Friday, September 11, 2015

5PA Socratic Seminars

The 5th grade PA kids had their first Socratic Seminar today based on the short story we read this week.  In 45 minutes, we got through two questions with insightful interpretations of the text, how the way a character says a line could change the interpretation of the reader, and when intent matters and when it does not.  It was pretty cool.  We still need adjust to this new method of discussing issues, and fine tune some of the guidelines, but I wanted to share how impressed I was with what your kids said. Here are the guidelines we follow so you know what we are doing:

5PA Socratic Seminar Guidelines
• Listen carefully
  • Don’t raise hands
  • Come prepared, having read the text and annotated key parts that provide evidence for the questions
• Address one another respectfully
• Base any opinions on the text
• Address comments to the group (no side conversations)
• Use sensitivity to take turns and not interrupt others
• Monitor ‘air time’
• Be courageous in presenting your own thoughts and reasoning, but be flexible and willing to change your mind in the face of new and compelling evidence during the Seminar
• Address each other and not Mr. Schumann!
• Leader will pose the key questions to start, but you can develop questions as well
• Relate your statements to particular passages, to clarify, and to elaborate
• If the conversation gets off track, leader will refocus students on the opening question by restating it.

• Leader will Invite those who have not spoken into the conversation.

My Wish for my Students