One of our tasks this week is to blog about how we bridge the gap between standards and lesson plans. I use the standards set forth in the Kentucky Framework for World Language Learning, a product of the Kentucky World Language Association. Spanish is not tested in the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) because it is not a core content subject. Standards for my courses are not as closely monitored as those of math, English, science, social studies, humanities, and practical living.
I do try to incorporate core content from humanities in the form of projects about artists, dance, literature, or poetry from Spanish-speaking countries. I also assign informative speeches about topics from those areas. Studying culture is usually fun for students and a nice change of pace.
As for bridging the gap, I am not sure how to tackle this matter. A difficulty that I see lies in trying to cover every academic expectation. One of the problems is that a particular area of study may be tough for the majority of a class to grasp and so the time schedule must be altered, which results in less time for another area. We should include an accomodation in our lesson plans for this issue so that we can make sure students get the essentials that they need for higher order thinking.
Another thing that we need to do is consider the temper of our class when we are writing those highly detailed lesson plans and including all those standards as required in Kentucky. Classes don’t all have the same personality and what works for one may not work for another. Bridging this gap requires being very knowledgeable in your area and flexible enough to come at a topic in a variety of ways, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
I am looking forward to reading my classmates’ blogs about this topic and learning about your ideas.