At last my fifth hour has a classroom…… sort of. We got a computer room but it’s nice and cool (104 with humidity the last couple of days) and there’s a little space up front my tiny (8) class can sit in. The last couple of days, between trying to find a classroom for them and dealing with the computer, have left me fried. Of course, just going back to work after two months off is tiring.
Anyhoo, lesson plans. So with the advanced kids, we just plunged right in to reading in CLC Unit 2 Ad Aulam. I was so pleased, they had no problems handling the reading, so for next week, I’ll design a structured discussion of the story and we’ll just sit in a circle and talk. As the weather cools, we can go out on the quadrangle under the awnings and sip our drinks and talk Latin. Absolutely great kids, BTW.
My first years are all agog. We went over Stage One pictures (there’s only one very short story) and I gave them an open-book quiz asking Who is….? and Where is….? This sets us up for pictures to go with the characters and places (Grumio works in the kitchen, Clemens in the garden, etc.). I started my Left Wing crap again, making sure they knew that slave children could be distinguished among the bones by the scarring on their bones from lifting objects too heavy for them. “Liberi”, children, means “free ones”; no slave liberi. Anyone with input on slave children in ancient Rome please comment to correct any over-simplification I may have engaged in here.
The Twos threw me for a loop yesterday when a transfer used some grammar terminology and did very nice work on a little “My Friend” presentation. Today it became clearer that her teacher did not use Latin for classroom instructions. She may enjoy talking about the stories in Latin and then branching out into other topics. My old Twos did very well in understanding the Rufilla story. They also took a quiz.
I am struggling with more accountability this year. Last year was so chaotic the first couple of months that I was very happy for them just to be responding to spoken Latin and reading the stories with comprehension. My comprehension checks plus the final were about all I had. This year I intend to do a lot more activities designed as structured input PLUS structured output, the latter something I’ve always wanted to do since I read about it in Lee & VanPatten Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen.
I also discovered no one is in my room after lunch, so instead of leaving at lunch, I can stay all afternoon and work in my room. Selecting pictures to go with the stories is very time consuming and requires a lot of space to work in.