Instructional Openings

Just the Facts

Just the Facts asks one to two students to summarize quickly the reading that will be used in the day's discussion. We follow a simple protocol of "Who + What"--citing which characters from the text did what significant actions in order to move the plot forward. When the initial student is finished sharing key facts from the reading, another student might be asked to fill in any other details. If there are plot details that are incorrect, it is an opportunity for other students to correct the errors. These "police report" type of summaries can be audio or video recorded, quickly edited, and then posted on to the class website as a more engaging way for students to review significant plot points from our class texts. Although there is an ideal reading pace at which I want students to move, some will be ahead of the reading calendar and some will be behind. Also, many students are anxious or reluctant to share out loud when it comes to analysis of the reading. Given that the Just the Facts reports the text's plot and simply the facts, more students are enthusiastic about sharing because the strategy allows different students to be the experts in relaying facts.

Strategy Resources (2)
Students In Action
 
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
This video shows different students reporting out one to two plot points from our class novel ("Native Son"). Different students are asked to film other students at their tables who are reporting out and those clips are quickly compiled into a short video summary that is then shared with the whole class.
 
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
This video shows different students reporting out one to two plot points from our class novel ("Native Son"). Different students are asked to film other students at their tables who are reporting out and those clips are quickly compiled into a short video summary that is then shared with the whole class.
Johanna Paraiso
Fremont High School Oakland
Oakland, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Twelfth grade
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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.

 
Assessment & Data
Filming a Socratic Seminar

Although I can not predict when great insights will come up during a Socratic seminar, I can be assured that they will happen. I film the seminar because I then play back the footage to help me create accurate scripted notes that students can use as an additional resource to support their analysis writing. I have also found that using clips from the seminar to build a Gooru collection or to share during a moment of direct instruction is a very engaging way to teach. It also acknowledges what my students know and it allows them to, in essence, help me teach the class. 

 
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.

 
 
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