Monday Motivation

Posted by Kara Parker on May 10, 2015 in FYI, Monday Motivation

A little “perk” to start your week!
BREATHE! You are doing the BEST you can. Take time to APPRECIATE all that you are doing, and I do mean ALL… planning, grading, parent calls, class coverage, morning/lunch duty, your evaluations, creating finals, last-minute observations, department paperwork, collecting and analyzing data, and being an awesome colleague to chat with when needed. 🙂

Morning Perk

In this final stretch, we will dedicate the next 3 posts to assessments: Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational Assessments to be exact. We would love to answer your questions about assessments. Any challenges you would like to solve? Write it below in the comments.

Have a GREAT week!

Kara & Megan

Photo Credits:,,, Google images

12 comments for “Monday Motivation”

  1. Kathy says:

    I cannot WAIT to read more about this! I am not assessing well. Do you have to assign a numerical grade in your report card? If so, how do you do that?

    Thank you for your blog. You have helped me so much!

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Teacher homework 🙂
      We will add a little more, but this really sums it up.

  2. Courtney says:

    I am excited to read about your assessments! Would you be willing to share how you grade your assessments (or a rubric you use), pretty please?? Thanks!

  3. Jillian Wessman says:

    My biggest challenge with assessments is knowing what level the assessment should be at.

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Do you mean what “proficiency” level Jillian?

  4. Abigail says:

    I am so excited for this topic. Do you have any suggestions for making assessments more time-efficient? My average class size is 25, and even when I do partnered speaking assessments I don’t usually get through everyone in one 55 minute period. Grading written assessments for 178 students also takes ages and I worry about giving good feedback when I’m struggling to get them back in a timely manner…in short, help!

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Good questions! I’ll quickly say this, if the assessments are for finals, I don’t put feedback because they are not returned to students. For unit assessments (This could be a whole post!), I like to take a class to do feedback. First, address the whole group with any praise/corrections that apply to most. Then give them some reflection tasks (what did you do well, what to work on, peer-edit with each other, track your progress (read I group the students that have similarities and call them up to have time to talk with me. I find that verbal feedback supported by the rubric works best to save me time. My written comments usually didn’t even get read. Feedback is SO important and it deserves more class time.
      Also, I take a whole week to do speaking assessments with my large (30+) classes. More about that coming though…

  5. Concepcion says:

    Hello Kara Parker!
    I am Spanish Teacher Level II and III) from Pensacola/ PCHS, My name is Concepcion .
    My classes are very large (30+) I have a total of 179 students in 6 periods. Do you use IPA in your classroom all the time? Do the students have to study all the grammar subjects as homework? How do you use IPA assessment for Semester’s Exams? How your school administration support you during semester exams( Do they allow you to use IPA assessments for Semester Exams)? Are you teaching in a High School?
    I am excited to read about how you grade your IPA assessments. I have been doing some IPA activities , but I have to learn more, I need and wish to learn from your experience
    Thank you so much for all your posts, and for share your experience, ideas and lessons, they are great.

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Hi Concepcion! We’ll definitely address many of your questions in the upcoming posts. We are both high school teachers. Read “Real World Homework” if you want to know my homework procedure. I used to be a grammar-focused teacher for 6 years. Then when I switched to a proficiency-based class, I have learned to teach grammar differently. We call it grammar sprinkles. So language is like ice cream in a cone. Novice: First fill up the cone, giving them lots of support. Intermediate: Then add some delicious scoops of different flavors/topics. Then we needed, sprinkle some grammar to make their language awesome. I’ve learned that extensive grammar drills are wasted when used with a student that is not ready. When they are, it is usually a quick lesson, that they grasp quickly. My OPI training really helped me to understand all this. Long answer short, no, I don’t give grammar for homework for my level 1 and 2 students. Upper levels, it would depend on whether they are ready or not.
      We will touch on IPAs later.

  6. I’d appreciate your input, or directing me to a good source of same, about what criteria to follow to determine that an assessment is “interpretive”.
    Looking forward to seeing you both again (after ACTFL SA,TX), and meeting and working with you both @ TELL Collab in Austin TX in June!

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Thanks Deirdre! I can’t wait for TELL Collab. 🙂

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