Pine Crest Junior Classical League Set For State Forum in Orlando 2018

I was brought to Pine Crest to develop a Latin program and in our third year, we are showing signs of exciting growth.

Not only have we hired another teacher, to teach Latin I Honors and Latin II Honors classes, we also offer Latin III Honors and will expand to AP Latin next year. We also have a lively JCL chapter here known as the Pine Crest Junior Classical League or PCJCL. It has taken some time to develop, but this year we participated in our first ever regional forum at Northeast High School and we jumped into certamen competition at both Level II and Advanced. We came away with 4 medals for 6 participants – 3 bronzes for a 3rd place finish in certamen Advanced and 1 gold medal for classical art in the academic testing category. Not too bad!

We have just been approved for our trip to Orlando to participate in the state forum. It will be our first time and my second (attended with a small contingent from my Somerset program at the time). We plan on heading up to Disney the first day, then being well-represented at the convention over that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday period in April. This will build camaraderie as well as publicize the fact that Pine Crest Latin is a program on the rise!

Heading to Living Latin in New York City!

I continue to evolve my practice in Latin from a grammar-based approach to natural method to now, comprehensible input. It is based on an initial dissatisfaction with not being able to read and think in the target language, despite all of my training. I have been working on instilling CI into my program and have been looking for more training – so I am excited to be able to attend, thanks to the support of my administration back at Pine Crest.

Read more about what I hope to accomplish here on Romae.org. I will miss time with my family, but it will give me incredible momentum moving forward in helping me perfect my practice and really develop our Latin program into one of the most innovative in the country!

The Maker Movement and Studying History | FCIS 2016 Miami

As promised, here is a copy of my presentation this afternoon, The Maker Movement and Studying History. It is packed with other resources and links, so please grab a copy and do with it what you will! I would love to hear your feedback and comments on what worked for you.

Using 3D printing and other advanced technologies requires a bit of training and a learning curve. It is important to also note that if your school is thinking of adopting these types of resources, they also need to have an expert staff in place to help guide the students on their usage. Our iLabs at Pine Crest are well-staffed and managed and this has been an excellent resource for us as teachers and helping us innovate our practices.

Also, here are some of the resources that I mentioned in my presentation that could get you started:

  • Tinkercad – web-based CAD program to design your 3D images
  • Thingiverse – web-based CAD program and online repository for 3D projects; check out their education section
  • Ponoko – outsource for your printing needs
  • Shapeways – outsource for your printing needs; inspire with various projects
  • Inventables – a marketplace for all things encompassing the maker movement
  • Makerbot – 3D printing needs, hardware; also has digitizing hardware
  • Minecraft – you can also read about some of my early experimentations here

Presenting “The Maker Movement and Studying History” at FCIS Miami 2016

One of the fundamental questions educators have is what the future will look like for their students. Our current educational system is undergoing a reformation, faced with the uncertainty and the challenges that await the future.

The technology that is available is not only changing human behaviors, but how we interact with information. Gone are the days of rote memorization of information in order to establish fields of knowledge. Instead, the importance place on content knowledge has been replaced by what one can do with the information.

The FCIS annual conference slogan is “cultivating growth – a mindset for the future”. Picking up on that theme, and this new era of information interactivity that we have entered, I am presenting on how our students at Pine Crest are at the forefront of innovation. Having access to the latest technologies via an iLab – with 3D printers, laser cutters, and a whole host of tools – we had our students reconstruct artifacts from history. Adopting concepts from the Maker Movement, students actively engaged in their own learning and utilized constructivist approaches to help them experience their learning through trial and error.

My presentation will be taking place in Session III from 12:00-12:50 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.

Amicitia Social Networking Presentation at ACL Institute a Success

I recently attended the American Classical League’s 65th institute in Las Vegas at UNLV. While there, I was able to participate in three presentations, two of which were centered on the Rome In Situ program and the other was a presentation of my Amicitia social network on Romae.org.

After attending the Rome In Situ program last year, I was able to fortify my experiences with technology and their implementation in the classroom. I gained experience using the Gigapan system to take 360 degree panoramic photos of ancient Roman locales while also learning how to better create content for my students to make the subject become more alive. We presented our findings from last year’s workshop in a 3 hour pre institute workshop were I also used the Amicitia to host various resources and continue the discussion going forward into the future. Our group also coordinated using the Amicitia group I set up in order to make our planning more efficient considering that various members of our panel were all over the United States (and one was actually on a trip to Italy).

My presentation, “Amicitia: Using Social Networking to Build a Latin Community”, highlighted the various applications of a social network to augment my classes. I detailed the need for innovation in light of today’s highly evolving technological environment while also maintaining the traditional values found in Classical education. I used my classes as case examples, illustrating various types of assignments being carried out through the groups on Amicitia as well as other collaborative projects my students have undertaken such as the Minecraft Romae project.

See my presentation (source is a PDF file).

What I discovered is that there is a deep swelling of support for this type of project as well as a critical need within the field. Several teachers came to me with interest in getting involved in the project. In fact, several organizations are now coordinating with me to house their projects online via Romae’s network. Stay tuned for more developments; for the next year we anticipate a rise in the activity and application of Romae and the Amicitia in other classrooms.