George Lucas Educational Foundation


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Hi all,

My name is Amelia. I'm a second-year teacher in NJ in the process of getting my certification credentials complete. I will be going to grad school part-time starting this fall. I am in the meantime, I am trying to reflect on my first year teaching and what I will do different this year and just reading up as much as I can on teaching techniques.

I taught part-time middle school Latin and English lit last year in two different Catholic schools (I taught Latin in one, English in the other), but this year I am teaching high school Latin in a public school. Although I have experience working with high schoolers, and while I am very excited because this is what I wanted to do, I am nervous because I am young and I still need a lot of experience and support. It's a small program, but they are hoping I can build it up. Because I'm really a new teacher, I'm going to be asking for a lot of advice here and elsewhere.

One thing I have questions about already is how to differentiate for a class I am going to teach this upcoming year that have both Latin 3 and 4 students in it. I've never had to do that before, so any advice for smooth sailing in that regard would be helpful! I would like to hear pros and cons of teaching the same material and maybe having the 4th year students do extra/different work, or giving both groups different authors to read. Any advice will really be appreciated.

Thank you!

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Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Hi Amelia!

I came across your question and reached out to some of my network to get their thoughts. I actually just ran into a Latin teacher at ISTE this year, so I'm curious to what he has to say.

Question: Are you familiar with the #langchat community on Twitter? If you just use that hashtag on twitter, you'll be able to access a network of language teachers on twitter as well. I've pinged some people I met there are well.

More to come and welcome to the community -
@elanaleoni on twitter

Moss Pike's picture
Moss Pike
Latin teacher and TIS in Los Angeles

Happy to chat with you, Amelia, and thanks, Elana, for connecting us! We're having some similar discussions on how to sort our our Latin III vs. Latin III-Honors courses. I've also recently chatted with another Latin teacher who formerly taught a mixed 3-4 course, and I'm happy to put you in contact.

In the meantime, you can use the Latin-specific tags #latinlangchat and #latinteach on Twitter to target Latin teachers with questions.


Moss Pike

Amelia's picture
High school Latin teacher in NJ

Thank you all! I currently have a personal twitter, @herodotusrules, although I may create a professional one for school sometime in the future for class announcements etc. I'm just starting to familiarize myself with the #langchat community and I was part of one discussion at #latinlangchat . I'll definitely be using them for advice!

Moss Pike's picture
Moss Pike
Latin teacher and TIS in Los Angeles

Happy to chat with you, Amelia, on Twitter or through email.

Differentiation is tough, and I don't think there's a perfect solution for it. If I were to tackle the problem, I'd assign different projects to each group and even do some "flip" work, where the Lat. 4 students would be asked to prepare materials for the Lat. 3s (e.g. textual commentaries or even tests and quizzes).

It may be tough to have them reading different texts, but perhaps you could have them work on different parts of the same text. For instance, the 3s could read through an adapted Caesar or Vergil passage, focusing on whatever grammatical points they need and moving at a pace they're comfortable with, while the 4s could read the actual text at a quicker pace. Periodically, you could then ask each group to take the combined class through their respective sections and think about the text as a whole.

Bolchazy's "Legamus" readers could be on par for what you want in Lat. 3, while the "BC Readers" (or other comparable commentary) could be used for Lat. 4, where these students filling in the gaps that the Legamus readers don't cover.

Those are some quick thoughts, and I'm happy to chat more!

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