In my last Webinar with Fluency Matters, even though it was about the 5 keys to success in the CI classroom, we kept continually circling back to assessment. During my presentations and seminars this summer, it is the most frequently asked question (next to ‘how do you start your year?’)
Everyone assesses differently. In a CI classroom, we should be doing quick formative assessments every minute. I am constantly formatively assessing my students by teaching to their eyes and checking for their comprehension. By teaching to their eyes I can more likely detect if students are NOT understanding the input.
My students know that their participation my classroom is weighted MUCH more heavily than in their other classes. That is because “participation” in my class is really the “interpretive and interpersonal” modes of communication. It is CORE to acquiring a language so why wouldn’t it make up 60% of my student’s grade? This is outlined in my syllabus which I share with students during their first week of school with me.
The next question is then, HOW do I assign a “grade” for interpersonal and interpretive communication? I use a rubric. My students become VERY comfortable with this rubric throughout the year. I used to use Ben Slavic’s and I have adapted it to fit the needs of my students and classroom over the years but this year I created a new one that coordinates with my rules. You can find this rubric here. I ask that you make a copy and edit as you need, however if you plan to copy it and share it again, I do ask you credit me.
I revamped it this year because I had a student come to me at the end of class last year and express his concern about how he had self-assessed himself that day (I have students assess themselves frequently in the first few weeks of CI instruction and then later on in the year they self assess once every couple of weeks to remind them how I am assigning them a grade weekly). He was disappointed because he was exhausted that day and he knew he hadn’t maintained eye-contact with me the whole class but his options were to give himself 2 points (the maximum) 1 point (half credit) or 0. His argument was that he gave himself 1 point but that means that he automatically was “failing” at 50%, and he thought he had watched me at least 90% of the class, but NOT 100% (enough for the 2 points). I had felt he really HAD watched me the whole class but I could tell he was more exhausted than usual. It made me realize that perhaps I needed to change my point system. Hence this new rubric.
I enter at least ONE “interpretive/interpersonal” participation grade every week. It is based on this rubric. Every now and then I will have students complete their exit quiz (questions based on whatever was discussed during class time) on the back of their rubric, or I will have them explain how they plan to improve on their “points” in the next week.
On parent’s night, I always MODEL CI, and then pass out my syllabus AND this rubric so that every parent knows exactly what my expectation is for their students. I will blog about Parent’s Night (and film it) when it happens in two weeks.
So there you have it! I hope that this is helpful! For those of you starting school tomorrow (like me!) ROCK IT! Have so much fun and remember to bring your PASSION and ENTHUSIASM with you!
OH! One more thing…. I am attempting something CRAZY this week…. I will be blogging EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. about a simple tip or trick that should TOTALLY rock your world and amp up the FUN in your class (or save you pulling out hairs in frustration with time wasted!)! YAY! So be looking for those blogs!!!
Until next time, (I guess that means TOMORROW!!!! EEEK!!!!)
La Maestra Loca