Mrs. Bonnie Pechulis
Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology
Welcome to Spanish class! As you learned last year, studying a foreign language is very different from other subjects. It relies on a great deal of oral work, in the form of active participation in class as well as practice at home. The first few weeks will be spent reviewing last year’s work – so don’t worry about how much you forgot over the summer! We will be continuing with Paso a Paso, concentrating on Chapters 4-7. At the end of this year, you will be prepared to take the Spanish I exam for high school credit. For more details about the curriculum, you may visit my web page and click on "Paso a Paso Guide." The address for the site is:
We have some exciting projects and interesting units of study planned for you. We will also incorporate more computer technology in our lessons this year. The purpose of this letter is to explain the policies, requirements and classroom routines that we will follow this year:
MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS YOUR TEACHER:
To treat you with respect and care as an individual
To provide you an orderly classroom environment
To provide the necessary discipline
To provide the appropriate motivation
To teach you the required content
- YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS MY STUDENT:
- To treat me and your peers with respect and care as an individual
- To attend classes regularly and be prepared daily
- To be cooperative and not disruptive
- To follow all school rules as listed in the student handbook
- To study and do your work (EFFORT=SUCCESS)
- To learn and master the required content
Consequences for lateness, disrespect, or disruption will result in a warning, loss of responsibility points (described later), a conference, parent contact, team conference, after-school detention or an office referral.
- REQUIRED MATERIALS:
- Your binder - You will need a separate section of your binder for Spanish. Make
sure that your binder has large rings and is in good working condition all year.
b. Student planner
c. A floppy disk for computer activities
- A dry erase marker
- One box of tissues (can be given to any teacher on the team)
f. A supply of lined notebook paper (no spiral notebooks, please)
g. Blue or black pens
- Pencils with erasers
- One manila folder for a class portfolio
- Craft supplies to be kept at home and available upon request:
scissors, glue stick, markers or colored pencils, ruler, old magazines
- YOUR NOTEBOOK: A well-maintained, organized notebook will be one of your most important study tools as you learn to speak and write in a second language. You must keep it neat and be ready to use it every day. All Spanish papers should be kept in their appropriate section. I will give you the following pages to serve as dividers:
Although not required, I suggest that you put each of the above pages in plastic page protectors. They will last the entire year and will be easier to find in your notebook. All pages must be labeled and dated with the section and page # in the upper right corner. Example: V1/30.8.99 ( Vocabulario, p.1, August 30, 1999) We will have one unannounced open notebook quiz per term, so a well-maintained notebook is essential! Only pages in their proper place can be used for this quiz.
6. YOUR GRADE in Spanish will be based on a balance of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It will be determined by a combination of the following:
- CLASSWORK: 50% - consisting of projects done in class, prácticas (assessed after every 10), weekly language lab activities and a daily participation grade. The effort that you put forth and the amount that you volunteer and actively participate in a positive manner will determine this component of your classwork grade. (ATTITUDE + EFFORT = SUCCESS!)
- QUIZZES AND TESTS: 25% - Short quizzes will be given frequently on any material covered in class. They can be worth from 20 to 50 points each. These are usually announced, but occasionally I like to "surprise" you to keep you on your toes! Also, because Spanish is a cumulative subject, you might be asked to study "old" vocabulary or grammar from time to time. Tests are usually given at the end of a chapter. (100 points each)
- HOMEWORK: 25% - In the past this has been the one area of weakness for students, and as a result, can really bring down your grade if neglected. I will assign written homework 3-4 times per week on the average. Also, there will be a "Culture Credit" assignment due each quarter (more information to follow.) HOWEVER, it is vital that you also practice speaking Spanish every night! Disciplining yourself from the beginning of the year is essential. The more effort you make to follow up at home, the more successful you will be. It will be your responsibility to copy your homework in your planner. In addition, my homework will be posted on the Internet:
You can also use this site to email me with questions, to let me know if you will not be in school, etc.
NOTE: I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE HOMEWORK UNLESS YOU WERE LEGALLY ABSENT FROM SCHOOL. NO EXCEPTIONS!
- WHAT TO DO WHEN ABSENT:
- When you are legitimately absent, there are several ways to find out what you missed:
- You will have the same number of days that you were absent to turn in the work that you missed.
- If you miss a quiz, you will need to make arrangements to take it during lunch, before school or after school within one week. If you were absent the day before a quiz, you will still take the quiz on the scheduled day.
- Homework that was due on the day that you were absent must be shown immediately upon your return, preferably when I am checking that day’s homework.
- Again, I would like to emphasize that it is YOUR responsibility to come to ME, your teacher, about make-up work. I will not be reminding you about homework or quiz make-up.
- Also remember –I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE HOMEWORK UNLESS YOU WERE LEGALLY ABSENT FROM SCHOOL!!
- EXTRA CREDIT to me means "in addition to" not "instead of." Extra credit will be available at the beginning of each term. I will hand out the list of culture credit assignments and extra credit during the first week of school and they will be due around interim time. They cannot be used as a substitute for a missed assignment, but rather as "insurance" to help boost your quiz grade at the end of the quarter. I will not accept them past the designated due date.
- RESPONSIBILITY POINTS: These are a great way for you to add a high score to your classwork average at the end of the marking period. How do you earn them and how are they used?
- By coming to class prepared every day. This means having your notebook in good shape, a supply of lined paper, blue or black, pen, pencils with erasers, completed homework and planner.
- By being in your assigned seat and working on the pre-class activity when the bell rings. Slipping into the room or into your seat when the bell rings is NOT the same as being on time ready to start class.
- By taking your notebook and materials with you when you leave so that you can prepare for the next day. I cannot be responsible for your things.
- By volunteering to be my "cart person." You will need to leave 3-5 minutes early to transport my cart to the next class. You must also see that the pre-class activity is in plain sight for the next class.
- By volunteering to be the "class starter." Because I float, my cart needs to arrive before me. The class starter is responsible for finding the pre-class (Practica) transparency and getting the class ready before my arrival.
- Each class is worth one responsibility point. On any day that you do not have a required item, if you’re late, or leave things behind, you lose the point for that day.
- At the end of the term, the total of your responsibility points becomes a classwork grade – it’s that simple!
- Here are a few routines that should be followed:
- You are expected to be in your seat and working on the pre-class activity (usually a "Práctica") when the bell rings. Your homework and planner should be on your desk ready to be checked.
- Our goal is to become more proficient in Spanish; therefore we will speak in Spanish whenever possible.
- Studying or working on assignments from other classes is not allowed. It will be taken away and not returned.
- If you finish an activity early, you can ask for an extra credit worksheet.
- No eating, drinking or chewing gum is allowed in class, unless given to you by me.
- If a substitute teacher is necessary, it is imperative that each student cooperates, as your behavior is a reflection on me as well as yourself. All work is collected and graded when I am absent.
- Lateness to class without a pass is inexcusable. It will result in a "0" for the work you missed at the start of class and a lost responsibility point. Three latenesses will result in a detention. Chronic lateness will result in a parent conference or office referral.
- Lavatory use should be restricted to the first and last five minutes of class, except in cases of emergency. You should use your planner to sign out.
- Dismissal is by the teacher only.
- Because there will be many times when you are conversing with partners, I will use a "Give me five" method to quickly get your attention. I will raise my hand and begin counting to five. This means:
1 – eyes on speaker
2 – quiet
3 – be still
4 – hands free
5 – listen
k. When you need to get my attention, raise your hand…
With your forefinger if you need to speak
With two fingers if you need to leave your seat
With three fingers if you need my help
Hopefully, this system will keep distractions to a minimum.
11. Finally, please ask questions! I am not always accessible after class because of floating, but many times I confer with students on our way to the next class. I am also available during homeroom, lunch and before or after school. You may also email me: www.schoolnotes.com/21234/bpechulis.html
Let’s have a successful year!
(Please keep these notes in the "Papeles Importantes" section of your notebook)
I have read and I understand Mrs. Pechulis’ Welcome Letter.
Parent /Guardian Signature__________________________
Comments or Questions?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________