Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminar and Background Knowledge

English 8 students began their new unit on Nightjohn. We began building background knowledge today so that we can make better sense of the book as we begin.

English I Honors students had their first Socratic Seminar today. We’ll be doing this throughout the year, and today’s was just an introductory exercise. After the session, students had a few minutes to work with their groups for the parts of speech project.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete the text begun in class.
  • English I Honors: 
Socratic Seminar, First Paragraph, and Assessments

English 8 students had their first Socratic Seminar today. It was, given the fact that it’s the first time we did it, a splendid success.

English I Honors students began planning their first analytic Schaffer model paragraph. We’re writing about “The Most Dangerous Game” and will continue it tomorrow, putting off our parts of speech project for a couple of days.

Journalism students turned in their first article and began the assessment process for the first time.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Schaffer planning for tomorrow (it will be due at the end of class).
  • Journalism: none.

All classes had Socratic Seminars. English I Honors students will need to finish their seminars tomorrow.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Odyssey narrative, due Monday.

English I Honors students continued working on their narrative assignment.  We’ll be having a quiz on the flipped-classroom material tomorrow.

English 8 students finished up their Socratic Seminar connected to the Frederick Douglass text we’ve been reading in class.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: finish up the poetry project for tomorrow.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish up the flipped-classroom material on Moodle;
    • prepare for tomorrow’s quiz.
Figurative Language Practice and a Seminar

English 8 students had a second day of figurative language practice while finishing up the small poetry analysis assignment we’ve been working on. We went over yesterday’s practice before we got started, and we’ll do the same tomorrow as we get ready for a quiz on Friday.

English I Honors students had a Socratic Seminar/Fishbowl/Think-Group-Share session today about the various visions of Calypso we’ve seen over the last two days.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: re-read last night’s homework, this time looking closely for the Homeric simile that’s located somewhere in the text.

In English I, students watched parts of the Romeo and Juliet movie. Students also worked discussed, worked on, and reviewed Act Four.

In English 8, students arranged the desk according to the work done in the past on the desk and then had a Socratic Seminar. We practiced new speaking skills.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on article of the week;
    • read act five;
    • work on the project;
    • answer the act four discussion question.
4.3 and Socratic Seminar

In English I, students started work on their Act Four Scene Three Comics.

In English 8, students discussed desk layout for Socratic Seminars and the rules of Socratic Seminars.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • work on Article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish comics;
    • work on article of the week; and
    • work on act four study guide.

In English I honors, students went over Subtext with Romeo and Juliet Act Four scene one, two, and three.

In English 8 students worked in groups and presented on the Seven Habits of a Effective Teen.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on Article of the Week.  
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on the article of the week;
    • reread Act Four scenes one, two and three.
Connotation and Socratic Seminars

English I students worked with connotation in the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden.

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

English 8 students worked with chapter 3 of Nightjohn, running a Socratic Seminar to discuss the question of whether or not Sarney should take the chance and learn to read.

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We will be working on our weekly Friday individual work tomorrow.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete and turn in your irony/symbolism work at Moodle;
    • determine the five most important words in the whole poem, “Those Winter Sundays.”

English 8 students worked on their first Socratic Seminar today. We’ll be trying it later in the quarter for real, but today was simply a chance for everyone to get used to the protocol.

English I Honors students worked on their first analytic paragraphs. These paragraphs are for “The Most Dangerous Game” or “Harrison Bergeron,” stories which are available on the Moodle site or easily searchable on the internet. They are due tomorrow.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: finish the analytic paragraph.

English I Honors students finished up the Odyssey unit with a Socratic Seminar about whether or not Odysseus is a hero. The discussions will be available in a password protected post shortly: the password will be the last word in the title of the next book we read.

English 8 students in both classes continued their lit circle work with The Glory Field.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: finish the Odyssey project by midnight Monday.

English 8 students finished up yesterday’s text marking and went over the Class Dojo information for the week. I’ll be sending individualized weekly reports home with students in fourth and fifth periods, and the reports will also include information for parents to download the Class Dojo app and look at a more detailed report of their child’s report.

English I Honors students had a Socratic Seminar regarding the question of whether or not Juliet made a wise decision when taking the friar’s potion as well as the question of who is ultimately most responsible for Romeo and Juliet’s death.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: begin planning connections between song and play for final project.
Love and Summaries

English Strategies and English Studies both worked on their summaries for scene three.

English I Honors students looked at the question of whether or not Romeo and Juliet are really in love, using a Socratic Seminar to do this.

Here is sixth period’s seminar:

And here’s a breakdown of their evidence:

They are in love They are not in love
  • if she would not of loved him she would of told him that she was getting married.
  • love at first sight apparently.
  • risking love for their lives
  • romeo is starting to lose his feelings for rosaline and getting feelings for juliet
  • romeo got out of a crush, missguided puppy love probably does not know what he wants.
  • puberty of juliet makes her confused.
  • juliet has standards.
  • romeo started being attracted to her and wants someone to like.
  • juliet plays along.
  • romeo still loves rosaline.

Here is seventh period’s seminar:

And here’s a breakdown of their evidence:

They are in love They are not in love
  • 35-39 scene 2 act 2 juliet says she would stop being a capulet for romeo
  • he says he will give his name up to be with juliet
  • she is speaking her mind and talking to romeo and not just talking to no one
  • the things they say to each other like when he calls her an angel
  • he kissed her
  • he climbed over the garden wall and could have been killed just to see juliet, he risked his life for her
  • she says in act 2 scene 2
  • she does not want to get married to paris, but when she sees romeo she feels like she loves him
  • they are willing to give up their families to be with each other
  • love at first sight
  • juliet called him the god of her idolatry
  • if they did not love each other then they would not be talking about marriage
  • when they try to commit to something, juliet says no wait
  • they just met, she could end up hating romeo
  • love could be a joke, not authentic
  • romeo says shall i hear more or should i not (keeps questioning)
  • romeo liked rosaline not long before he like juliet
  • she says this stuff because she wants what she can’t have
  • she feels like she has to choose before someone makes her marry someone she does not  want to
  • they have not proved anything about loving each other
  • he could have just picked one over the other for no reason he just saw her and liked her better
  • he was just obsessed with rosaline and just moved on
  • they have only known each other for a couple hours and they would not be talking about marriage so soon
Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read 2.3, paying close attention to the evidence Friar Lawrence makes about the nature of Romeo and Juliet’s love;
    • continue working on the text structures work (quiz next week).
Themes, Context, and a Socratic Seminar

English Strategies students had a fantastic day today, working in groups to determine themes in chapter two of Nightjohn. We ended the day with a solid Class Dojo percentage, which confirmed what I already knew from working with various groups: some solid was completed. (But sadly passive voice was not avoided.)

English Studies students began looking at just what it means to use “context clues” to determine a word’s meaning. We came up with four guidelines we can use — four specific actions we can take — to determine a word’s meaning. In other words, we put meat on “context clues’s” bones.

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English I Honors students had their first Socratic Seminar. A fun, engaging time was had by all, and passive voice was reluctantly embraced.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: turn in the second short story analysis at the Moodle site by midnight.

English Strategies had divided work today with some students beginning a group project that will continue through Nightjohn and others working on individual work.

English Studies (fifth period) spent some time working on the Nightjohn themes project and then having a Socratic Seminar about what Sarny is risking in Nightjohn as she begins to learn to read.

English I Honors students began the third section of the short story analysis unit, reading the bizarre story “In the Family” by Maria Elena Llano.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the character writing for “Thank You, M’am,” which is due tomorrow at midnight (a little over 32 hours from now).