Socratic Seminar Un-conference
Monday, November 12, 2018
Shared Google Drive FOLDER: https://tinyurl.com/ycol8qn9
#1: What makes a Seminar text "great?"
What are some texts or text sources that you've found to be great for seminars?
- short stories, poetry, myths
- paired texts
- Tween Tribune Smithsonian https://www.tweentribune.com/?page=3
- Teaching Primary Sources https://www.tpsnva.org/
- National Archives for Teachers https://www.archives.gov/education
- Library of Congress for Teachers
- create a bank of music/art connections to curriculum
- Jacob's Ladder books, Level 1, Level 2, Gr. 3/4/5 Nonfiction
- William & Mary Language Arts units literature
- William & Mary Social Studies units - art & documents
#2 What strategies do you use to manage Seminars?
- non-verbal signals for agree with or disagree with
- explaining that Socratic is not just for agreeing/disagreeing (ex: "The way I'm seeing it...")
- have a discussion about the difference between a debate and Socratic Seminar
How do we get kids to talk who are hesitant?
- each voice is helpful to help others think; possibly reference saying/belief from the Jewish culture about a jewel, how every time we turn it, it reflects life differently
- different ways to approach this; invite others in, "Do you have something to say?"
- sometimes when kids don't speak, they have more to say, could show through writing/reflection
- talking chips
- students know the questions ahead of the seminar, so can prepare answers and support for answers
- non-verbal: sit with your thumb up if you have something to say but haven't been able to jump in; if you've shared twice, your job is to find people with their thumbs up to invite in
- consider moving to a different space (outside of your classroom) for seminars; it might feel different
- using name tents, "Mr. ________," "Ms. ______________"
- have an "outer circle" form to record what you're seeing while watching the inner circle from Susie/History Matters (add link later)
- "hot seat" in the inner circle - opportunity for outer circle to come to inner circle to make a comment
- using visual, like yellow/red chips to help kids monitor how much they're talking, when they need to let others talk
- VISUAL: Circle showing who sat where, then lines to show who was talking
Recipe / Secret Ingredients for s Seminar:
- Authenticity / Depth
- Open-ended Questioning / lends to many opinions
- Thoughts can be supported with evidence, reasoning
- students may focus on agree/disagree, but over time they know how to respond differently
- if students have the prior experience, can build on that
- if students haven't experienced Socratic before, teach them how to annotate, respond
- what would prerequisites be? experience with ambiguous texts, annotating texts, citing evidence, identifying themes, social skills (ex: Aesop's Fables, fairy tales); experience with these skills, separately if needed, so that we can bring them all together in upper grades
- is it okay to paraphrase/reframe as a teacher/facilitator? Try not to be involved; okay to stop and focus on something like reframing, inviting others in; or VIDEO and reflect afterward, another day, to not interrupt the actual seminar
#3 How do we "grade" seminars & share feedback?
Our Assessment Ideas:
- VIDEORECORD the seminar, watch it together or individually afterward and talk about what we notice in terms of 1.) process AND 2.) content
- Use of tallies in different categories (like chart above)
- Open-ended reflections--individual and group questions - Karla & Jodie shared examples - teacher follows-up individually as needed after reading reflections / observing in a seminar
- IDEA: take the Fairfax Rubric and adjust/add MN standards that align
- IDEA: create a common rubric for 194; same standards, maybe options for deeper complexity/accelerated literacy standards for classes ready for that? Possibly a Google Sheet with a tab for each grade level (3, 4, 5)
#4 How do you create Seminar anchor charts with your students?
#5 How do you share Seminar performance/feedback with families?
- VIDEORECORD and have students and/or families reflect afterward
- assign a follow-up activity that involves talking to someone at home (Jodie shared example of political ad seminar; afterward, students went home and interviewed someone 18-years or older, then that adult writes their thoughts/discussion)
Closure / Action Steps
What's next? What support do you need from us?
- Create a common rubric for Socratic Seminar with options for greater complexity? - additional half-day for this group to come up with that rubric