Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Variety in a First Read-through

Just recently, for Latin 3 following a movie talk, my colleague and i introduced a reading based on the movie talk. My colleague had created Google Slides with the text and screenshots from the animated short for students to follow along. There were 15 slides, since the reading was long (but very comprehensible due to lots of repetition). However, I also knew that since it was the first week back from winter break, students' attention span would be short. But because this was a first read-through of the text, I also did not want to rush students through it. While they had been exposed to the reading through the actual movie talk, for most students, that is all it was: exposure - there was no guarantee any acquisition had occurred, so I needed to ensure that we went through the passage together at least once in order to establish meaning. 

In the words of Carol Gaab, "the brain craves novelty," as we began to read through the story for the first time, for every slide, I ended up doing something different with students to keep them engaged in order to add variety. First off, every had a whiteboard, marker, and a rag:

  • First slide - I as the teacher simply read the text and translated into English for students
  • Second slide - students wrote out an English translation
  • Third slide - students did a choral translation
  • Fourth slide - read, draw, and discuss
  • Fifth slide - students answered comprehension questions
  • Sixth slide - Stultus
  • Seventh slide and further - repeated sequence or mixed it up
  1. This took 1.5 days to get through 15 slides. 
  2. The change in activity for each slide kept students engaged, since most of the slides involved them interacting with the text somehow, and every slide's activity was different.
  3. It did keep students "on their toes," because for each slide, they would have to do something (except for the ones where I translated). 
  4. Although I could have just barreled through the 15 slides in one day, I felt that mixing it up and having students do something for each slide kept a first-time read-through from getting stale.

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