School has been out a week now, which means I'm enjoying the relaxed pace of summer and the chance to think ahead to next year. Often this means working on new ideas and plans in the morning while enjoying a mug of tea and still wearing my pajamas.
I will be teaching 5/6 time again next school year. I will have two sections of German 1, two sections of German 2, and one section of German 4. I didn't teach any German 2 last year, and I missed it, so I'm very happy to get to teach it again.
The exciting news for our German program is that we have fifteen students enrolled in German 4, which is enough to have a separate section and not need to combine it with German 3.
Last year was the first year since I have been at BHSN that we offered German 4 at all, but there were only 5 students, so I had to be combined with German 3. Since we had new textbooks for all levels and the topics in the third year book were new to the German 4 students, it worked fine to combine the groups and differentiate as needed to challenge the German 4 students.
But now that we have enough students, we can offer a true German 4 class. The textbook we'll be using is Denk Mal! from Vista.
One of the things I really want to emphasize in German 4 is target language usage. In the 3/4 class this past year, I spoke German to students most of the time but still used English to explain new grammar concepts. I probably didn't push students to use German as much as I should have.
In German 4, there won't be any new grammar topics - just review, so I want to use German exclusively. If I want students to use German all the time, too, I need my grading system to reflect that. In German 1 and 2, grades are weighted at 75% for assessment (quizzes, tests, and projects) and 25% for assignments and participation. I've decided that in German 4, grades will be 50% for assessment, 25% for assignments, and 25% for target language participation.
A little while ago, I found a Weekly Rubric for Target Language Use from Spanishmama.com which she created using materials from Joshua Cabral at World Language Classroom.
I started with that and modified the format and rubric until I had what I think will work well for my classroom.
We have three 6 week grading periods per semester, so I made a place to record weekly scores for the semester.