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|Blog Entry - Sunday, November 26th, 2006
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I've been working on lesson plans this morning. As we finish our study of The Catcher in the Rye
, our students are going to start a practice in Socratic Seminar
-- where we ask open-ended questions, everyone participates, we dialogue and not debate, and students are prepared to have a disciplined conversation with a goal.
Now, my entire teaching style is built on asking questions - I am constantly asking questions of one form or another, so I hope my students are prepared to participate in this kind of class, but one thing I'm still working on in my classes is 100 percent participation. In one of my classes, I have four or five students who almost never speak - I have to work extremely hard to engage those students. This process is a challenge for me, as it's not what my problem is in class (as a student). I'm the one who has to make a promise to myself *not* to talk the whole time, to ensure that I listen to what other people have to say.
I think we're going to write some participation goals on Monday to go along with our discussion of what makes a good Socratic Seminar. I'll write some sample goals up on the board ("I will add to the discussion at least once each day." "I will help my teammates to participate by asking them questions and listening to what they say." "I will have evidence for each assertion I make." "I will listen actively and be sure to respond to what is being said, rather than just making my own points.") and prompt them to write some that will be updated each day... Hey, that's a good idea! :-)
Author: Libby Ingrassia
Posted at: 10:35:23 AM