mega888 Performance & Feedback – Path 2 Proficiency

What’s the POINT? Is there a single-point rubric in your future?

Back in September 2017, we’d just adopted our newly-revised performance feedback form/rubric for our program. Eight teachers had worked that summer for many hours to create it. (See my 2017 post, I’ve never met a rubric I liked to read about that journey and my prediction for where we’d be a year later). We began …

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Maybe, just maybe, Vanilla Ice was channeling his inner teacher when he wrote the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby. And, maybe, just maybe, the Universe was trying to tell me something on my way home from work yesterday when it came on the radio. Regardless, it did, and it was immediately after one of the …

“Is This For Marks?” Well…Let’s Talk About That…

So welcome to my class – I know you may not have been here before – and I know already you have asked me about how hard I ‘mark’ and if there is a final and more. You’ve even asked “is this for marks?” about something I’ve asked you to prepare for class…You’ve been well-schooled …

Zoom Out to Build Motivation for Learners & You

March is staring me down, dear colleagues. That long, long month with not a single day off. My classroom routines are long-established, I know my middle school students inside and out…but the end of the year is not in sight. Not at all. This period, between winter and spring breaks, represents our last long, sustained …

Implementing a “Gradebook à la Mode”…..Lessons Learned In The Change

I took a look at my gradebook at the end of last year. My tasks were all jumbled together and still classified in the traditional  4 language skills: reading, writing, listening. I had evolved to using descriptors instead of numbers, but nothing else had changed. I couldn’t easily tell you how proficient a student was …

Interpersonal: are they talking with each other or at each other?

I think that most world language teachers will agree with me that interpersonal assessments (assessments on which two or more students interact with each other) are very hard to get right, but they are arguably the most important. Most of us have learned that there has to be some type of problem for the students …

When the Tail Wags the Dog, or How a Standards-Based Rubric May Make Me a More Effective Teacher

How do we convince students to stretch beyond their comfort zone when writing and speaking in the target language? I believe that teachers have to educate students about proficiency, both on a course level and the task level, so that they are invested in our collective work. Truly, we have a mighty task before us as we …

Allowing retakes: how well is your parachute packed?

In my education program, my professor would tell us a great analogy about grades and retakes.  She said that as teachers we should allow students to retake assessments, so they can continue to practice and improve with the language.  We want students to practice so well that they can attain a proficiency with the language.  …

Pop Check-In/Pop Coaching: Timely Formative Feedback

“They know it for the quiz and then 15 minutes later they can’t use it properly.” How could they score so well on a scheduled quiz and then not use it correctly in a spontaneous classroom interaction? How could I make a more accurate appraisal of where they really are in acquiring a concept? How …