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Oak Latin Class Newsletter


7th and 8th Grade Latin Newsletters -­ DECEMBER 2018

Lucretius

prodit hiems, sequitur crepitāns hanc dentibus algor
    Winter comes forth, frost follows cracking the earth in his teeth.
                                Lucretius

 


Grade 8

Salvēte, parentēs!


We are continuing to have another excellent year of Latin. Your students will soon be adding tense to their verb knowledge. As they handle these new concepts, they should also start thinking about the February placement exams and their plan for Latin II at SHS.

Report Cards
As you are aware, report cards are coming home on Friday, December 14th. On the second page of this announcement, please find a bit of guidance for how you can interpret the grades for Latin.

Habits of Mind
As I completed the habits of mind on the report cards for Trimester 1, I also erred on the side of giving Us rather than Cs. To me, the idea of being “consistent” is a high bar to meet and there is nothing wrong with “usually” being on task and prepared. This was decision was not intended to be punitive or disparaging, but more an inspiration for improvement in T2.

Secret Saturnalia
If your child has not yet informed you, we are attempting to do a “Secret Saturnalia” gift exchange between the two 8th grade Latin classes on the Friday before break. This will also coincide with our learning about that Latin holiday and slavery in general. The gift is meant to be small, no more than $10, and should be brought into school on Wednesday the 19th.

Latin MFA Trip – May 17th
I am happy to confirm that we have a trip to the MFA in Boston planned for Friday, May 17th 2019. We will be spending an afternoon at the museum completing a small assignment. We will have lunch at Northeastern and return to OMS slightly after the end of school. I anticipate the cost to be under $50. More information will be forthcoming in the new year.

Valète, Parentès!
Mr Bellemer

How to interpret your child's report card


Grade 7

Salvéte, parentés!

With nearly half the year behind us, we are off to an excellent start in Latin. Your students are proving themselves to be hardworking, enthusiastic and innovative Latin scholars. I am so honored to teach them every day and look forward to seeing their confidence and abilities grow as we conclude the year.

Report Cards
As I am sure you know, report cards are coming home on Friday, December 14th. On the second page of this announcement, please find a bit of guidance for how you can interpret the grades for Latin. Please also know, for this marking period I made the following grading choices:

Speaking and Listening: As we are still just learning pronunciation, a grade of 4 was very hard to come by, a 3.5 is considered excellent at this point in our study.

Grammar and Translation: Based on the kinds of assignments we completed for Grammar and Translation in Trimester 1, once again a 3.5 should be considered an outstanding grade in these standards. Starting in Trimester 2 there will be plenty of opportunities for students to go above and beyond in these standards and earn a 4.
    
Domī Romanae
A perennial favorite Latin project, 7th grade Latin students are about to commence work on creating Roman houses. This project always brings out the perfectionist in students and the results are usually quite impressive. If you see your student “playing” Minecraft on their iPad, ask for a tour of their Roman-style domus. I am looking forward to seeing the magnificent edifices they will create in the new year.
 
Valēte, Parentēs!
Mr. Bellemer
cbellemer@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us


How to Interpret your Report Card:
As Latin is a less-spoken and more analytic language, we use a slightly modified approach to the five grading rows on the report card. Please use this document to make better sense of the grades assigned to your work.

Graded standards:
Interprets information in the target language by listening:

Speaking and Listening – I assess the ability of students to read Latin aloud fluently and clearly, as well as the ability to understand short Latin phrases as well as how it should would be written.

Demonstrates writing competency by using vocabulary and grammar

Vocabulary – This is almost entirely a reflection of students’ performance on weekly vocabulary quizzes. These can always be retaken and should be considered the most important grade for students to aim for a four.

Demonstrates verbal competency

Grammar – These are all the grammar skills that enable students to compose good Latin or to decipher the meanings of Latin sentences through analysis of endings.

Understands and interprets meaning through reading

Translation – This is the synthesis of vocabulary and grammar – students can look at written Latin and apply their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to construct meaning.

Understands cultural perspectives and practices of target country

Culture – We focus on making connections and comparisons between Ancient Rome and modern American culture.