I’ve taken a hint from what Bryce said he observed in Betsy Paskvan’s classroom. Her students are already writing long pieces in Japanese–on whiteboards. They write what they remember from the day’s story, then turn to a neighbor and read it.
I’m using that tip in conjunction with Bryce’s Persona Especial. The whiteboards vary the writing mode, and the reading to a neighbor adds in accountability. Sometimes the kids misspell words, and get the grammar wrong, but I’m going to trust that if they also read all of this later, they’ll begin to get the spelling right. (I have kids typing it up at night so I don’t have to.)
I am amazed by how much my kids even in first year can write already. The intermediates have seen their writing increased by 30 to 50% since the second week of school. I’m keeping this writing business to only ten minutes for a fast-write weekly attempt, and ideally to only three or four minutes toward the end of class for them to process what we’ve covered.
Today I also hit a new idea for quiz-writing (because my quiz writer was sick in one class). I handed everyone a sticky and asked each student to write a quiz question. I lined them up on my planning book, labeled them with question numbers, and away we went. It worked really well! Since the quiz covered information about four different kids, there were many question options, and there were numerous reps of the structures I’d wanted to focus on during the quiz.
And in other news…the video of Bryce coaching me in Spanish to tell a story in Russian is up here. (Our prop mistress gave Bryce the hat. Don’t judge him.)