Are you using Socratic Seminars in your classroom?
First of all, what the heck are Socratic seminars?! "Socratic seminar" is really just a fancy way of saying, STRUCTURED whole class discussions, It's a method to run dynamic discussions between students where the teacher facilitates and the students take the lead. It empowers children to become engaged learners. What could be better than that?! It also can be used in all areas of learning: math, science, social studies, art, you name it!
The benefits of Socratic seminars with students is amazing and transformed my classroom years ago when I decided to really delve in and get kids talking! I gave up trying to get them to stoptalking and listen to me. Instead, I encouraged them to talk and listen to each other. And it worked! They were engaged, learning from each other and the best part was (and still is) the learning became meaningful to them. The kids looked forward to our discussion circles and were upset if we missed a day! I knew I was onto something when one day, I said to my class that we were going to learn how to have a discussion. A student raised her hand and responded, "I am so glad we're going to do this. I don't really know how to talk to my friends because it's always in text messages." That was in 2018. Before Discord, and more importantly, before the pandemic.
In Socratic Seminars, Students Learn How to:
Get off their devices and into a real-life conversation
Articulate their thoughts and understanding of a text (or other media type)
Listen to each other and RESPOND to another person's comments, questions and insights
Consider another person's perspective that may not mirror their own
Not to rely on the teacher for the learning, instead they rely on each other
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