Friday, August 27, 2010

Día 7 - quizzing

As I was counting, we have covered over 50 terms in that time span.  Typically we are adding 9 words a day.  In doing so we have jumped to a fairly accurate comprehension of over 50 words.

Through TPR, I have added the commands: tócate [body part] (touch __), toca [object] (touch __), besa (kiss), abraza (hug), golpea (hit), baila (dance), llora (cry), come (eat), bebe (drink), grita (yell), siéntate (sit down), levántate (stand up), derrama (spill), camina (walk), corre (run), señala (point)  & huele (smell).

Each day we'll also learn body parts or classroom objects. 

At the end of each class, it is recommended that you have students close their eyes and perform the different actions.  This sends the message that students are expected to learn something in class that day.  You call out the different commands and watch students perform them.  If some students are still unable, you comment something like, " We still need to work on that one a little bit, but we'll work on it more tomorrow!"  This is to remind that students that they are all going to learn in class even though it might be a little harder for some.

Usually you call out the commands that you have taught the student that day, but I like to throw in some of the older ones as well that are easy for all the students to build their confidence.  That way even if they don't get a new one as easily, they can prove that they have learned something before.  I also make sure to use all the terms or as many of the old terms mixed with the new terms each day to help with binding.

The way I have accomplished this is by writing all of the commands in the sections from the different days we've gone over them to remind me when in front of the class to do certain actions.  The list is getting huge now though!  I might have to start printing it out.

Even though I assess my students every day, I decided that I should try to give a 10-20 point quiz once a week.  One TPRS teacher told me that she does not like to tell students when they will have a quiz or a test because it's better to assess them where they are at and you do not stress them out.  As far as they are concerned, it is a regular part of class.  You can tell them after the quiz that they just took a quiz.  At that point they should already have a good idea of what their grade was.

So in some of the classes I had them write the English translation of what I said.  Almost all of the students got a 100%.  One or two students got Bs.  This helps me realize that I still have to help build up those lower students.

In one of my other classes, I decided to do the quiz orally.  I just had the students close their eyes and perform the actions like any other end of class.  To keep track, if a student missed one, I would write their name next to the question.  This way I could keep track of the points for the gradebook.  They did incredibly well.  For TPR, I think this is the better way to quiz.

So far I am quite impressed with TPR in my class and am much more excited to start the TPRS portion of  the year in a week or two.


  1. Do parents or students complain about this use of 'pop quizzes'? Do you allow retakes?
    I'm going to attend my first TPRS workshop this summer and I am really grateful that you started this blog! It helps me to see what roadblocks I might encounter during this teaching adventure.
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your question. No parents have complained about these. Quizzes are used to hold students accountable and also to prove that learning is occurring. When doing the storytelling part of class, we often do 8 point quizzes almost daily to make sure students are accountable. It also is something to show me that I am doing my job correctly.

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    What does your grading system look like? I want to begin integrating elements of TPRS into my Spanish classes, and of course, I need to have a plan for how to grade students. In an ideal world, I would simply gauge how well they are progressing through observation and informal assessment, but the administration requires that I have a more concrete plan than that.:-)


    1. Kimberly,
      This is getting revised this year because my new school uses Standards-Based-Grading and I am still working with my department on that and how I can do grading. They are coming from a more traditional place but (thankfully) are open to CI and TPRS.

      But last year I thought went well... although I can see why people prefer SBG. Quiz a bit of my grading was for compliance, which I can see why that would be a problem.

      This was pretty much what I used:
      Quizzes / Tests = 50%
      Participation - 10%
      Homework - 10%
      Warm ups - 15%
      Classwork - 15%

      Now, notice that with Classwork, homework, warm ups and participation, most of things are based on doing it or not doing it.

      That should be revised. I liked the 50% quizzes/tests though because these did give me a more accurate reflection of the differences between students. I trained them to take almost daily quizzes, as an exit slip almost, because we would talk so much in the language. Everything was important.

      Eventually, I got my students trained to write the quizzes for me. Made one less thing for me to think about.

      If you have anymore questions, please let me know!