Reflection: Vocabulary Carousel and Introduction to Socratic Circles - Section 4: Socratic Circle Preparation


There's so much to do besides teaching.  Each district has its own requirements and each school has its own requirements.  Each teacher has his/her own requirements.  In the first ten minutes, you might have to

  • take attendance
  • a student wants to go to the nurse
  • a student wants to go get his/her book from his/her locker
  • take lunch counts
  • have a surprise fire drill
  • pass out fliers
  • a student wants to go to the bathroom, even though it is literally one minute after lunch
  • a student needs a band-aid
  • pass out a different flier
  • get a pencil for a student
  • listen to announcements at the beginning of the day
  • listen to announcements at the end of the day
  • remind another student where the pencil sharpener is for the fourth time
  • prepare students for a funky schedule the next day
  • prepare students for assembly behavior
  • check for dress code
  • collect homework
  • a student pukes
  • a student walks in late because he/she went to the wrong lunch
  • the office delivers a pass for a student to go see an administrator
  • a student from another class shows up at your class asking for his stolen iPod back
  • another student needs a band-aid

Okay, I'll admit that all of those things don't happen within one ten minute period, but I'd bet that they each happen at least once a day.  And for some reason, the desire for band-aides are contagious.  Why is that? Why do they always want to visit the nurse when she's doing the hearing and vision screening?  Why does everything happen all at once?


My student teacher is dealing with time's harsh reality, and it's eating up some, scratch that, quite a bit of instructional time.  My school has a wonderful program, Elect to Learn.  I really do love it because it truly does work for 90% of our students. The downside is that it takes time to implement fairly and consistently, and quite frankly, if every single teacher doesn't enforce it fairly and consistently, its not so effective. Here's what we have to check for every period

  • on time
  • prepared with books and notebooks
  • in dress code (Why in the world do I keep having to dress code students in fourth hour. FOURTH HOUR. WHY?)
  • if students have their lanyard and ID around their neck
  • homework

I can get the ETL check and attendance done in five to seven minutes.  My student teacher is not there yet, so the bellwork has been stretching to fifteen minutes or longer.  We're (my student teacher and I) working on this issue, but that's why some of the lessons this week aren't filled with tons of common core rigor.  


I would have liked to have gotten all the vocabulary done in one day.  Both shrinking definitions and vocabulary carousel in one day is totally manageable, if you're on top of time and student behavior.  Students work really hard at drawing out tasks and inexperienced teachers will fall for it.  I know I did.  Do you need more time?  Can we move on? Okay, I'll give you one more minute.  Are we ready?  Okay, one more minute. And before you know it, the time monster has eaten five minutes.  Not anymore! Now it's We have this many minutes.  Here's the timer.  If you're not done with the task at the end of the time I'm giving you, come in at lunch, after school, or look for it on Edmodo. GO.  My student teacher isn't there yet.  We're working on that.

  Time Goes By
  Time Goes By
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Vocabulary Carousel and Introduction to Socratic Circles

Unit 4: Analyzing Literature in Socratic Circles with Chaim Potuk’s “Zebra”
Lesson 2 of 11

Objective: Students will able to acquire academic and general vocabulary knowledge by participating in a vocabulary carousel and making Frayer model vocabulary cards. Students will be able to come to a literary discussion prepared by reading and researching the text for literature circle roles.

Big Idea: We're finishing up vocabulary and introducing the students to the Socratic circle.

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carousel  birkenhead park by benkid77
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