Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TPRS year 4 - assessments last year

In a previous post on my reflection over Year 3 with TPRS, Jennifer basically wanted to know what I did in terms of assessments for my kids.

I would guess this is as a result of trends in challenging our traditional grading model of percentages. 

At my new school, we will be using Standards-Based grading, which I think has the potential for being a much better snapshot of gauging where the students is at as far as our proficiency goals for the year.  We will be giving grades for their knowledge the of the subject matter instead of participation points and points for "compliance". 

I like this idea because if we can get kids to love learning just because learning is so wonderful, then that's a wonderful paradigm shift for schools.

However, it takes a lot of "buy in" from administrators, teachers, students and parents.

I'm excited about this shift in my assessment of my students and have been reading up on it through Ben Slavic's PLC blog and some other TPRS teacher blogs.

But I digress.

However, last year, I was working heavily on going through the readers.  We had a lot of daily quizzes (to check understanding of material each day because every day is important).  Really though, I can tell a student's progress because all the quizzes were in Spanish so they had to be able to understand what their peers wrote on the quiz to be able to get even half of the points.

At some point, there might not have been a language problem, but they missed a slight detail because they zoned out.  I gave enough quizzes though that this was easily noticed if they normally missed a detail, that was most likely from a slightly lower level of understanding than others.

I also constantly assess them in the TPRS part of class and the CI part of class.  Their eye contact is a big deal.  Also, their answering questions.  I would also choose to circle with students sometimes who didn't seem to be getting it, just to bring them into the attention in case I was losing them.  This was more of a formative assessment though.

In Spanish 1, I gave two pretty big assessments; one after each leveled reader.  

A friend and I wrote the tests and had multiple sections to the tests.

In the Pirates test, I even opted for a section where they saw animated powerpoint slides of things that happened in the book, and they wrote as much as they could about them in Spanish.  Those were actually awesome and I was proud of my kids.

Now. With that said, I would be more than happy to send anyone my tests and things I have created.

What I should have done though was a few speaking assessments where they tell me a story (based on a 4 frame storyline, or a retell of a story).  I should have done more timed writes.  I really should have done a lot of things to give the kids more opportunities to show me their level.

But hey, I can work on those things this next year because I will need to prove what I am doing is really awesome for the students and they absorb the language like sponges when it's taught a certain way!


  1. Dear Jeremy,

    This year I'm adopting the TPRS method for my middle school students. I have been dabbling with it for the past two years. I have been devouring your blog and have been totally inspired to continue on this path.
    I would like to incorporate some novels into my curriculum this year and since you have offered to share your tests I would love to see them to see what kind of lessons I need to develop to get my students to that final goal.

    Thank you very much for sharing so much of your knowledge.

    Elena Lopez