• SPANISH 4 – HONORS                              SRA RAJ                                          2011-2012


    This college preparatory course is an honors course and thus it is expected that the students will complete all class and home assignments with commitment. It is also expected that the students will demonstrate mastery of spelling and grammatical concepts in Spanish and will begin to understand the history and political situations of Spain and Latin America. Grammar and structure of the Spanish language will be studied through literature. The reading selections include poetry, short stories, legends, fables, and excerpts from original Latin American and Spanish novels. The course emphasizes effective, confident written and oral communication. Students will be asked to analyze literary works, expository texts, and current events and will practice a variety of writing forms such as letters, essays, reviews, newspaper articles, advertisements, acrostic poems, semantic maps, Venn diagrams, and the like. All of these forms will be taught and practiced in class.

    Project-based learning is an integral part of the course. Students will be expected to prepare one project per quarter for the first 3 quarters, each counting as 20% of the grade. In addition, students will be expected to keep a journal (Diario) in which they will be asked to write about specific topics, generally opinions or personal experiences, approximately 2-3 times per week.

    Since this is an honors course, grades are weighted for the GPA and count as follows:

    A = 5 B = 4 C = 3


    By the end of the year, students will:

    · Develop linguistic and cultural literacy.

    · Engage in real-world communication –interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.

    · Speak and write using culturally appropriate language, correct grammatical forms and expanded vocabulary.

    · Understand and produce cohesive texts composed of multiple paragraphs.

    · Understand conversations and narratives on familiar topics.

    · Be familiar with a variety of literary genres, especially those typical of Hispanic and Spanish writings such as Magical Realism and the picaresque novel.

    · Become familiar with famous authors of Spain and Latin America and the type of literature they write.

    · Interact using culturally appropriate language.

    · Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the Spanish/Hispanic cultures as learned from literature, expository readings, Internet research, and the media.

    · Demonstrate an awareness of the global community.

    · Understand the need for proficient communication in a second language.

    · Conjugate and use verbs in the simple present, past, imperfect tenses and the subjunctive mood.

    The course is taught in Spanish and the students are required to participate and respond, orally and in writing, in Spanish.


    The text that is used, “Encuentros Maravillosos,” is a wonderful anthology that includes fascinating literary pieces, ample vocabulary and grammar exercises, and excellent questions for discussion and written expression. “Dime, pasaporte al mundo 21,” “Tesoro Literario,” “Galería Hispánica,” and “Leyendas del mundo hispano” will serve as additional sources. These will be further supplemented by additional grammar activities, the study of Spanish and Hispanic artists and famous persons, poetry, short stories, essays and an abridged novel in the original Spanish. Spanish language videos and Internet activities and research will enhance the curriculum as well.


    ü Arrive to class before the tardy bell.

    ü Bring all materials each day (notebook, textbook, pen/pencil, homework).

    ü Be ready to begin work at the tardy bell.

    ü Start the “Do Now” immediately. It is always posted on the board.

    ü Gum, food, drinks, hats, hoods, electronic devices are not permitted.

    ü Stay engaged in the lesson; enjoy learning.

    ü Work with assigned partner / group.

    ü Use the Cornell Note Taking System explained in class.

    ü Show respect to the teacher and to your classmates at all times.

    ü Complete participation rubric daily; submit on Fridays.

    ü Complete and submit Exit Slips daily.




    Student signs-in tardy book

    1 point maximum for participation

    3 tardies

    All of above

    Parent phone call

    Lunch Detention

    Unprepared, food, beverage, gum, hat or hood on

    1 point maximum for participation

    Call home for repeated infractions

    Inappropriate behavior; failure to follow rules

    0 participation points

    Parent phone call

    Sent out to other class

    Sent to office

    Do Now, Exit Slip not handed in

    0 points

    3 Missing Homework assignments

    Parent phone call

    Late assignments

    Receive ½ credit


    · Teacher will call home to report excellent behavior, effort, and work.

    · Students with full participation points for the week will receive raffle ticket for bi-monthly raffle.

    · Learning a lot is its own reward! Let learning be fun!!!!


    Each day a Do Now is written on the board and students are expected to answer the questions on the weekly do now sheet (see the example at the end of this document). The Do Now serves as a way of assessing the students' comprehension of the lesson from the day before and counts as an important part of the students' classwork grade. Therefore, it is not a collaborative effort; students must complete the assignment individually, without conferring with other students. Three to five minutes are allotted for completion of the Do Now, depending on the questions. Failure to hand in the do now will result in a grade of “0”. Note that “0” will not be given to students who attempt the work, even if it is not correct.


    Since homework assignments are independent practice of the day's class work, they must be done when assigned. Missed assignments must be made-up by the Friday of the week they were due and will receive ½ credit (5 points). Assignments made up in a timely way after a verified absence will receive full credit. Check on PowerSchool for the assignments or ask for them when returning to class. Failure to follow this procedure will result in a grade of zero for that assignment. Poorly done assignments or incomplete assignments will receive 5 points and may be redone in the week they were due to regain points.


    In this journal students are to respond in writing to a topic given by the teacher. It will be read but not corrected, criticized or judged. It is an ongoing assignment and will be kept confidential. While entries will not be graded, credit will be given for each entry.


    Students will complete a self-evaluation (see the sample rubric at the end of this document) of their class participation each day by checking the appropriate box and by indicating the reason for the grade. The completed rubric must be submitted weekly, on Fridays. The total points will be entered in PowerSchool. Discrepancies between the teacher's evaluation and the students' will be discussed to insure a clear understanding of the expectations.


    Since they are announced in advance, students are expected to be ready to take them on the assigned date. If a student is absent for a test, quiz, or presentation, s/he will need to bring a note from home explaining the absence. Student can make up the assessment.


    Projects and mini-projects will be assigned throughout the year. A scoring rubric will be given along with the outline of requirements and expectations. Students will be graded not only on the final product / presentation, but also on the process, that is: how they work with the group, daily progress, effort (number of revisions submitted) and other criteria specific to the project. All projects will be explained thoroughly in class.


    Exit slips are comprised of one or two questions asked at the end of the period to determine if the students have understood and accomplished the learning objective for the day.

    Students must answer the questions and submit the exit slip sheet (see sample at the end of this document) at the end of each period. Credit of one point per day will be given for answering the questions. The teacher will use the results to evaluate what has to be reviewed or clarified the next day before continuing on. A grade of “0” will be given for failure to submit the daily slip.


    Students must bring their notebook to class every day. Students are expected to have a separate notebook or section for Spanish class, divided as follows:

    Notebook Section

    Items to Include

    Apuntes /Trabajo de clase (Notes/Classwork)

    Cornell Notes, zeroxes, worksheets

    Tarea (Homework)

    Corrected Homework Assignments

    Hacer Ahora / Pruebas (Tests/Quizzes)

    Weekly Do Now sheets

    Returned Tests

    Returned Quizzes

    Weekly Exit Slips

    Proyectos (Projects)

    Outlines and expectations

    Scoring Rubrics

    Preparatory work, research and drafts

    Rúbricas (Participation rubrics)*

    Weekly participation rubrics




    1. Class participation

    15 %

    2. Do now / Journal / Classwork / Exit Slips

    20 %

    3. Quizzes / Tests

    35 %

    4. Projects*

    20 %

    5. Homework

    10 %


    100 %

    *For quarter 4, no major project will be assigned. The final exam will count as 20% of the 4th quarter grade, instead of a project.


    I am available during lunch and after school for extra help.

    Contact Information: praj@wccusd.netor paularaj@hotmail.com



    Semester 1:

    1. The Picaresque Novel:

    · Characteristics of the genre

    · El Lazarillo de Tormes

    · Video: Lazarillo

    2. Short Stories:

    · El otro by Jorge Luis Borges

    · El Ahogado más hermoso del mundo by Gabriel García Márquez

    · El hablador by Mario Vargas Llosa

    · Personal Idiosincrasies: Viajes by Julio Cortázar

    3. Immigration:

    · Yo, Rigoberta Menchú

    · Guatemala (video)

    · Central American Children Speak (video)

    · Adolfo Miller by Sabine R. Ulibarrí

    · El Norte (video)

    4. Experiences that define us:

    · El niño al que se le murió el amigo by Ana María Matute

    5. The Expectations of parents:

    · Nada menos que todo un hombre by Miguel de Unamuno

    Semester 2:

    6. Magical Realism:

    · Characteristics of the genre

    · Excerpts from Como agua para chocolate by Laura Esquivel

    · Como agua para chocolate (video)

    · La peste del insomnio by Gabriel García Márquez

    · Excerpts from La casa de los espíritus by Isabel Allende

    · La casa de los espíritus (Video)

    7. Poetry:

    · Un perro ha muerto by Pablo Neruda

    · Oda a la tempestad by Pablo Neruda

    · Canción de otoño en primavera, by Rubén Darío

    · Versos sencillos by José Martí

    · Romance de la luna, luna by Federico García Lorca

    · Other selections

    8. Jokes / fables / myths:

    · Characteristics of the genres

    · La Lechera

    · El perro que deseaba ser un ser humano

    · El Popul Vuh

    · El mito de la creación inca

    9. Legends:

    · La gente nube

    · La casa de los muñecos

    · El ñanduti

    · La pobreza

    · Los cadejos

    · La Llorona (2 versiones)

    · La Ciguanaba

    · El Cipitio

    · Los volcanes


    Signs of punctuation

    Exclamatory words

    Interrogative words


    Words that one confuses

    Spelling that one confuses


    • Definite
    • Indefinite

    Indicative tenses

    • Simple tenses: Present, imperfect, preterit, future, conditional
    • Perfect tenses: Present, future, pluperfect
    • Verbs conjugated like gustar

    Progressive tenses

    Subjunctive mood

    • Present
    • Imperfect
    • Pluperfect


    • Agreement with nouns
    • Demonstrative
    • Possessive
    • Comparative
    • Superlative


    • Subject
    • Direct object
    • Indirect object
    • Reflexive
    • Reciprocal
    • Relative

    Verbs and prepositions

    Imperative Mood

    Por vs. Para

    Saber vs. Conocer

    Passive voice