There are a few things I can set up for students ahead of time, a few policies to establish from the start, and some routines to dive right into.
I'll Do It Myself (Google style)
Our school has a spreadsheet of all parent e-mails, so I'm going to go ahead and set up my contact lists for the semester. Then the very first day, seeing as "fill out a simple form with some basic personal information" falls under the Novice Linguafolio goals, I'll collect students' e-mail addresses and get them added to my class contact list too. Then I can create a Google Drive folder that I share with all of them for them to put ALL of their class-related work in from the get-go, and go ahead and add them to a Google Site with templates for their e-portfolio. I'm contemplating setting up a single Genius Hour blog for all to contribute to, too, to cut down on obnoxious formatting and the like, though I still believe there's something to be said for the ownership their own blog engenders. With a single class blog, though, I could also easily set up a page with assigned commenting partners in a nice central location.
I think I'll also add to the shared folder a little Google Doc template with the standard header I want and assign a simple assignment like this to practice submitting such assignments to the Google folder the right way:
1. Introduce yourself in one paragraph.Plus, I can create a shared Google spreadsheet where students submit the username/email they use for every other site known to man (or at least the ones I'm likely to make them use). Or, rather, if they don't already have accounts for them, I can require they use a certain screenname like GECFirstName and just check off once they're officially signed up for VoiceThread, Glogster, WeVideo, eLinguafolio.org, Twitter, PowToons, Diigo, Remind101, Pinterest, and Trello.
2. Copy and paste the paragraph into a translator and translate to Spanish
3. Paste the Spanish translation of your paragraph below the original introduction
4. Paste the Spanish translation in the translator and translate it back to English
5. Paste the re-translated paragraph at the bottom of your Doc.
Let's Get This Straight
LATE WORK: I will take late work--IFF AND ONLY IFF--you spend at least 15 minutes outside of class WITH ME working on something Spanishy (or Creative Writingy if that's your class). Your grade for the late assignment will be a zero until that happens. Ideally, you would stay until you finished the assignment. If you "serve your time" and do not have the work completed before you leave, you must SUBMIT A LATE WORK GOOGLE FORM RESPONSE when the assignment is completed and submitted directly to me THROUGH SCHOOLOGY in the form of a link or an upload (if it's paper, scan it).
If you have not completed the make-up time by Friday morning, you will be referred to study hall to complete it, where, by school policy, you may only receive 50% credit for your work.
LAB TIME: We will use computers, probably a lot. You will have an assigned computer, both for laptop carts, and in the lab. You are not to leave your designated spot without express permission.
As soon as your laptop is booted, you should always pull up Schoology immediately, and head to the day's discussion forum, where you will post at least one SPECIFIC goal for the remainder of the class period. Before you log off, you must reply to your post describing exactly what you have accomplished.
This Is How We Roll
HOMEWORK: There will be homework. Sometimes we won't finish stuff in class--after all, we have some serious projects we'll be undertaking. But mostly, you'll decide your own homework. You'll decide where you want to end up, set some specific goals, figure out what you need to meet them, and then write up a contract with some projected checkpoints.
After an inspirational session from Jeorg Ellen Sauer at ACTFL 2013, I'm pumped to revamp my "opciones." We'll look at ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines with this handy glog, try to decide where students really want to be and where they reasonably think they could be by the end of the semester, picking out some key words and aligning them with North Carolina's prescribed proficiency levels so that we can be sure they're not aiming too high or too low. We'll discuss at least 5 things they want to be able to do by the end of the course (should they be aligned with the communication modes, that would be dandy) and how they can go about getting there. They'll draw up a proposed contract, we'll talk individually, perhaps during Genius Hour, and we'll sign our John Hancocks.
"TESTS": I'm going to go ahead and give them the Linguafolio template from, well, week 1 at least (I envision it taking place somewhere in the middle of the Genius Hour prepping, after the Google Translate commandments). Then they can see exactly where we're headed and get an idea of how important it is to keep up with the expectations, that is, 3 rows per grading period, each row being a "test." Once I get which units I think will fit this crowd ironed out, I'll have a document with exactly which standards we'll directly address over the course of each project. I'll also use my "Linguafolio Leftovers" Google Form for a quick check in to see who's missing what still, perhaps weekly or bi-weekly.
And of course, GENIUS HOUR: We'll take Fridays for independent exploration. Some weeks will be guided research online, some will be structured discussions about your findings, and all weeks will involve blogging. Blogging may involve text analysis, topic reflection, or presentation planning, and it will always involve vocabulary tracking.