Manuscript Week and Swivl’s Recap

So a bit more technology perhaps than Latin, but I’ll return to some Latin below. I’m a Swivl Pioneer and so was alerted to the launch of Recap, a website that allows students to interact via video with questions the teacher poses. (I’ve heard this is similar to VoiceThread, which I know of but with which I am not directly familiar.)

In my Medieval Lit class, we’re focusing on manuscripts for the next few weeks, and so I thought I’d turn my class loose with Recap and some introductory videos on MSS to see how Recap works.

Once you’re logged in to Recap, you make classes:

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There’s my Medieval class.

At the upper right of that screen is the ‘Add Recap’ button, which allows you to write questions for your students to answer and you can set the length of max response (2 mins max).

When I first started writing the questions, I was sticking to largely objective questions (because they were the ones that came to mind) but I realized that it seemed somewhat wasteful for students to record answers to objective questions (though I was happier with the video responses to those questions than I expected; more on that below). As I went on, however, I made more open-ended questions, including questions that required physical props; this, it would seem, is the real advantage to Recap, is the ability to hold before the camera in a dynamic way objects to enhance a response.

Once the students answer and submit, the teacher has a summary screen:

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(At the risk of sounding defensive, the students were working in groups, which is why the percentage is so low.)

You can see too that students are able to rate their understanding with a simple visual key and student videos are available for watching at the bottom.

Here’s a screen-scroll of all of the responses / summary screens:

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Recap also produces (and I mean that to some extent in the technical sense as well) a ‘Daily Review Reel’ (at upper right) that puts together the videos with some music, borders, and the question at the beginning. (I’m not quite sure why all of the videos didn’t make the review reel but I did find that you could add or subtract videos from the reel; perhaps they try to keep the review reel on the shorter side?)

Here’s a link to the video (Recap provides this; no embed code as far as I could find). And here’s the screen-grabbed video:

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

In the end, I’m always trying to assess whether a new tool like this has staying power. Is it an effective tool for me and my students to make more efficient and more successful my teaching and their learning? The easy answer is I don’t know. They were initially skeptical (at best) of videoing their answers but, once they got used to the idea, they produced good responses in a more natural and comfortable way. I enjoyed listening to the answers because their personalities came through. And even for the objective questions, which, as I said above, I felt like was a bit of a waste for this kind of format, it seemed like they had a better handle on that objective information than they would have if they were writing it down, filling in a blank, etc. I will try to do circle back to this information later to test that sense, but that was an initial impression.

So a good first foray. I think finding the right kind of assignments for this is important, but I’ll continue to experiment with it. I’m excited to try it with Latin because I feel like it could be a good way to get more students involved in a more natural way for open-ended material, i.e. students can interpret text, offer different readings, speculate on grammatical usage, etc., in what feels like a much less pressured environment (the video response) than in front of the whole class.

Latin Movie Trailers

At long last, the Latin Movie Trailers. Here they are in all of their glory (or lack thereof). In no particular order (except I did put Rogue One (Furcifer Unus) first because I believe the BluRay comes out today or hereabouts). Enjoy.

Rogue One

Inception

 

Despicable Me

 

Toy Story 3

 

Song of the Sea

Baby Boss

My Movie – Small from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Slumdog Millionaire

FCB2A039-8796-48FD-B413-4808E570CBE0_HQ from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Sleeping Beauty

Movie Trailer from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Latin from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Jungle Book

Latin Movie Project (1) from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wall-E

WALL-E Latin Project from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Latin Movie Project-1 from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wallace and Grommit

Beauty and the Beast (a different one)

Princess Mononoke

Grand Budapest Hotel

More Latin Movie Posters

I wrote here about my Latin Movie Trailers projects and I promised more posters (and the videos) to come. Well, a bit longer than I would have liked, here are the other posters. Two disclaimers: 1. I included the ones from the previous post just to have them all in one place; and 2. the new ones are photos of the printed versions from the bulletin board (if they look a little funky). Enjoy.

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CANE 2017 – Ted Zarrow – Strategies for Successful Storytelling

Ted’s full presentation is here (that he shared freely and openly with us) but I will highlight some of the, well, highlights below.

  • The idea of ‘sheltered’ vocabulary and grammar was reinforced. It was a term I had heard but wasn’t quite comfortable with.
  • Ted tends to focus on sheltered vocabulary but not necessarily sheltered grammar (or at least sheltered grammar with exceptions).
  • He focused on the importance of reducing the number of unfamiliar words in a text, that not uncommonly students see texts with upwards of 75% unfamiliar words (I would say that’s the case in my classroom).
  • This focus reminded me of Kitchell’s cricket experiment way back when (I believe in 2001), when he gave us an article about a cricket match that none of us could understand (because of the unfamiliar vocabulary) even though it was in English.
  • It was somewhat heartening to recognize things that I already do, albeit mostly in isolation, in addition to all of the things that I don’t do.
  • Much of the presentation and slide show consisted of the stories themselves, composed in simple Latin, with sheltered vocabulary, often incorporating his students themselves or his students’ ideas.

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Latin Movie Trailers, Part 1 – The Poster

The space between midterms and February break is short and choppy, so I thought it’d be a good time to try this project: Latin Movie Trailers.

Here’s the intro:

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I added to that intro a movie poster, to be printed and posted on our bulletin board. (Still haven’t figured out a good way to display / ‘advertise’ the movie trailers.)

I’ll cover the trailers in another post, but I’ll cover the movie posters here.

  • students downloaded the posters…
  • …and opened them in Preview
  • I suggested to students that they find a poster with the text over a relatively uniform background; that will make the next step easier.
  • using the tools –> annotate –> rectangle (or whatever shape works) menu item in Preview, draw a rectangle around / over the text
  • using the outline and fill options, change the color of the rectangle to the color of the background (or thereabouts)
  • you should have now ‘erased’ the original text
  • using the same menu but the ‘text’ option, insert the translated Latin text, preferably in a comparable font
  • save and print

Here is the grade sheet for the poster:

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And the posters came out great. I’ll include the bulletin board below and then a slideshow of the actual posters below that. The movie posters are the color ones; they are intermingled with the Twitter December Break projects (the white ones).

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(And, if you pause on the Grand Budapest Hotel one, you can see that he even translated the title over the door of the hotel; it’s small and hard to see but it’s there.)

Nodictionaries.com & Vocab Lists

I gave my first text-based test to my Latin 3/4 class today and, when we were reviewing, one of my students asked whether we were getting vocab for the test. I considered it for a moment, really contemplating whether I could or wanted to make a list that was both helpful and fair, especially since, in a mixed class, I really should have different lists for the 3s and the 4s. And then I remembered nodictionaries.com, a website that essentially customizes a glossary to a given text, whether a pre-loaded text or a text you provide.

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I’ll use Petronius’ Matron of Ephesus as an example, the text that I was testing and for which I was making the vocab lists. If you click on the ‘dozens of Latin authors’ link, it brings to you a list of pre-loaded Latin texts:

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-10-26-14-pm

Once you click on a text, you’re given intextual vocabulary for that text:

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Here’s the nice part, though. That blue box at the upper right lets you customize what is provided and how it is provided. Most important, the farther to the left that slider bar is, the less vocab is provided. The farther to the right, the more vocab is provided. All the way to the left and no vocab is provided. All the way to the right and all words are provided (even sum in that first line).

The buttons at the bottom right of the blue box allow you to make a print-friendly version. So I used the setting above (minimum vocab) for the vocab list for my Latin 4s and did the second-to-most vocab setting for the Latin 3s. Print them out and vocab lists generated.

You can too paste in your own text, but I’ve never tried that. I suspect it recognizes the words and provides vocab accordingly.

A few caveats. The vocabulary is not text-specific (probably obvious but just in case), i.e. the definitions are general and will not necessarily cover any context-specific definitions. And that minimum of vocab setting above does provide a bit more vocab than I would like. I would love an in-between setting between this and the no vocab setting.

Nonetheless, the advantages of nodictionaries.com far outweigh any minor disadvantages if you want to create customized-ish vocab lists for practice or assessments.