**See these examples of how weekly sheets have been used**
I’ve known for some time that ending class with Write & Discuss is a great way to focus students’ attention on the target language. I’ve also known that a simple dictation is pacifying, albeit boring (hence why I think I’ve done only one of these this year). Both of these activities require students to write, and both of these activities are nearly distraction-free because students have a writing task to do. It comes as no surprise, then, that we should be using writing as a MGMT tool…
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…
After necessary school-wide policy changes regarding attendance, I was in need of a new “do now” that didn’t feel like one, because I hate that stuff. It turns out a few of my practices work already, though, like Sustained Silent Reading (SSR), Summary & Write, and Free Voluntary Reading (FVR). With 4 classes per week, and a new Semester 2 weekly routine to begin Copy/Change/Continue is born…
Over the 55 hours of CI starting in September up to the holiday break, students read on their own for 34 total minutes of Sustained Silent Reading (SSR), and 49 minutes of Free Voluntary Reading (FVR)…
**Here’s the list of older ones I haven’t used in a while**
When choosing the class agenda beyond the Talk & Read format, it dawned on me years ago that I couldn’t remember all my favorite activities. Thus, here are the input-based strategies & activities I’ve collected, all in one place, and that I currently use (see older ones above). Everything is organized by pre-, dum-, and post- timing. You won’t find prep-intensive activities here beyond typing, copying, and cutting paper. Oh, and for ways to get that one text to start, try here. Enjoy!
**N.B. Any activity with the word “translation” in it means translating what is already understood. This should NOT be confused with the more conventional practice of translating in order to understand.**
With students meeting 1x/week—this year only—we just had the 30th class of the year. I compared this to our calendar for next year, which is as if it’s October 9th meeting every day of the week. Now, with constant reminders of routines (since at least one week passes from class to class), and typical testing/school interruptions, and Northeast snow, those 30 class hours could amount to fewer total hours of input (25, 20, 15?!). Total input hours is tough to calculate, though, so we’ll just stick with 30 for the purpose of this post! What does that mean for reading? Cue the first novella…
Myth 1 – “My students aren’t ready.”
Face it, this is a myth. Your students might not be ready to spend 15min/day reading 300-word, 5k length novels, but they’re probably ready to begin self-selecting short texts like class stories to read very early on. Once you have about 5-10 class stories, make some booklets and start FVR for a few minutes 1x/week. For this reason, I intend to make TPRS a priority early in the year after some TPR. In the past, I’ve built this up too much, spending a whole class or two on a story. My new plan is more shorter stories, at least 2/week.
Myth 2 – “There aren’t enough resources.”
Curating that collection of class stories takes care of this second myth, at least for a while. Also, don’t forget about writing/adapting short texts yourself!
Hypermiling to add packets of text to the FVR shelf regularly!
Mike Peto had great things to say about Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) and Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) on Episode 6 of Teachers That Teach.
How could it possibly be easy? Mike recommends building your FVR library by first making booklets of known class stories that are 100% comprehensible.
THAT’S SO SIMPLE!
This is obvious, yet doesn’t seem to be a common practice, especially for Latin teachers lamenting over the legitimate lack of understandable reading material! If you think about it, the typical Latin teacher engaged in collaborative storytelling/storyasking probably has 10 stories by the holiday/winter break, and maybe even twice, or thrice that! Unless the class has been reviewing old stories as part of a detail-adding, or story-improving activity (which is great, BTW), there’s a good chance that students have forgotten details from the earliest of stories and wouldn’t mind a gentle walk down memory lane. Oh, and students should be able to read them fluently (speed + accuracy), which is a great confidence booster!
So, with everything you need to build an FVR library before more hideously easy books are published and you get funding for several copies, go format those typed-up class stories for booklets, print ’em out, and start setting aside class time for reading!
How? How much time?
An FVR program is simple to begin. Remember, this is FREE reading, so it’s best to avoid assessments and accountability. If all students are reading the same book, it’s known as Sustained Silent Reading (SSR), although Mike said that he calls it that anyway just so students don’t say something snarky like “well if it’s voluntary I’m gonna just sit here.” Once you have a few materials, be sure to hold FVR consistently. If you can’t do it daily, start weekly. As far as time goes, Mike says “if students can read for 7 minutes, give them 5—you don’t want them to get bored with it.” This is good advice. I’ve been doing 15 minutes every few days, but I’ve noticed that a murmur develops towards the end…looks like I’ll drop down to 12min or so and see what happens.
After attending iFLT, I spent another week in Reno at NTPRS. While iFLT offered more opportunities to observe teachers teaching students, NTPRS offered more opportunities to actually BE a student for those of us in the Experienced track. I appreciated the short demos that most presenters gave, even when the workshops were not titled “___ language demo.” There are some game changes here that warrant their own posts (e.g. embedded readings straight from the source, Michele, Whaley), but I have much else to report on. Like last week’s iFLT post, this one includes more of what I intend to think about and/or change for 2016-17. They’re organized by presenter: