Why teach Latin as a spoken language



Second Day of the Week

Wow, I feel better today.  I thought about the lesson on participles that I was dreading, and I made up a song about participles, using the theme from “Green Acres”.  I didn’t really complete the song, but it cheered me up to put something to music.  The students received the lesson placidly, and then we moved on to the dramatization of the play.  I am giving them ample time to read and produce.  At the beginning of each class, we will have a short lesson from the “About the Language” pages, and then they will go to their groups.  I will monitor the “social loafers” more closely, and bug them incessantly when they are distracted.  I know my fourth hour will do a fine job; not a loafer amongst them, so that will be a pleasant experience.

A girl in my first hour class(Latin I) asked an insightful question about infinitives that took the learning to the next level.  Funny how that can make my day brighter!  Then we speed-read a story.  Such a productive hour!  We will go farther in the book this year, which is nice for them.

A student teacher is observing my classes tomorrow, and she will be able to observe many different types of activities, which makes me feel that her day will be worthwhile.

Today we found out that our high school was ranked top in the state by a US News report.  All in all, today is going very well.  A great feeling with 4 1/2 weeks of school left.

April 18 2016 – a long day

So today I gave notes quizzes to four of my five classes.  The quiz was front and back of one page.  Most of the questions were fill in the blanks.  They required the application of understanding that was gained through notetaking and then reading their notes.  Most of them made 80% or higher.  These quizzes are given once every 25 days, and based on the quick notes I do at the beginning of class.  The quizzes are really an accountability exercise.  Notetaking is a very important skill.  Even though it’s a language class, sometimes they have to take notes.  In the case of Latin, there are hundreds of examples of Latin phrases used in English, and I teach them one each day.  I’m really happy that all my assessments from today and last week are graded.

BUT-you knew this was coming-I wish I were spending the time on lesson plans for the last few weeks.  I’m kind of  on autopilot, but the material is worthy of creativity and effortful presentations.  We are all worn out with the post-Spring Break schedule of longer classes, fewer breaks, and end-of-instruction tests.  How can I push myself even harder to plan exciting and interesting lessons.  I didn’t make that a question, because it is rhetorical.  I do this every year in the spring.  I hate the end of school.  It should be exciting, but it’s torture.

One year I found “Rotten Romans” YouTube skits to show at the beginning of class each day.  They were clever and informative, if you listened closely.  I downloaded the ones I wanted to use, just in case they were taken down from YouTube.  Sure enough, the tech people wiped them off my computer last summer, and now they are no longer available on YouTube.

My Latin I’s have recently finished a chapter on the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  On Fridays, I am showing them parts of the Dr. Who episode, “Fires of Pompeii,” and “Pompeii:  The Last Day”.  They are pumped for that.

My other classes have been having a variety of lighter assignments to accommodate their heavier days of testing.  We have colored maps of Britannia, and drawn the city map of Rome.

Now it’s crunch time.  They need to act out some stories to practice their accents and comprehension.  The last time they approached stories with this idea, they were almost unable to make sense.  They are great readers, terrible actors.  So I need to coach them intensively, and I’m so worn out!  They can’t see the point of practicing.  I hate to see them waste their practice time!  Everything I think of to solve this requires that I do more work, and rarely results in their working harder.  Smarter, not harder, is my mantra!

Here goes nothing!

Sign me,

Hoping-for-energy-to-inspire-but-not-optimistic-about-it in #postspringbreakschoolscheduleblues land

Research continues to show the need to eliminate “homework”

Homework: An Unnecessary Evil? … Surprising Findings From New Research (##)

Assessing Grammar: Three Time Frames

A short post on a very long and complicated topic. Bob has distilled teaching methods to a fine, precisely honed art.  I will be collecting his articles, as well as those of others, on this blog.  You can see them on many blogs.  This collection is really just for my own use.  You need to get things together in an order that makes sense to you, so this is going to be my list of handy and oft-used resources.

Source: Assessing Grammar: Three Time Frames