Collaborative Student Groups

Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminars are one method for discussing complex texts, and they are also useful forums where students can metacognate about their learning process and even share best practices. 

Strategy Resources (1)
Students In Action
 
 
Students prepare, share, and build off opinions regarding the text through the Socratic Seminar.
 
Students In Action
 
 
Students prepare, share, and build off opinions regarding the text through the Socratic Seminar.
Johanna Paraiso
Fremont High School Oakland
Oakland, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
English / Language Arts
Grade:
Twelfth grade
Similar Strategies
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. 

 
Collaborative Student Groups
Film Framing

Film Framing uses animated films students often remember from childhood as a jumping-off point for approaching the serious and often emotionally tough conversations that we will be having later in the class period about the novel we are studying. Given their visual appeal and simple storylines, these films are one way to support my students as they grapple with complex questions and apply literary theories and devices. Part of the analysis process for my students is tracking their observations throughout each clip and using those notes during the class discussion that follows the viewing. The understanding they gain through the film discussion on how to answer these complex questions and apply multiple lenses is then applied to our class novel. An additional benefit of Film Framing is that my students become more critical consumers of media in general.

 
Feedback Systems
Google DOCtoring

In the "Google DOCtoring" strategy, a Google Document is shared among the members of a small student group or with the whole class. My students will then collectively annotate text evidence and/or give responses to questions about the class text. This strategy pushes each student's sense of accountability to the whole group, and it challenges all of my students to be clear in expressing their thoughts in writing. Early in the school year, I use the collaborative notes from Google DOCtoring sessions to assess my students' understanding and to push individual student's thinking. Once students become accustomed to working on Google Docs together, this strategy is also an efficient way to collaborate and build text analysis together that can later be used for Socratic Seminars and essays. 

 
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