I have found that students very much want routine in their lives. To a degree, routine brings comfort, and to deviate from it can bring stress. In between class periods, I can usually be found standing outside of my classroom, greeting students as they enter - heaven forbid, if I am not there! A few times, I have been neglectful of being out in front of my classroom, and i have had students "panic," thinking that I was sick and that they had a substitute instead!
Establishing a short 5-minute morning routine of target language activities can be a very easy way to enact Same Conversation. Something as simple as greeting the class in the target language on a daily basis can go a long way. Examples of activities which you can do as part of a morning routine:
- the day of the week/date - this can be kind of tricky depending on how your target language handles dates. I tend to stick with just the day of the week.
- weather report - this can be something as simple as hodie nubilosum est, hodie sol lucet, hodie pluit, hodie ventilosum est. One day, i am going to add props for this!
- "word of the day" - my school has a "word of the day" which we are supposed to go over with students. Why not tell them in Latin? "vocabulum hodiernum est (English word), et significat (English meaning)."
A morning routine is also a great way to introduce those topics which may not appear in your textbook. Or if your textbook spends an entire chapter on weather (this seems rather unnecessary), this is a way to "cover" that topic so that you can devote time to other topics.
Variation: After a few months of doing this, assign students to do some of these tasks. Due to the sheer daily repetitions, it really is not that difficult for them to do. I stumbled upon this, as one day I forgot to say salvete to the class as soon as the bell rang. A student called me out on it, and immediately, I said, "You know, I am not the only one who can do the greeting. Why don't you greet the class for me today?" At once, she did, and soon, other students began to ask if they could do the greeting the next day.