Thursday, February 22, 2018

Re-reading activities

I know I often want my students to simply re-read a text to get as many reps as possible. Here are a couple ways we are doing that:

1. Bombus
Bombus is the buzzing sound made by bees in Latin. It's pleasantly onomatopoetic - choose whatever onomatopoeia you like.

1. Put students in pairs, and have them switch off reading sentences. If someone doesn't understand something in a sentence they've read, they should first ask their partner, and then you. (you can write the definition on the board, if you like, and refer other students to that as reading goes on.)

2. You have a couple options here.
a. If your text has good paragraphs, tell students that when they reach the end of the paragraph, one of them should shout bombus or tax or any other onomatopoeia you like. The one who doesn't shout the word has to summarize the section they've just read.
b. If your text doesn't have good paragraphs (ours are often short, and so don't), you can ring a bell periodically. When you do, they compete to shout whatever onomatopoeia you've concocted. Again, whoever gets there second has to summarize the paragraph. Depending on the level, I may or may not ask them to do this target language. In Latin I and II, I often tell them "if you can do it in Latin, you should." This leaves the possibility for those who don't feel they can to still express their comprehension without the pressure to produce.

2. Fill in the Blank

This becomes, unexpectedly, hilarious pretty quickly.

Each student is going to need a copy of the text. You'll need one, too.

Round one: you read the text to them. When you stop, the whole class fills in the next word. You can stop as often as you like. Every couple sentences, stop and make sure they understand, circle, answer questions, etc.

Round two (optional): do this again in English. Some texts don't lend themselves well to that, but if you want to, read the text again in English. When you stop, the whole class fills in the missing English word - which might not come physically next in the sentence.

Round three: do round one again. But this time, when you stop, call a student's name. That student has to fill in the word. If the student doesn't supply it pretty readily, joyfully start over. (i like to immediately target the kids i know are a little less likely to be on, to sort of let them know i'm holding them responsible.) Once you've started over more than a couple times, it actually becomes a little hilarious. We applaud every paragraph or so that we make it through without starting over. It provides really, really good repetition of the text, especially if you're checking for comprehension as you go. (as always, repetition without comprehension is pointless.)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Tag-yourself memes

I don't know if you've seen tag-yourself memes on facebook. In general they're pretty hilarious.

Check it out:

Image result for tag yourself meme caecilius

Monday, January 29, 2018

Reading Without Words

Many of us use gestures or hand signs of some variety to associate with vocabulary words. I've been thinking a lot recently about the process of reading, and why it can get so overwhelming. I decided to try a little twist on something old-ish to see if I could access reading to prep them for a text.

We had several new vocabulary words, all of which were pretty interesting. You need some verbs in order to do this. You also need some agreed-upon, constituted hand gestures: and, but, is, because, end of sentence (we use a bell for this).

Friday, January 26, 2018

Alea iacta est - a vocab review game

This is an extremely simple, pretty low-prep vocab review game that happens in pairs or groups. It can take five minutes or an hour, and it keeps pretty well. You'll need:

vocab cards (either TL or L1)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

An activity for new vocabulary

This is not something I would do with a class that doesn't have a good sense of humor.

I wanted to introduce several new vocabulary words that didn't have much of a common thread between them. I was pressed for time, so telling a story wasn't an option, and I wanted context and a lot of repetition.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Some Uses for Gallery Walks

I love gallery walks - they get the kids out of their seats productively, let them move around and interact with their peers' work, and the movement between various stimuli keeps it novel. Here are some uses for them!