- NPR: How TV Can Make Kids Better Readers
- New York Times on how to use marketing to convince children to eat vegetables
- Wired: How to apply game theory to parenting
- Mike Caulfield: “We have personalization [of learning] backwards”
- Catlin Tucker: “Invest in innovation [in teaching]”
- Catlin Tucker: Reasons to deliver content in the classroom as if you were “flipping the classroom” (i.e. through videos, readings, etc.)
- Work in Progress: It’s not as easy as it looks and that’s ok
- Mike Caulfield: “Choral Explanations” about sites (e.g. Quora and Stack Exchange) that let people explain the same idea in a variety of ways — very interesting read.
- Mike Caulfield: “A Reminder: What students do is hard”
- Mike Caulfied: “Plans vs. Planning”
- EdSurge: How to improve the security of Chromebooks when they aren’t at school
- Nettrice Gaskins: How Science Fiction and Marvel’s Black Panther make STEAM Relevant to Historically Oppressed and Under-represented Students – I wonder if there is a good parallel in the Classical world
- The Economist: How to make a good teacher
- EdSurge: The Role of Architecture in Education
- EdSurge: Why iPads (in 1:1 classes) have a positive impact on education
- EdSurge: Having students summarize a political campaign into social media – an interesting idea for asking students to synthesize and summarize information. I wonder how well this would work with ancient politics
- EdSurge: A podcast about teaching empathy
- EdSurge: Strategies to overcome some struggles to implement Project-based learning
- EdSurge: Strategies for reinforcing/sharing the ideas of the growth mindset into your literature, science, and history classes — my earlier post on this mindset
- Teacher uses Star Trek for difficult conversations about race and gender
- EdSurge: 5 ways teachers can encourage deeper learning with personal devices – many of these suggestions are also appropriate for teaching students how to be more technologically literate
- Photos For Class – a website that provides Creative Commons photos
- Screencastify – an app that allows you to create videos of your computer screen and you voice-over. It saves files in only a few extensions and it can save files to Google Drive easily — this site has a review.
- EdSurge: Using Project-based learning to bring creativity into the classroom
- Chronicle Vitae: It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines
- Catlin Tucker: A New Program and a New Approach to Homework
- Chronotope: The Semmelweiss Reflex: Why does Education Ignore Important Research? – with helpful links to neuroscience articles
- NeaToday – The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Students’ Names
- Catlin Tucker: 21st Century Version of Ask 3 before You Ask Me which might do well to be read in concert with Mike Caulfield: Choral Explanations and his post on “We have personalization [of learning] backwards”
- ChronicleVitae: No, Banning Laptops is not the answer – a good read for more than just the focus on laptops
- EdSurge: When Teachers Build EdTech, Awesomeness Ensues and Here’s Why
- Michael Feldstein: Student-centered education in software
- Catlin Tucker: Ditching Traditional Grades & My Online Gradebook
- EdSurge: The Secrets of Successful Virtual Co-Teaching
- EdSurge: Why the Growth Mindset isn’t working… yet
- Chronicle Vitae: Imposter Syndrome is definitely a thing
- Chronicle Vitae: Advice on being Advised
- Hapgood: Yes, Digital Literacy. But which one?
- Chronicle Vitae: A Plan is better than luck
- Chronicle Vitae: No, We’re not teaching composition all wrong (responding to “Are we teaching composition all wrong?“
- Chronotope: Amused to Death: Why the Internet should be kept out of the classroom
- Hapgood: The impulse to dive deeper
- Chronicle Vitae: Rethinking my exams
- Tim Harford: The Problem with Facts
- Guardian: My elite, segregated education changed me – but not in the way you’d think
- Eidolon: Ne plus ultra – Classics beyond the tenure track
- Mind/Shift: How Schools Can Help Students Develop A Greater Sense of Purpose
- Edsurge: Study Finds Classroom-Response ‘Clickers’ can ‘Impede Conceptual Understanding”
- Edsurge: As LinkedIn’s Video Library Grows, Company Says it Has no Plans to Compete with Colleges — the interview in this piece also talks about how provide better online content
- Grit, Grace, and Growth Mindset: This I believe [about leadership]
- An EdSurge piece about the importance of meeting with students regularly to discuss progress and goals
- Chronicle Vitae: How to undermine your own authority (and encourage more active engagement by students)
- Chronicle Vitae: Why I don’t edit their rough drafts
- Chronicle Vitae: Obsessed with smartness
- Chronicle Vitae: Scholars talk writing: Advice from an editor
- Chronicle Vitae: Mastering the boring basics
- Chronicle Vitae: The Distracted Classroom
- Chronicle Vitae: Conserving your teaching energy (heavily focused on a lecturing style with good tips at the end for healthy living)
- Chronicle Vitae: Stalled in the writing
- Chronicle Vitae: A tenure track for teachers
- Chronotope: Five things I wished I knew when I started teaching
- Hapgood: The power of explaining to others
Recently, I read Chris Bartlo’s article about how programming supports math students‘ abilities to be more precise, receive prompt feedback, accept and normalize the struggle of working, work collaboratively, and be more metacognitive. The article appealed to me because teaching Latin, like teaching math, is about teaching students a skill. One paragraph from the article seemed particularly appealing to me:
Programming forces students to be explicit about their problem solving strategies. Writing code encourages students to break the problem into discrete chunks; which is one of the most powerful problem solving techniques in mathematics. A danger with the pencil and paper calculations we rely on in a traditional math assignment is that a student can combine many elements of their problem solving process into one step. As educators, seeing how students approach a problem is invaluable information in supporting their learning.
I like this paragraph because it reminded me about how I often teach Latin verb forms: by breaking the forms down into their constituent parts so students know exactly how to form them. Let’s use the verb cano, canere as an example.
- Present: verb stem (2nd principle part – ere) + stem vowel (depends on conjugation) + ending –> can + i + t
- Imperfect: verb stem (2nd principle part – ere) + stem vowel (depends on conjugation) + tense marker (ba) + ending –> can + e + ba + t
- Future: verb stem (2nd principle part – ere) + stem vowel / tense marker (depends on conjugation) + ending –> can + e + t
When I teach students to use this method, I help break the problem (i.e. translating this verb) into discrete chunks. They need to learn the ending to know the person, number, and voice of the verb. They need to use the stem vowel and tense markers to know the tense and mood of the verb. And they need to know the stem in order to know the meaning of the verb. Some students quickly learn this pattern and the need to use the inflected word endings to translate, some do not.
Perhaps one way to emphasize the importance of the Latin’s inflection is to have students code. You can ask them to write a program that parses words for them. This will require students to determine how to break down the verb, noun, adjective, etc. into its constituent parts so that they can better understand everything that is going on in the word canit.
Of course, there are already tools out there that do this. The back of each textbook and grammar books are usually filled with charts to help students identify forms. The popular online dictionary William Whitaker’s Words both parses and defines any Latin word that you plug into it. For example, this is what it came up with for canit:
So why should students re-invent the wheel? To teach students the mental steps that they need to use in order to parse, understand, and translate each word. To help them understand the complexities of each new tense, voice, or mood that we teach them instead of making them memorize just a chart. To give students a tool that they created to help themselves. I remember creating websites with Latin morphology charts and stacks of notecards with Greek morphology charts so that I could use them as references. The act of creating these charts helped me remember the forms better and I preferred using them to flipping through grammar books or a textbook to find the chart I needed when I could go straight to my tools that were easily accessible. Students have also expressed their appreciation when I have asked them to complete this large packet of charts (Morphology Review – Full) to help them review, and have a reference for later.
Perhaps this is a little bit of wishful thinking, and I’m not certain how well it would work out (especially since I thought this up a few days ago), but here are some other things to consider:
- This teaches morphology and the importance of inflection. It does not necessarily teach students the various uses of each case or how to translate each verb’s tense, voice, and mood.
- Not every student will know how to code and you probably don’t want to teach them a programming language on top of Latin, so this is probably only worth attempting where most students have the knowledge and resources to code.
- Even where students know how to code (and you know how to help them with their code), is this an ideal use of class time?
- I often advise students not to use Whitaker’s Words because it becomes too much of a crutch–usually for remembering vocab. A program code that parses words can be a nice back-up, but it could also teach students they don’t need to memorize forms if they can just feed them into their program for instantaneous parsing. So, how would you make sure that this complements memorizing morphology charts?