So I proposed a question, very unsure of myself before school started. I now work in a school with a foreign language department that consists of more than one person (myself).
In addition, our classes are not 50 minutes like in my previous schools. They are 90 minutes and meet every other day (alternating). So I have 3 classes (& 1 prep) every day. I'm not complaining about the 1.5 hour prep everyday! But I have 3 classes every day for 90 minutes. Since there are other teachers in the department, I am a Spanish 1 & 2 teacher.
So I am back to report that I have been doing the following for class, which I'll do for the next few weeks.
5 minutes - warm up on board reviewing previously discussed words, sentences, etc
5-10 minutes - basic conversational skills with kids
25 minutes - TPR (Total Physical Response)
5 minutes- TPR closed-eye quiz
20 minutes - PQA (getting to know you activity in Spanish)
2 minutes - brain break (in English is fine)
20-23 minutes - PQA (getting to know you activity)
5 minutes - PQA Yes/No quiz
0-3 minutes - extra time to pass out papers, chat with students in Spanish/English. Down time for them before next class
And it has been working pretty well. I didn't do the brain break for the students for the first two or so days and I have found that it really did help their concentration after the 20 minute point. I must remember it's 90% Spanish and even if they understood Spanish, they would need a brain break after 20 minutes.
My students are retaining the body part words + actions from TPR as the closed-eye quizzes would suggest.
And they are ok to change gears in the PQA conversational section where we talk about the other students. The best part is being able to incorporate words from TPR into the PQA to enrich it and get more passes of the structures in a new context.
But I'm sure they won't want to TPR for the rest of the year for 25-30 minutes each day. It does wear you out after awhile.