Thursday, June 5, 2014

Betony Osborne - Summative Assessment Project

Betony Osborne
Summative Assessment Project
Spring 2014

-World Language
-Oral Assessments
-I can statements
-Standards
-Badges

A thorough description of the project with links and screenshots.

Continued learning of a world language is dependent upon a strong foundation.  A strong foundation is created by the ongoing recycling and practice of previously learned language. This idea is not usually a part of a students mindset, especially in middle school.  For example, a concept learned in September of 6th grade is needed in conjunction with another concept the spring of 9th grade.  There are many content areas where this isn't often the case.  ACTFL, the American Council on the Teacher of Foreign Languages, uses this visual to hep show how important the level one basics of a language are. 

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In understanding the importance of the progression of language learning and the mindset of a middle school student, I discovered that badges could both represent the retention of skills and motivate gaining new skills.  I remember being a girl scout through 8th grade and was really motivated by the concept of earning and displaying a new badge and through that, learning new skills.  At that age, the skills were an afterthought, I was most interested in the process and the physical badge and to be able to have it displayed for others to see.  The retention of the skill is represented by possessing and displaying the badge.  Once a badge is earned, it says I did this and can do this.  And those badges don't go away and neither can/should those stills.
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Badges can be any shape, size, design, color you can dream of.  I'd like to be able to represent my in digital form as well as physically in the classroom.  My design is a classic French landmark, La Tour Eiffel.  Built in central Paris in 1889 for the World's Fair, held 100 years after the French Revolution.  It's historical, strong, symbolic, recognizable and is often a bucket list item for many French students.  It makes it the perfect badge inspiration.  
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There are three levels of La Tour Eiffel which matches the three proficiency levels of my courses; Novice low, Novice mid and Novice high.  The skills for each level come from ACTFL's "I can" statements and we're working on adopting and adapting here in Edina as our World Language standards and benchmarks.  

The students will receive the list of I can statements possible during their time at South View (linked to Moodle course).  Students can work at their own pace to earn badges so it's possible for a student to earn "say hello and goodbye" in October and another to earn a "count 1-10" on September 10th.  Badges can be earned the first 10 mins of every Thursday and Friday class. The students self select to earn a badge by completing and video taping the skill outside the classroom and then coming into class on a Thursday or Friday and writing their name on the Badge list on the board.      

Looking for opportunities to use and try out their language skills outside the classroom is key to producing a life long language learner.  I use to do weekly website trivia for extra credit and kids and families really enjoyed the learning experience outside of class.  I'm afraid I stopped that practice when we stopped offering extra credit as part of our new grading practices.  This new badging system can involve family, technology and the use of French outside the classroom!  

When a student want to earn "say hello and goodbye", they film themselves coming and going from home or school, with family or friends, using the appropriate vocabulary with correct pronunciation.  Send it to me and we play it for the class on Thursday or Friday to earn the badge.  The video has to be as real life as possible so when a student is counting 1-10, they should find objects/people to count or do a math problem on a white board or teach their younger sibling to count.  

(insert student video examples in future)

I decided this was a sort of classroom activity that would be a great way to get the school year going.  Where as students begin and continue their learning, their videoing and showing their progress.  The videos could eventually be added to an electronic portfolio.  

I like the constant reminder this offers to myself and my students about finding opportunities to use their language and show off what they've learned and keep a log of those skills through their badges earned.  

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