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August 2017

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First, I have been turning everything into a Google Slides Presentation this year. Admittedly, I've been going a bit nuts doing it. So earlier this semester I turned my basic I Piscatum (Go Fish) handout into Google Slides Presentation. I've been tweaking it ever since. Eventually I will redo print materials as well, but right now I'm just working on this, thinking of slides to add, tweaking what's there, etc. And, I decided that it was time to share it with others. It's that time of year.

We have standardized testing going on this week at school, not to mention AP testing, and thus when I do happen to see students, we often play I Piscatum. Today I was playing with my weaker Latin 1 class, and was actually delighted that a few of my quiet strugglers were really having a good time. Even the boys that I know weren't totally on task on the opposite side of the room, were still playing and I could hear them speaking Latin.

There are so many things I like about playing the game. Let me list a few, in no particular order:
  1. Because the basics are scripted, even the weakest students can participate and enjoy. That builds confidence, or at least reduces stress.
  2. It naturally targets accusative plurals, which is useful in Latin 1.
  3. It's sociable, and people end up focusing more on the task than the language. The language is just a means to an end.
  4. It's easily expandable so that students who want to use more spoken Latin can do so.
  5. Teachers can target specific grammatical structures by scripting addition dialogue.
  6. Teachers can assign students to target (without the teacher scripting) specific grammatical structures.
  7. When I play with the students, I enjoy being dramatic, demonstrating different ways to use what limited Latin we have under our belt. For instance, when the first book of 4 cards is placed on the table, I will declare, "tu librum habes! ecce, Marcus librum habet. ego nullum librum habeo."
I could go on.

At a time when everyone is talking about different ways to raise speaking proficiencies, this game comes in very handy. There are so many teachers out there whose instruction at the university level never involved conversation. It is as foreign to them as to their students. I offer this game as a framework upon which one can build. You can have that "same conversation" (which helps to build those neuro pathways, that mental representation) at its core and add and shape to meet the need of your class.

Today after we played during Latin 1, I spent my conference period building a Name Plate. I'm hoping to try it out tomorrow. If you fold it on the solid lines and then tape, you have a triangular name plate to sit in front of you. Before folding, find the side featuring the declension to which your name belongs. For instance, here's the information on the side for 1st declension, which you could then fill out with your Latin name:

VOCATIVE  -a           Ō ______________, habēsne...?
NOMINATIVE -a        ______________ librum habet.
GENITIVE -ae           chartās ______________ vidēre volō.
DATIVE  -ae              dēmōnstrā ______________ chartam tuam.
ACCUSATIVE -am    ego ______________ superō.
ABLATIVE-ā              mihi placet cum ___________ chartīs lūdere.

I'm hoping that being able to talk about their friends, either kindly or competitively, will provide additional motivation for Latin conversation.

Another thought I've had regarding the construction of a new I Piscatum handout, is a place for students to write new phrases either of their own creation or ones created by the teacher targeting particular constructions.  For instance, I can see when CLC starts to really push those 3rd declension genitive plurals, that I could assign scripts including the use of the suits when talking about particular cards. ("regem cordium habeo!") Which reminds me, I need to make another slide with the suits and other card information.... that info is on the original handout. 

In the meantime, I'm brainstorming about next year. I have an idea for gamifying class and providing motivation for speaking and listening activities outside of class. More about that another time. 

Make sure if you use this Google Slides Presentation that you check out the speaker notes. I have been putting additional information for teachers there, including links to the old handout, etc. ENJOY