Mr. Heron

Welcome to French and German at Benton!

Mr Heron

Update of meeting hours for the last day of school, Friday, June 12 (check Teams for more information or send me an email if you cannot access Teams):

Friday, 12:00 – ? World Language  Celebration


News – final update for the year, June 11, 2020

I look forward to seeing you at our World Language Celebration tomorrow. I hope everyone has been well over the past three months. I am glad that many of you managed to attend our Virtual Schoolhouse sessions, and that others were still able to do some of the optional activities. Irrespective of your recent participation, I ask each of you to commit to staying in touch with your language learning over the summer. Just doing 5-10 minutes a day, every day, will make a huge difference in your preparation for the new school year. You can play Quizlet games, look for music and other videos on Youtube, review the web page materials, explore the online textbook, etc. 

I have added a final document called "All Functions" to the study guides folder (Files and Documents / [Language] 1 misc / Study Guides). This document contains the basic phrases you would normally be able to recognize and use by the end of your level 1 class. It includes the material we were not able to cover in the last three months of the school year. That material is highlighted in yellow for those of you who would like to know what we would have learned in that time, but there is no expectation this year that you have learned it before starting on level 2.

I would like to thank all of you for being such a wonderful group of students. Please stay healthy and safe, and find lots of ways to make the summer enjoyable!

Previous news items

Welcome to the French and German portion of our Virtual Schoolhouse! I hope that everyone is doing well and staying safe.

Review and Practice Activities

I am continuing to post optional, ungraded activities to allow you to refresh your target language skills. The activities are still communicated in two places:

Files and Documents / [Target Language] Online Assignments / Week of [Date]

Microsoft Teams / [Team Name] / General / Assignments

If you can access Teams, it is definitely better to use it for the activities because it is simple for you to submit the work for my review and for me to give feedback to it. I have got caught up with feedback for activities through the end of April, and believe I have now completely(!) mastered the use of Teams for giving feedback efficiently. My goal is to review your work within a couple of days of your turning it in. I will be returning activities that have fully expired (gone past their late date) in order to keep the activities list manageable. This means that you will get a message in Teams for each "assignment", irrespective of whether you did anything with it. 


I encourage all students to do as many of the practice activities as possible. Important!!! Students who clearly demonstrate a mastery of the French/German 1 skills that is higher than their current grade indicates may be able to gain a grade boost by the end of the school year.  As of May 20, there is an optional project available to students wishing to demonstrate improved mastery of level 1 skills. The description and rubric for the project are here:

 French Optional Project

 German Optional Project

The project is due June 3, but will be accepted up until June 5.  This allows time for evaluation and any grade adjustment that is merited. As with the other activities, it would ideally be turned in via the Teams assignment, but can be submitted via email if Teams is not an option.

Class Meetings

As you probably know, each school subject has been allocated time slots for morning instruction and afternoon office hours. In our case, the time will be used in this way:

Monday, 8:30 – 9:05 – French instruction (i.e. French periods 3 and 4)

Monday, 9:15 – 9:50 – German instruction (i.e. German periods 5 and 6)

Friday, 12:00 – 12:35 – French office hours

Friday, 12:45 – 13:20 – German office hours

The sessions will start promptly, but may finish a little early or late, depending on the need that day. They will take place via Zoom meetings. The meeting information has been sent out to your PWCS Office 365 email addresses as well as to your parents. It will also be posted in Microsoft Teams. The expectation for the instruction meetings is that all students will attend if at all possible, and I will go through a quick review of the material that the week’s activities will cover. The office hours are intended to allow you to get (almost) immediate answers to questions or just to say hi. Asking me questions in the target language is always encouraged! I will be available throughout the week so you don’t have to wait until Friday to ask me questions, but my answer turnaround may not be as fast as during the office hours.

Previous news items:

A message from the World Language department

at Benton Middle School. 

Our focus, at this time, is to allow our students to complete any work or make grade improvements to existing grades in the gradebook. You will be able to locate a folder directed to materials that are needed in our Files and Documents section in our class pages or through Microsoft Teams. Any work can be scanned and emailed to the teacher directly by April 14th.

As soon as we have more information regarding our summative assessments, which we were in the middle of administering when we last met, we will have updates.

Beginning next week, the World Language teachers will begin offering optional material to provide you the students with additional practice in what you have learned throughout this year. Each week, we will focus on a new chapter of learning from the first week of class through our current units of study. You will find this material either through our class pages under Files and Documents with a folder labeled per week of study, or in Teams using your Office 365 accounts. The preference is to use Teams, so please read the section at the bottom of this message to confirm your ability to access and use Teams.

Our weekly optional activities will provide opportunities to practice that will include examples for writing, reading, listening, and oral presentations using various online resources.

                        For writing / grammar: EMC textbook

                        For listening: Audio Lingua

                        For oral presentation: Google voice, TEAMS chat or Flipgrid

                        For reading: materials will be posted separately

At the end of each week, the teacher will post an answer key for you to check your learning with any essential vocabulary that may be needed for understanding.

Please remember that you have access to the textbook online. Under our USEFUL LINKS tab on our class pages, is one to the EMC textbook. You can also find the link in the email you received from EMC last fall. Follow these directions if you do not remember how to access it or cannot find the email:

When you get to the screen that asks for the login, the username is your office 365 email address. If you know your password, enter it. If not, click on “forgot my password”. EMC will send you an email to reset the password. Open it and change your password. We recommend you use your office 365 email password, to help you remember it.

Please reach out to us if you have any difficulties and we will do our best to help answer any questions.

Be safe and take care!

Announcements for week of March 30, 2020:

Monday's activities have been posted in Teams. You will need to access your online textbook for most of the activities. If you are having difficulty with Teams, please email Mr. Heron. The activities are also being posted in the subpage Files and Documents / [language] Online Assignments , but it is much easier to access them and submit work through Teams.

urther announcements for week of March 23, 2020: 

Use of Teams

For those not familiar with it, Microsoft Teams is an excellent communication mechanism for our current situation. Several teachers have already been using it, and I would like to take advantage of it to communicate about learning resources and activities. It is also a great place for students to ask questions and for everyone to see the answers. My request to students so that I know how many of you can use the application: please access the Microsoft Teams app, either on a computer or an Android or Apple device, then login using your PWCS credentials and go to your French or German team. Once you are there, you should see a message from me. Please follow the instructions in the message!

French status

Most students have completed the listening portion of the benchmark assessment for Unit 3 ("My Family and Friends"). Some students have also completed the reading portion. The plan for the remainder of the month consists of review of that Unit.

German status

Most students have completed the listening portion of the benchmark assessment for Unit 4 ("My Life at School"). Some students have also completed the reading portion. The plan for the remainder of the month consists of review of that Unit.