Welcome to Week 4 of Spanish 3!

with Señora Melo

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Re-Posting Some Information From the Welcome Newsletter

Hello and welcome to week 4 of the course! We have had several new students/parents/ELAs join us since week 1 of the course, so I am re-posting a lot of the same information that I sent out in the week 1 newsletter so that the new folks can take advantage of all of that useful information.

Week 4 in the course sees the students continuing on with and finishing their assignments in unit 2, sections 2.3 & 2.4. If students did not attend a unit 2 Required Live Class last week, this week is the last week that they may do so. Just a reminder that these Live Classes are mandatory and are a part of the students' grade.

The assignments for this week can be found in the schedule of assignments here.

A great screencast explaining how to best understand the Moodle gradebook made by a fellow Spanish 3 teacher, Sra. Lewis, can be found here.

What can you do to help your student/s succeed?

  • Remind them to read the course announcements DAILY (called the Learning Block Forum). This is their lifeline to the course and contains critical information and instruction.
  • Make sure that you and they are familiar with the Spanish Dept. Guidelines. A link is posted to these in the announcements and they are available under "Start Here!" module/section.
  • Make sure that they have printed off the "Schedule of Assignments" under "Start Here!" module/section. You can also access it here. This document has every assignment on it and when it is due. The students should use this as a check-off list to keep track of what they have done and what they have left to do. It's critical that assignments are completed in the order listed on (or ahead of) time.
  • Make sure that they complete *ALL* assignments, to the best of their ability and on time. The Moodle Spanish courses are set up as "conditional" where *all* assignments are open/available, but can't be accessed until completing the previous activity/assignment (with certain scores being required for certain assignments). This means that students may work as quickly as they'd like, but they must complete the prior assignments before moving forward. Any assignments that are not completed will earn a zero. Again, this is why the "Schedule of Assignments" is so important. It keeps them on track, completing work, in order, and on (or ahead of) time.
  • Remind them to take their time to read through and learn the material and not to rush. There should always be a focus on quality. Students may redo any assignment that isn't a quiz, test/final project or auto-graded assignment (with one attempt).
  • Remind them to go ahead and mark their calendars to schedule when they will attend additional their "Required Live Classes". While students are required to attend a total of 6 (Getting Started, Unit 1, Unit 2/3, Unit 4/5, Unit 6/7 & Unit 8/Final). They are more than welcome and encouraged to attend more! These are live classes with me and/or other Spanish 2 teachers to go over the unit's major topics, assignments, present/discuss the material in detail, practice, ask/answer questions etc., just as you would in a regular classroom.
  • Encourage them to ask questions, seek help, and communicate with me as much as possible. Communication is critical in an online class. Blackboard IM is the quickest/best way to communicate with me when I'm online and texting is the quickest/best way to communicate with me when I'm not online. However, they can also send me Moodle messages, text me, email me, Tweet me, or call me.
  • Remind them that the use of external sources (such as online translators, native speakers, other students, etc.) is forbidden and considered cheating. Everything that the students need should be in the course and he/she should use the material from the course for his/her answers. If he/she wants to know how to say something, he/she should ask me. The only approved reference is www.wordreference.com and this can only be used for a vocabulary word in isolation, not translating word-for-word, verb conjugation or for sentence structure. Please make sure that you and they know all of the details of the academic honesty policy and the consequences of not following them, as stated in the Spanish Dept. Guidelines (link above).
  • Ask them how they are doing and have them show you their grades in the course. Moreover, ask them what they are learning and why they are learning it. If they can't answer these questions in detail, please let me know, as they may need extra help. Grades (and feedback) are always available under "Grades" in the left-hand sidebar. Specific feedback is provided for assignments, so make sure that they check over completed assignments to learn from any mistakes. If your student/s and/or you have questions/concerns on any of the grades/feedback, please let me know.
  • ELAs are responsible for checking and reporting grades to the students/parents on a bi-weekly basis after NCVPS grade reports have been sent to the schools.
  • Feel free to contact me via email (at erin.melo@ncpublicshools.gov) anytime and by phone/text (at 919.346.3889) before 9 p.m. It's easier for me to email as I teach at a face-to-face school. If you need to talk via phone, I still can... just have to find a good time (usually when my husband gets home) when someone can watch them. am available in the afternoons after 4 p.m.

Sra. Melo's Getting Unit 2 Required Live Class

Friday, Sep. 19th, 5pm

This is an online event.

Students are required to attend a Unit 2 RLC (either with me or with another Spanish 3 teacher. Parents and ELAs are invited to attend.

Sra. Melo's Unit 3 Required Live Class

Wednesday, Oct. 1st, 6pm

This is an online event.

Students are required to attend a Unit 3 RLC (either with me or with another Spanish 3 teacher. Parents and ELAs are invited to attend.

Grading, Rubrics & Feedback

The course grade is comprised of 2 parts (Course work the Final Project/Exam). The final course grade is made up of: Course work = 75% and the Final Project/Exam Average=25%. Progress reports are completed and submitted to schools every week. Students in NCVPS Spanish courses are graded based on their Spanish-language proficiency. It's the school's/ELA/s responsibility to provide them to the students/parents. Please see the rubrics below for complete details. NCVPS only reports numerical grades, not alphabetical grades due to the variance among different schools/districts. All assignments receive specific feedback. It's critical for the students to check their grades/feedback daily and inquire with the teacher if they don't understand something or feel that there is an error. Assignments not attempted/completed receive a 0.

Grading Rubrics:

Below, are the grading rubrics that will be used to evaluate your performance/proficiency throughout the course. You should refer to these often, so that you know at what proficiency level you are performing and what you need to do to move to the next level.


Proficiency Levels and Examples:

Often students have misconceptions on what they will learn/be able to do by the end of the course. For world language, please note that you will not be fluent after one or two levels. It takes time to develop and increase in proficiency.

  • Click here to see the overarching grid of proficiency levels and outcomes.
  • Click here to see samples of Novice level speakers
  • Click here to see samples of Novice level writers
  • Click here to see samples of Intermediate level speakers
  • Click here to see samples of Intermediate level writers
  • Click here to see samples of Advanced level speakers
  • Click here to see samples of Advanced level writers
  • (Click here to see samples of all levels of Listening)
  • (Click here to see samples of all levels of Reading)
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Students Who Need Help

Students are required to attend the Required Live Classes throughout the course (at least one per unit/module), which is a virtual classroom environment that allows for complete interaction with the teacher and other students. As such, questions are often answered in these sessions. However, if/when a student needs additional help, he/she should first ask me, the teacher. If I'm not available and it's a quick question, he/should should take advantage of the NCVPS Peer Tutoring Center's Quick Questions via Blackboard IM. If more serious content tutoring/remediation is needed, the student/s can request one-on-one tutoring with me and/or a peer tutor. If a student is weary, nervous, and/or conscientious about taking the class online, he/she can request a Virtual Buddy from the NCVPS Peer Tutoring Center for moral support, technical assistance, and more. See the video below for complete details on the PTC (information is located in the course as well).

Click Here for the NCVPS Virtual Support Center!

The NCVPS Virtual Support Center is available for technical assistance (for which I cannot do/help). They can be reached via phone during business hours or any time via Help Desk ticket.

About Me

My name is Erin Melo and I have been teaching levels 1- AP Spanish Language and Culture for the past 13 years. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in both Spanish and Secondary Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. I also received my Master's Degree in Secondary Education from that institution as well. I have studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and traveled to both Mexico and Brasil as well. I have taught high-school Spanish in both northern Virginia as well as in Wake County, NC. I currently teach for 2 different different online schools in North Carolina as well.