This year, I tried out a new activity with Socratic Circles, whereby students would generate questions, and they would discuss them in the inner circle, but the outer circle would analyze through a backchannel called Todaysmeet. We tried it, and it was instantly successful.
However, the real success came when I did it recently. I asked some students to come up with questions, and they instantly figured out that it was Socratic Circle time. They showed genuine excitement and were anxious to do it.
Once we got started, I was blown away by the level of critical thinking students were displaying. They were analyzing the gender differences between Macbeth and his wife and came to the conclusion that traditional roles were reversed. They also noticed that Macbeth seemed like a brave warrior in the field, but couldn’t stand up to do the right thing.
Although there are always challenges along the way, I have found student-centered technology and flipped learning to be the best approaches to ELA instruction. I’m looking forward to trying even more ideas in the months and years ahead.