Whole-Group Instruction

Teacher Tracking of Socratic Seminar

The Socratic Seminar is completely student-run in my class, and I alternate between the inner/outer circle format and a single-circle format. As the teacher, I play the role of videographer and when there is only one circle, I publicly track the quality of student comments on the white board throughout the conversation. This is an effective way to let students know when their thinking is becoming more and more insightful. I use the colors green, orange, and red to color code the tally marks I make on the board. Green means that the student offered a comment that made sense and was explained well. Orange signifies that the students cited evidence with their comment, which is the goal for everyone to reach at least once in the seminar. Lastly, a red tally mark next to a student's name means that the student not only used evidence when they commented but also offered a keen insight using that text evidence. This kind of in-the-moment tracking encourages the students to really think about how to share thoughts in the Seminar that will allow their peers to dig deep into the text and create meaning. They strive for the red tally because it means their brain and their contributions to the Seminar are "on fire".

Strategy Resources (2)
Student Data
 
 
When students see tracking of their comments happening "in the moment", their level of engagement in the Socratic seminar increases. Their desire to get the red "I'm on fire" tally heightens, such that they try harder to make comments in the discussion that reference textual evidence and apply their critical literary theory lenses.
 
Student Data
 
 
When students see tracking of their comments happening "in the moment", their level of engagement in the Socratic seminar increases. Their desire to get the red "I'm on fire" tally heightens, such that they try harder to make comments in the discussion that reference textual evidence and apply their critical literary theory lenses.
Johanna Paraiso
Fremont High School Oakland
Oakland, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Twelfth grade
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