Sunday, August 30, 2009

Winged Sandals Returns!

Winged Sandals, which was on hiatus for some time, appears to have returned! Winged Sandals is an educational Greek mythology website produced by ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in partnership with The University of Melbourne's Centre for Classics and Archaeology. Greatly missed by many Latin and Classics teachers, Winged Sandals features stories about the ancient Greek deities, online games, ideas and templates for offline activities, a "who's-who" database, historical background, animations, and downloadable "goodies" like wallpapers, e-cards, and screensavers.

Bringing Latin Home

Latin is not only enjoying a resurgence in public and private schools across the United States. Many families are choosing to teach their children Latin as a homeschooling subject. Heather Duncan, a homeschooling mom and freelance contributor to the Knoxville News Sentinel writes this week about the growing popularity of Latin among her friends. She also interviews a homeschool co-op educator who teaches nearly 100 Latin students each week! Read more in "Latin A Growing Subject At Home."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cambridge School Classics Project Down

Latin teachers on the various lists and forums have been reporting that the free web-based Cambridge Latin Course activities on the Cambridge School Classics Project have been made "temporarily unavailable" to a lack of funding to support the site. Efforts are underway to find a solution.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for alternative, interactive websites where students can find Latin quizzes and activities, Richard Popek has compiled a significant number of activities at the Quia website, specifically keyed to Cambridge:

Unit 1:

Unit 2:

Unit 3:

Unit 4:

Also check out these additional sites:

Latin Teaching Methods at Montclair State University in NJ

Montclair State University's Department of Classics and General Humanities will be offering a course in Latin Teaching Methods this coming Fall 2009 semester on Thursdays from 4:00-6:30 PM on the campus in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. The course number is LATN 419-01 and the instructor is Timothy Renner. This course carries 3 undergraduate credits.

For more information, please contact Professor Renner at or Jean Alvares, Department Chair at the Montclair State University Department of Classics.

MakeBeliefsComix and Macrons!

MakeBeliefsComix, designed by comic author Bill Zimmerman, is a fun and interactive site where people of all ages can have fun designing and creating their own comic strips! Teachers can create lesson plans in which students create their own cartoons. For those who need some inspiration to get started, Mr. Zimmerman has 21 fun suggestions for using MakeBeliefsComix in the classroom and he also maintains Bill'z Treasure Chest, a writing prompt blog.

MakeBeliefsComix is used by teachers of English as a Second Language, as well as Latin, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, and Italian classes. There is support for special characters in these languages and the site hopes to add more languages. Many special education teachers also use the site to create stories for students on the autism spectrum, to encourage the use of language and to teach social navigation.

Latin teachers will be especially happy to know that their students can use macrons in the comics that they create!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Important Question!

There's a wonderful entry today on Kristina Chew's We Go With Him Blog entitled "What does it take to be a(n autism) teacher?" While it's not necessarily about teaching Latin or Greek, though it does include reflections of Professor Chew's experiences as a beginning and developing Classics teacher. What does it take to ignite the learning spark in students? A very worthy question (for Latin and special education teachers and everyone else) as the school year begins!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Classis, Autumn 2009, Volume XVI, No. 3 on the Teaching of Latin

Thanks to Karen Moore's Latin Alive! blog for pointing this journal out!

The Autumn 2009 issue of Classis, the quarterly journal of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, Volume XVI, No. 3, is a special edition featuring articles focusing on the teaching of Latin.

The issue opens with an excerpt from Dorothy Sayer's "Lost Tools of Learning" followed by six articles on Latin pedagogy:

1) Latin: Training Skilled Communicators (Patch Blakey, ACCS)
2) Latin: Beyond the SAT Score (Peter H. Vande Brake, North Hills Classical Academy)
3) The Best Way to Improve Any Latin Class (Timothy L. Griffith, New St. Andrews College)
4) Latin III at Westminster Academy (Michael Johnson, Westminster Academy)
5) Interdisciplinary Measures: the Integration of Latin (Ginny Kent, Covenant Classical Christian School)
6) How 'Bout Them Apples (Eric Indgjerd, The Oaks: A Classical Christian Academy)

"The Best Way to Improve Any Latin Class" is particularly interesting: "The first and most important task of a Latin teacher is to learn Latin himself." Mr. Griffith gives suggestions for a program of study for Latin teachers which includes rigorous attention to grammar and vocabulary, daily reading, and attendance at a Conventiculum.

"How 'Bout Them Apples" sings the praises of Hans Oerberg's Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, as a text that enables teachers to teach and students to learn "Latin Latinly in the classroom." Mr. Indgjerd sympathizes with Dorothy Sayers, who grieved that classical Latin remained puzzling even after nearly two decades of study and suggests that if she had been able to use Oerberg's method, she would have found her studies more fruitful.

(Escondido Tutorial Service has the full text of Sayer's Lost Tools of Learning online.)

Exeunt Omnes! Platinum Members Only!

Stephen Colbert presented a special report on the Colbert Report last night. It was so special, it was broadcast for "Colbert Platinum members only." All other viewers were instructed to leave the room while the segment broadcast, with the instructions "Exeunt omnes!" (A stage direction meaning "All get out," or "Everyone leaves.")

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Platinum - Urbane Nomads, Gigayacht & Michael Jackson Diamond
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latin Gets a Brief Mention by Stephen Colbert, Again....

At the opening of the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert complimented his wildly enthusiastic audience by proclaiming that "I gotta tell you... if the Roman Empire had you people, we'd all still be speaking Latin!"

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Americans Sacrifice Their iPods
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free Dickinson Workshop: Active Latin in the Classroom: Strategies for Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Students

Milena Minkova and Terence Tunberg (University of Kentucky, Lexington) will be presenting a free Latin workshop at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA on Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

"Active Latin in the Classroom: Strategies for Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Students"

"Oral and written Latin expression can enrich the experience of learning Latin for students at any level. Our goal as classical language teachers is to impart the ability to read original texts written in those languages, and we maintain that judicious use of active Latin as a complement to reading serves that goal. We are also convinced that the active use of Latin can complement a wide variety of methodologies for teaching Latin now in use, including the inductive, reading-oriented approach, as well as the analytical, grammatical approach."

The presenters will offer some background material, and will address some of the theoretical questions which arise from teaching strategies that involve the active use of Latin. Moreover, participants in the workshop will take part in an extensive range of activities involving spoken and written expression, which any teacher can employ, and which are designed for various levels of students ranging from beginners to the advanced. As the “capstone” to these activities, the presenters will show how using active Latin complements and enhances the reading of Latin texts for those students who have reached the level where they can begin to read unadapted Latin works.

Prof. Tunberg has published extensively on the history of Latin prose styles from Cicero up to and including the Renaissance. He is also keenly interested in the practice of Latin prose composition in modern Latin study and has won prizes for original Latin prose in international competitions. He founded in the mid 1990s the Conventiculum Latinum, an annual summer immersion workshop in spoken Latin held on the campus of the University of Kentucky. Today the Conventiculum Latinum draws 60-70 people each year from many parts of North America and the world, and it is the largest and longest-running seminar for active Latin in North America.

Prof. Minkova is the author of The Personal Names of the Latin Inscriptions from Bulgaria (Peter Lang 2000), among other books. With Prof. Tunberg she has written Readings and Exercises in Latin Prose Composition (Focus, 2004); Reading Livy’s Rome. Selections from Livy, Books I-VI (Bolchazy-Carducci, 2005); Mater Anserina. Poems in Latin for Children (Focus, 2006); and Latin for the New Millenium, An Entirely New Introductory Course on the Latin Language (Bolchazy-Carducci, 2009).

The workshop is free of charge, but preregistration is required. For more information, or to register, please contact Mrs. Barbara McDonald ( Pennsylvania Act 48 credit is available.

Two Upcoming Active Latin Webinars

Bolchazy-Carducci will be presenting two Webinars featuring Milena Minkova and Terence Tunberg in September 2009.

The first webinar is "Training Techniques for Spoken Latin Expression," webcasting on September 23, 2009 from 6-8 PM Eastern. Tunberg and Minkova maintain that active use of Latin can help all students and teachers, whether the teacher prefers a more inductive, reading-oriented approach to teaching Latin, or a more analytical and grammatical approach. Participants in this webinar will explore a range of activities involving spoken Latin designed for learners at various levels ranging from beginners to the advanced.

The second webinar is “Virtual Conventiculum," to be held September 30th, 2009, 6-8PM Eastern. This webinar is designed for people who have had some previous experience in spoken Latin and have acquired at least a moderate ability to express themselves orally in the language. Activities will be focused on enhancing vocabulary relating to various spheres of daily life, as well as discussion of short Latin texts in Latin. The Virtual Conventiculum will be conducted entirely in Latin.

Tuition for each webinar is $99.00. RSVP to 847.526.4344 or online at

Class-size is limited to 20 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Latin for the New Millennium Webinar August 13th

Rose Williams will be hosting a one-hour webinar on Latin for the New Millennium, a two year introductory Latin series written by Milena Minkova and Terence Tunberg, on August 13th. Teachers who wish to find out more about Bolchazy-Carducci's new series may RSVP for the free online seminar by registering online. After registration, you should receive emailed instructions on how to join the meeting. Participants need a PC (running XP or Vista) or a Mac (with OS 10.3 or higher) as well as a high-speed internet connect (cable modem, DSL, or similar; dial-up is too slow and not recommended.)

Picturing Pompeii

Those of you who teach using the Cambridge Latin Course will love the Pompeii in Pictures website!

Minimus Webinar

Cambridge University Press has made Barbara Bell's Minimus Webinar, which was held last month, available for online viewing. You can watch it in streaming video or download it as in WMV format. Barbara talks about the impetus behind the writing of Minimus and the advent of and incredible popularity of the Minimus Latin Clubs in England. She also spends some time discussing the historically significant Vindolanda Tablets, which provided the inspiration for the setting and characters in the book.

Barbara discusses the teaching of Minimus and also tells the wonderful story of a class of students with special needs who have great success with the series!

She also answers a number of questions by viewers who participated in the webinar in July.

Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest Registration Open!

New Saint Andrew's College just announced open registration for the first Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest. The contest is open to high school students. Participating students submit a 100 to 200-word original fable, written in Latin, accompanied by an English translation. Submissions will be judged based upon accurate use of Latin vocabulary and forms of speech, creative use of subject matter and writing style. Visit the Official Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest website to find out more about entry guidelines, rules, deadlines and prizes.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Extreme Makeover at the Official Lindsey Davis Website!

The Official Lindsey Davis Website has just gone online with its new and improved design! Those of you who are fans of this historical novelist who has set many of her books in Ancient Rome will enjoy browsing all the features. It's beautifully arranged and easy to navigate!

Each of Davis' novels has its own page with covers, publication details, a plot summary, and reviews and many even include a very brief passage read by the author herself! Other sections include Lindsey's Page (an occasional blog), news, information about translations, audio,radio and film versions of the Falco novels, plus Lindsey's postbag and rants and all sorts of other fun stuff!

If you haven't read any of Lindsey Davis' novels, you'll probably want to start with Silver Pigs, the first Marcus Didius Falco book.