Course Syllabus


Español 1: Intro to Spanish

Señora Holcombe | Room 239  |

Office Hours: Block A by appointment or after school by appointment. 


Our course goals:

Speaking: Engage in and maintain conversations on all different topics with the goal of getting your idea across.

Reading/Listening: Understanding the main idea of readings, videos and audios and finding some of the smaller details.

Writing: Write about different topics using personal experiences and opinions and connected sentences.

Cultural Awareness: Show an understanding for the Spanish speaking world including its people, what they do and what they value.


Course Topics:

Unit 1 - How am I unique?

  • I can exchange introductory information with others. 
  • I can describe myself and others. 
  • I can describe my typical school day. 
  • I can ask and answer questions about what people do in their free time.

Unit 2 - What does family mean to me?  

  • I can express what a family is and who I consider to be part of mine. 
  • I can explain my family traditions and compare them to the traditions of others.



#1 Phones go in the Phone Parking Station before class begins.

#2 Arrive on time. If you are going to be late, make sure you bring a pass from the office/nurse/another teacher. 

#3 Every day make sure you bring the following:

  • charged laptop
  • our course packet
  • a pen/pencil
  • headphones/earbuds
  • folder or binder to organize your materials. 

#4 Speak in Spanish. Our goal is to be 90% or more in Spanish. This becomes easier over time.

#5 Prepare for assessments. You will always get a rubric with a set of expectations. We will go over it in class and make sure you are really prepared.

#6 Get the help you need. You are always welcome to write drafts, ask me questions, do a practice assessment or anything to get extra help. My goal is for you to do well in this class! There are times for extra help during the school day posted below. 

#7 Be respectful of your classmates and teacher at all times.



90%- Performance Assessments: These are tasks where you actually use the language

Examples could include:

  • Interpretive Reading/Listening (reading an article/watching a video and answering questions)
  • Interpersonal Speaking (a conversation with a small group)
  • Presentational Writing/Speaking (writing an essay/making a short presentation)

10%- Achievement Assessments: These are tasks where you show what you know about the language

Examples could include:

  • Vocabulary quizzes
  • Grammar check ins
  • Participation rubrics
  • Homework checks


On a performance assessment students can receive one of these grades:

Grade of A or A- means you show consistent evidence of leveling up with more advanced language

Grade of B or B- means you thoroughly meet the targeted standard

Grade of C or C- means you are approaching the targeted standard

Grade of D or D- means you are showing partial ability or incomplete work and should redo the assignment at a later date  


Term Weighting:

We believe that learning a language is cumulative. With that in mind, the department policy states that each term is worth a different percentage of the final grade. The first term is worth the least and the fourth term is worth the most. This is meant to help you show growth as the year goes on. The term weights are as follows:

Term 1: 12%

Term 2: 19%

Term 3: 26%

Term 4: 31%

FE: 12%


Extra Help:

  1. You can make an appointment with me for extra help during A block or after school.
  2. If you would like a peer tutor, email your teacher for more information.  A peer tutor is an upper class student in Spanish 3H or above who has volunteered to tutor Spanish 1 and 2 students.  Generally you meet once a cycle in person.  This is a very useful support system for students who want some individual support.  There is no charge for this tutoring and the peer tutors do it because they love Spanish and/or need community service hours.
  3. Drop in times in the language lab are available as well on this schedule:

Room 155 - Block A

Day 1

Day 3

Day 5

Day 6

French and Spanish 

Spanish and French



Ms. Laborde-Casterot

Mr. Travers

Ms. DiPietro

Ms. Kaufman


What can I do in this drop in lab? (no appointment is necessary - just drop in!)

  • get help preparing for any type of assessment   
  • get help with classwork or homework    
  • hang out and practice speaking in the language you're studying   
  • review past assignments