Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cloelia update

Woah, would you believe I've sold 100 copies of Cloelia? It's only been out less than a month! Thank you so much, everyone! I am delighted that you like it. If you don't like it, I can't offer refunds but please give it to someone else for free rather than burning it.

Anyway, important news! Life being the way it is, there were errors. I've put out a new version, which I'm calling v.1.1. The links to the new PDF & glossary are on the Cloelia page over here.

Click under the cut to see the detailed changes, but here's a general overview.

General Reasons for Changes

  • Word Choice: forms of alius have been reexamined and often omitted or changed.
  • Pronoun Position: personal pronouns, wherever possible, have been moved to second position to better reflect idiomatic word order. If they are in the first position, they are in most cases meant to be somewhat emphatic. The exception is "et eōs relinquō" on p. 37, which I simply couldn't do neatly. Additionally, "someone and I" phrases, e.g. "pater et ego" have been changed to "I and someone," e.g. "ego et pater" to better reflect Latin idiom.
  • Vowel Length: corrected macrons on nefās, alterīus, and forms of lacrimāre.
  • Prepositions: instances of "ēmittere ad" have been changed to "ēmittere in" to better reflect Latin usage. instances of "contra + accusative ... pugnare" have been changed to "cum + ablative ... pugnare" to better reflect Latin usage.
  • Glossary: added, removed, and changed some definitions to reflect other changes made in this version.
  • Other Changes: All other changes are marked with an asterisk and explained at the note.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Classroom Management Book Club #1: Setting Limits in the Classroom, 3rd Edition: A Complete Guide to Effective Classroom Management with a School-wide Discipline Plan

One of the things I'm doing this summer is trying to read up a bunch on classroom management so I don't suck at it so hard. Last summer, I read Teaching with Love and Logic, which I got a lot out of but I didn't really apply consistently enough. This summer, I have a much longer list. I just finished the first one I was reading, and I need to pick up the pace if I'm going to get through the others. Anyway, some thoughts on my first book. If you like this and want to be part of the book club yourself, join our Facebook group here. I very much recommend it because I'm not actually a super critical reader in this subject so you should really listen to other people's opinions too.

TitleSetting Limits in the Classroom, 3rd Edition: A Complete Guide to Effective Classroom Management with a School-wide Discipline Plan
Author(s):  Robert J. Mackenzie, Lisa Stanzione
Official Website
Amazon Smile link (supporting Red Cross)

My answers to discussion questions.
1. In five words or fewer, what is this book's number one most important classroom management strategy?

Setting limits satisfies students' needs.

2. What was an Aha! moment for you reading this book? More than one is okay. :)

One of the biggest messages is that kids are looking to find the "stopping point," the place where the consequences outweigh the rewards. Kind of an "aha!" for me as a big fan of words is that just words- whatever words they are- don't constitute a stopping point. Lectures, warnings, etc. are "yellow lights," not red ones.

3. What is one technique from this book you feel you could use RIGHT NOW if thrown into a classroom?

Quit wasting time with warnings & needless talk: go straight to the choice: would you like A (continue behavior and receive specific consequence) or B (stop behavior and not receive that consequence)? I need to figure out exactly what those consequences are going to be so I guess I can't do that immediately, but hopefully by September I'll be all set.

4. What are some problems you can see arising from using these methods?

I think someone punitive could read this book and come out of it still really nasty and punitive, even though they emphasize that it's not meant like that. There's some stuff about avoiding kids' attitudes and managing your own, but I think managing one's own adult, neutral attitude is a really big part of making it work. The specific methods in the book I have the biggest problem with involve writing names on boards. I've done that and I don't think it helps. Following through on it helps, of course, but it's better to skip the humiliation.

The biggest NOPE NOPE NOPE moment I had reading this came relatively early with this quote: "Some [students] are suspected of having emotional or learning problems, and a few do, but the vast majority are not suffering from any problem at all. They are simply exercising their willpower in the hope they can wear adults down and do what they want."

Okay, maybe, but not a good attitude to go in with. And even if their problem isn't a capital P problem, being a kid is basically 18 years of brain development, hormones, and unequal treatment that definitely FEELS like problems. So let's have some empathy.

5. If you have already read this or used similar techniques, how have the results been?

When I have done the limited choices thing, it's worked really well. So I should do more of that.

Chapter by chapter reactions below the cut.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A cry for help: a giant multimedia source... sheet? on cultural topics

  1. Does a useful list of ancient & secondary sources including a/v and web for various cultural topics specifically those on the NLE syllabus exist? I know about sourcebooks. Those are only part of it.
  2. Want to help make one? Not comprehensive, obviously; there's much too much info out there. But just stuff that's relatively easily available and readable by and appropriate for MS & HS (or elementary if you want). Because I started already using my own books & resources: click here. I'm basically good on secondary book sources but I want help with Latin & a/v and web sources. If you want to help send me a google email address and I'll give you editing privileges.
    1. Bonus points if you have As the Romans Did and want to help me comb through that because dayyyyum 
    2. OR if you know a lot of easier Latin authors and post-classical texts to consult. 
  3. For the Latin sources ideally 
    1. I'm looking for stuff that would fit the kind of thing Ivy and Melanie have done here
    2. but non-classical and modern texts in Latin are also allowed...
    3. especially if they're compelling and story-driven, e.g. Pluto: Fabula Amoris.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ACL Roundup

Like almost every other Latin CI blogger, I went to the ACL annual conference last week. If you're not familiar, ACL is the American Classical League, and it's the big national organization for non-college teachers of Latin. I believe it's technically for post-secondary too, but since it focuses on Latin pedagogy, it's de facto secondary & primary level Latin teachers. It'd be cool if more post-secondary types worried about pedagogy, but it's not where we are right now. Even some MAT granting institutions don't actually talk about pedagogy and outsource it to the Ed department... which, well, anyway. ACL.

It was fun! And HUMID. But fun! I saw lots of excellent talks that I feel like I haven't even begun to process properly yet. I actually feel like all the information slid out of my ears on the plane home, unfortunately. Thankfully, a lot of presentations are online here at the meeting's Sched page, so I can jog my memory. I took the liberty of organizing those materials into a big google folder, which you can find here. The starred ones are those that had direct CI applicability.

Here are some random thoughts and take-aways.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

How I succeeded with CI & TPRS this year: everything else

I've already posted some random things I felt went well this year, which mostly turned out to have to do with assessment. I'll aim to post some other things now.

Well, what DID I succeed with?

It's a good time to be a Latinist!

Within the last three or so weeks, the number of Latin novellas on the market has more than doubled!

Here is my cat modeling with the titles on offer. What's great about these is that they are, unlike most textbook readings:
1) actually interesting
2) actually readable by first or second year Latin students
3) starring (some) characters who aren't boys

Well, only two have what you can call female protagonists... and only one (Cloelia, full disclosure it's mine) has ONLY a female protagonist and an equal number of named male & female characters, but it's still better than the Latin textbooks out there. There are more coming out soon from Pomegranate Beginnings with female protagonists, too. We're still working on not white, not hetero representation, but this is a good start. I've got something in mind but it's not my next project. If you have an idea for representing a more diverse Rome in text or whatever medium... DO IT. We need it. Latin is for everyone, not just cisgendered, heterosexual, white English upper-class school boys in good enough shape to row for Oxford when they're done at Eton pip pip cheerio. Let's get our textbooks to reflect that.

You can find them here: