Latin (Room 112)

Magistra Cohen – Latin

Magistra Cohen has been teaching Latin at Decatur since 2004. Prior to teaching at Decatur, she taught middle school Latin for eight years at Baker Demonstration School, then a department of National-Louis University. Magistra is endorsed in Latin, grades K-12 and gifted education, grades K-8. She graduated summa cum laude with honors from Northwestern University with degrees in mathematics and Slavic languages and literatures and a minor in Classics. She earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary Latin Education from Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.  Magistra serves on many citywide, statewide and national committees, including APPLAUD, the association of CPS Latin teachers; the planning committee of the Illinois Classical Conference/National-Louis University Latin Pedagogy Workshop, the nomination committee of the American Classical League, the program committee of the American Classical League, and the Exploratory Latin Exam committee of Excellence Through Classics. She has also written World Language and Latin REACH Performance Tasks for the Board of Education. Magistra maintains the website and Twitter account for the Illinois Classical Conference.  A frequent presenter at classics and language conferences, Magistra was honored to serve on the national committee that updated and rewrote the Standards for Classical Language Learning.

Weekly Updates from the Latin Room:

Latin Homework, Week of December 11-15, 2017

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST MAY BE UPDATED DURING THE WEEK! For questions regarding specific details of Latin homework, please ask your Latin student…   Read More

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Quid novi?

Quid Novi? What’s New?   Kindergarten   Kindergarten students read the stories of Daedalus and Icarus and Bellerophon and Pegasus this week. We also started…   Read More

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Latin Homework, Week of December 4-8, 2017

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST MAY BE UPDATED DURING THE WEEK! For questions regarding specific details of Latin homework, please ask your Latin student…   Read More

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Quid novi?

Quid Novi? What’s New?   Kindergarten Kindergarten students read the story of Echo and Narcissus this week. We worked on mini-books to bring home and…   Read More

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Latin Homework, Week of November 27-December 1, 2017

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST MAY BE UPDATED DURING THE WEEK! For questions regarding specific details of Latin homework, please ask your Latin student…   Read More

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Program Overview

The Latin curriculum at Decatur is correlated with the Standards for Classical Language Learning (published at https://www.aclclassics.org/uploads/assets/files/Standards_Classical_Learning.pdf) and designed to provide all students with

  • overall linguistic awareness and sensitivity
  • knowledge of ancient culture and its influence on our modern world
  • reading ability in Latin

Delphinus2Students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade focus on Greek and Roman mythology, the ancient epics of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid; and basic language topics. Students in third through sixth grade follow a Latin I sequence, similar to what is commonly taught in three years of middle school or during the first year of high school.  With the ultimate goal of learning to read Latin, students learn Latin vocabulary, grammar, English vocabulary derived from Latin, and Roman culture and history.

Classroom Expectations & Policies:

Welcome back to an exciting year at Decatur! I am thrilled to be starting my fourteenth year as Decatur’s Latin teacher and delighted to welcome students into a dedicated Latin room for the first time since I arrived here as a teacher! I am especially excited to share books from my Bibliothecula Latina with students of all grades!

Expectations:

Along with all Decatur teachers, I encourage students to endure challenges, be present, and take care of each other.

I expect students to learn by listening to each other and to me. We listen in Latin class using auresoculivox, and corpus totum! (This means our ears, eyes, voice, and whole body.)

I urge students not to be scared to make mistakes! Making mistakes is an essential part of learning a language. We learn an enormous amount through making mistakes and correcting them.

Beginning in third grade, I encourage my Latin students to create their own “incubator” or “greenhouse” for their language skills to grow by setting aside a small amount of time every day  to work on homework, review classwork, and practice their skills.  In this way, students strengthen their understanding of what they have learned and discover their strengths and where they need more work.

I expect students to maintain an organized Latin binder (grades 3-6) or folder (grades 1-2.) I provide modeling for organization.

When students have questions about their Latin work, they should be sure to ask me or a classmate. Fear inhibits learning, and sometimes asking for a little extra help is the key to overcoming obstacles!

Communication:

I will post highlights from the week and notices of upcoming assessments, contests, or special events on this website. For more informal updates, as well as #decaturclassicalalumni achievements, interesting articles about language and learning, and humorous classical items, please follow @decaturlatin on Twitter!

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time at nrcohen@cps.edu with any questions or concerns that arise. While it may take me up to 48 hours to respond, I will do my best to respond to your e-mail as quickly as possible.  I also highly encourage your children to e-mail me directly with their questions and concerns, eliminating your role as the intermediary.

Grading Policies:

Students in the kindergarten through second grade language and literature sequence do not receive grades in Latin.

Students in third grade receive grades based on the following formula:

  • Classwork: 35%
  • Homework: 5%
  • Assessments: 60%

Students in the fourth through sixth grade receive grades based on the following formula:

  • Classwork: 30%
  • Homework: 10%
  • Assessments: 60%

Classes and Homework:

All assignments are posted on Parent Portal and on this webpage. Assignments are due the class period after they are assigned, unless otherwise noted. Work that is not finished in class may be sent home to be finished. No late work will be accepted.

Kindergarten and First Grade

The kindergarten and first grade Latin curriculum is an elementary language and literature program. Homework is not assigned in kindergarten and first grade.  Kindergarten and first grade students do not receive grades in Latin.

Second Grade

The second grade Latin curriculum is an elementary language and literature program, preparatory to the Latin I sequence.  Assignments may be found in the First Latin activity book or on photocopied handouts.  Second grade students do not receive grades in Latin.

Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades

Third through sixth grade students follow a Latin I reading curriculum.  Homework makes up a small percentage of the overall grade, but is highly recommended to hone skills, because modern language strategies are, for the most part, unavailable to students of classical languages. Homework is graded based on completion and effort, rather than accuracy.  I remind students that making mistakes is an essential part of the language-learning process and that homework is the ideal place to make (and then correct) mistakes!

I ask students to spend the following amount of time on Latin homework, review, and practice daily:

  • 3rd grade: 5-10 minutes every day
  • 4th grade: 10-15 minutes every day
  • 5th grade: 15-20 minutes every day
  • 6th grade: 20-30 minutes every day

Assessments:

Students will be assessed through quizzes, tests, reading assessments, and Cogitationes (test corrections.)  Quizzes and Cogitationes carry twice the weight of tests and reading assessments.

Links:

 

Updates from the School:

Weekly Music Class Update 12/11-12/15

Homework: 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students have practicing or music homework regularly (although it does not take much time.) Please check google classroom…   Read More

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Girls Expressive Arts Group

Girls Expressive Arts Group: The expressive arts provide opportunities for alternative avenues of self-expression and social connection. This group will be offered for 10…   Read More

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