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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

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

  • Next message: Marilyn Secor: "Re: language and such in the classroom"

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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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