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