The Grading Piece

Please find below an extensive discussion about grading when using either the Middle School Square or the High School Star. You’ll need coffee, since this may be the single longest blog post I’ve shared, and I’ve been sharing these posts since 2004. 

This information is the result of 40 years of intense personal introspection and reflection. It is not geared toward what is best for me, or for the few high achievers in my class, but what is best for all my students. The result of grading in the way described below has been happy students and packed upper-level classes.

At some point in the first few weeks of classes, convey the information below – or your own cut and pasted version of it adapted to your own professional situation – to your students. You may want to do the same at Parents’ Night, while making sure as well that your administrators understand your grading policy:

Point 1:

50% of your grade will be determined by the National Standard, which is Communication. A “Class Communication Rubric” is used for that purpose. Here is that document:

Point 2:

The other 50% of your grade will be determined by the very easy daily quizzes that are given in Corner 3 of the Middle School Square. The quizzes are so easy that you would have to literally be asleep to miss any questions on them.

If any parents wish to go further with the way you grade, here is some more information, probably more information than you will need, but it’s nice to have it all in one place:

Most of our students’ grades are determined formatively. It should be that way in languages.

Acquisition happens behind closed doors, in sleep, in a part of the brain where vastly complex unconscious processing of the input comprehended that day happens. This is a process that is infinitely beyond what our conscious minds can keep up with. All that is needed for the (completely out of the reach of our conscious minds and therefore not measurable) process to happen is the fuel of as much comprehensible input as possible during the day before the person goes to sleep – the more CI the better.

So, it’s obvious that we can’t think about a language and acquire it. Nor can we measure how much of the language has been “learned”, since the entire acquisition process takes place in a part of the brain that is accessible to us.

We can learn about a language by thinking about it, but we can’t acquire it. Assessment is therefore a far more sophisticated thing than just measuring things that have been memorized, and parroting rules.

Indeed, if what a person has absorbed into their deeper mind from all the listening and reading input that they’ve been exposed to can’t be measured, then it can’t be measured.

It is the stubborn pushback by teachers who don’t want that information to be a research-based finding, who want it to go away so they can flex their teacher muscles and measure their students’ language gains, that causes kids to, in the end, intensely dislike their language classes.

In the light of how we actually acquire languages, we must conclude that we have really botched language instruction and assessment for many decades now, by asking kids to memorize lists, conjugate verbs, and all that stuff we used to do.

It would have been best if we had never done that, but such has been the power of the corporate textbook lobby, a billion-dollar industry, and we have been played.

ACTFL did little in this regard to protect us. Their conferences are mostly about selling things.

Some in the ACTFL hierarchy don’t even understand much about comprehensible input. Indeed, most actual language teachers have taken, at best, a very unfocused look at the research. They have paid for it in low enrollments and unsatisfying job experiences and lots of wasted time for everyone involved.

Since we cannot know what our students have really absorbed into our unconscious minds from our comprehensible input, we should really find a new way to grade our students. We should look closely at our students’ observable non-verbal behaviors.

We should always keep in mind that the information about what they know is unconscious and therefore out of reach and can therefore only be measured – if it can be measured at all – by what we can see our students doing in class, i.e. how they respond to input.

It bears repeating. We can only grade our students on what we can observe them doing with the CI we have provided for them, since the real sum total of what they have acquired is scientifically far out of reach of any assessment instruments we may have created, as explained above. It’s like throwing a thermometer into the sun’s surface and expecting to measure its temperature. It doesn’t work.

One hypothesis that Dr. Stephen Krashen has put forth that most supports this idea is the Natural Order of Acquisition hypothesis. Since that material is not the purview of this book, the reader is invited to look online for more information about Krashen and the research that has been done in recent decades on how people learn languages.

Let’s Repeat That

Many language teachers aren’t familiar with what is written above. As a result, what they do in grading kids – even in CI classes – is a disaster for the kids’ confidence. Even those who are familiar don’t know how to apply the truths written in the above section, with equally disastrous results.

So, let’s repeat what is written above again. We can’t say it enough these days, when ignorance on the part of language teachers about how their students acquire languages is at an all-time high:

If one were to completely adhere to the research about how people actually learn languages, which is by unconscious absorption of comprehensible input, one would not be able in good conscience to even grade a language student at all. Why?

It is because of the word “unconscious” in the above paragraph. We absorb languages into our deeper/unconscious minds. Therefore:

We can’t actually measure what happens – the material is just not available for conscious analysis.

The speed and the amount absorbed varies from individual to individual. Some people acquire a lot early on; others take years, even decades (depending on how much comprehensible input there is) for acquisition to happen.

Those are two huge factors that must be squarely looked at when we set about periodic grading of our students in language classes!

We Still Have to Grade Them

In spite of the above facts that clearly point to the Keystone Kops aspect of what we have been doing in terms of assessment in our profession for decades, the ideal assessment being in my view no assessment, we must still assess our students. We have no choice. It seems stupid, but there it is. Modern education. Data collection. All fairly useless in our field, because of how people learn languages.

What to do? My position – as stated above – is again to grade them in terms of what we see our students doing with the CI we give them. This might at least make our assessment of them a lot easier and fair, in light of the research.

How do our students respond to our instruction via the Communication Standard?

How do they perform in terms of ACTFL’s Three Modes of Communication? Shouldn’t we be grading our students in terms of those things? I don’t see how any administrator, most of whom are ignorant of the research and of the real thrust of the Standard anyway, would be able to take exception if we graded our students on their observable non-verbal behaviors in class.

What about those in our department who still grade in the old way? Should they be allowed to do that? What about the notion – an erroneous one that is still used in CI circles – that one must use CI to “teach certain words” so that everyone is “on the same page” so that if a student were to switch schools, they could do it? Is that valid?

Indeed, is anything we are doing right now in language education valid if it is in conflict with the research? What about all the schools out there right now that claim to be doing CI simply because it is what they consider the current buzzword in language education, when in truth it is far more than that?

We don’t need to get into all that, into the hypocrisy, the greed, the misinterpretation of the real research, the sales of shallow “CI activities” that are currently being pushed in the new online CI marketplace, and the general current malpractice in our profession of redefining comprehensible input in terms that fit teachers’ needs, and not students’ needs.

What we need to do, if we are to indeed align with the research and the Communication Standard, is grade our students in a fair way, and that, I maintain, is by what we can see them do. It assumes that, in point of fact, we can “measure” quite well if a person has understood us by looking at the expression on their face.

If it looks as if they’ve understood, then they’ve probably understood. It’s hard to fool people into thinking that they’ve been understood. People know, especially language teachers who job is to know and who are constantly assessing in the most minute ways if their students have understood.

Maybe someday everyone in foreign language education will find a way to assess kid in terms of the research and especially in terms of the Natural Order hypothesis. I can dream.

OK. It’s nice to get that off my chest. Now let’s get back looking at my specific recommendations for grading our students when we take them on journeys around the Square.

50% of Their Grade is Based on the Interpersonal Communication Skill

As I have said, our students’ final grade should be based on the Communication Standard.

In the approach laid out in this book, 50% of the formative grade is based on the Interpersonal Communication Skill of the Three Modes of Communication.

The other 50% of our students’ grade in a CI classroom, in my approach, is based on the smaller grades gathered in Corner 3 of the Square.

With survey students, it is recommended that you give an Interpersonal Communication Skills grade every day after each class for the first two weeks of the course, and then do so less frequently after that, once they know you are serious.

Only let up on the daily grading when your class exhibits that it fully understands that they can be slapped with a Communication grade at any time, on any given day. They need to know that their failure to behave up to the expectations outlined in the Communication Rubric will, over time, tank their grade.

Find the Communication skills rubric in the printable downloads section of this book.

Base this daily grade entirely on what you see them do in class that day – on their observable non-verbal behaviors. This aligns with the research and also trains them properly in terms of their classroom behavior. Doing that is fair to them. Not holding them accountable to the standard is not fair to them, because they don’t know how to act without you making it clear to them.

Here are some questions and answers about the Communication Rubric:

Q. In your description of your 50% In-Class Communication Rubric, I absolutely love the term “observable non- verbal behaviors”. It really holds the key to grading in terms of the standard, doesn’t it?

A. Yes. For too long language educators have thought they could evaluate what we must not forget is an unconscious – and therefore unmeasurable/unquantifiable – process. Teachers who evaluate kids in language classes in terms of how many questions they can get right or wrong on a test are completely out of the loop ongrading language students. They are missing the point.

Q. How did the term “observable non-verbal behaviors” come about?

A. About ten years ago I was in a department meeting on the West (Latino) Side of Denver in Lincoln High School. There were five of us in the department and we were all doing different versions of TPRS at the time. A Spanish teacher, Barbara Vallejos, coined it while we were talking about how to grade accurately according to the standard and I almost fell out of my seat.

Q. Why?

A. Because it is the perfect way to communicate to the children what they should do in our classes. That one moment when Barbara said that phrase provided full validation of everything that I had been trying to do in aligning my grading with the standard up to that point. Before she said that, I could never quite express what it was that I wanted from my students. It was definitely a watershed moment in my career.

Q. Was there a rubric before that one?

A. In about 2010 I started poring over the ACTFL pages. I started to develop a rubric via discussion on my online PLC. It was an epiphany of sorts for us. It kept developing over many years on the PLC and culminated in what we have now in this book.

Q. Why didn’t we have such a rubric before?

A. Well, to my knowledge, the textbook companies and ACTFL and the College Board and all the other leaders in our field didn’t see it as important.

Q. That seems odd.

A. Right? The rubric aligns perfectly with the standards and the research!

Q. When you mention that some teachers ask the kids to use the rubric to self-evaluate, might not some kids try to take advantage of that and grade themselves higher?

A. The kids’ self-evaluation grade is NOT what you use to grade them. You put YOUR grade into the computer. Asking them to self-evaluate tells you if in fact you two are on the same page regarding expectations. In my experience, 90% or more of the kids give themselves the same grade that I gave them.

Q. Why do think that is?

A. One reason is that the rubric is so clear that it keeps some of them from self-inflating what they do in class, while also keeping others from being too harsh on themselves.

Q. And you said that over 90% of the students grade themselves accurately?

A. Yes – only one or two kids underrate or overrate themselves in each class. The benefit for them is that if they underrate or overrate themselves, it can lead to a very informative conversation with the child, and sometimes help them quite a bit in terms of what is expected of them.

Q. I like the idea of having creative conversations with students about their grades.

A. Seeing that you care enough to talk about their self-evaluation makes a big difference. What is more important than clear teacher-student communication in any classroom?

Q. So do you mix the grade you gave them with the one they gave themselves?

A. No. My grade is the only one that counts.

Q. What about parents who want you to justify your grade?

A. That is why I videotape each class both online and, via the Videographer in Hub B [ed. note: in the StarChart™ only] in my regular classroom. I have their behavior on tape if I ever need it.

Q. Have you ever needed it?

A. Of course.

Q. Did it work?

A. Like a charm.

The Second 50% of Their Grade

The remaining 50% that your students earn in this assessment system is determined by averaging the massive amount of quiz grades that you collect in Corner 3 of journeys around the Square, which are so easy to assess based on whatever scale (usually 5 or 10 points) your school’s computer is programmed to accept.

Collect however many of those smaller grades you feel like giving in any week, throw them into the computer along with any Interpersonal Skills grades that you may have collected after class each day, and stop worrying about the whole problem of assessment.

You can be sure that at least this way of grading your students is not punitive and sheds a favorable light on their honest efforts to understand in your CI classroom. No more counting points. Isn’t that marvelous? And it’s FAR more accurate, because when a child is not focused, you know it from the quiz grades, which are very hard to cheat on.

Review

The approach described herein involves no planning. It involves no planning of instruction and no planning of assessments as well – no preparation of tests and no grading of tests, or almost none.

First, we have students writing the quizzes during class [ed. note: StarChart™ only]. Our use of the Communication Skills rubric, as well, involves almost no effort on our part, since we are grading what we see our students doing in class in real time rather than taking tests.

The age of teachers working their fingers to the bone grading papers is over. Rather than do that, teachers are just quitting, in droves especially these days. It does nothing for the kids, who simply do not care, and the era of placating administrators – bless their often ignorant hearts – is quickly coming to an end as well.

In this way of grading, most of the responsibility is on the student to earn their grade in class via that big Communication Rubric 50% of their grade. It is their responsibility to earn a good grade by how they attend to the Communication Standard in class.

If they do that, their grade of A or at least B is at assured. It is so easy for students to guarantee their A with the good work they do on the 50% formative grade comprised of the five formative grades collected in Phase 2 and Phase 5 of journeys taken around the Square.

A Glance is Enough

Note importantly that when you grade any one of the formative quizzes, a glance is enough. When you do that, your administrators think that all the grades in your grade book are legitimate. Guess what? They are legitimate, and far more in alignment with the Communication Standard and the research than current grading practices in both the traditional and CI teaching worlds.

But they also protect your soul, because they don’t require you to work yourself into a grading pit of despair, counting points in the middle of the night that simply don’t mean anything. It’s so odd that grades determined by a single glance can be more accurate than grades determined by circling mistakes and counting points, but that’s the way it is now.

Administrators Really Don’t Care

It’s worth restating, to make sure you understand, that administrators really don’t care.

And yet the sad grading models that they inflict on language teachers even though they have nothing to do with the way languages are acquired, can and have ruined careers. It is time now to throw off the chains of ignorance that have bound both our instruction and our assessment models for far too long.

I view the Communication rubric found in the printable downloads as the best Interpersonal Communication Skills assessment rubric available at the time of this writing (2020).

Carly Edelman comments on the rubric:

“I really drive this rubric home on days we are doing intense listening/co-creating like OWI days or storytelling days. I have them reflect in their notebooks from time to time and I hand out laminated copies they can keep by their chairs on days I want to be sure they are aware of how they are graded.

“I’ve become more comfortable grading holistically and justifying grades to admin and parents, and therefore I’ve become less stressed about having a specific system for inputting grades. This year I have really been pushing the positive peer leadership section and that has been a HUGE improvement in the class culture. Students have really gotten behind ignoring bad behavior or subtly correcting disruptive students and I am so glad I added that piece to the rubric this year.”

On Speaking Grades

You should never ever put a speaking grade down in your grade book with novice level students. If you are doing that now, you should probably go read the research. Don’t do it. Forcing kids to speak in class is bad enough already, but then forcing them to speak for a grade is absurd, against the research, and all kinds of other bad things that have nothing to do with the way people acquire languages and do nothing but destroy kids’ belief in themselves as language learners.

Online Assessment

So, you have too many students to see each one well? They don’t know that. But if you really want to see what they are doing in detail, if the class is too big for that, ask your administrator to procure you a really big screen for your online instruction.

Grading students on what you SEE THEM DOING in their boxes connects assessment with managing their behavior in a very deep way, even more than in a physical setting.

In that way, and this is such an important point to make about classroom management in a CI classroom, we connect their behavior and focus in class to the Communication Standard, where it should be, and not on some list of grammar rules to learn.

What kinds of things are we looking for in an online setting?

In order to answer that question, let’s look at what we ask our students to do in an online classroom:

1. Most importantly, we ask our students to listen with the intent to understand. That is called communication when you don’t know the language. So, if we grade our online students using the 50% Communication Rubric, we are adhering to the Standard.

2. When we ask our students to “Show Me” a gesture for a word or verb we are teaching, we are Communicating with them online and are therefore assess them online in the only real way we can, by adhering to the Standard.

3. When we ask our students to indicate comprehension via the thumbs up/thumbs down move, we can assess them according to the Communication Standard.

4. When we similarly ask them to answer “yes” or “no” to any of our questions using the thumbs up/thumbs down move, we can assess them in terms of the Standard.

5. Asking students to show us the hand preposition gestures adheres to the Standard and should therefore be used in our online assessment efforts.

6. When we ask students to chant something (with mics off), we can see whether they are doing it or not.

How to record such gestures? Obviously, counting such responses in class online won’t work – there is too much going on. We can’t count every gesture a student is doing, but we can form a general impression of what we are seeing from each of our students.

I prefer to put my attention on the students whom I can see in their little boxes who are NOT doing the gesture I am asking them to do. It is just like my response to students in my physical classroom – I notice when they are NOT listening with the intent to understand, when their head is down (probably on their phone) so that all I see is the top of their head.

Since I have trained myself to INSTANTLY respond to such behaviors in my physical classroom, as described in the section on Classroom Management above, I find it easy to do so in an online setting as well.

Moreover, since the highest priority in my classroom, whether it be physical or online, is classroom management, I therefore ALWAYS MAKE A NOTE of each and every instance when a child is not following Rule 1 in the Classroom Rules poster or is not gesturing or is not giving me their best attention. How?

With fanfare. I make a big deal about the lack of attention of that one single student to the building of the tableau in this online setting. I apologize to the class on behalf of the offending student, take a deep but loving breath of frustration, stroll over to a sheet of paper on which I make a note of each offense, lean over out of view of the camera, and explain to the student, whose name I never mention, that there will be an email waiting in one of their parents’ inboxes by dinner time that day.

Do you understand how, if this is not done in the first few weeks of school, it will then be too late? Grading in this way in an online setting:

1. Aligns with the Communication Standard.

2. Aligns with the Interpersonal Skill of the Three Modes of Communication.

3. Aligns with what the research says about how people learn languages, by focusing on the message.

4. Saves me vast amounts of time, because the general approach to instruction, classroom management and assessment being described here, with its focus on listening with the intent to understand, results in high marks for most students on the 50% formative quiz part of assessment being used in connection with the 50% described in Classroom Rule 1, so it’s all an effortless process for me. As long as the students are focused and earning high grades on the online quizzes, I can grade them accurately, awarding them As and Bs with little effort, grades that are easily justified.

5. Allows me to really keep the class in line online, so to speak, because all I have to do is react instantly if a kid is not clearly “with me” in class.

6. Very likely may provide a MORE ACCURATE grade than in class, because it is physically easier to notice in a Zoom grid who is paying attention and who is not.

Watch some of the videos that accompany this book how I insist that my students know that I am always grading them in class, always looking at their faces in the Zoom grid “seating chart”.

I constantly tell them online, “You think you are looking at me, but I’m also looking at you, because I have to grade you. If I can see you doing the gestures, or the thumbs up/thumbs down response to my yes/no questions, or when you do any of the other hand motions I ask you to do during class, really in this online setting that is the only way I have to grade you. Remember, it’s what I can SEE you doing – or not doing – in our online classes that will determine your grades. There will therefore be no chance for you to cheat. Of course, you never cheat online in your other classes, so why would you cheat in this class, right?”

Another benefit in this way of grading online – by what you can SEE them doing in their little boxes – is that you can actually refer to the video of each class to defend yourself against any claim by a parent or administrator or student that the student is meeting the Communication standard. The video verifies that a certain student has indeed earned the low interpersonal skills communication grade that you assigned them using the rubric.

The overarching statement on grading is that we use the quizzes and Interpersonal Skills grade only to the extent necessary. They are not there to support the Big Lie that you are testing the kids in order to “better inform your teaching”.

In New Delhi I had a sixth-grade class that was so into what we were doing every day that in March I stopped giving grades of any sort. I didn’t have to. Why? Because it was clear to anyone observing that every single student in the class was highly involved. No assessment needed! You could see the magic happening right in front of you! What about the students who wanted to know where the grades were in the gradebook? I simply made up a daily Interpersonal Skills grade. It took just a few minutes every day.

Everyone got an A or B and no one dared challenge me on that because the class was so obviously on fire with what we were doing on our trips around Square that I didn’t have to “justify” my assessment of those wonderful but stressed-out kids. I was happy to help them experience less stress in that middle school.

A Final Article on Grading

This is Your Gradebook Speaking

Hello, I am your grade book and I wanted to congratulate you on another year in service to me. Oh, I know, I know. You thought you were working on behalf of the kids. Hah, hah! That’s funny! We all know that you can’t serve two masters. Serve me!

Let’s take for example that pesky Javiar Lugo! He is just so bad. He sits so far in the back. How can he learn anything? I think he’s lazy. So, what if he can’t read in French because he just got here from Mexico four years ago and he can barely read in English or even Spanish? We’ve got to hold him to the standards!

What do you think that little box in my wonderful world of grade book boxes (boxes for everything!) that is labeled “Reading 1” means? With the cool initials “R1”? That is a reading grade, my friend, and you have to fill it with a grade for Javiar just like all the other kids! We’re holding Javiar to standards!

No child left behind is my motto! That means every kid held to the same standards all the time.

Differentiation? Hah! Everyone knows that I am in charge. Differentiation is just a word that people use to make it look like there is still a human element in education. Forget that!

And I hate the way Javiar always sits in the back. Twice this year he has begged you to be allowed to sit in the back. What is up with that? And you let him! You have your seating chart!

What’s that you say? Javiar is painfully shy, awkward in his fifteen-year old body, and only seems happy when he is sitting way in the back listening to stories?

Hmmm. Let me see here. Let me look at my glorious self and see what kind of grades Javiar has for his listening quizzes on stories…. Oh, wow! Javiar has two 9’s out of 10! But on his jGR grade he only has a 5 of 10 because the interpersonal element is not there. And there is a 0 on a reading test! Hmmm.

What’s that you say? He is fluent in Spanish? And so he can understand you really really well when you speak French? That doesn’t matter! Javiar must learn how to read. A zero is a zero, my friend!

You say he wasn’t ever able to read in his first language in Mexico? Hmmm. Well, that’s too bad. But my CI curriculum involves lots of reading in level 1. It’s just the way it’s done.

And you say he only arrived in the U.S. six months ago? Too bad. I have my curriculum. Maybe we can get someone in the building to help him read better. Aren’t there people who do that?

Let’s review this – he has four grades so far: one 5/10 on the Class Communication rubric and 2 9’s but there’s now another 0 on the reading test, so two 0s on reading. Hmmm. Well, let me calculate with my lightning speed… that’s an F! Javiar needs to learn how to read!

This is an emergency! We need to get that extra staffing on this. We need to get those ELA people at the other end of the building to teach him how to read in English. We will force him to learn how to read those novels!

What’s that you say? The ELA people are not very good at that? What are you talking about? We spend vast amounts of money in this district on teaching reading to kids from other countries who can’t read! Everything depends on our pouring those dollars into reading!

What’s that you say? Reading is a result of lots of practice, and can’t be rushed? Why would you say that? Who? Stephen Krashen? Never heard of him! We are on a plan here in our building on reading. We have a plan! We will force these kids to read!

What? They have no books in their house? Why, everybody has books in their house! They need to get rid of their TV sets and get books instead!

What? Javiar’s mother is still in Mexico and dad is working three jobs? Well, he should get a library in his house anyway! What? Javiar himself is working? He can’t – he’s only fifteen! He needs to go to school!

What? Dad likes to spend the few hours a week he can with his son watching Mexican league soccer? That’s ridiculous! Make him go to the library! What? That library on Federal Avenue next to the strip club was closed down?

Look! Javiar needs to learn how to read! It’s an emergency! Otherwise, he is going to flunk your class and not be a productive citizen, which is the very mission of our school, which I, in all my grade book glory, serve, and really well, I might add! I’m trying to help you with this reading problem!

What? Now you are admitting to me that Javiar has a smartphone? Well, there’s the problem! What? And he works twenty-five hours a week after school to pay for it and be able to eat? Well, that’s easy, we’ll just take that phone away from him. Then his reading scores will go up! Now we’re getting somewhere! Done! We’ll take his phone from him today! Damn technology!

What? I’m technology? Oh, but I’m different. I’m a grade book. I pretty much run your life and the lives of your students if they want to succeed in life. And, let’s get back to the point – you need to teach that kid to read, or somebody does.

What? What do you mean it’s going to take a long time? What’s that you say? He needs to hear English a lot before he can read it? He needs to be brought along at his own natural pace in reading and the longer he reads and stays in the country, maybe re-uniting his family, the better he’ll read? Just by reading naturally and not forcing it?

That’s ridiculous. What do you think the 2000 ELA teachers in this district are for? You forget. We are the educators! We will educate you!

What did you say? Javiar wrote a note on the reading test? What did it say? Oh, it said …Mr. Slavic, I try so hard but I can’t do it!…. right there on the reading test? He wrote that on the reading test? Well, there you have it! He is asking for help. I will inform the administration and they will contact the five different people responsible for reading intervention and we will fix this!

What? You have another idea? Drop the grade? Did you say drop the grade? I can’t do that. I am your grade book and I won’t allow it! Javiar has to have that reading grade in there! We will force him to read!

What? You’re not going to listen to me? You’re going to not grade Javiar on reading all year? That is blasphemy! You can’t do that! What kind of commie liberal are you, letting that kid off the hook when every other kid in the class has to have their reading grades count?

What? There are others with reading issues, mainly due to their being new Americans or living in poverty? Screw that! How many? Three? I’ll inform the principal! We’ll get them in one of our programs! What, our programs are not interesting to the kids? Well I never!

What? You’re not only going to ignore Javiar’s reading grade all year but you’re going to let him sit in the back and just put his arms over his head and listen to French with that goofy look on his face, even laughing from time to time in class? You can’t do that!

Wait, I feel a calculation coming on. Let me figure this out. If you don’t count the reading grade he gets a B. If you do he gets an F.

Give him the F! He is lazy. I have spoken.

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