Suggested TCI Schedule – Assessment 1
by Ben Slavic on April 1, 2011

The purpose of the suggested weekly schedule presented over the past week was to simplify the process of implementing CI in my classroom. I personally have tried so many schedules over the years that I often got confused.

This confusion greatly increased my stress levels. There is so much to do in a CI based classroom that I was always changing my planning on a whim at the last minute, which is never a good idea. Not only is the instructional confusion there, the grading gets crazy. And the kids need a routine around instruction and around grading. I have found that I do too.
There was a time years ago when Blaine asked me to experiment with M/T stories and W/Th reading classes vs. M/W stories and T/Th reading classes. He wanted to know which worked better. Neither worked for me – both were too busy – there was simply too much going on.

Now, if the purpose of the entire schedule just presented here is to ease stress, then shouldn’t the grading process connected to it do the same? Here is how I assess in terms of the schedule I now use:

1. Monday – at then end of Monday’s big PQA session, there is no quiz. The students haven’t had time to hear the target expressions enough and there is a lack of cohesive content for a quiz anyway.

2. Tuesday – Quiz #1. The last seven to ten minutes of class on Tuesday consists of a simple yes/no scantron quiz written by a superstar during the asking of the story.

3. Wednesday – no quiz. This is the first half of the two days of reading.

4a. Thursday – Quiz #2. Since W/Th are reading days as described above, the second quiz grade happens at the end of class on Thursday (or at the end of the block class on either day if it is a block schedule). Quiz #2 is a simple yes/no quiz testing the easiest vocabulary from the reading. Example:
Question #1. “…class, yes or no, mouton means cow….” (the students fill in the no/false as yes/no answers on the scantron). Note three things here:

1. While asking the questions I also read the sentence the word was in.

2. The kids have visual access to the entire written text during the quiz. On the spot translation of single words is very difficult – the context is gone. Asking kids to translate free radical single words crushes their confidence.

3. The scantron format saves vast amounts of time. When a teacher has 175 students, this greatly helps (does not guarantee) the teacher’s sanity.

4b. Thursday – Quiz #3. This is not a quiz per se but an evaluation of the student’s participation through the first four days of instruction (see resources/workshop handouts of this site for details about grading using participation). This is the most important grade of the week. Students who don’t “show up” for class are graded down, allowing the instructor to enforce, especially, classroom rules #1, #4, and #5 (see posters page on this site for details). Profe Loca I mentioned this to you in a comment here earlier today.

5. Friday – no quiz, day to relax and enjoy songs, paintings and poetry.

6. (the following) Monday – Quiz #4. This is an important quiz because it shows who is paying attention during the two days of reading. As soon as the reading is done and ready for class, I put it, with the 30% new embedded vocabulary, on the class website. Those who choose to spend some time over the weekend making sure that they understand the entire text will get the 10/10.
Like the participation grade on Thursday, this fourth and final quiz of the week allows the instructor to reward kids who bother to study the text online. Giving fifteen or twenty minutes of homework in this way to students, with none during the week, is an excellent use of time that allows students a break during the week from the often overburdening homework required in other classes by soldierific teachers.

There are two possible formats for Quiz #4. One is to choose a paragraph from Thursday’s reading and require the students to translate it into English – use a rubric of 10 (i.e. eyeball their translation for the grade). The other way is to choose from the new embedded vocabulary and use exactly the same testing format that is used for Reading Quiz #1 on Tuesday.