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Well, 5th grade, we are going to have a short time to explore the Latin language and the culture of the Romans.  Of course, you know that the Romans were the ones who spoke Latin, right?  I happen to think that the Romans were a very neat people who did some fairly great things like aqueducts, the Colosseum, arches, and their language. 

One of the most interesting things about Latin is that the rules for it are very straightforward, at least in the beginning.  In other words, a rule is a rule is a rule.  There are very few exceptions in Latin.  And the exceptions can usually be counted on one hand. English, however, is a hodgepodge of all kinds of other languages, so the rules are jumbled most of the time.  It is easy for us because we grew up speaking it, but for people who did not grow up with English, it is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. 

Take this example:  "i" before "e" except after "c" or unless pronounced "ay" as in "neighbor" or "weigh." 

Look at the rule.  There are exceptions (2 of them) built right into it.  And then explain to me this word.  Science.  Doesn't work here, does it?

I guess what I am trying to say here is Latin is easy if you keep it all in perspective. 

Here is what I expect of you in Latin class.

  1. You really need to complete your homework everyday.  I assign work most of the time. It is not always written, but it still has to be done for the next class.  I try to check this often.
  2. In the unlikely event that I don't assign homework, make sure that you study vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary.  The secret to learning any foreign language is knowing the words.  After that, understanding is much easier because at least you know what you are talking about.
  3. I will make a day for 5th graders only to come for help if they need it.  I think that you know when you need help.  I will try to remind you if I think you should come, but it really should be your responsibility to come find me first.
  4. Please be attentive and courteous of me and your classmates.  Some people need extra time to answer questions.  I expect you to respect each other.
  5. Think fast because I don't always or usually call on the people with their hands up.  I go fast, and I try to get you going fast, too. 
  6. We will have tests, quizzes, pop quizzes, projects, and homework for grades.  Do your best and try your hardest on everything.  If I see that you are trying, I will try to help you to succeed.  Don't give up. 

There are probably more things, but the most important things to remember are these:

Vocabulary, Vocabulary, Vocabulary!
Always do your homework!
Think fast!
Be nice!
Have fun!

I will try to post homework assignments here, but don't rely on this instead of your assignment pad.  Make sure you write the assignments and notes down where you can find them because they may not always be here on time.  See you in class!