More Shades of Meaning

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs!  We really will look at connections between Latin and other languages – and at connections within the language, between synonyms and antonyms – in the next “real” post, but that probably won’t be today.

This is one of the very rare years in my face-to-face teaching life when Holy Week and the end of a grading period coincide.  One benefit is that Spring Break (always the week after Easter in my corner of the world) is a real break, not only for me but also for my students: no papers to grade, no plans to make.  One disadvantage is that there were exams to write and grade, last-minute makeup work to record, and the like, as well as Holy Week services that are very important to me.  One consequence is that there just wasn’t time for me to do an adequate job of writing and revising that post yesterday or this morning.

So we’ll save that post for tomorrow, then take a break until Monday.  At that point, we’ll begin a series of posts about the exercises and quizzes in the Tres Columnae system.  We mentioned them briefly in a number of posts, but many of you have been looking for “real, live” examples … and they are coming soon!  But there’s still time for you to influence the process:

  • If you were designing the perfect Latin learning system, what types of exercises would you want to include?
  • Do you see any role for traditional, but artificial exercises like “decline this noun” or “make a synopsis of this verb” and the like?
  • What types of contextual exercises do you find to be effective … or ineffective … with your own students?
  • Are there any types of exercises that would drive you and your students away, screaming in terror? 🙂 (I assume this is unlikely, but I figured that I should ask!)

grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.  Please keep those comments and emails coming!

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Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 10:08 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. There are a few exercises that my students particularly enjoy, but it may be the thrill of competition that engages them. Back when we learned the dative case, I posted the following sentence on the board.

    senex _________ fābulam mirābilem nārrāvit.

    I then asked the students to produce as many dative nouns that they could to complete the sentence in five minutes. We then started writing them on the board until we ran out of words. They liked trying to come up with words (vocabulary) and then putting them in the dative (grammar). They were delighted with how many they could produced so many in a short time.

    Instead of doing synopses of verbs, I give them the “synopsized” verbs on index cards and have them order them on a large synopsis blank on the floor. They like doing this because they can compare similar forms (e.g., capiat & capiet) and decide where each goes. I like it because they do not see (or produce) incorrect forms. Just my thoughts as my kids are getting back to work on some projects.

  2. Randy,
    These are great ideas … thanks so much for sharing! I had actually envisioned a number of “sorting” activities for Tres Columnae, since my students enjoy them for similar reasons to your giant synopsis board. And I love the idea of completing the sentence with as many different datives as possible.

    grātiās maximās! 🙂


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