Poenica purpurāria: Published!

“Poenica is an immigrant from Tyre, the Phoenician city known for its purple. She’s an extraordinary purple-dyer who wants to become a tightrope walker! In this tale, her shop is visited by different Romans looking to get togas purpled, as well as an honored Vestal in need of a new trim on her sacred veil. Some requests are realistic—others ridiculous. Is life all work and no play? Can Poenica find the time to tightrope walk?”

For this novella, I’ve gone back to my roots of writing Latin that students can read within the first months. The last book written at such a level and scope was Syra sōla in early 2019, with more recent books being written for readers having closer to a year of Latin or more. With its low unique word count (19) and high cognate count (16), Poenica purpurāria is one of the most comprehensible novellas to date. It’s over 1600 total words in length, making for a manageable choice among the first books read, or a quick read for more experienced Latin students.

Poenica purpurāria seriously unshelters (i.e. unleashes, doesn’t limit, etc.) its grammar. In this novella, there are indirect statements, passive voice, gerundives of purpose, perfect and future tenses, ablative absolute, and the future periphrastic. Considering it’s able to be read within the first months of Latin, that’s a lot of grammar exposure for the beginning student.

Regarding target culture, Poenica purpurāria can serve as an introduction to quite a variety of topics for a book of its small scope, including the process of dyeing clothes itself, multicultural Rome, women in antiquity, Phoenicians, trade, not to mention Vestals and the broad topic of religion. Teachers are encouraged to make note of what students find compelling, and consider exploring more of that in class. Poenica purpurāria is available…

  1. For Sets, Packs, eBooks, Audio, and Bundle Specials, order here.
  2. Amazon
  3. eBook on Storylabs and Polyglots
  4. Audio
  5. Free preview (Chapters 1-6, no illustrations)

eBook Comparison

All of my books are available on Storylabs, and a selection of them (12) join Andrew Olimpi’s and Emma Vanderpool’s on Mike Peto’s site. These are very different platforms. This post isn’t intended to be a pro/con list. Instead, it’s purpose is to clearly lay out the features for you…

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Basics: Current Ideas & Summary of Recurring Blog Posts

All Of My Daily Activities, etc.
– input-based strategies & activities
– how to get texts

If this stuff interests you, consider putting a few things in place to support the move towards a more comprehension-based and communicative approach. Here are the practices fundamental to my teaching, making the daily stuff possible:

CI
Grammar
Textbooks
Curriculum
Grading
Course Grade
D.E.A.
Assessments
Speaking & Writing

Continue reading for explanations of each…

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Spooky Season Stories: novellae horrificae

Autumn is probably my favorite season, and Halloween most certainly my favorite holiday. No fancy costume for me this year, but I’ll be reading a spooky tale for sure. You should, too. However, you’ve got just a couple weeks to get one of these books in time to read to students over Zoom (Kindergarten Day reading-style), or along with them via eBooks and PDF. Grab that hot apple cider, get spooky lighting, and scare your students this season!

Quīntus et nox horrifica (Amazon, eBook Polyglots, eBook on Storylabs)
Given its low word count (26 cognates, 26 other), and super short length (1100 total words), this novella can be read within a couple classes, and quite early on. In fact, we’ll start reading it on what will be just the 9th class for first year Latin students! This year, I get to use the new audiobook that came out last spring, which is killer for ambiance. My plan is to read a chapter as a whole class, then listen to its audiobook track, continuing for several chapters, and then switch entirely over to the audiobook on the second class day to finish it out.

Prologue Excerpt
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Word Wall (For Screen Sharing) & Class Bibliothēcae Docs

As a drummer, and former drum corps and marching band performer, coordination isn’t really a problem. However, the clickity clickness and toggling of teaching remotely via Zoom is enough to give me pause, and that’s no good. The One Doc setup has taken care of organization, sure. This latest update takes care of providing input during class with supports at-the-ready. Oh, and the class libraries are just a cool space for texts…

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Separating Grading From Assessing & Quizzing In 6 Steps

The concept is simple: you establish criteria students must meet in order to get an A in the class, but keep traditional assessments out of it, completely.

Keanu: “Whoa.”

Sure, you can still give quizzes if you want. You can even score them and provide feedback, too. Truth is, none of that is necessary to set expectations for class, and for students to meet those expectations. Here’s the process…

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One Doc, One Form, One Assignment, One Rubric, One Grade

**Any mention of Google Docs means them being used as screen share during Zoom—what was projecting in class—NOT for any student editing.**

This year, I’m pushing the boundaries of streamlining teaching. For years, my students have used one rubric to self-assess one grade at the end of a term. Google Docs have always been my in-class-go-to for organization and providing input, but a few updates have resulted in magic…

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sīgna zōdiaca Vol. 2: Published!

This second of three volumes contains details about Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius, and features the myths of Orion and the seven sisters (Pleiades), Hercules and Chiron, Jupiter and Amalthea, and Ganymede.

The first two volumes share 84% of vocab.

Volume II itself contains 63 cognates and 92 other words (excluding names, different forms of words, and meaning established in the text). While Volume I has 63 cognates and 84 other words, both volumes share 84% of the same vocabulary (i.e. there are 15 different cognates, and 33 different other words between the two). Volume II is over 2,800 total words in length. Including all Pisoverse texts, the total number of words written for the beginning Latin student is now over 52,300 using a vocabulary of just 762.

Many details in the first four sections of astrologia are repeated from sīgna zōdiaca Vol. I to provide each reader with a basic understanding of the zodiac signs. sīgna zōdiaca Vol. 2 is available…

  1. For Sets, Packs, eBooks, Audio, and Bundle Specials, order here.
  2. Amazon
  3. eBook
  4. Audio
  5. Free preview (abridged astrologia section, and Scorpiō, no illustrations)

Weekly Work & Automatic Grades

Anyone who’s looked at a cluttered gradebook at the end of the term knows the feeling of “gee, I guess we didn’t need to do all that.” The gradebook should contain evidence of learning to show growth, and result in a course grade. We really only need 10-15 pieces of evidence per quarter to do that. That is, 40-60 for the whole year is plenty. Here’s how to get evidence of what students have been doing, as well as a weekly score for each student with a process that’s completely managed by students themselves!

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