SOCRATICSEMINARSGET TO THECORE! ANGIE JOHNSON, N.B.C.T. LAKESHORE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AJOHNSON@LAKESHOREPS.ORG @ANGKJOHNS
WHAT MAKES A SOCRATIC SEMINAR DIFFERENT?• Freedom within structure!• Transparent and intentional emphasis on CORE SKILLS: • COMMUNICATION • EVIDENCE • REASONING • ACADEMIC VOCABULARY • SOCIAL MEANING-making • METACOGNITION • CRITICAL THINKING through COLLECTIVE INQUIRY • INDIVIDUAL and COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY for above.
PHYSICAL SPACE MATTERS!• MUST sit in circle (can be inner/outer).• Teacher in circle, w/o back to anyone.• Boy-girl-boy-girl in early sessions (in MS).• Spread out talkers/non-talkers.• Desks clear except for text.• Pencil for marking text, evaluation sheets.
GROUND RULES1. No raising hands! Take turns.2. Everyone’s participation is everyone’s responsibility.3. Look at your classmates; not at the teacher.4. Refer to the text for evidence.5. Stay on topic.
GOAL SETTING• After 1-2 seminars• Based on previous performance• Students set individual goals.• Set group through discussion.
SEMINAR PARTS: 1 CLASS PERIOD Ground rules, Goal-setting Essential question Discuss the question, letting students take as much control as possible Reflect and self-evaluate
NITTY GRITTY PART 1:PRESENT THE TEXT1. Show or read text aloud.2. Early sems = use short video.3. MOVE TO poem, short story, or short news/internet articles.4. LATER move to longer texts read ahead, curriculum texts.5. Students underline vocab they don’t know; clarify before discussion.
NITTY GRITTY PART 2: ASK THE QUESTION• MUST be open-ended.• NO right/wrong answer.• Better if it’s a question you authentically have.• Think of where question is likely to take the group.• Think broadly, think of “big ideas.”• Have fall-back questions!• Allow authentic questions to emerge.• Don’t be afraid to change directions—especially with a new text.• Use suggestion lists to help (see web site).
NITTY GRITTY PART 3: DISCUSS!• Wait time is essential! DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WAIT. YOUR NON-TALKERS NEED TIME!• Rephrase question, then get out of the way! Remain calm!• Paraphrase: So I’m hearing you say that…• Follow up: What do the rest of you think? Does anyone agree with that? Does anyone disagree?• Encourage participation: I’d like to hear from those who haven’t spoken yet. If you’ve talked, please remain quiet for the next 5 minutes. Is there anyone new who’d like to contribute?• Encourage evidence: Where in the text do you see that? What makes you think that? Can you show us where that is?• Ask for clarification: What did you mean when you said… Can you explain that in different words? Why do you say that…
NITTY GRITTY PART 4: REFLECT AND SELF-EVALUATE• ALWAYS STOP DISCUSSION WITH TIME TO REFLECT!• AT 1st, VERBAL ONLY, ROUND ROBIN: Everyone share one word they’d use to describe this experience. Say one word to describe our performance today. On a scale of 1-5 what rating would you give us and why? What one thing did we do the best today? What one thing do we most need to improve on?• Later individual & group goal-setting: At start of sem, choose an individual goal and write it down. To what extent did we meet our individual and group goals?• You will be impressed by your students’ honesty!
BEYOND THE BASICSIntegrate TechnologyCenter circle talks, outer circle back-channels based on a specificquestion (We use Edmodo.com):• Post your thoughts as you listen.• Post every time you agree or disagree with something.• Post every time you hear someone say something that moves the conversation forward.• Post the most interesting thoughts you hear.Continue the conversation on a blog:• Our discussion has led us to another interesting question. Everyone is responsible for posting twice tonight: either your own thoughts or responses to others’ thoughts.• Summarize what you learned in seminar today.
WARNING(S)!• This WILL feel scary!• You WILL be uncomfortable!• Your students WILL be confused!• You WILL be discouraged at times!• You WILL have seminar flops!• You WILL need patience.• You WILL need persistence & confidence in your students.• You WILL see growth IF you persist.• You WILL meet your students where they are and move them forward from there.• You WILL see INCREDIBLE GROWTH!
THERE’S SO MUCH MORE!Go tohttp://akwasnikjohnson.wordpress.com/socratic-seminars/For…• Beginning text selections• Self evaluation forms• Handouts• Essential question suggestions• This presentation• MORE TO COME