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irene.porter
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I came to Clarksville from Germany in January 1982. I received my Associate degree in Applied Science, Bachelor in Foreign Languages (Spanish, German) with a minor in Education, Masters in Curriculum and Instructions, and Education Specialist degree in Administration from Austin Peay State University. I am in my 20th year teaching German. I am excited to meet my new students and to see my students from last year. This will be a great year!!
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Course Syllabus                                                                         
Teacher: Frau Porter

Kenwood High School

[email protected]                                                                                     
Materials: Pencils, Lined Paper, Kleenex, Glue Sticks (white), Construction Paper

Course Description

This world language class is very different from the typical language class, so please read this syllabus carefully. The way students learn in this class is the same way everyone learns their first language as children. We listen to lots of language, and with enough experience, we begin to produce language ourselves. In fact, without studying or even trying much, nearly every human being becomes proficient by the time they are six or seven years old. It leaves one wondering why so many people report not being able to learn a second language.

This class will be taught German the same way children learn their first language, through a teaching method called Comprehensible Input. This method prioritizes the students’ gaining as much experience in the language (input) as possible. Class will be taught 90% or more in German from the first day of class. This method also requires the teacher to make all the German completely comprehensible to the student through context, body language, acting, pointing, drawing, even just translating the word to English from time to time.

In German 1, our student’s experience in class will largely consist of listening to and reading messages. Later, with dozens of hours of language input, students will start writing and eventually speaking German. By the end of the year, students will be able to write pages of German, literally hundreds of words, without hesitation. With enough time, their speaking skills will also gradually emerge. The goal is that students will reach the Novice High range of proficiency. Students are introduced to a deskless classroom. There are tables available for activities as students progress in the language, however, at the beginning of language acquisition students need to focus on listening and reading.

In German 2, the goal is that students can understand and be understood at the intermediate low range proficiency. Students will continue to acquire vocabulary. Students will read German novels and discuss their content in German.

In German 3, the goal is that students will reach the intermediate mid/high range of proficiency.  This means that students can initiate and sustain communication within a familiar range, and occasionally discuss topics in which they are not yet familiar.

Grading

Assessment in this class honors the natural progression of language learning from reading, listening,  writing, and eventually speaking. In a level 1 course, student assessment consists almost entirely of the first two—reading and listening. At the appropriate time in the year, student writing will eventually be assessed.

Grades are comprised of 50% Assessments and the other 50% will come from, listening, writing and speaking (German 2 &3 ), classwork, folder checks and  projects. I provide strong support in class to help all students participate in the class’ discussion. However, should your child’s score fall below 70%, I will call home or contact you via email to notify you.

I love teaching high school world language, and we are going to see your child grow very quickly in language proficiency. My teaching style is oriented towards success for all students.

Class Rules:

In addition to the school rules, students are expected to follow these language-specific classroom rules to help facilitate language development:

  1. Listen with the intent to understand-students are expected to do more than just let conversation wash over them. They have to bite into every sentence and process it.
  2. One person speaks, others look and listen-Students are expected to focus their eyes on the one speaker and respect when others are talking by not having side conversations.
  3. Support the flow of conversation-In order for class to be interesting enough to listen, students must provide interesting topics of conversation for the teacher to discuss in German. The teacher will create opportunities, and students are expected to suggest fun, interesting, personal conversation ideas.
  4. Do your 50% - Listen, focus, participate, participate, participate.
  5. Actors and Artist- synchronize your actions with my words. Make sure you pay attention to my words and focus on the words I say. Ask for clarification if you do not understand.
  6. Most Important - Nothing in hand until told otherwise.

Non-negotiables:

Computers: Students may only take computers out when given permission to do so.  Coming  

 in from the hallway and playing a game until class starts is not permissible.

From Student Laptop Contract: “Students should not use laptops to play games, browse the Internet, or chat with classmates for social purposes.” “Students who violate the contract will be subject to disciplinary action.”

Cell phones: Students will deposit their cellphones at the charging station or their book bags and place

book bags in the front of the classroom. Phones should be turned off.

Students may retrieve phones one minute before bell and put their phones away until the bell

rings. Students should not be on their phones until the bell rings. Per school policy, a parent

will be contacted on the first offense.

 

First offense: Parent contact

 

Second offense: Referral and phone will be turned into the front office. The Student may get the phone at the end of the day.

 

Third offense: Referral and phone will be turned into the front office. A parent

will have to come pick up the phone.

 

Earbuds: Earbuds/headphones should not be visible in the classroom. They should be put away upon entering the classroom.

 

Tardies: Students must be IN THEIR SEATS when the bell rings. Students who are still in the hallway after the bell rings will marked tardy.

 

Seating: Students must sit in their assigned seat.

 

Restroom: Students may not go to the restroom within the first ten minutes or the last ten minutes of class. The front office will be called for any student who needs to use the restroom.

 

Eating/Drinking: Students may not have food or drink (water is an exception) in class.

 

Late work: Late work will be accepted IF a student needs extra time to complete an assignment. Late work will not be accepted from students who are not taking advantage of class time. If this is the case, parents will be contacted. Special: Projects that are submitted late will be deducted 10 points for each day it is late. Projects may not be accepted after five days of the due date.

 

Absence Make-Up Work: In this class, the work is paying attention to the language input in class. When students miss class, they are required to replicate that language experience by (1) watching the missed lesson and write a brief summary about it, (2) translate any reading material from that date to English by hand from the class document on Google Classroom, (3) reading two chapters of their chosen German novel and writing a four sentence summary in English.

If you are absent the day an assignment is due, you should turn it in the day your return. You may watch the missed lesson and write a brief summary about it. If you missed an assignment that was handed out, you can get a copy when you return to the classroom. You can also check Google Classroom. You will have one day for each day you were out to submit your missing work. Beyond that, the work is considered late.

Google Translate: You will often be asked to interpret from German to English or English to German. Students who use any translation service, such as Google Translate will have to re-do the assignment. If this makes the assignment late, you will also lose ten points for each day it is late.

First period:  Students should remain quiet during announcements. Also, see Cell phones rule above.

Seventh period: Students should remain seated and quiet during announcements. This is also not the time to take out cell phones. See Cell phones rules above.

I will be recording some of my lessons to critique my teaching so I can improve my craft. If you do not want your child in the video please notify me.      

There may be occasions students will be watching movies relating to German culture, history or movies spoken in German. Some movies may be rated PG 13.  Please comment on the next page if you do not approve  your child watching these movies.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please email me at [email protected] for the fastest response.  Please complete the next page, sign and return with your student.

German Class Syllabus Acknowledgment

Student & Parents: I have read and understand the information described in this German class syllabus (please circle one) German 1;  German 2; German 3;  and agree to follow the expectations and procedures that Mrs. Porter  has explained. I have received a copy of the Interpersonal Communication Rubric.  I understand the grading procedures in German class, and that it is highly important for me to participate in class activities.

Student and Parent/Guardian: We understand that the purpose of this class is to learn in an environment focused on mutual respect, high standards, academic achievement, and 100% graduation. 

Please complete the Syllabus Acknowledgement online at this link. This page may also be printed and sent with your student.

https://forms.gle/JR7UhSkXrByLnbZXA or go to Frau Porter’s teacher website that can be accessed by searching for “Kenwood High School” on Google, and clicking on “Faculty and Staff”.

PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY –

 

__________________________                ____________________________________________________

Student’s Last, First Name

(Please print)                                      Signature                            Date

__________________________     ____________________________________________________

 Parent’s Name (Please  print)                Signature                  Date                                             

Preferred Method of Contact: Circle one:     email         phone       

 Parent’s Email:     ______________________________________________________________________________

 Parent’s Daytime Phone Number:____________________

Circle one:   work   /   cell   /   home

 Parent’s Evening Phone Number:____________________

Circle one:   work   /   cell   /   home

Does your student have internet access outside of school:               yes             no

Does your child have any food allergies?                                                Yes                       no

If yes, please list:

________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Is there anything you would like me to be specifically aware of concerning your child?  Please list below OR feel free to email me:

________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Please read A Note to Parents on learning a language on the next page.

A Note to Parents on learning a language…

How did you learn your first language? For the first year or two you didn’t say a word—you just listened and absorbed. Then you began to speak. Just single words at first, then several words together in a crude sentence. Your parents didn’t mind that the sentences were imperfect, that the pronunciation was off, and that you sometimes needed to try two or three times before you were understood. They were simply delighted to hear you speak. They were pleased to talk with you, even at your simple level. Later on your sentences began to mature. Soon you went to school and learned to write this language you’ve been learning to speak. At first it was just the alphabet. Some of the letters you wrote backwards, but eventually you got to the point where you were able to spell your name. What a thrill that was! Your parents and teachers were delighted, especially to receive notes that said “I love you, mommy.” Eventually your writing skills would catch up to your speaking skills and over the next twelve or more years, you refined your speaking and writing by learning the finer points of grammar.

This natural way of language learning is exactly what I am hoping to duplicate on a smaller scale in my classroom. For about the first semester, students will concentrate on listening and responding. Then we will enter more into speaking and then writing. Grades will be based on how well the student communicates. I will be listening and reading with the mind of a German native speaker. If another German native speaker could understand the student, then the successful communication will get a passing grade. If a native speaker could not understand the student, then there is miscommunication, not a passing grade. Grammar will be introduced slowly and intensify as the student matures in the language. It is, therefore, communication and not grammatical perfection that will guide my grading of papers.

With all this in mind, you can take several steps to facilitate your child’s learning in this class. First of all, as much as possible, make attendance a priority. Try to avoid scheduling doctor appointments during class. Look at your child’s schedule to make sure he/she is not called out during class or has to leave for some reason. If your child is absent, make sure he or she makes up all missed work including participation. Encourage exposure to the language. Movies. Music. Restaurants. Travel, if finances allow… I also have German books that your child may read before or after school in German class.

Interpersonal Communications Rubric

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oFG3nR5ImgeXE-aKZYW_w_y4iOBeG9WL

 

 

  1. Listen with the intent to understand-students are expected to do more than just let conversation wash over them. They have to bite into every sentence and process it.
  2. One person speaks, others look and listen-Students are expected to focus their eyes on the one speaker and respect when others are talking by not having side conversations.
  3. Support the flow of conversation-In order for class to be interesting enough to listen, students must provide interesting topics of conversation for the teacher to discuss in German. The teacher will create opportunities, and students are expected to suggest fun, interesting, personal conversation ideas.
  4. Do your 50% - Listen, focus, participate, participate, participate.
  5. Actors and Artist- synchronize your actions with my words. Make sure you pay attention to my words and focus on the words I say. Ask for clarification if you do not understand.
  6. Most Important - Nothing in hand until told otherwise.