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
Instructional Openings
Conversational Warm-Up

Generating student talk in the classroom is a focal point for my teaching, and it is important that those conversations happen in both high-stakes and low-stakes settings. A Warm-Up is the forum for a low-stakes conversation that can generate a high return. For example, the journey for a student to become an excellent oral presenter can be an uncomfortable one. Opening class with a conversation where students can talk with each other in anticipation of these growing pains does perpetuate a sense of camaraderie and support, although my students have referred to it as a feeling of "shared doom". Additionally, a teacher can have an influence on the energy of the class depending on what prompts are crafted for the Conversational Warm-Up.


 
Independent Student Learning
Annotation Logs

Annotation Logs in my class can be on paper or online, usually depending on what modality the student prefers, as well as what their access is to technology at home. Annotation Logs are a routine through which my students explore the unit text by analyzing quotes, asking questions, and making clarifications. Whether online or on paper, it is my routine to respond to their annotations. Because each student writes so many annotations throughout a unit, I have many opportunities to dip into their thinking at multiple points along the way. Annotation Logs are fundamental building blocks to some of my other classroom practices including Socratic Seminars, TIED analysis paragraphs, and essay writing. For each annotation in the log, my students must include their focus for the annotation, the quote itself, the page or line number, and the analysis. The focus of the annotation could be a literary device, a theme connection or an approach through one of the literary theory lenses we have studied. Citing the quote and where it is found makes for easy reference later on. The analysis is 3-4 sentences that shows how the quote addresses the initial focus they indicated. It is in this last part that I address any feedback by asking questions and clarifying any plot confusion.

 
Learning Apps
Johanna's Digital Content and Tech Tools

There are an infinite number of digital content providers and tech tools and education programs a blended teacher can choose to use in her classroom. Check out how and why Johanna uses specific digital content and ed tech tools!


 
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