Saturday, August 29, 2015

Proficiency Level Pyramid

I have never done a really good job of explaining proficiency levels to my students. One of my goals this year was to make sure my kiddos understood the process of learning a language. I didn't want any of them to get frustrated because they couldn't speak Spanish fluently after a month.

The Chinese and Japanese teachers in our district have these awesome illustrations where students "climb" the Great Wall of China or Mount Fuji from novice low up to intermediate.  But us Spanish teachers didn't have anything nearly as cool and culturally relevant.  So this summer I decided to make a proficiency level pyramid using Chichen Izta in Mexico.





I introduced it to my fourth and fifth grade this past week and they loved it! I printed one large one in color to put on my bulletin board and each student got a half sheet in black and white to keep in their folders. I explained that even in English we aren't born speaking in complete sentences. We are at the top of the pyramid in English but at the bottom in Spanish working our way up. 

We also looked at pictures of the real Chichen Itza and reviewed the taco rubric from Mundo de Pepita.  Both the pyramid and the taco rubric really gave them good images to associate with their learning in Spanish class. And I know it was working when they asked me how they could get to intermediate.  Do you talk about proficiency levels with your students? How do you explain them? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang!

Get the large version here.

Get the half sheet student copies here.

Clip art by Phillip Martin - check out more great clip art here.

10 comments:

  1. I am having a hard time opening this? Any tips?

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    1. I re-saved the docs as PDFs and updated the links so they should work now. If they don't let me know and I can email them to you. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I really like the pyramid idea. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks! Hope your students find it helpful. :-)

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  3. Muchas gracias!! Me viene que ni pintada!!

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  4. I love it! Now, my second graders won't feel they will get crushed by the ACTFL wall!

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    1. Thanks! I hope your second graders enjoy it. :-)

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  5. Do you have an editable one? Our school has a 1-4 system for grading. I also would love to see this in Spanish as another visual option. I use a taco system with my students which works great!

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    1. I've tried uploading the publisher files in the past and it never seems to work out, but if you email me at srakennedysouthern@gmail.com I can send you the editable version.

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