Ms. Birgit journeyed to the great Northwest to participate in ZFA-sponsored training at the end of May. She shared her visit with the rest of the team at the end of year in-service. Her workshops broke the language process down into four steps – listen, understand, speak, write. Succinctly – at the beginning, tie listening to actions so that the students learn the language in their bodies. Reward the students with medals – “Look! She is the queen of German, today! She did not speak any English!” Then, find any occasion for conversation. Even the daily plan is an opportunity, giving students a sense of control over their day and an opportunity to learn the words they need ahead of time.
Ms. Griselda and Ms. Denisse traveled to their IB Category 2 PYP Assessment training and presented their learning at the in-service as well. Assessment is more than a test at the end. It includes daily observations, student performances and projects, attention to student processes, open-ended tasks, and some tests and quizzes. With rubrics describing expectations and exemplars showing the best work, students learn to judge their own work and improve it before they hand it in. Attention to assessment gives students a chance to see and value their own success, and teachers and parents a clear picture of student progress.