Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher Author Consultant Mentor

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Be Happier...in Socratic Seminar too

Posted by Charles Fischer on May 3, 2013 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a great article with 10 ways to become happier in life. These are also perfect goals to set for a more productive classroom discussion. Not only will students be happier, but they will also be able to contribute more positively to the discussions.

Deep Learning

Posted by Charles Fischer on February 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a good article about collaborative learning. As we move further into a world where people on different continents can still work together, we will need to train students in collaborative skills. Socratic Seminar is, of course, a perfect vehicle.


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Technology

Posted by Charles Fischer on February 23, 2013 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Technology is a prominent topic and will likely remain that way for a long time. A lot of schools are embracing iPads and other personal digital devices in order to get students more engaged. High schools and universities are even providing students with their own iPads. 


However, is technology always good? This question, and other related questions, could be the center for some fantastic Socratic Seminars. Although students might be inclined to assume technology is goo...

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Career Test for Kindergarteners

Posted by Charles Fischer on July 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a quick article mentioning a new testing tool that will track student interests starting in kindergarten and following them through high school. Can you say: "Think inside the box"? We live in a modern world that is changing so fast that a nine-month old computer sometimes feels obsolete. New technologies are changing paradigms so fast that we can't possi...

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School is Too Easy

Posted by Charles Fischer on July 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

...At least that what student surveys from this report seem to indicate. This confirms what I have found in my 16 years of experience. Sure, students have a lot of work to do, but it is often tedius, repetitive tasks that they are assigned - and many of those do not adequately challenge the students on an intellectual level. In other words, students are rarely asked to generate their own think...

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Three Group Seminar

Posted by Charles Fischer on June 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's an interesting twist on a traditional Socratic Seminar. There are good resources for assessment here as well:


http://www.literacyta.com/literacy-skills-in-action/three-group-socratic-seminar

Right to Recess

Posted by Charles Fischer on April 14, 2012 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

It seems hard to believe that parents would have to fight to get recess for their children, but that's what we have come to. Standardized testing has trumped rational thinking on numerous occasion, but when schools take recess and breaks away from young children so they can cram more information (or try anyway), we should all take notice.

For adults, there are employment requirements that generally require workers to have lunch breaks and other shorter breaks throughout the day. These ...

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Higher-order Thinking

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 10, 2012 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (1)

Here's a link to a great article by John Jensen about higher-order thinking skills. One of the concerns he raises is that there is simply not enough time for a teacher in a standard situation to challenge every student in class to think on a higher order. In an excerpt, Mr. Jensen writes:


We remedy this factor by considering what it takes for students ...

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Eight Great Teacher Movies

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 3, 2012 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

There's nothing like an inspirational movie about education, especially since many TV shows and movies typically show teachers as stupid and mean. Here is a list of eight fantastic movies (in no particular order) that I think most teachers would love for one reason or another:


Lean on Me 

Dead Poets Society

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Whats the best time of day to be creative?

Posted by Charles Fischer on February 29, 2012 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's an interesting blog article about creativity and the time of day. Whether circadian rhythms profoundly affect our abilities to be creative still seems up for grabs, but I think we all know ourselves as "morning people" or "night owls." A long time ago I heard the suggestion to always write the time of day when writing or journaling. What I found was that my best writing (at leas...

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