brand new to measure how much they were actually understanding…not what they remembered from the previous class.) I used the board to illustrate as I explained. (I don’t plan on doing that every listening quiz…but since it’s the beginning of the year and I want them to feel really confident about all the Spanish they’re comprehending, I went for it!) Students listened one time first before I passed out the quiz sheets. After I explained how to take the quiz, I explained the story again and the students filled out their quiz sheets. Here’s what it looked like:
For the following class period I got the bright idea to move my tripod right up near the board to film the story to make it easy for quiz make ups and retakes- I’ll just give them quiz sheet and press play 🙂 Work smarter, not harder! If you’d like to see what the board looks like, and be totally impressed by my mad art skills (or feel better about your own, in comparison to mine!) here it is:
Welp, that’s it! That’s the idea what struck me unexpectedly and I’m super proud of! Thanks for reading and I hope it’s something that will be helpful for you too!!
I’ve got lots more to say about assessment, in fact, I’m teaching a session at Comprehensible Online all about Grading smarter, not harder. Want to join this awesome online conference? Use code AnneMarie19 get a $25 discount, expires Feb 28, 2019!