Taken from my post on Ben Slavic’s blog:
In our department we have created a scale of engagement (with the language and activities) that looks like this:
Stage 1 : Attention
(student is looking at/listening to w/intent to understand)
Stage 2: Identification
(student can locate sounds/text that are recognizable)
Stage 3: Comprehension
(student can visualize/dramatize meaning of the pieces they understand)
Stage 4: Clarification
(student will seek information needed to comprehend any missing pieces)
Stage 5: Interaction
(student will respond to aural input/text to the best of ability)
It’s ‘jargony” which makes admins happy. It breaks down expectations, which they are also looking for.
But it’s actually useful. We can ask the student, “What stage are you at with this?” Then we ask, “What do you need to get to the next stage?” Sometimes the answer is as simple as, “I have to try.” :o) But it has encouraged students to a) realize that this is their 50% and b) We can help if we know where they are.
Now, perhaps I should have prefaced this with a HUGE given, a message that we deliver from their first year on and reinforce as needed:
We are professional educators. We understand language acquisition. The district has hired us with the expectation that we will lead classes where language is acquired. We have designed classes with that in mind. Students are required to participate.
Then we work diligently to establish relationships with each student and each class. We adjust our plans based on our students. We are transparent about these decisions with our students.
Students who do not engage/participate will not acquire. Therefore, their assessment grades will be low. If non-participation affects the other members of the class, it is then considered a discipline issue. We address it by working to strengthen our relationship with that student and finding ways for that student to have a place/way to engage successfully in class. It’s often easier for them to participate than to not!! This works in our favor. :o)
We do not tie behavior to a grade. A) The disengaged student rarely cares about the grade B) Disengaged students don’t show growth anyway. C) The disengagement is rarely ever about Spanish. It is a signal that other issues are preventing this student from wanting to be successful and have fun!!!! This is a serious issue. D) The extra attention to the student as a person, rather than as a grade, is far more valuable.
As for our scale….it isn’t a participation grade. It isn’t a rubric per se. It’s used more as a diagnostic tool when students need help.
If you need help/things aren’t making sense, identify where you are:
I didn’t hear it/don’t see it.
Stage 1: I heard/see it but I don’t recognize it/can’t identify it.
Stage 2: I can identify/recognize it but I don’t know what it means.
Stage 3: I heard/saw it AND I recognize it AND I’m pretty sure I know what it means.
Stage 4: I checked what I think it means with the context to see if I’m right.
Stage 5: I totally get it and can respond verbally/physically to it.
In assessments we often only grade students on Stage 5….and there is a lot that goes on beforehand that we want our students to recognize and use to their advantage.
I can use it to set up formal assessments if I want to, but it is most valuable as a tool that we use as we use language to communicate.
Hope that makes sense…