I find myself unable to start much new on Friday and then expect the students to continue with whatever thing next week without confusion or resistance. So today I decided to do a freewrite.
The idea of a freewrite is to encourage the students to write as much as they can in the language. You set the timer to 10 minutes or however many and let them write. At the end of the freewrite, you have them count up the words (could include places and names since they're proper nouns) and then have them write the number of the words and circle it at the bottom. Then as a teacher you can go through, leaving comments, or highlighting the parts you understand of their papers.
The purpose is to encourage their writing in the target language, which of course you're building up over time. It also helps to see which students can internalize the language to use.
Of course, today I might have flopped a little bit. I told the students that the goal was 100 words and gave them 12 minutes to accomplish this feat. In the future I might give a little more especially if it is a Friday activity and it's creative writing. Maybe I should try 20 minutes to make sure they have more time. It's also a reflection of my teaching and if I have done enough circling so that they can more or less understand the language to try to produce a little.
Today I left the structures we've been going over on the board and let the students run rampant. In the future I can probably not even wore about some of the more common structures we've worked with unless the students ask me to write it on the board.
I've read a few of them and the Spanish 1 students of course had the hardest time. Their processing of the language is a little slower (naturally) than my other students who are more used to me speaking Spanish from previous years (even though it wasn't through storytelling). But my hope is to use the Spanish 1 students as my basis for next year to have an idea of expectations.
But I also made sure to explain that we're working towards the goal of being able to write 100 words or more by the end of the year in Spanish.