For years we were concerned that children spent too much time in front of screens while socialization was replaced with messenger, text messages and video games.
Since the pandemic hit our world, children all over were cut off from socializing in person and are now returning to the classroom severely lacking the skills they need to properly communicate with each other.
I cannot think of a better time to teach them reading comprehension through discussion with Socratic Seminars!
What are Socratic Seminars?
Socratic Seminars, in short, are a structured setting in which students deepen their understanding of a text through discussion. If guided correctly, students will begin to point out contradictions, ask questions and analyze the different elements of reading comprehension through conversation. Meanwhile, the teacher is the facilitator of the discussion NOT the main focus or the one directing the conversation.
How are the seminars structured?
Seminars are structured by facilitating conversations that are centered around a "Central Question". There is an inner circle of students who are discussing the reading, an outer circle who observe and provide feedback on the conversation and a writing reflection piece that all students complete after the seminar.
What are the benefits?
Students challenge each other through questioning
Students are handed the independence and responsibility of learning
Teachers are able to observe and take thoughtful notes on patterns recognized and student achievement
The seminars are engaging, challenging and fun for students
A deeper level of understanding is supported by peers
What grade levels is this appropriate for?
I have use an adapted version of Socratic Seminars with students as young as third grade. This course specifically created for 5th and 6th grade students. If you teach younger students and want to purchase this course, you can email me for support.
How long is this course?
Because this is a beginner's course and for teachers, one of life's most busiest type of people, I created this course with 4 days of teacher learning. To fully implement Socratic Seminars into your classroom, I recommend setting aside 9 days/lessons with your students. While understanding that everyone's class schedules are different, this could take more or less days.
4 Days of lessons (no longer than 20 mins each) with videos and outlines
Socratic Seminar Framework sheet
Guiding Questions for teachers in order to help with organizing your planning and classroom space
Socratic Seminar Poster of "norms" to guide conversations
Student Feedback sheet
Student Coaching sheet
Article to use when you practice Socratic Seminars with your students (low and high level)
Lesson plan for introducing Socratic Seminars
Scope and Sequence to guide planning
What if I need help while using this with my students?
With this purchase comes email and video/phone support to help you troubleshoot issues that come up with planning and/or implementing Socratic Seminars into your classroom. Note that this is offered for a limited time as new members are signing up this month!
What if I have a question that hasn't been addressed here?
If you are still unsure or have questions about this course, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get back to you within 24 hours.