A colleague reminded me of hexameter.co, the point-earning competitive ancient Latin (and Greek) scanning site complete with leader boards home to the 5 minute rapid scan challenge.
I hadn’t logged in for years, but immediately became hooked once again these past two days. It’s either going to be a healthy break during the school day, or an obsession that leaves me feeling like I have a gambling addiction (i.e. you do lose points, and I’ve caught myself saying “just one more” to regain my highest rating). Here are some observations:
māter ārtium necessitās
It’s rare that I begin a blog post with some pretentious Latin quote that might as well have been in that Tombstone scene. However, it really fits nicely. Why? It seems that every time I experience unwanted confusion, additional work, changes of plans, and really just negōtium in general, I have an idea. The fruit of this day’s frustration is two additional sneaky quizzes to add to the Quick Quiz family. Besides, with Poetry Of The Week now underway for about a month, these have even more purpose…
Here’s that first post with a longer explanation. Otherwise, the process:
- Students get a copy of fragmenta Pīsōnis
- Silient Sustained Reading (SSR) of the nefās est section for 10 minutes.
The new section is a little longer with 107 total words in length, but it also contains four lines of dactylic hexameter. If students finish before the timer goes off, they should reread the previous section, lutulentus ubīque.
After the 10 minutes of SSR, I’ll play the audio, then ask questions about the prose description, and finally recite the featured line of poetry.
Previous Audio Files:
0 fragmenta mea
1 lutulentus ubīque – Rūfus erat lutulentus et is…
New Audio Files:
1.1 nefās est – Rūfus vult lutulārī hodiē
1.2 nefas est – ecce domī est māter Rōmāna et
1.3 nefas est – Rūfus vult lutulārī in Templō
Here’s the first post with a longer explanation.
Since I’ve already done the introductory section last week, students will begin class tomorrow by grabbing a copy of fragmenta Pīsōnis, and reading the lutulentus ubīque section for 10 minutes. This is Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) because everyone is reading the same text. That section is a modest 88 total words in length, and contains one line of dactylic hexameter. If students finish before the timer goes off, they should rereadfragmenta mea, the introductory section about how Piso composes poetry. The introductory section is about 400 words in total length. If you’re just starting Poetry Of The Week, I recommend reading that one together as a class because that’s a lot of Latin for first year students to read independently before reciting!
After the 10 minutes of SSR, I’ll play the audio. Then, I’ll ask questions about the prose description, and finally recite the featured line of poetry.
The Audio Files:
0 – fragmenta mea
1 – lutulentus ubīque – Rūfus erat lutulentus et is…
For this year’s students, learning about the Romans—in Latin—began late in October with a CALP-inspired topic exploration on Roman housing (more on this, later) after months of focusing on the self, class, and community. Exploring Roman housing took place just after students read their first novella, Quīntus et nox horrifica. Upon returning from the December holiday break, students read their second novella, Drūsilla in Subūrā, which featured city-living apartments more familiar to them after the topic exploration during the fall. Learning about the Romans will now continue throughout the year as a new weekly routine begins…
The 238 pages of support for Pīsō Ille Poētulus are finally here! In addition to invaluable information about Latin poetry, this Teacher’s Guide has 13 ready-to-go options for interacting with each chapter of Pīsō! Head to the copier, or project on board. Use them all, or choose a few per chapter; do whatever you’d like!
“Latin texts with only 40 unique words are EXACTLY what the profession needs right now…and we need a lot of them.”
– Stephen Krashen on Rūfus et arma ātra
Rūfus et arma ātra, my latest Latin novella, is available now!
Pīsō Ille Poētulus is a poetry novella, so don’t overlook the Poetry Audio Album as a classroom resource, or more importantly, to improve your own rhythmic fluency. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the audio is invaluable when it comes to “feeling” the rhythm of Latin poetry. You can get it on iTunes or Amazon, but it’s better to download from Band Camp! Alternatively, I can mail it to you on a USB Drive. Continue reading
I’m working on the Teacher’s Guide to Pīsō Ille Poētulus, and thought I’d share exactly what the practice “shelter vocabulary, unshelter grammar” looks like. To begin with, the conventional language teacher has crippling anxiety at the apparent lack of grammar in my classroom, but oooooh is it there, and oooooh is it understandable. The major difference in a comprehension-based communicative classroom like mine, however, is that grammar just isn’t taught explicitly, though pop-up explanations abound (e.g. “Mr. P, why does that word have a ‘-t‘ on it?”).
The reason my students don’t need explicit grammar instruction to understand Latin is because a) conscious grammar knowledge isn’t necessary to read Latin (or ANY language), b) internal learner constraints prevent students from noticing grammar features before they are ready, and c) grammar syllabi are sequenced in artificial ways that don’t match the order of what students are ready for. Instead of explicit grammar teaching and the grammar syllabus, students need a net of input, and that net has to be HUGE so that something particular that any given student at any given moment of time is ready to soak up is actually floating around in the input (and not just 3 person singular for 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months, etc.).
Students who read Pīsō are exposed to a broad net of grammar. Oh, and there are some cultural topics in the target language, too. Here’s what you’ll find JUST in Chapter 1—the first 4 pages of Pīsō…
Pīsō Ille Poētulus, my Latin poetry novella, is available now! You can get it on iTunes or Amazon, but it’s better to download from Band Camp! Alternatively, I can mail it to you on a USB Drive.