Yesterday, I gave my first Portal.
As you may recall, a Portal is a kind of quiz I’m using in Latin class. Students must get a 100% on the quiz, but they get to take it as many times as they need. They’re learning the endings of the Nominative and Accusative cases for the first, second and third declension nouns.
Five kids from the two classes passed, which by ordinary circumstances would seem to be an abysmal failure rate. Some of them missed macrons. Some of them mixed up which endings were singular and which were plural.
But the students appear to be grooving on the concept of needing to find the right clavius (key) recludet (it unlocks) the portam (doorway). They’re treating it as a game, and they’re enjoying the challenge of learning the right set of keystrokes (or pen strokes, in this case) to open the door. And I don’t yet have the problem that one kid just hasn’t gotten it yet and doesn’t seem to ever get it.
There does seem to be an advantage, though, in designating some information as “key”, and worthy of memorizing and acting on with 100% accuracy.
What, in your classroom, can you designate as “must know” material, worthy of making it a gate to the next level in the game of school?