A Year in F7 -Week 27

Monday, March 4, Day 119

  1. Calendar Talk – “Ides of March”

To prepare the student for the Ides of March, I made the password for the next two weeks: “cave Idus Martias”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

  1. Interrogatio/discipulus illustris – Theme “expers”

A twist on the student interview.  I asked the students to fill me in a topic that I don’t know much about.  Topics included football, roasting coffee, and the game Fortnite.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

  1. Movie Talk / Watch and Discuss – experimentum

The goal is “extensive listening” or “easy listening.” I had each class select a movie that they had seen before (and that I can stream for free on Amazon Prime!).  The plan is to watch it in installments (3-5 minutes) over the course of the rest of the year.  The procedure that I used today was:

  1. watch a short portion of the movie (first 2-3 minutes) without any sound, pausing the video to guess at what is happening in the video. We use the cinematography, editing, and body language of the actors to make guesses about what is happening. It helps that many students were already familiar with the movie in each class.
  2. watch the same portion of the movie with sound, stopping only occasionally when important information is revealed in the dialogue that may change or deepen our initial impressions of the plot. I repeat steps one and two until five minutes remain class.
  3. during the last five minutes of class, I lead a short write and discuss about the part of the movie that we just watched.

Reflection: After a few weeks, I gradually adapted this activity that allows less stopping, starting, and re-watching.  Towards the end of the year (once I’ve refined this activity some more), I’ll put together a post relating my experience.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes


Tuesday, March 5th, Day 120

Teaching communicatively is like a pendulum.  There are some many things to keep in mind, and so much classroom management that needs to happen along with the input and interaction that makes up communication, that I feel like I’m constantly swinging one direction and another, trying to find that perfect balance.

Today my goal was a more structured class.  While yesterday was good, it was very hit and miss, and I had more students than unusual noticeably checking out or being disruptive.  While I know that some of that is one them, my first line of defense is classroom management.  And my most effective tool in my classroom management toolbox is structure.  Not textbook/curriculum structure, but the “impression” of structure.  Yesterday’s class was planned and structured, but it didn’t feel structured to the students The “expert” interviews were hit or miss in Latin I, and part of that was I didn’t require trappings of academic “structure” that accompany an interview (a scribe to write things down, various vocabulary helpers, writing up the details of the interview with a Write and Discuss, or giving a comprehension quiz.  And on top of all that it was a Monday.  So, I came in swinging with a more predictable class:

I created this adaption of a Phaedrus fable.

  1. Picture Talk: a frog.

I used this to pre-teach vocabulary that would come up in the story.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

  1. Reader’s Theater/Acting

a.) drawing actor’s names at random

b.) very simple acting requirements, basically repeating lines, basic TPR, and pantomime.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

  1. Retell/Structured Partner Writing

I instructed the students to find a partner and . . .

1) retell the story in three to five sentences, recording their version in their notebooks

2) use all eight words that were on the board (the same words that were introduced during the picture talk.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

  1. Write and Discuss – Quick summary of the story based on the students own sentences.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes


Wednesday, March 6th, Day 121

1.) Watch and Discuss – Class Film

Prep Time: 20 minutes

2.) Quiz Quiz – Quis diceret? (Who would say it?) (based on the Class Film discussion)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

3.) Dictatio/Matching (based on the Frog Fable)

After I narrated the sentences in the “dictatio,” students put the sentences in order with a partner. Afterwards we checked the order of the sentences all together.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

4.) Quizlet Live (Diagram)

Based on the “Frog” fable text.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Prep Time: 45 minutes


Thursday, March 7th, Day 122

This was a half-day of school (to mark the end of the third quarter), which meant thirty-minute classes.  I chose to tell the class another fable.

1.) Listen and Draw: Fable (adapted from Odo of Cheriton)

I used this script.  I did not stick strictly to the script when telling the story.  In each class I had time to narrate 8 frames.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

2.) Picture Talk – using the student stories, time-permitting.

Prep Time: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 15 minutes


Friday, March 8th

No School

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