Socratic Seminar Prep: Socratic Seminar Prep

 
 
 
Socratic Seminar Prep
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
 
Instructional Planning

Socratic Seminar Prep

Socratic Seminars can be amazing learning experiences for students when they take the time to prepare what they will contribute to the conversation. Once the seminar prompt has been clarified, each student gets ready by reviewing their Annotation Logs to identify what evidence and analysis addresses the prompt. This preparation often takes 15 minutes, and during that time students use a graphic organizer to develop the key points they want to contribute. Regardless of how many Socratic Seminars we may have already done in the class, we always review the norms to ensure that the time we spend in dialogue is useful and inclusive.

Strategy Resources (2)
 
Graphic Organizer
 
 
This graphic organizer allows students to take notes that clarify the seminar prompt. It also contains suggested academic language frames and a space for students to self-assess after the seminar.
 
Graphic Organizer
 
 
This graphic organizer allows students to take notes that clarify the seminar prompt. It also contains suggested academic language frames and a space for students to self-assess after the seminar.
Johanna Paraiso
Fremont High School Oakland
Oakland, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Twelfth grade
Similar Strategies
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Johanna's Model Overview

I would describe my classroom as a mix of a flex and a face-to-face instructional model. During our block periods, my students transition frequently among different learning modalities, including online self-paced learning, collaborative small group learning, and whole class instruction. They use online tools to become stronger readers, to conduct research, to connect with communities beyond our classroom, and to engage civically through blogging, virtual discussions, and community-focused projects. Ideally through consistent student-to-student collaboration, my project-based classroom allows students to see the importance of social justice and how it is infused in the literature content they engage with on a regular basis. Co-teaching and authentic project-based learning are key elements of my model.


Number of Students: ~15-25 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; one student teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 92 minutes (M, T, Th, F); 35 minutes (W)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Google Drive; Google Apps for Education; Gooru Learning; Adobe Photoshop; Newsela; Piktochart Infographic Creator; iMovie; iPhoto; Audible; Quizlet; Jupiter Ed; Google Hangouts

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: mobile cart with 34 Chromebooks (1:1)

Key Features: project-based; innovative use of time; student agency

 
Instructional Planning
Johanna's Approach to Planning

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Johanna plans for instruction in her blended classroom.

 
Collaborative Student Groups
Posters in Pairs

One of the most essential steps for a successful Socratic seminar is the preparation of evidence that each student will bring into these discussions. One of the ways we prepare is through Pair Posters followed by a Gallery Walk. To give context, the seminars are whole class and entirely student-facilitated. Given all of the personality dynamics at play during the actual seminar, coupled with the ever-present video camera recording their thoughtful conversation that will later be scripted, it is fundamental that the students ground their opinions and questions in the text in order for the seminar to be a positive learning experience. One method of preparation that helps them do this, and that also generates enthusiasm for this high-stakes discussion, is dividing the class into pairs to create quote posters. After each pair is assigned a literary device, they then use their Annotation Logs to select text evidence shows how the literary device functions. This involves conversation and negotiation between the pair who then have to use the device analysis to connect back to one of the themes we have been studying as a class and incorporate an image that illuminates that connection. The public nature of the gallery walk that ensues after the posters are completed ensures that student pairs also spend time polishing the final product. Their peers will then take pictures of all the posters and decide which ones they might want to use as part of their individual evidence preparation for the Socratic seminar.

 
 
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