Saturday, November 5, 2011

End of the First Quarter

I'm surfacing briefly in the midst of the end-of-term grading marathon.  No pictures today, because I like my pictures to be pretty and it's not a pretty picture.  I give a mean, 4-page, brain-dump final exam to all three of my Latin classes, and since it's the first of the year and the first ever for the 6th graders, I need to grade them carefully and thoroughly and get an idea of the kids' strengths and weaknesses.  Each final has a vocab section and at least one grammar section, and I give those two sections of the final as a pretest quiz the week before, so they can either test out or study up on them and ace them on the final.  A surprising number of kids do not take advantage of that opportunity.  In fact, almost all of the kids who got an F on the final exam would have passed if they had mastered the material on the pretest.

Overall, my bell curve looks nice, with a gratifying number of A's and B's.  The tests also have a sentence translation section, a Latin quotes section (e.g., sine qua non, Adhibenda est in jocando moderatio, Gloria in excelsis Deo, etc.), and a matching section on Roman History (6th grade), Roman culture (7th grade) or Greco-Roman mythology (8th grade).  I'm regularly on the lookout for interesting, classically-themed pangrams to spell out secret messages in the matching sections.  I can do it in Latin and feel even cleverer... various abbreviated forms of "Magistra made this," but I don't think the kids get it.

Then in addition to the finals, I have the Lingua Angelica worksheets to grade (Gloria in excelsis for 6th grade, Veni Creator Spiritus for 8th grade) and the final grades to compile by next Wednesday.  And I have to have the syllabi for all three classes to give out Monday morning.  I am so glad I did the whole year's worth of lesson plans in the summer.

Good news: the Megaquilter is working.  I finished reconnecting it today and have done a bit of Quarta's 9-patch/ freeform applique first quilt, and it's humming along nicely.  I was worried because it took a good month to set it up when I first got it and we had a lot of technical problems getting all the pieces to work together.  But a tune-up was what it needed and it's working okay.  Now I need to find the time to use it...

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