Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of Year Feedback

We've reached the end of the year!

The last four days of the year were exams.  After my students finished, I gave them a feedback form to complete.  I designed this form a year or two ago and find it does a pretty good job of getting useful feedback from students while reducing the number of suggestions for unrealistic changes such as no tests / no homework / no vocabulary memorization.

The comment of the year was

I collected the best student advice for future students 

and created a German flag poster.

I plan to hang it on my door next year to replace my 2014 World Cup poster.

I also asked students in classes which had my student teacher to comment on how having a student teacher affected their German experience.  Most gave very positive feedback, indicating that it was nice to have two different teachers with different styles and perspectives.  One student said

Great job, Matthew!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Into the Home Stretch

We're getting very close to the end of the school year.  We have 3 more regular class days and 4 days of finals before students are out for the summer.

My students will take a multiple choice final during the exam periods and have a speaking exam on their last regular class day, so we've been reviewing and practicing for those this past week.

Reviewing for tests is always a challenge because it's not really something I can do for the students in the same way that I teach them new material; they get the most out of it when they take ownership of their own review, but by the end of the year, motivation can be low and students are tired out from ISTEP testing, End of Course Assessments, and AP testing.  So, I try to encourage them to push on but keep my expectations realistic.

Most of our review days follow a pattern of 3 main activities:

  1. Multiple Choice Vocabulary Review using Quizlet
  2. Speaking Exam Practice with their Table Groups
  3. A Study Guide
  4.  We've also played quite a few rounds of Quizlet Live for more vocabulary practice.

Normally, we go over assignments as a whole class and students are responsible for correcting their own work, but with study guides, I try to check each student's work individually during the class period so that I can talk to them about what mistakes they are making and what they need to review more.  I couldn't take the time this requires every day, but I think it is worthwhile during exam review.

The study guides are tailored to our pacing and textbook, but I'll include links to the files if you want to use them or modify them to meet your needs: