WORLD LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
ST. JOHN’S HIGH SCHOOL
Text: Buen Viaje Leve 1 (Glencoe McGraw-Hill )
· “Students will respect all people, including themselves, and all property, including their own, at all times.”
Suggestions for getting the most out of this class:
· Come to class on time and prepared.
· Participate as much as possible; be fully involved when others are participating. I think that we will both enjoy class more that way.
· Spanish is the “target language”. I will try to use it as much as possible, and I invite you to do the same. Perfection is not required, just effort. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything, try to learn the “frases útiles” and you will be surprised at how soon things start making (at least some) sense.
· Find something you like about Spain, Latin America, the Spanish, or Latinos (people, literature, music, sports, etc.) If you don’t see yourself as somehow involved in the culture of the language, you’ll have less motivation to learn it. Don’t be afraid to try out your Spanish (or Ecuadorian, Argentinean, Cuban, etc.) accent.
· Studies have shown that the more you worry in language learning, the less you learn. Effort is required, but worrying too much about perfection is counter-productive. Pay attention, enjoy the class, participate, and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
(all policies in the St. John’s Parent/Student Handbook apply in class)
Homework includes written assignments and some reading/study. It will be assigned daily and may be checked daily and collected periodically. Late homework will not be accepted unless the student was absent, in which case it is the student’s responsibility to show me the homework. Each homework assignment will be posted in the classroom and internet assignments will be available on the internet at from the appropriate class link on my St. John’s web site. When absent, students should check the assignment(s) missed with a classmate and bring them to class on time. There will be no advance notice as to which assignments may be collected, and at times a given assignment may be collected and graded as a quiz. Each student will receive a homework grade each term, based on the number of assignments for the term. I will try to put the homework assignments online as often as possible. These assignments will be corrected immediately therefore you don’t need to pass them in. These will be posted in advance and a reasonable amount of planning is expected on the student’s part. I will be sympathetic to technical difficulties only when informed promptly (before the assignment is due).
Missing assignments can affect your grade substantially because homework counts for between 30-35 % of your total grade.
All assignments from the textbook are to be typed, on time, no exceptions.
Unit and/or Chapter tests will be announced a few days in advance. Quizzes will be given throughout the term and may be both announced and unannounced. Assigned reading and class discussions may be covered by these quizzes. Unannounced quizzes will only be a problem if you are unprepared for class. Missed tests or quizzes must be made up within three class days of the student’s return to school. If it is not made up within that time, it will become a “0” in my grade book. If the student is aware of the test, but is absent the day before a test is given, he will be required to take the test with the rest of the class. Again, I will not track you down. Students with test grades lower than 70% will need to have their tests signed by their parents for the following class. Students not returning their signed tests the following class will lose an additional 2 points each class that it is not brought in.
Appropriate test behavior is expected—absolutely no talking during the listening sections, and no doodling on the exam papers. Bring a blue or black ink pen or a pencil—no red ink for test taking.
You are expected to maintain a notebook for the class. At a minimum this will be used for class work. I expect class work to be original and well thought out. Notes are your responsibility, I expect you to keep them in whatever way helps you to learn best.
A composition will be assigned for every chapter. Use of a translator is prohibited and will result in an automatic zero. Compositions are expected to be typed double-spaced. I will not accept compositions with English in them. Try to think of a way to express your thoughts using mainly vocabulary and grammar that you are familiar with, and use a dictionary as needed. Accent marks are expected to be typed. I will provide a chart with keyboard shortcuts.
Required projects, when given, will require research and may include oral presentations, and/or visual presentations (power point, etc.). The value of each project will be announced when it is assigned.
5. Class Participation:
Since language is best learned through practice, class participation will count towards the final grade. This grade will be effort based—responses do not have to be correct to count, as long as a sincere effort is made. Please do not be afraid to make mistakes. Participation will be evaluated every day with grades recorded every two weeks. If you have concerns about your level of participation, please feel free to come see me about how to improve. Past experience has shown that this grade helps most students, so please don’t assume that you won’t need it. As an additional incentive, remember that I have a very limited amount of sympathy for students worried about their grades a week before the end of the quarter if their participation grade is low.
Negative class participation points are also possible. You can lose a point for behavior that is distracting to the class, or unsolicited comments unrelated to the material. If you show up without your texts (unprepared to take part in class) you can also lose a point.
When class work is given, it should be taken seriously and worked on during the entire allotted time. It is disrespectful to use the time for other work or to squander it and, students not on task will lose participation points. Non-workbook class work should be completed in your notebook. Flagrant disregard for my instructions is grounds for detention.
Tests and quizzes will count for 50-70% of your grade; the exact proportion will depend on how many of each are given each quarter. Essays/Projects, homework, and participation will make up the other 30-50%. All personal grade issues will be dealt with on an individual basis outside of class; there is no need to involve the rest of the class.
There will be no rounding up of grades. If you want the A-, make sure that your average is at least 89.51.
8. Extra Help:
I am available for extra help in room 402 Mondays after school. At that time I will review the concepts from the past week and/or answer specific questions. Any student comments, concerns, or questions are welcomed. See me after class or before or after school to arrange a convenient time. If you need help outside these hours please make an appointment and be prompt about showing up.
9. Extra Credit:
There will be no extra credit. Expectations are such that with consistent effort and study a good grade should be within the reach of all students without extra credit.
10. Internet Access:
I am trying to use the Internet as much as possible for homework. Much of the homework given during the first years of a language class involves drill and repetition. Past experience has shown that a significant number of students either misunderstand the assignment or take such little care with it that they end up practicing an incorrect grammar or verb construction. These students also tend to pay little attention to my corrections when the assignment is handed back and benefit little from the homework. The internet assignment are corrected as they are done so that if a student initially does not understand the exercise, he will realize this immediately and practice the correct construction for the remainder of the exercise. The assignment also remains available should he wish to practice again as study or review.
On Tuesday, I will give each student a code that can be used to sign up for an account where the student’s scores can be checked at any time. Live ID, Google ID, or Yahoo ID can be used to sign up. It is the parents’ choice whether to have their son sign up using his own id, sign up themselves using their own id, sign up for a throwaway id that can be shared between son and parents, ie. mysonsSpanishGrades2012@live.com and used only for this account, or not to sign up at all. This is the quickest and easiest way for you/your son to access scores. If you are not comfortable with this, you are still welcome to email me for information. All the assignments are available without a login at the address listed on my St. John’s website. It is important that each student access and submit assignments using the appropriate class link so that they are credited correctly.
I have informed my classes that:
Missing assignments can affect their grade substantially because homework counts for between 30-35 % of their total grade.
- All assignments from the textbook are to be typed, on time, no exceptions.
Language can only be learned through practice, and chronic missed assignments make this impossible. Please sign this form and return with your son to indicate that you are aware of this rule. Parent and/or son will also have access to an online account on where he can check his grades at any time, please take a look at this site with him whenever you want to see how he is progressing in my class.
“ I have read this outline and understand what is required of me/my son in this class.”
Student’s signature: _______________________________ Date: ________________
Parent’s signature: ________________________________ Date: ________________
Parent’s email address: _________________________________________
(Optional, but please print clearly)
If you have any comments related to the class rules, please feel free to include them below.