Well, thankfully, even though the kids grades were not improving the way I wanted on the Benchmark Assessments, the Unit Assessment projects looked much more promising.
I had begun the Unit by going over my expectations and putting the kids into groups. I had given them a small amount (and I do mean small) of time in class to work on scripts, etc. The kids had the last two days of the unit to finish up a few tasks and work on their project.
I have to say, clearly, many of the kids were reading their "memorized" scripts, but at least the majority didn't look like they had never seen the script before. They Spanish was all pretty good, and some of the videos were genuinely funny. Check them out under Spanish III Class Projects on my website http://ehscardinals.com/?page_id=1715
So, with the Unit Assessment, my students grades greatly improved, and the grumbling about dropping my class at semester seemed to die down.
But, that didn't really take care of the root problem, did it. I had to find a way to fix the gap in their performance on assessments and their knowledge. After the Unit Assessments, I could tell that the majority of the kids got the material.....so why couldn't they do better on the Benchmark Assessments?
What to do????