If anybody can use them, here are my talking points for back to school parents night. There is a cool section in here on homework, since parents always want clarity on that. Homework in an iPad school is of course connected to the kids’ use of their iPads. This homework model honors the tenets and principles of CI while gaining mojified street cred with parents on the fact that I use tech and give homework:
AES Middle School French
Class Phone: 3351
Cell Phone: 783-870-0427
- Who am I?
- What do I want your students to be able to do? (listen and read, interview skills, life long)
- Two myths about learning languages. (conscious/focus on form, length of time required for authentic acquisition)
- Homework Policy:
As stories are completed they will be posted on my blog at bslavic.msblogs.aes.ac.in. Students are asked to do the following:
- Written Stories: Translate/point out the grammar in the written stories to your parents. This is done using your first language. (Foundational, Intermediate, Advanced)
- Story Drawings: Drawings by the class artist will also be available on the blog as the stories are completed. The students are required to retell the stories to their parents while looking at the panels drawn by the class artist. Only use words that you already know from class. (Foundational, Intermediate)
- Create a New Story: (1) Using the same structures as those used in the story, on a sheet of paper, write a parallel story to the original. Add about 10% new vocabulary to your story than was in the original. Refer to the Free Write Rules posted on the website for clues to help you complete this task. (2) Open Notability and draw four to six panels depicting the story. Pulling sentences from your written story, add a caption to each panel. (3) Record your voice to retell the story. (4) Download “Story Creator” and put your completed new story into that app. By adding a story or two per week into that app, we can look forward at the end of the year to sharing our new book collection of stories with others, including future French students at AES, our relatives, friends, etc. (optional for Intermediate, required for Advanced)
- Two Free Writes: In addition, all levels of French are required to do at least two out-of-class ten minute free writes per week. Both are to be submitted to the proper folder at the end of each week. (In-class free writes will be put into the composition books.) Free write guidelines can be found on the blog – look for that category.
Homework Due Dates: the time between each story done in class can range from two to four class periods. Therefore, this required work will not be put on the school calendar. It is up to your child to do the homework between stories, when convenient for both parent and child. Students will have a sheet for you to initial with the date indicating that they have done the above. We will follow up on this at parent conferences.
- How can you help your child in this class? (encourage full focus on the Classroom Rules, esp. rule #5; remind them of the AES Learning Habits; be patient; encourage them to read French at home in addition to their homework)
- Grading Policy (what, really, are the ACTFL standards?)
- Sample Lesson.
Some additional points about how people acquire languages:
From Dr. Beniko Mason:
“The best way to improve in a foreign language is to do a great deal of comprehensible, interesting reading. The case for self-selected reading for pleasure is overwhelming.”
From Dr. Stephen Krashen:
“Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.”
“Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding.”
“Language acquisition comes from input, not output, from comprehension, not production.”
“There is massive evidence that self-selected reading, or reading what you want to read, is responsible for most of our literacy development. Readers have better reading ability, know more vocabulary, write better, spell better, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. In fact, it is impossible to develop high levels of literacy without being a dedicated reader, and dedicated readers rarely have serious problems in reading and writing.”
“The best methods are therefore those that supply ‘comprehensible input’ in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are ‘ready’, recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production.”