Monday, January 14, 2013

Latin Magnet Board

I tutor Abecedarians this year, so one of the great issues with that is that they cannot all read, and they cannot all write. 

Hmmm....

(I especially enjoy this fact when I erase a subject off the white board and a child goes "I can still see that!!" trying to tease me that they're going to be able to cheat at review time, knowing full well they can't read it, so the squiggles on the board aren't going to help!)

This makes Latin especially hard, in my book.  It's not really useful information to most of them.  So far the biggest breakthrough on Latin we had was when I brought in a penny to show them "E Pluribus Unum".  "From Many, One", look! From is a preposition, and many belongs to it! I got so excited and they all stared at me and were very sweetly trying to indulge my excitement at making Latin relate to their lives.

Sigh.

Anyhow, for the second semester of Cycle 1, I wanted something useful to make the Latin at least be multi-sensory.  I tried tracing sheets the first semester, but that took some of our younger abecedarians far too long, where our older ones were done in a split second (the spread in my class is ages 3-6).  So, one day while perusing the Dollar Tree (whoot!) I found cookie sheets and became inspired.  We could practice the Latin Noun Cases each week, and then fill in the chart using magnets! 

Sweet!  So, I color coded the noun cases:
Which is especially important so that I can color code them for each week for my youngest ones.  I think for the older ones, they'd be fine to just match up, but for my younger guys, I'll print the endings out in the correct color, so the only "work" will be to put the singular and plural form in the correct place.  Print your words out to be cut down to 2x2 squares on cardstock, and if you have a laminator, this would be a good time to break it out!  Then apply magnetic strips or squares to the back.  Voila, you have your magnets.

For the magnet board, you'll need:
 A cookie sheet (used is fine).  Before you think that you can save money buying a two-pack of disposable pans, remember that Aluminum isn't magnetic.  However, as I mentioned, I got my cookie sheets at the dollar store.  You'll also need a ruler, wet erase marker, and permanent markers, ribbon, a glue gun, and an envelope with fastener (like a brad or loop of string).
 First, we're going to use the wet-erase marker to figure out the size of our boxes.  I ended up doing this measurement (What's that, like, 2 and 3/8ths? I don't know, I was taught metrics)
 By Two inches.  Thank you so much for happening to work out on a whole number!! (Your cookie sheet may have different needs than my cookie sheet.  Sometimes things at the dollar store are a slightly different size....)
 Here's what you'll end up with.  You need 20 squares in a 5x4 configuration. If you did the math, you realized that at 2 inches a square, I'm missing an inch somewhere.
Found it! You can use the extra inch to write your labels.  (Noun Case, Part of the Sentence, Singluar, Plural).  Originally I was going to write vertically so it was obvious which way the board was to be oriented, but I thought that would be hard for my Abecedarians to read, so I switched it.  It hurt my desire for "Things To Look A Certain Way", but I know it'll be more useful for them. 
Oooohhh, squares.  When you're done, just take your ruler and put it on top of the line you just drew so that you're re-tracing your line in permanent marker just to the side of your wet-erase line.  Then you can erase your tracings.
I wrote each child's name on the top "lip" and "Latin!" on the bottom.  You can see a few magnet squares hanging out on the board just to prove my point.  On the back of your cookie sheet, use your hot glue to attach the envelope (where you'll keep your magnetic words and endings) and the ribbon, so your student can hang up their board if they'd like to.  For my class, I left the ribbons off since they'll be traveling back and forth to CC in my box, and would probably just get torn off.

Have fun!
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