Mrs. Bonnie Pechulis
Parkville Middle School and Center of
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
MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS YOUR TEACHER:
2. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS MY STUDENT:
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
To treat me and your peers with respect and
care as an individual
To be cooperative and not disruptive
To follow all school rules as listed in the
To study and do your work (ATTITUDE + EFFORT
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.
4. REQUIRED MATERIALS:
5. 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
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.
Student planner A floppy disk for computer activities
A dry erase marker
One box of tissues (can be given to any teacher
on the team)
A supply of lined notebook paper (no spiral
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,
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:
I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE HOMEWORK UNLESS
YOU WERE LEGALLY ABSENT FROM SCHOOL. NO EXCEPTIONS!
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: 30% - 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: 20% - 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 address to email questions
or that you will not be in school, etc:)
7. WHAT TO DO WHEN ABSENT:
8. 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.
When you are legitimately absent, there are
several ways to find out what you missed:
Call a reliable classmate
Pick up missed dittos from the make-up folder
and check the calendar immediately upon your return to class
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!!8.
9. 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?
1 – eyes on speaker
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
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
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
2 – quiet
3 – be still
4 – hands free
5 – listen
Hopefully, this system will keep distractions
to a minimum.
10 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:
Let’s have a successful
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