Friday, November 13, 2015

Dolus aut Dulce? Halloween Costume Contest Results

Lydia Haile Fasset, dressed as
a wolf, holds her twin girls,
Secunda, left, and Prima, who
dress as Romulus and Remus.
Over the past month we asked teachers and students to dress up in classics-themed costumes for Halloween and to send their pictures to us through Twitter. We requested that those already intending to dress send us pictures as well. Though we had a nice mix of students and teachers send pictures to us, we will be seeking greater participation from both next year!
Mont Allen, right, and partner
Stephanie Pearson dress as a
blue-skinned Charun and
an Etruscan noblewoman.

Still, it was nice to see such an array of costumes, ranging from traditional Roman mythology, to Greek grammar, and even an Etruscan Charun and noblewoman! Thank you to all who participated, and congratulations to the winners, who were randomly selected from the pool of participants.

Congratulations to winner Mont Allen, Assistant Professor of Classics & Art History at Southern Illinois University. He and partner Stephanie Pearson, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University-Berlin, dressed together as a blue-skinned, hook-nosed Charun, one of the psychopompoi of Etruscan mythology, "claiming" an Etruscan noblewoman clutching her mirror.
Rebeccaa Sahlin, in her
rainbow bustle and train,
dresses as the personification
of the rainbow, Iris.

Congratulations also to our second winner, Lydia Haile Fassett. Another group entrant, she and her twin girls, who go by their Latin names of Prima and Secunda, dressed as Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, with the maternal wolf who found and raised them in their infancy.

Lastly, congratulations to our third winner, Rebecca Sahlin. She dressed as Iris, personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, with a rainbow bustle and train.

Did you miss out on this year's Halloween contest? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming contests, new books, and conference and webinar schedules!

Monday, November 02, 2015

October Answer for Roman Calendar Worksheet

If you have not already done so, check the inside back cover of our 2015-16 Roman Calendar for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the mythology-oriented artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is October's
This Vatican statue depicts Bacchus,
the god of wine and festivities.
image, question, and answer.

Question: What symbols in this statue identify the subject as Bacchus?

Answer: Classicists will identify this Vatican statue as Bacchus for several reasons. As Ovid writes, "The god himself, garlanded by clustered grapes in respect to his forehead, waves a wreathed wand" (Metamorphoses 2.666). Though this statue of Bacchus does not include the wand, it does capture the garland referenced in Ovid's epic poem. In Ovid, as well as in other sources, Bacchus is called boyish and youthful, but as often as he is depicted thus, artists choose to portray him as older and bearded. This sculptor clearly chose the latter take. Lastly, he holds a drinking vessel and a bunch of grapes, representative of his position as the god of wine.

Think your students know the answer to the November question on the worksheet? Tweet @BCPublishers the answer by November 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We’ll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of December. Submit an answer for your class, or encourage students to participate individually.

To add your name to our mailing list for the Roman Calendar, email with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Calendars are mailed annually in August.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Dolus aut Dulce? The Bolchazy-Carducci Costume Contest

Hail Caesar! The late Lou Bolchazy
sporting a toga at ACL 2005.
Are you dressing up in a toga for Halloween? Perhaps you've decided to finally wear that old aegis you've had lying around? Maybe you will be sporting one hundred peacock feathers, once held by the head of Argos? Bolchazy-Carducci urges you to! We not only suggest you do, but if you decide to dress up in classics garb, take a picture and send it our way!

Marie Bolchazy wearing a
floral stola and matching
garland at ACL 2005.
All we need from you is a photo of you in a classics-themed picture. Send it to us via Twitter to @BCPublishers, using the hash tag #BCPub. Do this, and you automatically make yourself eligible for one of three prizes! One photo will be accepted per Twitter account. If multiple people are in one picture all wearing classics costumes, the prize would only go to the owner of the account that tweeted the picture. If by request the contestants ask that another member of the picture stand as the contestant, one that is not the Twitter account member, or not a Twitter member at all, we will accept that as well.

Teachers, tell your students; students, tell your teachers. Tell all of your friends. No need to wait until October 31 to send a picture. We will start accepting photos this week and will continue to accept pictures until 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, November 2nd. Even if it is not your Halloween costume, so long as you have a photo featuring a classics-themed costume, we'll take it!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Introducing the Newly Redesigned Roman Calendar

The 2015–2016 Roman Calendar has arrived! In the newly redesigned calendar, you will find full-color images featuring the Olympian gods alongside the ever-popular sententiae. The calendar also contains information about our latest books, longtime favorites, apps, and more. Check the inside back cover for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is September's image, question, and answer.
Francesco Solimena's Venus
at the Forge of Vulcan

In this scene, Vulcan presents arms to Venus. For whom are they intended? In what literary work is this story told? How many weapons and types of armor can you identify?

Francesco Solimena’s Venus at the Forge of Vulcan is based on a scene from the Aeneid (8.370–449, 608–25) in which Venus asks Vulcan to make new weapons for Aeneas. Solimena’s painting depicts a helmet, a sword, a shield (described at length in Aeneid 8.626–731), a breastplate, and an axe.

Think you know the answer to the remaining questions on the worksheet? Starting in October, tweet @BCPublishers your answer to that month’s question by the 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We’ll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of the following month. Submit an answer for your class, or encourage students to participate individually.

To add your name to our mailing list for the Roman Calendar, email with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Also, let us know by email if you have not received your calendar yet!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bringing Apps into the Classroom

When teaching language, no problem, arguably, causes more student angst than vocabulary acquisition. If you find that students are struggling to keep up with the amount of vocabulary that textbooks hand your students*, then tell them Bolchazy-Carducci has a solution: flashcard vocabulary apps for their smart phones! Products of gWhiz LLC, they act as companions to Latin for the New Millennium, Level 1 and Level 2Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico, and Vergil’s AENEID: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6, and at $9.99 they are no more expensive than a comparable app. Additionally, while the LNM apps are designed for use with their respective, they could be helpful to any introductory Latin course.

Students choose from four different
modes: Adaptive, Self-Test/Quiz,
Flashcard Boxes, and Matching Game.
The flashcard vocabulary apps work just like a traditional set of flash cards, only now students don't have to worry about lugging around stacks of paper to and from class, misplacing some words (thus failing to master them!), or, sadly, remembering to look at them. Students will have the app right on their phone (and will never leave home without their phone), allowing students to keep all their cards in their pockets and on their persons at all times. The apps provide nearly 500 words for each of the LNM sets and an average of 200 flashcards for both the Caesar and the Vergil sets. Each flash card contains the Latin word, including principal parts for verbs and gender for nouns on the front, and the English definition and part of speech on the back. Additionally, each app provides four different study modes: Adaptive, Self-Test/Quiz, Flashcard Boxes, and Matching Game.

The Adaptive study mode passes through each card, keeping track of the known and the unknown, or the learned and the unlearned, words. Students determine themselves whether they know the word or not. Furthermore, the Adaptive study mode allows students to study the vocabulary chapter by chapter or in the entirety of the set, while also allowing students to revisit the words. Lastly, this mode allows students to switch between studying Latin to English and English to Latin.

Students can choose between a
multiple choice option or just
a single - the correct - option.
The Quiz mode is a lot like the Adaptive mode in presentation. It allows students to quickly evaluate their knowledge of the material while providing the student with a "Study Score," or a percentage of how many words the student knows. However, unlike the Adaptive mode, students can only test their knowledge on each flashcard once without starting over. In this way, Quiz mode accurately determines how much and what words the students need to study. The students also have the option of quizzing themselves in multiple choice form or without any options to choose from. 

The Flashcard Boxes mode uses boxes to sort the students's knowledge of the material. The cards can be filed into either the "Known," the "Unknown," or the "Mastered" box for future review. All the cards start in the "Unknown" box and as students cycle through the sets, they place the cards in the appropriate boxes based on their comfort with each. Afterward, students can choose which vocabulary box to study from to freshen up on the mastered cards and drill in the unknown ones - a great way for students to review many weeks' worth of materials for a midterm!

The Matching Game is an alternative to the standard style of flashcard drilling. The cards are set in a grid size of the students's choice, either 6, 9, 16, or 24 pairs. Then they simply hit the back of a card and try to remember its location while they hunt for its match. As the student slowly picks off each pair, they simultaneously unveil the image in the background. Match each pair to reveal the full image! There are a lot of pictures so the the students will have to solve each puzzle to reveal them all.

In addition to the activities, the app allows students to customize the appearance to suit their needs. They can adjust the font style as well as the size. So don't wait! Let students review and master the literary-rich vocabulary from multiple Bolchazy-Carducci titles and Latin authors using traditional flashcard quizzing from Latin to English or English to Latin, or explore other functions of the app. Vocabulary study has never been so easy or so convenient! And if you and your students like the gWhiz apps, stay tuned for a future blog post where I cover the multimodal vocabulary program, eyeVocab.

Do you have experience with gWhiz vocabulary apps that you would like to share? Are there unanswered questions remaining about how to use the apps? Have you experimented with other means of vocabulary acquisition? Do your students have opinions on the apps you would like to share? Leave a question or comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

*Note that for this reason, LNM includes both a Reading Vocabulary list and a list of Vocabulary to Know.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Teacher Tips for the Start of the Semester

For some, this past week marked the start of a new school year. For others, it stood as a reminder that the next school year is just around the corner. Regardless of whether your next semester has started or not, you will always find that you can never be too prepared for the school year. In this post, I will explore the ways you can get your classics classes off on the right foot. Using lessons in Latin phrases, maps, and deities and mythology, teachers can put students on the right track from the start and give them an early chance to get a good handle on their Greek or Latin.

One fun way to start the semester, particularly a Latin one, is to show your class how frequently people use the language today. State mottoes, court houses, even many clocks contain remnants of Latin, and this may be something your students don't know. The beginning of the semester is a great time to expose students to Latin's prevalence, in case they have any doubts of how alive it really is. Slide shows of images containing these common phrases will help students see this. If students enjoy this, have them work from Latin Everywhere, Everyday: A Latin Phrase Workbook to learn more Latin phrases still used today!

Maps often prove effective in the classroom, regardless of the subject. Using maps with geography familiar to your language students, such as the Mediterranean, allows for students to gain a grasp of some simple vocabulary. Questions and demonstrative pronouns, simply from the context of the map activity, slowly become familiar. For example, by pointing to Italy and announcing to the class, "Haec est Italia," students can, without any background in Latin, understand "This is Italy," or something close to it. With appropriate hand gestures and a quizzical countenance, the teacher can then ask, "Ubi est Italia?" By repeating this process throughout the Mediterranean, students have the potential to learn the words for island, Rome, Italy, Greece, and interrogative words, as well as demonstrative pronouns, and even begin to learn the verb "to be," without receiving their first formal lesson! If this lesson goes well, try incorporating A Roman Map Workbook into some lessons later on down the line. For those using Latin for the New Millennium, every review unit features Latin phrases, mottoes, and terms still in use today.

Understandably, not every student loves maps as much as I do, but who doesn't love a good myth about Zeus's exploits or the hunts of Artemis? Using simple sentences to reconstruct a myth and supplying the appropriate images to accompany it will both command the students's attention and keep them engaged. As with the maps, teachers can help students get an understanding of the story with the appropriate context and with hand gestures and facial movements. In this way, students can acquire the Latin or Greek for words such as god or goddess, father and mother, son and daughter. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to learn the words for certain objects related to deities, such as lightning bolt, owl, stag, or epithets such as far-shooter or grey-eyed.

Do you have other means of starting the semester? Have you tried things that have worked wonderfully or failed miserably? Leave a question or comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NJCL: Bigger in Texas

NJCL: Bigger in Texas
2015 National Junior Classical League Report

The 62nd Annual National Junior Classical League Convention was held at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, from July 27 to August 1, 2015. The Fiesta Room was open to book exhibitions July 29 to 31. Don Sprague and Connor Hart represented Bolchazy-Carducci during the allotted time, holding down seven tables of books and buttons through waves of people and periods of quietude. Traffic at our exhibit varied, most likely due to scheduling conflicts and being located adjacent to the Student Union rather than in it. Students and teachers had to decide to come to the exhibits; no “street traffic” wandered in. Still, several times conferees had to wait in line to purchase books or ask about Lectiones Memorabiles, eyeVocab, and other products.

The new buttons were a hit. One teacher even bought out our supply of four buttons for her classes. One young woman asked if we had a button with Cogito. Ergo sum femina. A number of students and teachers wore the buttons they received in their registration packets from our "classic" stock. Sue Roberts, on behalf of the NJCL leadership, came by the display to thank us personally for the buttons and encouraged us to do something similar again.

A fraction of the the B-C display,
with Lectiones Memorabiles,
and new buttons!
We held a fishbowl drawing and met good success. Twenty-three teachers and fourteen students signed up. Publicity via social media started late as we did not have internet access for the first couple hours at Trinity but once that was sorted out we sent out several live tweets as reminders. Unfortunately it seemed that not everyone was keeping up, or could keep up, with our tweets, as several students showed up after the drawing hoping to win. Student Winston Durand of Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA, took home Bundle 1, a set of culture resource books, while Andy Ellis, a teacher at Anderson High School in Austin, TX, took home Bundle 2 with the IB volumes and some Cicero and Ovid texts.

Students seemed very interested in the wide selection of prose authors and poets to choose from in the BC Latin Readers. Many students were also thrilled about the Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein books and many of these books were purchased. When the Wall Street Journal spoke to ACL Administrative Secretary Sherwin Little about an article on Latin and Latin translations, he immediately referred the reporter to Allan Bolchazy, who gave the comments published at the end of this article. A good number of students also showed interest in our Greek language books, such as Plato Transitional Reader, Twenty Greek Stories, and others, primarily for independent use. In addition, several sought Greek history and culture textbooks.

It impressed us to see all the students interested in Greek, especially at the independent study level. Some remarked how the term "classics" seemed more synonymous with "Latin" than with the relevance of the ancient Mediterranean altogether. Aside from this minor disappointment, students seemed overall enthusiastic and happy to be in Texas, despite the average temperature of 97 degrees. Even with the heat, we caught a parade of students in togas marching through campus as we packed up to leave on Friday.

-Connor Hart

Monday, July 20, 2015

From Products to Presentations: Recap of the ACL Institute 2015

From Products to Presentations
Recap of the ACL Institute 2015

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers at the 68th annual ACL Institute in Storrs, CT.
The 68th Annual Institute of the American Classical League was held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connectitcut this past June 26 to 28. In attendance for Bolchazy-Carducci were Marie and Allen Bolchazy, Don Sprague, and Laurel Draper. They managed a nice looking exhibit with six tables of books, buttons, and more, though you may have missed them with the brisk and heavy traffic and the lines of people ordering books. This consisted of people with questions and comments about our books, such as Latin for the New Millennium and Lectiones Memorabiles, as well as those interested in our new buttons and the fishbowl drawing. Additionally, there was plenty of activity outside of our display.

One comment at our tables was that Latin for the New Millennium (LNM) does not align with the National Latin Exam. This is not unlike any other Latin program, as the NLE is not tailored to any single series. Because of this, no matter what book a teacher uses they will have to supplement and accelerate the introduction of some topics. For this reason, Bolchazy-Carducci has had an LNM correlation to the NLE on their website, found here.

In addition to comments on LNM, there was a clear interest in other Bolchazy-Carducci products, including eyeVocab. Current teachers of LNM look forward to adding this multi-sensory implement that covers all of the vocabulary in the textbook, to their classrooms. One teacher mentioned how she would like to have her students buy it (the cost being, as our editor Don pointed out, comparable to a couple visits to Starbucks). eyeVocab is not only available for LNM but also for Clyde Pharr's AENEID I-VI, Caesar: Selections from his COMMENTARII DE BELLO GALLICO by Hans-Friedrich Mueller, and for Barbara Weiden Boyd's Vergil's AENEID: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6.

Interest in Lectiones Memorabiles Volume I and Volume II attracted many customers. These texts contain all the unadapted Latin passages prescribed for the IB Latin Syllabus. Interestingly enough, not all customers interested in the titles taught in the IB program. Such strong appeal led to an abundance of sales, and we sold out of all copies on hand but one Volume II! Many others ordered them at the booth.

Also at the conference, we received a request to have our Vergil and Caesar notebooks available digitally. The nature of these teacher-friendly books is to have students write in them at home and bring just the notebook to class. However, the workbooks for Vergil and Caesar are available digitally, a nice alternative! Another request came to us at our booth, and that was to have a Teacher's Guide for our Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences. It was great to see interest in this, as we had just given the green light for this!
Winners of the fishbowl drawing Paul Giblin (left) and
Lance Piantaggini each took home a book bundle.

Though comments and questions on our books drew in much of the traffic, and though our new buttons were a hit (people seemed thrilled with our promotional "Buy a book, get a button from our classic stock"), Bolchazy-Carducci also held another “fishbowl” drawing. Having met success with the last drawing at the Medieval Conference in Kalamazoo, MI, we decided to offer two book bundles this time. Congratulations to the winners! Paul Giblin and Lance Piantaggini, who each won a bundle of books. When attending conferences, always be sure to stop by our booth, so that you don't miss an opportunity to win prizes!

There were plenty of good presentations at the conference this year, and a few of particular interest to us. Linda Montross gave a presentation geared toward preparing for the NLE, during which she made mention of several B-C titles, including Classical Mythology and More, To Be a Roman, Excelability in Advance Latin, and Roman Map Workbook. Ronnie Ancona also addressed our BC Latin Reader on Lucan, A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War, during the organized panel entitled "A Little Lucan Goes a Long Way: The Value of Introducing Lucan's De Bello Civili into the Secondary School Latin Classroom." Besides Ancona, the other presenters were graduate students who had studied Lucan with her, using the BC Reader. Lastly, Rose Williams gave a presentation entitled "New Spain or New Rome? Hispanic Work in the New World." She presented various aspects of Roman influence in New Spain, including references to the authors and works in our forthcoming text, authored by Williams, Latin of New Spain. The session concluded with small group work translating three Latin passages followed by a question and answer period. This book should be out in late August.

The weekend concluded with the banquet and the emeritus/emerita awards. John Traupman, author of Conversational Latin, received an award, which was accepted for him by Ronnie Ancona in his absence. Awardee Virginia Blasi touched B-C staff with her praise of the late Lou Bolchazy in her acceptance speech. David Pellegrino, author of several B-C vocabulary card compilations for AP Latin selections, also accepted an award, as did ACL technology guru Cindy Caltagirone. Latin and English sing-a-longs followed dinner, which included a timely and felicitous "Over the Rainbow."

Overall we had a great time talking with friends, customers, and all attendees. Were you unable to make the conference, and still have questions? Did you attend, and is there a part of your experience you would like to share? Feel free to comment or ask questions below. I'd love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart

Monday, July 06, 2015

Classics in the News, Part 2

Classics in the News, Part II
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom

In a recent blog post I touched on a few ways for students to take classics-related news they find online and bring it into the classroom. The idea is to have students briefly browse the internet for or set up an alert to help find an article relevant to classics studies. Then, students share the article with the class, discussing its main points and the significance of the article, as well as its relation to classics. Additionally, I mentioned a couple of different ways to present the article. In light of the March 2015 eLitterae, where Lynne West provides a "Tech Tip" on the movie-making program, Animoto, I will here show how students can use the program for this type of classroom project.
An article taken from the UK news site,
Independent, discusses a botched
restoration  job that ruined mosaics.

The first step is to find the article. As mentioned in the previous post, I receive daily Google alerts, so it was easy to find this article from a United Kingdom news site, the Independent, on a restoration job that left several mosaics warped and ruined. I recommend that part of the project involve students setting up an "ancient news" alert, using terms such as "Ancient," "Greek," and "Roman" to help narrow the results of their alerts.

Next, it is important for students to find out what the main point of the article is, the article's relevance to classics, and why it is significant. Students should not have to force the answers. If they cannot answer these questions easily they should scrap the article and find another as there will be plenty to choose from. In this article, the Independent reports that "negligence in the process of moving the artefacts [sic]" led to the damage of eight or nine mosaics, including one depicting the sacrifice of Isaac and one of Dionysus. This point is at the center of the article. These mosaics are ancient Roman artifacts, directly linking them to the ancient world and thus, making this article relevant to classics. Lastly, the article is important because it raises awareness to the issue of negligence when handling ancient artifacts and how, when not handled properly, valuable pieces can be lost.
A shot of the Animoto dashboard.

Once students have established these points, they should then put it all into presentable format. With Animoto (which, for those interested in trying this approach, allows for a free 30-day trial), all students need to do is pick a video format, add photos and some text, pick some music to accompany the project, and produce it! Students might want to let their film run while they present over it or designate a spot during their presentation to show it to the class. Something simple like this one I've created may work better as an illustrative auxiliary for when the presenter makes their points, though something fancier may deserve more attention.

Students have a chance to let their creative sides shine in a variety of ways! If you have any ideas or suggestions on how else to make "Classics in the News" an effective project, if you you have any experiences using Animoto or any similar format, or if you have other classroom project ideas, comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

Monday, June 15, 2015

What to Do in Kalamazoo: 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

What to Do in Kalamazoo: 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Laurel Draper and Adam Velez
representing Bolchazy-Carducci
in Kalamazoo, MI in May.
Last month marked the 50th year of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In attendance for Bolchazy-Carducci were assistant editor Laurel Draper and senior graphic designer Adam VelezCheck out what people bought, said, and won at our booth this year!

Rumor had it that overall attendance for the conference may have been down, but it appeared to be about normal from our end. The Wheelock's Latin supplement, Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences, was very popular this year and and attracted many customers seeking help in their transition from elementary Latin to medieval Latin. This supplement moved like hot cakes off of the booth. The usual top sellers, the children’s books and the Dr. Seuss titles, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hatwere readily sold as well.

There was also continued strong interest in the BC Latin Readers and LNM. Also, while a few people did come by to look at Artes Latinae, our self-teaching Latin program, most in attendance commented on their expectation of and desire for something more technologically and pedagogically more modern. Looks like we’ll need to make some adjustments to what we bring next year to further suit your interests!
Laurel Draper presenting "fishbowl drawing
winner V. M. Roberts with four new books.

Bolchazy-Carducci also held a “fishbowl” drawing for a bundle of four books, including Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences.  When attending conferences, always be sure to stop by our booth, lest you should miss an opportunity to win prizes! Congratulations to V. M. Roberts, the lucky winner of the Kalamazoo "fishbowl" drawing, who took home this book bundle.

Were you able to attend the International Congress on Medieval Studies this year? Do you have questions, or is there anything you hope to see next year? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart