Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Back to School Supplies for Latin!

As we all gear up for the start of another school year, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my favorite study tools for students of all ages and teachers of levels.

Flash Cards – all ages, beginning levels

Index cards have become the quintessential vocabulary study tool. I like using the colored packs as they can provide a creative mnemonic tool for differentiating between parts of speech and the gender of nouns. As students create the cards, they must consider carefully which color to use for each word. As they study the cards they will often subconsciously memorize that color in association with the card. For visual learners, this can be VERY helpful.

Some students will find these tools helpful throughout their years of study and will keep up with them on their own. Others after a few years may drop the practice in favor of other vocab methods in their advanced years.

  • pink – feminine nouns
  • blue – masculine nouns
  • yellow – neuter
  • green – adjectives
  • purple/orange – adverbs
  • white – verbs

Colored Pencils & Highlighters – all levels

I like using colored pencils as a tool for conjugating verbs or declining nouns. I will ask students to write the stem in regular pencil and the series of inflected endings in another color. Students love using colors in class and the varied color change is another subtle yet effective means of learning how to distinguish between stem and endings.

If your students learn Latin via a consumable workbook, highlighters can be helpful in highlighting important definitions or main ideas in a lesson.

As students advance, I find many like to use both colored pencils and/or highlighters to mark up printed copies of a Latin passage. They may use parentheses to identify clauses, or draw arrows to signify agreement. In complex poetry where word order is very loose, they may underline one noun-adjective pair in blue and another in red. This is particular useful when studying rhetorical word patterns such as synchises and chiasmus.

Latin Dictionaries – middle and high school students

I am often asked for recommendations for Latin dictionaries. I typically allow students the freedom to choose the one that best suites their own learning style. However, I recommend either Cassell’s Latin Dictionary or the Collins Gem Latin Dictionary. I like these because they write out all the principle parts. Some dictionaries will omit the second principle part (i.e. infinitive) and instead include a number 1, 2, 3, or 4 to identify the conjugation. Students are expected to infer what the infinitive will look like based on the number of the conjugation. That is fine in theory, but many students find that confusing. Advise students to thumb through a copy before they buy. These can be found at most major book stores and at discount stores such as Half-Prince Books. Most of my students prefer Collins Gem because they like the compact “pocket” size.

Grammar Cards – Grammar/Elementary School

Memoria Press offers a really nice set of grammar cards in two different sizes. There is a desk size that a student may keep at his own personal desk. These can easily be pulled out for close individual reference in class or at home. For many students these large laminated cards are very handy when placed on the table next to their work for quick easy reference (as opposed to flipping through pages at the back of the book). Memoria Press also carries larger wall charts that can be posted in any classroom.

Grammar Cards – Upper School

All grammar textbooks will contain an appendix with reference charts. As students move past these texts into transitional or advanced Latin readings, they many not always have such an appendix in their reading source. My students love the Graphic Latin Grammar Cards from Bolchazy-Carducci. These provide a very comprehensive listing of all noun, verb, adjective, and participle forms (irregular words too) as well as some concise reminders on syntax. If I forget to pass these out at the beginning of the year, they ask for them by name within the first couple weeks. These are a great tool to have ready at hand when working through Latin readings.  (Bolchazy-Carducci also offers Greek Graphic Grammar Cards for Greek lovers!)

STAMPS! – for students or teachers

I absolutely LOVE a good stamp. Most teachers I know do too. When a student has done well on an assignment, particularly if it is a break-through moment or a personal best, I love putting a sticker or stamp on the paper.  I find that even high school students appreciate a little stamp-love. One of my colleagues, the indominable Ginny Lindzey, recently created a whole series of Latin Classroom Stamps. Whether you are a teacher who likes a motivational stamp or a student who wants to add a bit of Latin stamp art to your assignment, or you are a stamp fan who enjoys the stationary thing, you will enjoy these!

Do you have some favorite tools for Latin study that you would like to recommend?  Please share in the comments below.

 

Leave a Reply

Clickcha is not yet active. Please enter Clickcha API keys in settings.