Miriam Patrick

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9 thoughts on “Miriam Patrick”

  1. …it became clear to me where I had room for improvement and I think it was helpful to the kids to see the work I was putting into the class and that we were working together….

    This counting of words/structures during PQA and the resultant feeling of working together with the kids, facing together in the same direction to accomplish a common goal, is something I have felt as well. Just having three kids counting three structures (I give then baseball pitch counters – $10 each at Sports Authority) has a magical effect on the feeling in the classroom just as you express, Miriam.

    1. Pitch counters… brilliant! Sounds a lot less labor intensive than having kids keep track on whiteboards: i.e. what I’ve been doing.

      And benigne te accipimus Miriam! Doceo apud LacOccidentalem (South Fulton).

      1. Do people use mechanical or digital counters? I would think that the mechanical ones (at least the ones I grew up with) make too much noise to use in the classroom.

        1. I just ask kids to keep tallies with a pencil on a notecard I give them. It’s worked fine for me, but I can see how the pitch counter would really be appealing to them. Very official; cool gadgetry.

          I did something last month with word counters. I likely read this idea somewhere else and forgot. We introduced 3 or 4 new structures, made up gestures, practiced with them for a bit, and before PQA students placed “bets” on how many times each new word would get used for the rest of class. Only times I said it counted — also any times spoken by students if any were brought up to the front of the room during PQA — not the general class. Each child who wanted to make a guess (and that was all of them) wrote their names and an estimate for each new structure on a note card. I told them that my aim was to get at least 25 times with each structure, 40 if possible. (When I saw some students wrote “4” and “7” I knew who was NOT listening.) I collected the notecards before we began. The student who came closest to the actual counts won a small prize which I delivered later that day. Who knew Botan rice candy was such a cool thing, but it clearly was. Calling it betting upped the excitement level, too. It also made clear that using the structures as much as possible in conversation with them was my deliberate goal. I think this was the first time I’d used word counters in class.

          The level of listening and engagement was considerably higher, and the counters obviously felt extra important. It’s something I’ll do again when kids act blah during Step 1. Doing it too often & they’d likely find ways to cheat. Actually, their attempts to cheat were usually trying to make me use a structure again because I wasn’t up to their estimate yet. Students trying to get me to increase reps? I’ll take it. Did they lose focus on meaning because they were just listening for the structure, not thinking about meaning? I was alert to that potential problem. Asking specific students questions (not taking volunteers) helped, as any of them could be called upon at any time.

        2. Yeah mine are digital. Very quiet. I like them also bc I do believe kids always give me credit for less reps than I am getting bc they soon get tired of counting, but with the counters they count more accurately.

      2. Salve Daniel!

        laeta sum te cognoscere! Doceo apud Duluth!

        I also love the idea of the counters. Right now I’m allowing them to have a piece of paper out, but this would make the job more interesting to them I think and would make it a lot easier.

  2. Miriam,

    Welcome. I too am a Latin teacher and I welcome your presence here. Each time I learn of a new Latin teacher here, I get so excited about seeing so many teachers doing this work. It is nice to “meet” you. I look forward to seeing your posts.

    Jeff

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