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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Socratic seminar Suggestions

From: Andrea S. Martine (martinea@basd.k12.pa.us)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 18:14:38 EDT


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Eric,
     I do it several ways: The ideal way is with all of the students within
a circle, and with the teacher out of the circle and not making eye contact
with the students. I usually busied myself writing the student's initials
each time they spoke. (This is because you are the authority figure, and
they will constantly appeal to you for help if you remain within that
circle.) I usually begin the seminar with a quotation from/about the novel
(work) or a short section of the text of the novel. My students usually
come prepared with things they would like to discuss. Some student is
chosen leader for the pd. Someone else in the group is a mediator, someone
else tries to advance the discussion; etc. Eventually, during the entire
school year, each student has a chance at each of these roles. This model
is called the St. John's Model after St. John's College in Annapolis,
Maryland, where the curriculum is nothing but Great Books for the four years
of college. What a wonderful education!!
  The other way, and one that I think would be helpful for you, is the
Circle within a Circle Model. Pair the students. The discussion group is
the inside circle. The partners sit in the outside circle opposite their
partner in the discussion group so that they can have eye contact. There is
a form each person must use to evaluate the participation of his/her
partner. After about 15-20 minutes, move the outside people to the inside
circle and the opposite. This way everyone has a chance to participate.
Collect the evaluation forms at the end of both discussions. The next day
let the partners come together to discuss the discussion and their
participation. This way is much more manageable for a huge group like the
one you have.
     The third discussion technique that I use is to divide the class into 6
groups, and each group has a mini-discussion on a specific aspect of the
chapter/s (Discussion Director, Literary Luminary, Illustrator, Connector,
Summarizer and Vocabulary Enricher, and then one person from each group
presents the findings to the entire class, with time for questions. This
pack is large and will have to be mailed.
     If anyone would like copies of the eval. form for the Circle within a
Circle Model, or the 6 group Model I will fax/send them to you when I
receive proper info from you.
     Questions about all of this... write to me. Hope that I have helped
you, Eric.

Andrea S. Martine
Beaver Area English/Language Arts Coach, K-12
Beaver, PA 15009
----------
> From: "Eric" <ericlinda@capcity.com>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org>
> Subject: Re: Class size and the Socratic seminar
> Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 22:06:15 -0400 (EDT)
>
> Sue-- Direct your question to Diana Russell at Yorktown High School,
Arlington, VA.
> She is the one teaching Mockingbird in the video, and she has about 30
students.
> Eric Christenson
>
> Sue Olive wrote:
>
> > I need some suggestions on how to conduct a Socratic seminar when I have
classes
> > that range from 28-30 students. On the videos the classes have seemed
rather
> > small, but that may be due to camera angle. Any suggestions on seminars
in
> > large classes?
> > Sue Oliver
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------
> > Academy School District Twenty 20Mail
>

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Eric,<BR>
     I do it several ways: The ideal way is with all of the students within a circle, and with the teacher <B>out of the circle</B> and not making eye contact with the students. I usually busied myself writing the student's initials each time they spoke. (This is because you are the authority figure, and they will constantly appeal to you for help if you remain within that circle.) I usually begin the seminar with a quotation from/about the novel (work) or a short section of the text of the novel. My students usually come prepared with things they would like to discuss. Some student is chosen leader for the pd. Someone else in the group is a mediator, someone else tries to advance the discussion; etc. Eventually, during the entire school year, each student has a chance at each of these roles. This model is called the St. John's Model after St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where the curriculum is nothing but Great Books for the four years of college. What a !
!
!
wonderful education!!<BR>
  The other way,<B> and one that I think would be helpful for you</B>, is the Circle within a Circle Model. Pair the students. The discussion group is the <B>inside</B> circle. The partners sit in the outside circle opposite their partner in the discussion group so that they can have eye contact. There is a form each person must use to evaluate the participation of his/her partner. After about 15-20 minutes, move the outside people to the inside circle and the opposite. This way everyone has a chance to participate. Collect the evaluation forms at the end of both discussions. The next day let the partners come together to discuss the discussion and their participation. This way is much more manageable for a huge group like the one you have.<BR>
     The third discussion technique that I use is to divide the class into 6 groups, and each group has a mini-discussion on a specific aspect of the chapter/s (Discussion Director, Literary Luminary, Illustrator, Connector, Summarizer and Vocabulary Enricher, and then one person from each group presents the findings to the entire class, with time for questions. This pack is large and will have to be mailed. <BR>
     If anyone would like copies of the eval. form for the Circle within a Circle Model, or the 6 group Model I will fax/send them to you when I receive proper info from you. <BR>
     Questions about all of this... write to me. Hope that I have helped you, Eric.<BR>
<BR>
Andrea S. Martine <BR>
Beaver Area English/Language Arts Coach, K-12<BR>
Beaver, PA 15009 <BR>
----------<BR>
> From: "Eric" <ericlinda@capcity.com><BR>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org> <BR>
> Subject: Re: Class size and the Socratic seminar <BR>
> Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 22:06:15 -0400 (EDT)<BR>
> <BR>
> Sue-- Direct your question to Diana Russell at Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA.<BR>
> She is the one teaching Mockingbird in the video, and she has about 30 students.<BR>
> Eric Christenson<BR>
> <BR>
> Sue Olive wrote:<BR>
> <BR>
> > I need some suggestions on how to conduct a Socratic seminar when I have classes<BR>
> > that range from 28-30 students. On the videos the classes have seemed rather<BR>
> > small, but that may be due to camera angle. Any suggestions on seminars in<BR>
> > large classes?<BR>
> > Sue Oliver<BR>
> ><BR>
> > ---------------------------------------------<BR>
> > Academy School District Twenty 20Mail<BR>
> <BR>
<BR>
<BR>
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