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¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español!

Me llamo Irma Ohlmaier pero los estudiantes me llaman Profe Ohlmaier o simplemente Profe.  My name is Irma Ohlmaier but the students call me Profe Ohlmaier or simply Profe.


This is not your typical Spanish Class.  If you wish to become a fluent Spanish speaker, this is the class for you. You won’t spend the entire school year conjugating verbs, filling in blanks with missing verbs and doing countless textbook exercises that you will forget as soon as the school year is over. You will be learning practical, real world Spanish through CI (Comprehensible Input), TPR (Total Physical Response) and TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). You will hear and read interesting, sometimes crazy, wacky, silly stories and create your own as well.  You will also work on interesting projects using the multi-media tools.  Your progress will be assessed (tested) throughout the class period both formally and informally.   I expect the 3 Ps from you……Pay attention, Participate and Progress. 

What is TPRS and CI?  Watch this video:



  • A 3 ring binder and 5 dividers: This is your textbook.  You will be given some handouts and you are responsible for copying class notes.  You must bring your binder to class every day and there will be periodic notebook checks.
  • A composition notebook to be kept in the classroom.    
  • A USB flash drive:Occasionally you will work on computers and will save your work to the flash drive.  Also, electronic books will be uploaded to your flash drive.
  • A set of Dry Erase white board markers
  • Small lock for your backpack (optional but highly recommended):I will require all backpacks to be set on a table at the beginning of each class and except for your binder and writing tools, all other materials including all electronic devices must be kept in the backpacks.Absolutely no cell phones, iPods or mp3s will be allowed during class time. 

Grading Information:  You will receive numerical grades as well as written, qualitative feedback for class participation, homework, quizzes, writing samples, and cumulative projects.  All work will be graded with a rubric, so simply completing an assignment on time does not guarantee an A or B for that assignment.

Grades will be earned according to the categories below.  Most writing and speaking assignments will be graded using one of the attached rubrics.  This way you will always know which areas you need to focus on.  Quizzes and tests may be unannounced and will always be comprehensive.

1.20% - Participation in Spanish, acting and participation in class activities.  Active, daily participation in class is essential to your learning.  Speaking Spanish in class not only with the teacher but with your classmates when working in groups is essential.  Consistent attendance is necessary for success on assignments and exams. 

2.20% - Vocabulary - Vocabulary is essential to effectively communicate.  You will be expected to correctly use the vocabulary learned in class and will have quizzes once or twice a week.

3.15% - Speaking - You will need to actively participate in the storytelling process to earn credit for speaking.  You will retell stories created by your class as well as your own original stories.  This will be one of the primary areas tested on your semester exams.

4.25% - Writing - We will have timed and untimed writings frequently in class.  These will be graded and used to prepare for tests and final exams. Writing will also be one of the primary skills tested on the semester exams.

5.20% - Reading- As the school year progresses, you will have opportunities to read mini-novels. Each mini-novel will be divided into sections of about 10 pages.  You will demonstrate comprehension by taking a test on the reading.

6.Please note that homework, quizzes and tests are not listed in separate categories in this class.  They will be graded based on the category that they fall under.   

Absences and Make-up Work:  All assignments are due when the bell rings to begin class.  Depending on the type of assignment, homework may be graded as a class, peer evaluated in pairs or small groups, or submitted to the teacher for individual grading.  If work demonstrates a lack of mastery, it will be returned without credit.  In this case, credit for the assignment may still be earned when you attend morning conference or during lunch within 1 week to edit or redo the assignment with my guidance/tutoring. 

Late work:  Late assignments may be handed-in up to 1 week after the original due date.  Any late work will receive 50% of the points that the assignment would have earned had it been completed on time. 

Excused absences:  You have one week to make-up all missed assignments including tests/quizzes.  It is your responsibility to get the missed notes from your compadre/comadre or from La Profe.  I teach periods 2,4. 5during lunch for all other work missed work due to an absence.  Never ask During class.  To receive the credit, your absences must be excused. 

Unexcused absences:  If you have an unexcused absence you may submit your work the day you return for half credit.  Quizzes, tests, projects and extra credit work may not be made-up in the event of an unexcused absence. 

Attendance and class participation is very important in this class and necessary for your success.  Chronic absences will hinder your success in Profe’s class. 

Extra Credit Work:  I periodically offer extra credit opportunities.  Extra credit assignments require you to do additional work outside of school that will enhance your language-learning experience and not to make up work not completed in class or for homework! No extra credit work is given at the end of a grading period, so make sure to take advantage of the opportunities as they are presented throughout the year.

Academic Integrity:  Written work that you submit must be the product of your own efforts.  Cheating on quizzes or tests, copying others’ work or providing your work for others to copy, improper use of on-line translation websites, or having a native Spanish-speaker complete your work are considered forms of academic dishonesty.  Instances of academic dishonesty will earn you, and any other student involved, a 0% for that particular assignment.  In this case I still require, with your parents' support, that the assignment be re-done during conference, lunch or after school for 50% credit. Your parents/guardians will be notified in all instances of academic integrity.

On-line English-Spanish translators are a good tool to utilize for single word translations similar to a dictionary; however, instances in which you attempt to translate entire sentences or ideas are unacceptable and will be considered plagiarism. When in doubt, seek my help before or after school or during lunch. 

“¡Págame!”  You START each month with Participation100 points.  You will be “charged” -5 points of your oral participation grade (called a “págame”) for the following:

       1)      speaking English without permission!!! Use your “Frases de la Clase.”

       2)      failing to do actions/associations during practice.

        3)      doing any work from other classes, or writing, passing, or reading “notes” (unless         they are written completely en español).

        4)      failing to stick to and finish certain activities in class.

        5)      being disruptive (in any language!).

        6)      sleeping.

        7)      refusal to participate.

        8)  having or using an electronic device in class.

        9)  eating or drinking in class without permission in Spanish.

       10) Being Tardy to class more than twice.

If you do not accrue any págames for the month your overall class grade will benefit due to the high participation grade.  You can make up any págame during lunch within 5 days of getting one.  You will get a reading assignment to complete.  You have to score 80% or better to erase the págame.

Hall Passes:

You will be given 4 pesos (hall passes) a quarter.  You can use them to go to the bathroom, drink water or any other hall pass necessity except a pass to the health office.   If you don’t use the hall passes, you may turn up to 6 of them in at the end of the SEMESTER.  Each one is worth a grace card.  You may use 1 for a missed homework, 1 for a págame, 2 for an opportunity to retake a quiz for a better score, 2 for extra credit on a final exam. First semester pesos do not carryover to the 2nd semester.  You are responsible for keeping the pesos safe.  No lost pesos will be replaced.�