This year we are adopting a proficiency-based classroom based on the goal of communication. All of our formal assessments will be done using proficiency-based rubrics and standards. This change in format would not have been possible without my colleagues from #langchat, who have given me many ideas and shared resources. I would specifically like to thank Amy Lenord(
@alenord), Thomas Sauer, ( @tmsaue1), Kara Parker from The Creative Language Class blog and the Jefferson County Public School’s foreign language department.
To start with, we adapted the following rubric from Amy Lenord to make a simple grading scale of out 5 points. Students can earn a 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5,3, or 2.5 out of 5 points to cover A+, A-, B-, C-, D-, and F, essentially what you would have as a GPA. This rubric is not intended for formal assessments, but rather to have posted to encourage the students to work towards speaking at a more proficient level.
We hope this encourages students to expand their answer and be cognoscente of how they are responding to questions and to try to work to at least a 4. To make it easy for students to understand, we have enlarged this rubric and used sentence strips to give an examples, and posted it above our whiteboard:
The question is: ¿Tienes un hermano?
with example responses corresponding to each level:
3.5=Sí, un hermano.
4= Sí…. tengo un…. hermano.
4.5= Sí, tengo un hermano.
5= Sí, tengo un hermano mayor; se llama Ben.
We intend to give all students a copy of this rubric to tape to the front of their rubric. You can even print them out on index cards: Just insert the index cards into your printer and you can use this document to print as many copies as you need. Or print a set of 4 on a page (cardstock paper works best, but regular paper would be fine too) and cut them out to have students tape to notebooks. This visual reminder hopefully reminds students to work toward a goal of showcasing a higher proficiency level. A lot of students are capable of giving a “5″ answer, but may try to take the easy way out by giving a 4. This visual and class discussion at the beginning of the year may be just enough to motivate them.
Later this week, we will discuss our adapted Speaking and Writing rubrics for formal assessments.