How to start teaching proficiency: Presentational

How to start teaching proficiency: presentational

Thank you to everyone who has commented about my series this week and has read along! The last piece, presentational, is one of the easier ones to incorporate into your assessments because I am sure that you are already having students write and/or present.  However, I would suggest a few changes to improve upon these assessments.

I always thought that I was assessing students’ writing.  I would write a required number of sentences, and each sentence was worth two points each.  I would take off a full point if I could not tell what a student was saying in any section.  For smaller things such as verb conjugation, I would take off a half point.  I have never been a stickler for accent marks.  Then, that would be my students writing score!  Sometimes, I would add in points for using vocabulary words of that unit.  However, when I started using the presentational rubric, I noticed that I was missing different parts of their writing.  Were they writing basic sentences every time?  Were their thoughts organized?  Were they using vocabulary that they learned in the first few weeks of Spanish or had they started to add in more vocabulary that we had just learned?

Therefore, my first suggestion is to use a rubric.  If you do not have one, I suggest Sara-Elizabeth’s rubric or Ohio’s rubrics.  Again, I suggest sticking with someone else’s rubric initially until you decide what you want to do.  If you see something you definitely want to change, go for it, but don’t spend all summer deciding about the intricacies and wording of your rubrics.

The second change is to add more of a purpose and audience to your writing.  I had some very creative topics for my writing!  Students could write about an ideal date to a restaurant or a fairy tale.  I would also have them describe a picture which gave them a lot to discuss.  While I can still encourage this to prepare for writing, it did not have a specific audience or purpose.  However, a more recent presentational writing, I had students write an article for the gym that they attend about how they stay fit.  This is realistic because many people in the area speak Spanish, but in my experience, many places do not cater to people who speak Spanish.

In order to prepare my students, I did a few of these activities:

  • My students journal in Seesaw frequently to practice writing.
  • I had students complete a running dictation then connect the sentences into a coherent letter to help them organize their writing.
  • I will definitely use Adobe Spark for presentational speaking this year.
  • As I mentioned yesterday, I had students write after they completed an interpersonal conversation.
  • My students struggled to write in paragraphs in my last IPA.  I really want to encourage them to organize their paragraphs more this year.
  • I also did a variation of this to help students write longer sentences.  We discuss not to solely write sentences like this just like they would not write like that in English.
  • I have also had students complete different graphic organizers prior to writing.
  • I have a collection of presentational activities and assessments on Pinterest as well.

I haven’t done a lot of presentations because I do not like to spend so much time having every student present.  I also feel like if they do it at home, they will use their notes too much etc.  I am thinking about a way to create quick presentations for this year; the only caveat is that there is no interaction in presentational versus interpersonal.  I am also trying to think of an authentic reason to have a presentation in Spanish.  Stay tuned!  Again, last year I stuck with presentational writing, and this year, I will branch out.  Let me know if you have any questions about these posts!  I would love to help you feel able to fit these assessments easily into your curriculum.


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