Reflection: Intervention and Extension Persepolis Star Seminar: Small Group Debrief - Section 4: Star Seminar Debrief Discussion: Mixed Groups

 

There is a part of me that wishes I had done this instead of doing the star seminar. I could have cut part of the time out and I think the students would have been fine. I was really hoping for the opportunity to see how all of them would do in a seminar format with the whole class--something I like to do at the beginning of each semester--but this was where the best dialogue actually happened.

In these jigsaw groups, students had to haggle with each other about the most significant ideas in Persepolis and provide justification for their thinking. I was able to see who the natural conversation leaders are and heard them taking on the responsibility for making sure each of their classmates was contributing to the conversation. In this model, the groups were small enough that even the most timid students offered at least one thought to the conversation.

The one down side is that I couldn't listen to all the groups with equal focus. I wandered the room a few times, but really focused my attention on half of the groups while my teaching partner listened in on the other half of the groups. He marked when they spoke and if they said something significant, but I don't feel like I can really score them in a summative way on the speaking standards as I didn't hear each of them individually. This is going to be a constant dilemma for me as it is hard to assess speaking and listening with 58 students.

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Persepolis Star Seminar: Small Group Debrief

Unit 2: Narrative Reading and Writing: Persepolis and Memoir
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT develop their own understanding of the text by participating in small group seminar discussions.

Big Idea: Being able to state and support a claim about text is a difficult thing--providing scaffolded opportunities to be successful with this is essential in the high school ELA classroom.

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