Reflection: Pacing What Should Our Response Have Been: WWII Seminar - Section 4: Seminar Reflection


We ended up with five minutes left at the end of class today. The seminar was so good, especially in the last round, that my teaching partner and I didn't want to stop their conversation. So we didn't. 

This is something that you have to be prepared for with any discussion based assessments, particularly student-led discussion based assessments. When you as the teacher relinquish control, you never know what will happen. I have typically had really strong discussion in my classroom, so I've never had to deal much with seminars being too short. I always have the opposite problem of having to figure out when to stop students from speaking so that we can move on to other things. 

Today, my groups were really well balanced and the last group did a great job of synthesizing the conversations had by the other two groups into their thoughts/observations. While we weren't able to have the formal reflection we were hoping to have, my teaching partner pointed out that the last group also did a good job of moving us into topics that we will be working with next week. For example, we had a student ask "what happened to all the surviving Jews in Europe?", which is a great question to come back to when we start discussing the Middle East and the formation of the state of Israel. Another student made connections to human sex trafficking, which could easily turn into a research focus for the final project.

Since we were unable to formally reflect on any of these topics, it will be important for Jim and I to bring these things back up as we move forward, but in regards to teaching strategies, I would much rather let the kids take control of the discussions in class than have them sit back and be apathetic about what we are learning. 

  Good Seminars Take Too Long
  Pacing: Good Seminars Take Too Long
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What Should Our Response Have Been: WWII Seminar

Unit 16: Informational Texts: Analyzing the Narrative Non-fiction Style of Night
Lesson 7 of 7

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate their ability to come to a discussion prepared to draw on text to support analysis of ideas by participating in a seminar on WWII.

Big Idea: As a culmination of study of WWII and the Holocaust, students will engage in a seminar style discussion about the purpose for learning about this time period/event.

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