General Course Management PoliciesItalian 3 A, Italian 4 Honors and
Italian 5 Advanced Placement
Primary Course Textbooks:
Oggi in Italia, 6th, 7th and 8th editions. Merlonghi, Fernando; Merlonghi, Franca; Tursi, Joseph and O’Connor, Brian R.; Houghton Mifflin, Boston; 1998, 2006 and 2008.
v To build and reinforce a sound foundation in the four skill areas of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing;
v To guide the students towards achieving situational comprehension and functional communication in the contemporary Italian language and its culture;
v To help the student heighten his/her sensitivity to the values, customs and traditions of the target language and its culture;
v To stimulate creative thinking and self-expression;
v To inculcate a sense of universal humanity and friendship.
Preparation both physical and mental – 15%
The student is expected to bring the assigned textbook, a notebook, writing instruments and any other related work materials to class each day. A small dictionary, folders with pockets for hand-outs, returned assignments and tests, reference materials, etc. are also welcome though not needed on a daily basis. ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE CLASSROOM. THEY SHOULD BE TURNED OFF AND STORED AWAY; IF NOT, THEY WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE STUDENT.
The students are to arrive in the classroom punctually with the necessary materials in hand. Once instructional time has begun, the students should remain working in the classroom. This means: no visits to one’s locker, the bathroom, the water fountain, etc. The detrimental effects that this partial absence may have on one’s learning progress will surely be manifested in the quality of the student’s performance.
The single most important factor leading to growth and success in a foreign language is the daily work which follows the in-class lesson. No one will achieve proficiency, let alone mastery, in the target language without work done outside the classroom. Homework is key! A daily review of the lesson is obligatory; a close familiarity with the coursework leads to comprehension, confidence and competency. Often enough this home work is done in conjunction with a written assignment which will give the student a private opportunity to practice and refine those concepts presented in the lesson.
Since most tests, quizzes, exams and projects are announced well in advance of the actual due date, the student should begin his/her preparation well in anticipation. No one can expect to achieve an extraordinary score if one waits until the night before (or worse).
Post-lesson review and study is just as essential as a writing assignment; if written work has not been assigned, it does not mean that there is no homework. Daily study, practice and preparation lead to high test scores as much as formal assignments.
In summary, one’s daily preparation for the lesson should be both physical and mental.
Participation - 15%
Homework review, class work, note taking, group work and the individual student’s active participation in class discussion will be used as factors in determining this grade. Everyone is called upon regularly to demonstrate evidence of prior study and present attention. However quality points are awarded to those who readily volunteer, ask the right questions, offer a creative response or go above and beyond the minimum.
In anticipation of college/university study and professional employment, students are expected to take all the prescribed notes in the appropriate notebook. The notebook can be checked at any time and it will receive a grade based on organization, completeness and accuracy.
Now that we are well into the 21st Century, there is a need to remind students that the school setting should be primarily considered as a work environment. There is no place here for iPOds, cell phones, video games and other distracting, expensive toys of sources of entertainment. The school is essentially a center of learning and growth. It is not one’s bedroom or living room, the street or a club. Instruction is a serious business; and so is a child’s future.
A little suggestion: Attitude determines altitude. It is imperative that the student enters the classroom with the right frame of mind: positive and enthusiastic with a clear focus and a healthy work ethic. All extraneous mental baggage should be left at the door.
Performance – 70%
Any and all assessments regardless of the nomenclature, (quiz, exam, test, project, presentation, etc.), are based on 100 points. Students may tend to diminish the value of a simple quiz and consequently do an inadequate job of preparing for it. Conversely, the announcement of an upcoming examination may inspire panic and cause some to get quite nervous and inevitably do poorly. Here everything is worth the same and everything is important. There is less chance for academic disaster when the opportunities to succeed are varied and frequent.
Most tests, exams, quizzes, projects, presentations, etc. are planned with fair advance notice., however “most” does not mean “all”; in order to insure that the student is doing his/her daily study, a “pop” quiz may be given on any day. Students should accept and welcome this as another opportunity to demonstrate their preparation and skills. Life is a lot like this. One never knows everything that is to come. It is best to be prepared.
Concerning make-ups: when a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what work needs to be made up. For a one or two day absence, the student is expected to make up a test upon his/her immediate return to school. This will be strictly enforced especially if the student was in school on the day before the scheduled test. Under extenuating circumstances, an exception may be made if the student returns with a parent’s note requesting extended time for greater preparation. For a longer absence, the student should promptly make arrangements with me to make up the work on a mutually agreeable time schedule. Under no circumstances will “forgotten” work be permitted to be made up at the end of the quarter.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your son’s or daughter’s progress, please feel free to call me at (914) 422-2135 or to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Thank you for your attention and support as we strive together to prepare your child for personal and professional success.
Joseph N. Spedaliere