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
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.

 
Instructional Closings
Debrief

As with the Warm-up activity that gets the brain going at the beginning of class, my students end class with an activity that lets them feel closure with the lesson and their work for that day. The activity is almost always an online reflective journal or survey, and the purpose is to have an impact on and inform my planning for the next class. Sometimes we end the period with a whole-class conversation instead, especially after a Socratic Seminar day, because we use the conversation to debrief and think metacognitively about our discussion process as a whole group. Students should develop metacognition skills as a way of understanding how they learn. The debrief looks at the learning process for the day and is that opportunity for me to point out how different students learned well because they have certain strategies they used effectively. In this way, more students can benefit from that reflection. Literacy development requires so many strategies that operate differently given the text. When my students can benefit from understanding how they each learn, a strong sense of community and collaboration develops.

 
Instructional Openings
Opening Journal Warm-Up

While I often use a Google Form survey or an opening conversation to start class and set the tone, there is also tremendous value in having students write their individual thoughts in their Writer's Notebooks. Ours is a mostly paperless classroom despite the fact that it is an English class, so these pen-to-paper moments are significant ones. Students understand that these journal entries are silent reflections meant to put them in the frame of mind needed for the day's lessons. 

 
 
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