Name: Davina Allen
Bio: Davina Allen facilitates in a Creative Learning lab designed for students in middle school. She also coaches teachers K-8 helping them design lesson that involve the Engineering Design Process. She is a proud parent of two beautiful children. Davina believes that in order for students to be successful they have to be able to function as a team.
Narrative of Amazing Teaching Moment: Three years ago I taught to a 6th-7th grade split that had a total of 41 students. My goal was to get students involved in a formal discussion about math while being respectful to others ideas. I decided to step outside the box and try a Socratic Seminar with math. Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text in which a group leader uses open ended question.
Normally Socratic Seminars Circle are used in subjects such as reading, science and social studies, but the challenge seemed interesting. I figured the Socratic Circle would get students discussing their answers and provide assistance for struggling students.
I took a couple of days to decide on a problem that would allow for open-ended questions and discussion and would also force students to listen to the comments and the questions of others. Students also needed to be able to articulate their own thoughts and disagree with others in a positive manner.
I chose to use a math problem that related to students real life. Students had to look at several cell phone companies and their plans and determine what would be the best option economically.. Students had to be able perform the algorithm and also defend and justify their answer. Students were split into two circles, an outer and an inner circle. The outer circle was the observation circle in which they listened and observe the interaction of the inner circle. A group leader was assigned and responsible for keeping an ongoing discussion in the inner circle. The inner circle started the discussion about the math problem. The individual talking gave the group their answer and waiting. and other students joined in the discussion by either agreeing, disagreeing, (with explanation) or by asking clarifying questions. The goal of the Socratic Seminar was to clarify students understanding.
Hashtags: #math , #socraticseminar , #openendeddiscussion #socraticmethod #criticalthinking #questioning #