Articles

Participation and Standards-based Grading

If you know anything about standards-based grading, you know it's all about demonstrating what you can DO with what you know. It definitely NOT about the path you took to get there. It's all about the results. That doesn't mean there isn't guidance along the way....

Participation Done Right!

Many people have been asking about my participation system over the last few weeks. It's been a while since I wrote about my ¡Págame! system and a lot has changed since then. When you read this, you're going to think that the system is very complicated, but I assure...

Loving Every Child

In 2010, I finally learned what Susie Gross had been telling us all along. She had been saying to us that you need to love every child, even if you don't. I had heard the words for years, but it didn't really sink in until fall of 2010, but...

Starting out the school year RIGHT!

This is the time of year that all teachers think about that first day and how they are going to start the year off right. I’m no different.

For me, school starts tomorrow and the kids start on Thursday, and as the new year comes at me ever so quickly, I’m thinking about what I want to do and I don’t want to do to start off the year.

What do grades really mean?

I have really given even more thought to what do grades really mean? Are they an indicator of work given vs work completed? Are they an indicator of correct answers vs incorrect answers? Are they just a number on a scale of 0 to 100? Or do they—or more accurately—should they mean something more? Let’s take a look at some of these “meanings” for grades in a little more detail.

Why is the minimum F SO controversial?

Having presented for hundreds of people and dozens of school districts, there's nothing that seems to get people riled up more than the concept of the minimum F. [bctt tweet="There's nothing that seems to get people riled up more than the...

Comprehension Checks

We all know how important comprehension checks are as we are teaching. Without them, we lose guidance on how our lesson is going. Are we going to fast? Are we going too slow? Which students are with us? And which students are lost?

And I know that a lot of you also do end-of-lesson comprehension checks. I know I’ve implemented in the past “DEDOS!” where students show their hands using their fingers to indicate how much they understood the lesson–10 fingers means 100% comprehension, 6 fingers, 60% comprehension, etc. However, for me with 40+ students in the classroom, it’s difficult to gauge individual comprehension-levels. I can get an idea for the class as a whole, but identifying individuals who may need additional assistance, it’s quite difficult. Plus, we all know that students lie. Not that they want to deceive us, but they may be embarrassed about their performance level and don’t want to be singled out among their peers.

How to Assess Writing Effectively

For me, assessing anything boils down to "what can a student DO with what they know?" with the emphasis on DO. So effort and the like has no bearing. I appreciate it, but think about it in real-life terms. Someone can put a lot of effort into...

Teaching Numbers the “Sesame-Street” way

I'm always searching for better ways to teach and numbers are one of those things we all need to teach, but are difficult without resorting to teach them in order. When school starts, instead of teaching the numbers 1-10, I start with the...

First thoughts on Pimsleur Method–Eastern Arabic

After having read the posts on the list about the Pimsleur Method, I decided to retry this methodology for learning a language. I had tried the Pimsleur tapes for Spanish and German when I was young, but never really followed through. As...

Teaching the Colors

I know that there are lots of ways to teach the colors but the following technique has worked really well for me over the past few years and I thought that I would share it. I'm sure that I didn't invent the wheel here, but it is something...

Starting Day 1 in the Target Language

As good language teachers, we all know the more we stay in the target language, the better it is for our students. We know that immersion is the best way to learn a language and want to recreate as much of that "immersion" atmosphere as...

My “págame” system

There are a lot of questions on the moreTPRS list regarding various participation systems. This is what I do in my classroom. For me, participation cannot be a graded...

Best results ever!

Although I have been using TPRS® for the past six years and have had excellent results, this year, I have had the best results ever in a level-one class! My Spanish 1s are learning at a far greater rate than ever before and have been...

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