Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher • Author • Consultant • Mentor


Be 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.

Critical thinking in the job market

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Once again, the job market has spoken and once again, employers are looking for employees who can THINK. There are really many different ways to categorize thinking (musical, linguistic, kinesthetic, logical, creative, etc.) but no matter how you think about thinking, there are important skills underlying "good thinking." In the next few weeks, we'll look at some of those thinking skills and frameworks. 

Read more about thinking in the job market

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Socratic Seminar and Poetry

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 12, 2013 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Here is a good video showing a Socratic Seminar for a unit on high school poetry. This teacher was focused on the Common Core standards ELA.RL.9-10.1, ELA.RL.9-10.4, ELA.SL.9-10.1c

Make sure to check out the supporting materials section for some slides, a scoring guide, a transcript and more.

Socratic Seminar in Math Class

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 9, 2013 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is a good example of using Socratic Seminar in math class. Many people feel that seminars are not good for math class, since many of the discussions end up being short-lived or devolve into arguments. However, as with any Socratic Seminar, the combination of the right text with the right question can always produce quality conversations.

Math Socratic Seminars

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (10)

I have been asked on numerous occasions for suggestions about Socratic Seminar texts for math classes. The difficulty, of course, is that math problems often have a specific "right" answer, so trying to have a discussion can be extremely limiting. Many math teachers have students discuss how they arrived at their answers, but this is not at all the same as having a genuine conversation about deep mathematical concepts. 

Here then is a short list of recommended...

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Hybrid Seminar

Posted by Charles Fischer on March 3, 2013 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a great article about using Skype for an inner-outer circle Socratic Seminar model. As we move into days of using more and more mobile devices, such as iPads, this kind of model might be the way to go!

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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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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Class Dojo

Posted by Charles Fischer on February 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

For years I have been looking for better ways to track student participation in class discussions and Socratic Seminar. In particular, I wanted something quick and easy for a mobile device like an iPad. I had a lot of ideas of my own and even looked into making my own app. After a while, I just gave up.

Then a few months ago, I came across an app called Class Dojo and it was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Although Class Dojo is pitched as a behavior management t...

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Some cool ideas

Posted by Charles Fischer on February 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a quick blog with some cool ideas that were expressed in ways I haven't seen before. I particularly liked the sentence starters for the post-writing activiity.