Friday, October 9, 2015

¡Sí, se puede!

I have been looking for a way to monitor my students' participation and progress in class but have never found anything that hasn't completely overwhelmed me (even when I was just trying to focus on 4th & 5th grade - who get letter grades in Specials classes.)  Last spring at SCOLT, I met Nadine Jacobsen-McLean, former elementary school Spanish teacher and current president of NNELL - National Network of Early Language Learners.  She explained how she gave grades to ALL 600+ kindergarteners-5th graders every 9 weeks by using ¡Sí, se puede! bubbles. The beauty of the system is that it can be tailored a hundred different ways depending on your needs. 

I use this picture as my binder cover. 

So how does it work?

I have a binder with class lists with 10 bubbles by each kid's name. When I hear them using Spanish relating to our I can statements or I call on them in class I tell them Si se puede and they go up to the front of the room and color in a bubble by their name. I LOVE it for several reasons.

1. THEY are the ones doing the record keeping for me. I don't have to stop, find their name, or write anything.

2. They love getting up in front of everyone and coloring in their bubble. Kids who used to never raise their hands are now straining to be called on. And the few who aren't are getting used to be called on anyway because...

3. No one falls through the crack because I can quickly scan the sheet to see who hasn't talked in awhile and I make to sure to call on them.  

A screenshot of my Si, se puede sheets. I keep them in a binder at the front of the class.

Right now I'm just using it for participation and they can use any color they want but you can have them use specific colors for different things (Si se puede con verde for meets expectations, con azul for exceeding expectations, and con amarillo for not quite there but trying.) Or you could use colors to distinguish I cans (con amarillo for I can introduce myself, con verde for I can talk about my feelings, etc.) 

I've told the students that they will get a small treat when they reach their 10 bubbles, which will be a Hershey kiss so that I don't break the bank. I have started the year with just 3rd-5th to see how it would go but it's been so easy for both me and the students that I am going to add the rest of the grades very soon (although I'm hoping the littler ones won't need the treat as a bribe and the bubbles will be enough of a reward.)

Get a free bubble template here!

How do you keep track of your students' participation and progress? Share in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #earlylang!

UPDATE! I've moved to tracking students performance levels in class. Yellow means Novice Low. Green is Novice Mid. And blue is Novice High. I tell students they should have a few yellow, lots of green, and a few blues since Novice Mid is our target. I've had students tell me they wanted to get blue and ask how they can get there. Other students are encouraged that even though they are making mistakes or need help they can still get a yellow bubble for trying.


  1. This is a great idea. I have been looking for an easy way to record and have the students record and own their progress with different skills and with different standards. For my older students' final products (2-3), I usually use a rubric that allows them to date and track their progress throughout the unit an into the final product on different I can statements, but with my younger students (K-1), I think these bubble sheets may work really well!

  2. ¡Si Se Puede Jennifer!! Thanks for the shout out! Here a link to the video from Kentucky Educational Television (KET) explaining the system as a formative assessment ! Glad it is working for you! I loved when my students would chant "Si Se Puede" for other students..

    1. Here is a better link: