I was absent the other day so I left behind a reading with plenty of review structures and space for students to illustrate the story. The only out of bounds word that I used (unintentionally, of course) was único, which my students figured out on their own. The next day I put the drawings under a document camera, projecting them on a large screen, and students retold the story adding three new details (for instance, one student added Juliette tiene pelo verde). It is exciting that many of my students are already capable of understanding so much at this point in the year.
After the retells I had students do a quick write (trying to write 70 words in 10 minutes); while most were able to coherently retell the basic structure of the story it was useful to recognize the few who could not. Those are the students that I need to pay close attention to as I pace myself to their processing speed. This is just a reminder to myself: the few who can maintain a fast pace may impress me, but with a slow pace the entire class wins the race. Click here if you´d like to download the reading.