Gabriel (Gary) Riley

Welcome to Spanish 1 with Sr. Riley.

Please see the syllabus below for class expectations:

La clase de Español I con el Señor Riley



Students shall develop the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish.  The course teaches basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Students will learn vocabulary and grammatical structures necessary to communicate in everyday situations.  A variety of activities such as TPR*, vocabulary**, applying that vocabulary to written translations in exercises and in free-response mini projects or oral presentations will reinforce language skills and introduce various aspects of the Spanish-speaking culture.  EXPECT to be required to speak BASIC Spanish in class and to understand/read basic Spanish instructions on notes, quizzes, tests, etc.  You will HEAR me using a large amount in each class.  Why?  This is SPANISH class, NOT English class--and you cannot improve your Spanish unless you hear, comprehend, write and speak it.  Rest assured this ONLY includes words you can guess (cognates) or mostly vocabulary you will study.  Also expect to develop an alternate vocabulary bank for new words from what I use in class, but that I intend to repeat often; these will be recorded each class in Quizlet (“vocabulario en clase”), to test you on later.  Texas requires 90% Spanish use starting 2015, so that is our target and is non-negotiable because it forms part of the Spanish TEKS.

*       I strongly encourage student-led TPR, *but* each student wishing to do so will have to review the TPR commands at least TWICE on Quizlet (the student shows me proof) and demonstrate pronunciation to me for approval.

**   Vocabulary is at www.quizlet.com and students will be required to use these for study by creating an account and being invited to join.  Create a quizlet account with the same school sign in (ex:  griley--first letter of first name and last name) so I can easily identify you, and each class will have a specified avatar to distinguish between periods.  Not having an account can mean at least -10 from your participation grade, at teacher discretion.  You MUST study these lists weekly if you wish to pass!  You must do this so you know the common vocabulary I will use in class and for instructions as well as the chapter vocabulary.  Quizlet logs if you study and what you study, so I always know from checking if you have or not!

Link:   https://quizlet.com/join/6NKJZVMBE or search “Profe82” or “Español 1--Atlanta HS”


Textbook:  Auténtico (Pearson--formerly Realidades), Spanish 1

  • 3-ring binder (1 or 1 ½”) w/ dividers (tarea/práctica/examencitos/exámenes/apuntes)

  • Pen (blue or black ink ONLY plus red to help check papers), pencil

  • notebook paper

  • Chromebook (charged)

  • Flash drive for back up (optional)

*I recommend a Spanish/English dictionary:

·         Collins Spanish Concise Dictionary, 6th Edition (order from Amazon or similar place--ISBN-10: 0061998648)


·         Minimum of 2 grades/week; three major grades/6 weeks; Daily 50% Major 50%

·         Daily grades may consist of this:  daily work; homework; quizzes; participation; performance assessments.

·         Major grades may consist of this:  tests; projects; performance assessments (chapter scripts)

Late policy:

Deductions will be -20 points for the first school day and -10 each school day thereafter.  For example, if you turn in work 3 days late, then the highest starting grade is 60 plus deductions; NO work accepted after FIVE days (ZERO after that). This applies to standard homework assignments only, NOT completion grades.  Late work should RARELY happen and in real life or a job, it is RARELY or NEVER allowed!  Work is considered late if you do not have it done and ready to hand in on the due date when the bell rings to start class.

Completion grades:      when these are issued, they are based on the specified target of work completed for that task, for a 100 maximum; they are due at the END OF THAT CLASS or they are a ZERO; there is NO MAKEUP for this unless the student had an excused absence that day.


If you are absent it is your responsibility to get the notes and assignments you missed from the teacher by checking my teacher website on your day of return before or after class.  In general, you will have one day to turn in any assignment for each day absent.  Please hand your make up work to me personally, so that I may give you proper credit.  However, this only applies to EXCUSED absences; you cannot makeup work for UNEXCUSED ones.  


I expect everyone to be honest when taking a test or quiz.  If I catch you cheating, or looking at notes, phone, another student’s paper, talking to another student, etc. while you are testing, you will receive a zero on the test.  THERE WILL NOT BE A MAKE UP EXAM OR QUIZ.  (The SAME cheating policy applies all daily/homework grades.)

Also, with a PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TEST:  If you are absent the day of the test and you were PRESENT WHEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE or ANY time before the test was given, you WILL be expected to take the test on the FIRST DAY YOU RETURN.  The reason for this is to prevent any student from gaining an unfair advantage by getting an extra day to “study” when many days were provided beforehand.  THIS WILL APPLY EVEN IF a valid excused absence covering the time gone and an unexcused absence on that day will result in a one-day late penalty of -20 points.


This is at teacher discretion, although 1 retest is allowed per 6 weeks; maximum grade is a 70.  A student must arrange a re-teaching session after school to make corrections and ask questions before retesting (you schedule a tutorial and then a testing time w/me).  Retests will be after school.  Students will only have a reasonable time stipulated by the teacher (assuming no extended time accommodations).  If the student fails to complete the re-teaching criteria or misses the retest, the student forfeits the opportunity.  If the student is absent (excused) from school on the retest date, see teacher immediately upon return.  The STUDENT MUST INITIATE requesting the retest.  Also, if you follow my study strategies to the letter (provided later), no one should ever need to retest because everyone will be properly prepared.

Conduct consequences

Grades (like your class average) and these are ASSIGNED based on how responsible you are combined with your class behavior.  So be aware that excessive parent contacts or discipline problems will result in either an N or a U for the 6 weeks.  I document misbehavior.

1st offense: verbal warning

2nd: guardian contact

3rd: referral

IF you seriously disrupt class, I will immediately send you to the office or I’ll call an administrator to remove you.

ONLINE TRANSLATORS: Do NOT use these; they do not work.  The only recommended sites are these:  www.linguee.es and www.wordreference.com.  If I note you used an online translator for work, the work will earn a zero and be considered cheating.


Tutorials will be by appointment ONLY (sign-up with time/date required).  Sign up for the day/time you plan to attend (I will keep a tutorial log).  Anyone scheduled that does NOT show within 5 minutes of the time will lose the extra help or any possible benefit intended (like retests).


800-846           1st Period; griley@atlisd.net, 903-796-4411

Students:  I encourage all during their Spanish studies to practice the target language consistently in class and out of it with teachers, peers, parents, community members, etc.  I look forward to having you in my class.

Parents:  I encourage all parents to use online family access so that you may check your child’s grades during the year.  If you have any questions, concerns or if you would like to discuss your child’s progress, please contact me or schedule a conference during my conference period.

How to be successful in Spanish class:  Stay organized, listen and take neat notes, use notes for work and to study for tests, use a dictionary to translate, ask questions, complete/turn in all work, do warm-ups, attend tutorials as needed, retest if necessary, participate, keep up with Vocabulario en clase on Quizlet + chapter vocabulary and STUDY!

Study tips:    

This is the only way that eliminates cramming and maximizes retention.  Study for 20 minutes/take a 5-minute break; during that time, do something FUN.  Ideally, for the next 20-minute block, you SWITCH to a different subject—this way, you tax your brain less.

ALSO, RE-READ your notes at least TWICE DAILY within 6 hours of taking them and do so for UNDERSTANDING.  Why you do this is after 6 hours, the brain forgets 90% of what it learned.  By rereading for understanding, you will RETAIN that information and reduce your future study time for tests by 1/3.  “Read for understanding,” means you understand what the notes mean and how to get the answers; if you do NOT understand at any point, make that a question to bring to tutorials IMMEDIATELY or at least, the FIRST thing next class day.  This is the best way to make sure you “get it” AND you keep up with what you’re learning.  IF you follow these tips and all my instructions, you will have all the tools to earn an A or B—and I have no problems if all students earn As and Bs—but they must apply themselves and give their best effort, as Spanish is not a “blow off” class.

Topics to be covered (subject to change as needed): Español I—Otoño

Capítulos Introducción a 4


Greetings/introductions/responding to class directions Using numbers/telling time

Body parts/Classroom items/question words Calendar/weather/seasons                                             infinitives/negatives/agreement-disagreement/Adjectives/definite-indefinite articles/word order

Subject pronouns/present tense of –ar verbs estar/plural nouns & articles

Foods/beverages; present tense of –er/-ir verbs me gustan/encantan

Plurals of adjectives/ser/verb ir/asking questions days of the week/stress and accents


Español 1—Primavera

Capítulos 5 a 9

Tener/possessive adjectives/describing family restaurant vocab/venir/ser & estar

Bedroom items/electronics/colors/comparisons the superlative/poder & dormir

Rooms in a house/chores/telling someone to do smthg affirmative tú commands/present progressive

Shopping/plans & preferences/pensar-querer-preferir demonstrative adjectives

Things done in the past/preterite of –ar/-car/-gar direct object pronouns/travel & vacation

Preterite of –er/-ir verbs/ir/personal a present of decir/indirect object pronouns

Preterite of hacer/dar acabar + de + infinitive/gustar verbs

Present of pedir, servir, saber & conocer


1)         When entering class, make sure your assigned # book is on your desk and has a book cover.  You may also sharpen pencils at this time.  Once done, sit in your assigned seat, start on the warmup or if one is not yet on the board, work on something QUIETLY (like rereading your notes or studying vocabulary on Quizlet).  Once you walk into the room, ALL conversations non-Spanish class related cease and you must start working:  start copying the warmup and begin working on it especially if you write or work slowly, as all warmups are strictly timed and should rarely (actually never) exceed the time allotted for it (time begins for it once the tardy bell rings).  You will be counted TARDY if you are not in the room when the bell rings.

2)         Check the boards for the daily objectives as well as the agenda for homework and due dates (this will also be on my website).

3)         Complete all work when due, also returning books to proper desks (they will be numbered).  Your goal the entire year is to prepare and NEVER turn in late work.  Note there is NO “extra credit” so do not ask!

4)         Raise your hand to ask a question and WAIT to be called upon BEFORE speaking (I call on you to speak first, then you talk).  I encourage each student to also ask shoulder partners for help BEFORE asking me questions--so ask 1-2 shoulder partners first, THEN ask me.

5)         Follow all teacher instructions and if you are still unclear or have some kind of issue, you can request to talk to me OUTSIDE but remember to be respectful.  I tolerate no disrespect to me or other students.

6)         Be quiet and orderly participating in class activities, when going to another room, the library or outside with the class during fire drills.

7)         If you are absent, CHECK MY WEBSITE for pertinent notes, practices and assignments; you can check the “agenda” at the side board to see past assignments or you can also check with a friend.  Always do this first.  If you are still confused (you should not be) after that, you may ask me.  If you need detailed notes from a class, make several friends in your class period and ask them, as I will not keep detailed daily notes for students.


You cannot learn any foreign language unless you participate.  I strongly encourage every student to do his/her best, as this grade depends on how much EFFORT you show me during each class, shown by the following things (not exhaustive, but good examples):

1)         Begin warmup when you enter the room each day

2)         Have homework complete and ready to hand in BEFORE the tardy bell rings

3)         Go to the board to answer questions on practices/warmups

4)         Do TPR fully (no talking, but asking for help on a word or short explanation ok)

5)         Pay attention in class; take notes; ask questions; engage in choral repetition

6) First non-participatory action is -5 off; 2nd -10; 3rd--all 2o daily points gone; you can earn 100 pts by week’s end.  I deduct for talking or any interruption to instruction.  This reflects your participation and focus and is your main way for “extra credit”--so control yourself and participate!

To be clear, here are further participation examples:

1)  Going directly to the board and filling in a blank with (hopefully) the right answer

2)  Going to the board and correcting an answer that's wrong

3)  Explaining to someone at the board how to fix a wrong answer or telling them what to write to fill in the blank

4)  Explaining to someone how to do something during that warmup time or some other time that I hear (like during partner work).

5)  Volunteering to do the calendar

6)  Volunteering to read, either in Spanish or English.

** IF I have to call on you or draw your name from the bucket, this will NOT be considered participation, since the person did not volunteer to begin with; you MUST VOLUNTEER to earn your 20 daily participation points.

Gabriel (Gary) Riley

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