1A Socratic Forum News

What's In Your Toolbox?

Welcome readers of the Socratic Forum Newsletter.

From the beginning of the year, our class has been acquiring and honing skills, aka tools, of which will be applicable to their academic lives this year and many years forward. Please take a moment to read the newsletter written and edited by the students. The content of each section is their reflection on some of the learning that they have experienced in class during the first quarter. Please feel free to leave appropriate comments at the bottom of the page for the students.

Faulty Design

To achieve success in our faulty design project we needed critical thinking and product improvement. We needed critical thinking for thinking of the flaws in the inventions that we could improve upon. All different members in our group thought of ways that we could improve the life changing inventions into maybe better and cheaper inventions for people in the 3rd world. For example some of the inventions were, the submarine, the stove, etc… Another major part of the Faulty Design process was the engineering and design process. We each got a sheet that showed us different ways of achieving a goal. We applied that sheet with our conversations by reading the passage about the inventions and then we figured out ways to improve the inventions to fit other people's needs better. We researched by reading the passage, then we had conversations about the article, and lastly we brainstormed our ideas. In the faulty design process, we had to listen to everyone and give everyone a chance to speak. We also had to communicate and work together. We learned that even famous inventors make mistakes. We needed to think of ways to improve and work harder.


We need to make sure everyone gets a turn to share their opinions and we have to try to get everyone's thoughts. We assigned roles to people to make sure we knew what we were doing. We also had a person who took tallies for every time someone shared to make sure everyone participated. It was important to make sure everyone participated because they could have really good ideas and not share them.


In the faulty design we had to learn from our mistakes and improve on them. Many times you need this to succeed in many difficulties. For example, when we read about the submarines the guy in the story tried to build one. He did fail many times trying to build the base of the submarine. He then fixed his mistakes and created a great submarine that works in lakes, and oceans. In the Faulty Design process we learned that everyone had a role that was important to the team. Maybe it was writing everything down to making sure everyone participated. We assigned roles by how much people participated in group talks and other group games. We made sure everyone spoke by keeping tallies. We learned that even though famous inventors/inventions are famous they still had flaws no matter how good they are today. We had to listen to everyone's opinions, because it was important because they might have a good idea while the people that were typing might have been typing what they were thinking and not listening to the other people that were sharing thoughts. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. If you just concentrate like someone in my class last year they wanted to be a writer so they concentrated and they wrote a beautiful 100 page story. But if I tried to concentrate on writing a story and started to brainstorm and then I got sidetracked and never would have finished that book.

Cup Stacking

In the cup stacking challenge we had to split into groups and stack cups into a pyramid without using our hands. We were given cups and a rubber band "octopus" to use. The "octopus" had 8 strings tied to a central rubber band.


During the cup stacking challenge the teams were made up of people we did not know which forced us to get to know other people. To complete the challenge we needed to understand the other people's thoughts and ideas.


We also had to learn to communicate with each other. The challenge was that we had to make a stack of cups without touching the cups with our hands. We had to learn to communicate with each other so that we could effectively move the cups without our hands. We didn't want to yell at each other because that would cause confusion in the groups. If we didn't speak loud enough, we wouldn't be able to hear the talking going on.

We had to have someone step up to be in the leader role to successfully complete the task. This person had to orchestrate the process of stacking the cups. The leader also had to instruct each group member as to what, how, and where they had to move their rubber band "tentacle of the octopus".


We also had to collaborate successfully to complete the challenge since there were multiple people working together to stack the cups.

In the cup challenge we had to problem solve.

We had to problem solve when we had to all hold the "octopus" and all had to think of the best way to pick the cup up and stack them on top of each other.


The problem solving in this challenge was mostly based on teamwork because we had to agree with each other on which method was the best method of stacking the cups.


We also had to encourage each other. When somebody else pulled to hard or not enough and caused the cups to get knocked over we didn’t get mad or say mean things. Instead we gave them tips on how to fix and told them that they would be able to get the cup stacked.

Multiple Intelligences

In the multiple intelligence project, we learned how to see similarities we had never seen in each other before. This project took a new turn, and didn't just teach us about others, but also taught us about ourselves. It brought new opportunities, ideas, and possibilities to our vision. We might have looked at ourselves and said wow, I'm not smart. What path can I lead in life? This test taught us that to be intelligent, you don't have to be smart. It showed us that everyone in the world has a special talent that should and could lead their life's path and will take us to happiness and wonders.


In the beginning of our Socratic Forum experience, we learned about eight intelligences that changed our view of our knowledge. We tested our Intelligence, and categorized ourselves into eight parts. Though we were divided by our intelligences, we got into different groups that mixed our strengths, uniting us and allowing us to see beyond the knowledge that we often looked for. These intelligences included Linguistic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Kinesthetic, Logical/Mathematical, Musical, Natural, and Visual/Spatial. At first, we were astounded by the results of our multiple intelligence test. We found intelligences in ourselves that we didn't know that we harbored. But upon reflection, we found that the test didn't lie. We reflected upon ourselves, but then broadened our thoughts to include our whole class. If someone that we knew struggled with mathematical intelligence, than they could succeed later in musical intelligence. If someone had terrible musical intelligence, then they may have great spatial intelligence instead.


When we first started Socratic forum we each took a test to find our multiple intelligences. If we hadn't of done that we wouldn’t have been able to team build as easily. It brought us together with people that we never thought that we were like. We overcame our difficulties in challenges because we formed a group with different intelligences and everybody had their own strengths that made our group even stronger. We all discovered new strengths, which led us to be more confident than before and to risk doing a variety of different things. Many people think that being intelligent means being smart, but in Socratic Forum we all know that it means having strengths in an area of work.

OneNote Notebook

One note helps people for future use, organization, collaboration, creativity (in presentation), express writing in new ways other than on paper, self-guided projects, brainstorming/collecting thoughts, and responsibility. You have to be responsible by not going into other peoples work spaces if they have some thing going on There are also people who are shy and don’t talk a lot so One Note lets them express their ideas without having to actually speak to other people. We will have to use One Note when we get into higher grades, so it is good that we are learning to use it at a young age for an advantage. You can also draw in OneNote which is an advantage for drawing plans and models. Also just for fun if you want!


It helped people that don’t usually talk share their ideas. If we had to use it for Home work, we will know what to do. One Note helps us brainstorm by letting a group of people talk about something in collaboration space. It helps us stay organized because there's spots where we can put stuff into it to stay organized.


One note helps us be creative because you can paste pictures from the internet and use it in a presentation. Also you can make a letter by using some of the cool features like draw. One note lets you express your interests in what people like to do so people can learn more about them, and so that maybe people can become friends and collaborate with each other on maybe projects, or studying, etc.


One note can help people with many things including homework, classwork, and communication with a lot of other people. Not to mention you can open documents that other people can edit with you at the same time. One note is an amazing thing for people to do almost anything. That’s why One Note is so helpful.

Engineering Design Process

The Engineering Design Process let us use different skills that we can carry on to other uses outside of this classroom. One skill was determination and working around problems. This skill helped us because it let us continue what we were working, if we didn't have determination we would have given up right there on the spot.


Another skill we used in the Engineering Design Process was self-assessment. An example of self-assessment is when we did the balloon activity and we had to have it hover exactly at face level we had to alter it and look it over. Peer review is another skill we used. For example, in the same balloon experiment my partner examined my balloon to see and think how we could make it better. In the Engineering Design Process, we also used peer review it was working. When it had too much or too little weight, he gave me some tips so I could make my balloon more successful. Basically, we tried making our balloon better each time until we got the balloon at neutral level. Throughout this quarter we’ve used the Engineering Design Process and are likely to use it throughout life.

1A Socratic Team

This Socratic Forum class is one amazing team of dedicated critical thinkers! They have impressed me with their ability to provide meaningful feedback to peers and in the deep reflections during group conversations that we've had in class. Nice work team!


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