Yesterday, my students were begging to have class outside and since in Florida we rarely have nice, brisk, wintery days, I submitted to this mutiny.
I had planned to do some story-asking today, having prepped my students with some vocabulary and PQA (personal question asking) the day before. With no white board to fall back on, it would be a bit of an experiment to see if my students could keep up with the details of the story while not being distracted by being outside. Needless to say, it worked.
After I had performed the story with my students, we went back to our classroom and conducted a Verum/Falsum check. I asked 5 questions and had the students record their result; then I passed out the red pens and they checked their work. The results were impressive, the students across the board got pretty much all 5 questions correct although there were a few that missed one at the max.
I didn’t ask simple questions, but instead focused on quomodo, seeking if my students could remember how the main characters in the story walked to each of the three scenes. Not only did they understand what I was asking, they could recall the facts of the story after we paused and walked back up to our classroom. This showed me that they were able to retain the information for quite a while. Very promising results.
We are in the middle of a conversion to CI, as I am evolving my practice to get more exposure to Latin. My goal has always been to break free of the chains of translation/grammar-based approaches as I want to instill in my students a love and appreciation for Latin and, hopefully, they will continue studying it for the duration of their lives.
Next, I will supply them all with a reading and a follow up activity to really confirm what they are learning but this is a very promising step indeed and may even allow us more time under the trees.