Student-led Inquiry
Collaborative Group Work: Students work collaboratively to discuss problems and ideas in context, to solve problems together, and to complete projects or assessments with a deliberate protocol that establishes norms for student interaction.
Collaborative Group Work: Students work collaboratively to discuss problems and ideas in context, to solve problems together, and to complete projects or assessments with a deliberate protocol that establishes norms for student interaction.

Rotating Seminar

Christina's students discuss a text in an inner circle. The students sitting in the outer circle evaluate the discussion. The students do three rotations between the inner and outer circle. Christina scores the students during this seminar using a rating scale.

About This Strategy
prep time:
Long
Grade Level: Fifth grade
Teaching Challenge: Student-led Inquiry
Christina Jarvi
Easton Elementary
Easton, MD
Strategy Implementation Questions
Questions to think about when implementing the strategy
  • How could you support students to stay on topic and build on each other's ideas when they are in the inner circle?
  • How could you support students to be thoughtful evaluators of the discussion when they are in the outer circle?
  • What are ways you could modify and adapt this strategy to meet the needs of your students?
Lesson Notes

During the seminar today, there are two circles (one inside of another larger circle). Scholars who are participating in the discussion are in the inner circle. Scholars who are watching/listening and evaluating the discussion sit on the outside of the circle. Scholars discuss the following question: Describe how BeeBee, Darren and Kyle are alike and different. How do you think they will respond to the challenge of experiencing a tsunami? Scholars in the outer circle give an individual rating to their partner (person who has the same color post-it note on their desk) and an overall rating for the group. Here is the Rating Scale that scholars use. The rating is a simple 1 to 5. Five indicating everyone participates, discussion remains on topic, participants respectfully agree/disagree, discussion is interesting,and participants remain attentive. We will do three discussions each lasting 7 minutes so that each group of scholars have an opportunity to discuss. As scholars discuss, they can continue to take notes on their note taking template. Completed note taking templates are a part of their checklist items for the week. Also, we will debrief each discussion for 2 minutes before we switch to the next one so that scholars can have on-the-spot feedback and so that the next group can possibly benefit from the feedback.

About This Strategy
prep time:
Long
Grade Level: Fifth grade
Teaching Challenge: Student-led Inquiry
Christina Jarvi
Easton Elementary
Easton, MD
Artifacts
Rubric
Lesson File:Rating Scale
This is a rubric used in Rotating Seminars in which students evaluate a partner and the group.
Students In Action
Lesson File:Classroom Video: Debate
In this video, students engage in a Rotating Seminar.
Similar Strategies

Virtual Poetry Gallery Walk

Kristal's students work in groups to analyze six different poems during a virtual gallery walk. As the students analyze the six poems, they participate in small group discussions. During the small group discussions, Kristal serves as time-keeper and facilitator. 

Collaborative Group Work