During the Cue Set today, scholars continue to practice the skill of determining the relationship between ideas, concepts and people. I show scholars three pictures. One is of venison stew, another of hunters and the third of a buck. Here is the screen shot of cue set pictures. We live in a very rural community where deer hunting is VERY common. Feel free to use three pictures of ANYTHING that is related that is familiar to your scholars.
Scholars have 3 minutes on the clock to independently jot down their ideas about how these are related. Here are scholars engaged in cue set. Then, scholars have 1 minute to share their thinking with the person sitting next to them. Finally, I take 3 friends from my cup and 2 volunteers to share. This holds students accountable to the work. Taking volunteers helps to sustain enthusiasm for learning.
Scholars responses might sound something like, "Hunters shoot deer so that they can eat. If hunters hunt too much, there won't be enough deer and then we won't ever have venison stew. Hunting causes the deer population to get smaller."
If scholars are having a tough time, I might encourage them by saying things like, "what if hunters stopped hunting deer? What might happen?" This encourages scholars to really examine and think more deeply about the relationship.
We have learned extensively about what socratic seminar should look like/sound like therefore we jump right into guided practice. The purpose of guided practice today is to simply rehearse how we will answer our seminar question: Describe the relationship between humans and golden lion tamarins.
I give scholars time to rehearse with a partner because they may have forgotten what they wanted to share overnight, or they may not have actually practiced saying their thoughts out loud. Speaking is an entirely different skill than reading or writing and scholars should have the opportunity to practice this skill before I evaluate them.
Scholars have 20 seconds to go to a comfy place in the room with their partner (same person from the beginning of the week) and rehearse their response. Scholars are on the clock for 15 minutes to complete their rehearsal.
During this time, my ELL co-teacher and I pull our ELL scholars and other scholars who are particularly reticent to share. Here are some scholars rehearsing with ELL co-teacher. We rehearse word-for-word what they will say to build their confidence. If needed, we will actually help them write down the exact sentence of what they will say during the seminar. This helps to build strategy of scripting out what you want to say and it also builds confidence before they are in front of their peers.
Here's an example of my coaching a group through a rehearsal:
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 the relationship between golden lion tamarins and humans. How does that relationship change over time?
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 for Socratic Seminar. 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.
Here is an example of the discussion:
Here is the scholar that I conferenced with during guided practice: