What It Is All About
At its base, learning a new language is really about words, rules and practice; memorizing a bunch of words or expressions and some basic rules or patterns about how to put them together in a comprehensible manner coupled with intentional, meaningful practice.  With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you improve your efforts: 

Memorization Technique – this works!
In order to prepare for vocabulary quizzes, you must memorize the Spanish word meanings and memorize also the spelling of the words. This is a time-consuming process, but not a difficult one. I suggest that you spend 20 to 25 minutes each night memorizing your vocabulary words.

This is the best process for spelling memorization: Take a sheet of ruled notebook paper and fold it in half vertically. Now there is a visible line down the middle of the paper separating each half. On one side of the folded line write the English words and on the other side of the folded line, write the Spanish equivalent translation. Spend about 5 minutes looking over the words and try to get a good hold of them in your mind. Then take your vertically folded list and fold the paper so that only the ENGLISH list is visible. Take out another blank sheet of paper to write on. Now, by looking at the ENGLISH list of words, begin to write their Spanish equivalent on your blank sheet of paper. Continue until you have finished the whole list. If you don’t know a word, then skip it and move on to the next one.

This process is testing both your recognition of the word (Spanish translation) while it is testing your spelling of the word at the same time! Believe me, it works!! Now, turn your folded English list to the Spanish side and check your answers. Study specifically the ones you spelled incorrectly. Then, turn your vertically folded paper back to the ENGLISH side and get a new sheet of paper to write on and start all over again. Repeat this process at least 4 times per night for at least 4 nights (up to the spelling quiz) and you will be surprised at how well you will do!!!

Extra Credit
50 points of extra credit is available each semester. Options are different for different levels. Check them out the appropriate page for your level on my webpage and have fun with them. Be sure to pay attention to the deadline dates and get everything turned in prior to those dates.

Chapter Exam Re-takes
Every student has the opportunity to re-take a chapter exam if they have scored below a score of 70%.  In order to re-take a chapter exam, three steps must be followed:
1. You must bring a hand-written note from Mom or Dad verifying that you have reviewed your board-work sentences and the powerpoint presentations posted on my webpage for the appropriate chapter.
2. The re-take must be taken before the next chapter exam is administered.
3. You may only score a maximum of 70% on a re-take.

Extra Help From Me
I am here to help you! I can work with you before or after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that you can work on memorization techniques, or if you need some further instruction or clarification on some grammar concept. Just work out a time and day with me ahead of time and I am more than happy to work with you!!!

My Spanish Website
I have a website that is extremely helpful to you!! You can use the PowerPoint presentations on my site to study for ALL of your vocabulary quizzes and if you have grammar questions, ALL of the grammar presentations are on my site also for you to review. Take advantage of these!!! They are there to help you!

This Sums It Up
Mostly foreign language learning is just a bunch of memorization. If you can learn to memorize some basic rules and patterns, practice your vocabulary words CONSISTENTLY, always do your homework to receive a perfect score, participate in class activities and projects, you will enable your success in my class.

Parents, please feel free to contact me at mshellman@pylusd.org if you have any questions or concerns and I will be happy to talk with you!

Mike Shellman