Instructor

James Lusk

Señor Jaime Miguel Lusk

I am an Honors, advanced, and State Certified Gifted and Talented student. I am a rising Junior at a private Christian school in Seneca called Oconee Christian Academy. I look forward to teaching here on Eliademy!

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Overview

WELCOME TO SPANISH 1A!! 

 

About Me

My name is James M. Lusk, and I go to Oconee Christian Academy in Seneca, South Carolina, USA. I am a rising junior and I am an Honor/State Certified GT (Gifted and Talented) student. My favorite subject is of course, Español! I am looking forward to teaching all of my students. I have always wanted to teach. I enjoy it very much and strive to do the best I can at it. This is my first time teaching online, although I have taught on a small scale in person. I hope you all can bear with me as I am new to this and hope it will go well! If you have any questions please let                                                                             me know! You can contact me via email, which is the quickest way, at                                                            jlusk418@gmail.com. 

 

Basic Overview

 

This course is the introduction level to learning Latin American Spanish. We will learn from he absolute starting point and make our way through until you build a basic vocabulary and understanding of the language. The course comes from the Bob Jones University (Christian Private College) course titled Spanish 1, and is broken into two parts, Part A, and B. In Part A (This course), we will study chapters One through Six (ideally, although we may not make it as far as Six) from the text, Spanish 1: For Christian Schools, Second Edition by Bob Jones University Press. It is NOT REQUIRED that you purchase a text, however it is recommended for further reference and help. You can find cheap used ones on Amazon! Because this course is created from a Christian worldview, it will require Christian elements such as Memory Verses as needed or seen fit by the instructor, and will present Christian ideas and outlooks throughout the course. These Christian elements will be graded and treated as any other assignment or classwork would be, and completion DOES NOT imply personal agreement with the fundamentals of such worldview. 

 

 

 

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2015 Class Syllabus (Printable Form sent by Email)

 

           Introduction

This course is the introduction level to learning Latin American Spanish. The course comes from the Bob Jones University (Christian Private College) course titled Spanish 1, and is broken into two parts, Part A, and B. In Part A (This course), we will study chapters One through Six (ideally, although we may not make it as far as Six) from the text, Spanish 1: For Christian Schools, Second Edition by Bob Jones University Press. It is NOT REQUIRED that you purchase a text, however it is recommended for further reference and help. You can find cheap used ones on Amazon! Because this course is created from a Christian worldview, it will require Christian elements such as Memory Verses as needed or seen fit by the instructor, and will present Christian ideas and outlooks throughout the course. These Christian elements will be graded and treated as any other assignment or classwork would be, and completion DOES NOT imply personal agreement with the fundamentals of such worldview. 

Working Ahead

In this class, you will be expected to complete all assignments by the end of the course to the best of your ability. This course may not be accredited, but you will still gain the same knowledge as if it were, and will be expected to treat the course the same. This course will allow you to work ahead at your own pace, however, do not get so far ahead as to where you are not understanding what is being presented. In the case where you work as far ahead as possible (more lessons are not available at that time because I have not uploaded that far), then you may break until more lessons are available. Because I am going to be on a trip right before the course begins, It may be common in the beginning for this situation to take place.

This course requires simple, basic knowledge of English Grammar in order to build upon that foundation is Spanish, for that reason, if you need help with grammar issues, DO NOT attempt to work it out on your own, come to me! I am your instructor for a reason, that being I am here to help you! I am available most of the time and will get back to you ASAP! I have a pretty big window of free time to be able to assist you, so please, do not hesitate. For this reason, any issues due to not grasping the material taught in which you have not attempted to contact me for help, will be inexcusable when it begins to show on assignments of any kind, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to get help!

Grading Periods

To start off, I divided the course into terms. However in order to allow you to complete the class early (Advanced class specifically) I have done away with that plan to an extent. You may work as far ahead as you desire at any rate (as long as lessons are available to you). Some logistics are: 1) If you work 2 lessons a week every week, you will finish by the middle of September, 2) If you work 3 lessons per week every week you will finish by the middle of August, and 3) however if you only work one lesson per week every week, you will not finish on time! You must work somewhere in between at an appropriate pace to complete this course on time. IMPORTANT: The way this course is set up makes the lessons fairly long; you are not required to work on them all at once -- you may take breaks, etc. -- therefore do not overwork yourself at a single given time. 

Even though I have done away with the limits on how far you can work ahead, due to the limitations set by Thinkwave, you can work ahead past the Quarter One date given below, however you MUST be finished by Quarter One's work at that date. Basically this gives you a minimum requirement but no maximum. The only limitation to working past that date into Quarter Two's work is that I cannot enter Quarter Two assignment grades into Gradelink until Quarter One ends. Therefore any Quarter Two work you give me BEFORE the cut off date will be held onto and entered as soon as Quarter Two begins. The same concept applies to the negative here; If you are behind and assignments for Quarter One do not get done before the cut off date, I am forced to enter zeros. Listed below is are the cut off dates for each term (Exam Term discussed later). 

Course Term: July 1, 2015 until November 21, 2015

Quarter One: July 1, 2015 until September 5, 2015

Quarter Two: September 6, 2015 until November 7, 2015

Exam Term: November 8, 2015 until November 21, 2015

ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TURNED IN BY 7:00 PM EST ON THE DAY ABOVE. Final grades for the terms will be visible as follows (If this changes you will be notified; Thinkwave's embargo feature is complicated and grade may be visible sooner):

Quarter One: November 21, 2015 at 8:01 PM EST

Quarter Two: September 5, 2015 at 8:01 PM EST

Exam Term: November 8, 2015 at 8:01 PM EST

Course Term: November 21 at 8:01 PM EST

 

Grading

In order to promote the effort to work in this course, and to be able to see where you stand in understanding the material, I am making this a graded course. A number of things have been put into place in order for this to take place, such as the Grading Periods mentioned above. 

Gradebook

In order to accomplish the grading that needs to happen in this course, I am not going to use the Eliademy gradebook (unless you are notified otherwise, in which case I will use BOTH). I will be using Thinkwave, an independent online service. Thinkwave allows me more control over assignments, grades, grading periods, reports, and so on. Thinkwave has a service that allows you to see your grades, attendance (discussed in the Discussion Board section of Assignments), and assignments. For the purpose of convenience, I will post your assignments here on Eliademy -- either in the Lesson itself or under the Tasks section -- along with any description and attachments you need, but you will not turn them in to me here, you will submit them via Thinkwave and I will grade them on Thinkwave (Discussed in detail later). I will issue an email with log-in instructions for Thinkwave that will include everything you need to know (if you do not get this before the class starts, let me know!). 

Weights

Also to provide with a better grading experience, I have added Grading Weights to your assignment types. This means grading will be more fairer and easier versus all assignments weighing the same. This also means less stress for you in trying to bring up a poor grade for an assignment, as the grades will weigh each other out. Because the Exam Term (discussed later) cannot itself be weighted, Assignment Weights for that term are different:

 

The weights and categories for ASSIGNMENT TYPES DURING THE COURSE are as follows: 

 

Formal Assignments: 20% of final grade of that grading period 

Informal Assignments: 10% of final grade of that grading period

Tests: 50% of final grade of that grading period

Quizzes: 20% of final grade of that grading period

The weights and categories for ASSIGNMENT TYPES DURING THE EXAM PERIOD are as follows: 

 

 

                                                    Exam: 60% of final grade of that grading period

                                                    Review Quizzes: 40% of final grade of that grading period

 

An explanation of the assignment types are under the Assignment section. 

In order to receive recognition of passing this course at the end of the term and move on to Spanish 1B (when/if available), you must have a final course grade of 77 or above, or a GPA equivalent value of a 2.0 or above. To measure this, I follow a derived version of the Universal Scale of South Carolina, as presented below:

Letter Grade

Numerical Grade

GPA Value

A

93-100

4.0

B

85-92

3.0

C

77-84

2.0

D

70-76

1.0

F

0-69

0.0

INC

-

0.0

WP

85-100

3.0

WF

0-84

0.5

 

If you end the course with a grade below 77 (GPA of 2.0), or you withdrawal fail, you will be required to retake the course if you so decide to pursue your education in Spanish through this program. If you withdrawal pass and decide you would like to further your education with Spanish 1B, you will be required to take a prerequisite exam to make sure you have the prior knowledge necessary to move one. 

For those who I have discussed with that require a special accommodation, you may vary with some of the guidelines presented above and will be told if that is the case. 

Other grades may be entered for ASSIGNMENTS, such as complete or incomplete, and so on, for final grades, these will translate to the scale above. 

 

Assignments

During this course, you will be required to complete a number of assignments to keep track of your knowledge. Every assignment will be graded in some way, whether it is a numerical grade or a Complete/Incomplete. The various assignment types are Formal Assignments, Informal Assignments, Tests, and Quizzes. Formal assignments are those such as Essays, reports, projects, etc. You may or may not have many of those, or a few of them. Informal Assignments are what would normally be considered classwork or homework if this were to be a classroom type course. Tests and Quizzes are self explanatory, and you will have a test at the end of each chapter. As of the current moment, you will take the tests and quizzes here on Eliademy, although that is subject to change and I will let you know if it does. Quizzes may or may not be common as well. The way you will take the Final Exam is not yet decided.

Final Exam

At the end of the course, there will be a set aside week (November 14 through November 20) where the Final Exam will be made available to take. During this period of time, you are free to choose what day you would like to take the Exam. This allows freedom for your schedules and for you to take the Exam when YOU are ready. The week before this (November 8 through November 13) will be set aside for studying and preparing for the exam. During this week there will be review lessons for you to complete as well as Review Assignments. The assignments are NOT mandatory but RECOMMENDED on the highest possible level. This is because if you complete them, they will serve as extra credit to average against your exam (See the Assignment Weights above) and will allow some breathing room. If you do NOT complete them, the Exam will count more towards your final grade. 

For those who are going to complete the course early (before the Exam Term begins), you will receive the Exam and Review Assignments as soon as possible for you to take and complete. When they are turned in and completed, I will grade them and let you know what you earned on each, however I cannot put them into Thinkwave until the grade period begins and therefore your final grade will not be available until then. You will be notified when it is available.  

Discussion Board

Another way you will be graded is by participating in class discussions on the Discussions Board here on Eliademy which will count as a FORMAL ASSIGNMENT. On Mondays and Fridays, there will be a topic posted on the board by me (I will usually upload it the night before, but you should not comment or add into the conversation until the specified times stated later). Between the times of 6:00 AM EST until 6:00 PM EST, you should participate in the discussion in some way. During this time I will not be participating myself, after 6:00 PM EST I will then log on and take a record of all the people who have participated in some way, and record a grade for participation. I will then join the discussion as well. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE DISCUSSION HAS TO END AT 6:00 PM. It just means that if you add into the conversation after 6:00 PM EST, you will receive a late grade (Or no grade depending on how late). When you are joining the discussion, you must actually try your best in participating! This means that if you are not actually trying, I reserve the right to academically penalize (reduce your grade). I also reserve the right to declare what is actually trying and what is not. 

Attendance

This Discussion Board is not only a grade, but is also the way in which I will record attendance for this class (required by Thinkwave). If you participate in the discussion on Mondays and Fridays, you will be marked present. If you miss a day, I will mark you absent. If you participate after 6:00 PM EST until 11:59 PM EST that day, I will mark you tardy and penalize a late grade (Unless it is an excused tardy). Also If you must miss a day with an unexcused absence, you will be required to participate in a Saturday Discussion so you can make up your grade. IF YOU HAVE NOT MISSED A DAY, YOU WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN SATURDAY DISCUSSIONS. If you have an excuse and must miss a day, you will be marked Excused Absent, in which you will not be penalized attendance wise for missing the day. If you miss the day and it is not excused (I reserve the right to declare what is excused and what is not), then you will be penalized attendance wise. If you miss more than 6 unexcused days, you will be placed on probation and will be held responsible for the second statement of my Honor Policy (Discussed later). You may miss up to 8 excused days before you will have to discuss a personal grade make-up plan.

Turning In Assignments

Instead of turning in assignments here on Eliademy, you will turn in all assignments via Thinkwave. I will enter all grades on Thinkwave as well. Further instruction on how to upload assignments will be available later. 

Late Work

Because this is a "work at your own pace" class, determining what is late and what is not is impossible as everyone will be turning things in a different times. The only exception is the Final Exam and Discussion Board, and each quarter's work which have a set start and due date. All assignments can be turned in to me until the end of that quarter, after that quarter I CANNOT accept any late work. 

Honor Policy

Because this is an online course and I cannot be there to make sure you are doing what is expected of you, in a way that is expected over you. For that reason, I am placing an amazing amount of trust on your shoulders! I expect that trust to not be in vain, and to be taken advantage of. My Honor Policy is stated below:

  1. All work that is assigned to you must be your own. This means no plagiarism, and to no get help on work that individual such as tests, quizzes, the Final Exam, or anything else I name to be individual work. Any event I find that this has been broken, I will immediately give the assignment a zero, and discuss further discipline with you personally.
  2. You must work diligently, honorably, and responsibly. This means that you must work to the best of your ability, and never give up! This course may not be accredited, but you still learn a second language, which in turn can help you greatly! If i find you are working below your level and not taking this course seriously, I will discuss with you personally to hopefully resolve the underlying issues. If i find nothing is being resolved, I will discuss remove you from the course, as taking the course and not working would not only be wasting your time, but also mine, and both are extremely valuable. 
  3. If there is a problem, you must come to me first. This is not only because I am your teacher and instructor and know the curriculum well and can help, but because if I do not know what you are having problems with, I cannot do anything to resolve the issue. I am looking forward to establishing a relationship with my students so if there is anything that needs to be resolved, you will let me know, and if I can do anything about it, I will gladly change it! 

 

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