Have you ever encounter the problem running around among the students asking you how to write a character during writing/independent work time? Here is what I have been doing with my students -- having them keep a personal dictionary where they can add characters they couldn't write any time during independent work. Here is how it works:
When a student does not know how to write a character:
1. Go to their personal dictionary first to see if they've written it in there before already.
2. If not, go to a friend with their personal dictionary. If the friend knows, have the friend write down the character in their personal dictionary, then they add pinyin and meaning in their dictionary.
3. They have to ask 3 friends before they can come and ask the teacher.
It saved me tons of time so I can focus on working with students who need the most support during independent working time. The students are required to bring their dictionaries with them all the time.
This personal dictionary are divided based on the pinyin system just like an authentic Chinese dictionary. For example, the student would write "西" on the "x" page.
The last pages also indicated a list of commonly used Chinese radicals to help students recognizing and memorizing characters.
Hope you enjoy this product.
Please let me know if you have any questions!