Start of sixth week

This is starting week 6 of the school year. Last week got off to a rocky start b/c I missed Monday. Today I was supposed to meet with the Chinese students and a staff member who speaks Chinese to set them an agenda they can live with. Apparently they are doing nothing in their other classes; at least in mine they are keeping their notebooks. Due to an assembly, we had to postpone the meeting but it’ll come soon, I am sure.
I had to slow down a bit on material covered b/c I wanted to detour a little in Latin and do some grammar, just to see how they’d respond, and some homework, for the same reason. Things look good in those respects. Now I will go like a bat out of hell, covering at least one story a day, two on block day, to catch up to the other Latin teacher. The reason I’m trying to keep up with her is that I’ve got about 5 students who want to go on to Latin III and she is adamant she wants them to have the grammar and certain historical elements in their repertoire. I’ve always said grammar is fascinating and useful in understanding lots of things in literature and society in general; it just doesn’t teach the language but only about the language.
The Spanish kids remain extremely enthusiastic and I want to keep that going. We’ve slowed down there b/c I wanted to get projects going with each student doing one country; since each class has 22 or 21 students, it’s easy to have them each pick a different country, esp if you include the U.S., Equatorial Guinea, etc. (I’m looking forward to the Equatorial Guinea one b/c I have a great album of music of the Fang, who live there plus they have classic African sculptures and masks).
I have to report what will no doubt turn out to be my all-time blooper: a question in Latin asked what were some of the accomplishments of Agricola, the Roman general who pacified the Scots and ruled Britannia. Two girls who work together answered aerial photography!! When I pointed it out to them, they cracked up, both realizing at the same time what they had done. The rest of the class was a little slow to catch on. I used it to point to the silliness of worksheets b/c all they had done was look for accomplishments (this part of the book is in English) and then scribble down what they found without reading it carefully. These 2 girls are excellent students, so it was a good example of how the habits of “getting done first” and blindly filling out mounds of worksheets can befuddle even the most conscientious student.

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