First week of school, recap, part three.
Here’s an overview of what we did in class (Latin I – I do teach a total of 5 preps of Latin, from Latin I through AP Latin). We are on an A/B block schedule, so I only saw the students three times this week, for about an hour and a half each day. There are three posts, each encompassing one day of this first week, with an in-depth look at what I did each day and my reflections.
We started class with the creature card assigned seating, as before. On each desk, I placed a sheet of vocabulary and pictures students could use to respond during our Small Talk, which consisted of reviewing introductions (Hello. My name is… Nice to meet you.) and simple discussions about how I felt, how the students felt, and how the class at large felt. In addition, we also started with the simplest of Calendar Talk (today it is… month… day… number). We also began with the simplest of weather terms alongside the Calendar (it is hot? is it cold?). I asked the class questions, solicited answers, asked about whether it was hot or cold in the class, the school, in Egypt (I used ClassroomScreen to put up a photo of the pyramids), etc. The class voted and I circled the responses.
Following the Small Talk, extended version, I asked the students to turn to their closest partner and Retell in L1 about each other, the calendar, and the weather. I walked around to listen to what they understood. I was impressed at the amount they understood and remembered. I didn’t have them grade each other on the activity, but I did show them the rubric and asked for them to raise their hands at where they thought they fell.
Next, we did our first Write & Discuss about the Small Talk. I explained to them that I would ask them questions, I chose to ask in English today, they needed to answer the questions, and together we would write a summary of the class today. I also told the students that my plan was take these and create a “class yearbook” of all our Write & Discuss to hand out to each student at the end of the year and a copy added to our class library. The girls were excited! The boys were unimpressed. Oh, well!
We ended class with a quick lesson on how they are to complete the Do Now or Age Nunc! Here is a copy of my choice board and a link to our collection of Age Nunc! We began class with the Age Nunc! – illustrate the paragraph about the persona. We referred back to this activity to discuss what else they could have done with the paragraph, beyond the illustration I asked for.
Then, finally, I asked the students to use the Exit Poll on ClassroomScreen to rate how much of the Latin in class they understood. Overall, the students understood more than 50% of the Latin, most students claiming about 75-80% of the Latin.
I need to scaffold more of the Latin more consistently. I need to still work on speaking slowly enough for them to fully recognize, process, and understand the input I’m providing.
This day went more smoothly, but I could have done much more with providing more input. I gave in a bit of today – I am tired and it has been a long week. Looking forward, I am going to have to plan for Fridays to be a bit more student-driven with independent work so I can take a break until I’ve found my groove.
Today, a few behavior issues, minor, popped up. So, next week’s goal is to revert back to standing quietly and pointing at the rules until students get that I’m serious. I’m fun, but serious about my expectations.