Friday, June 24, 2016

Socratic Seminar | Paired Text Drawing Conclusions Making Inferences


Perceptive Inferential Reading and listening
Drawing Conclusions Making Inferences Paired Text: The deep end of the reading pool, reading between the lines, inferring, drawing conclusions and interpreting “seeing” the big picture! The most complex and neglected reading and listening skill developed in school today!

Teaching students perceptive and inferential reading strategies using paired texts, heighten awareness of inference signal words and growing drawing conclusions skill. This seminar gets students quickly interested in reading complex paired text and using their skills to find the themes and main ideas. Solving reading mysteries “finding the main idea” and analyzing multifaceted allegorical text in a structured logical method should be fun and stress-free. The seminar builds strategic thinking, logical ways of finding new information and connecting it with their background knowledge. Up to 50% of all high stakes, reading assessments are inference based.  Students use what they learned to reshape, change, and add to their prior knowledge,  the process of interpreting new information helps students develop into more informed readers of complex text. The seminar adapts easily too many academic domains, and the design helps to ensure that all individuals read, think, and add to the discussion. The seminar is particularly useful in presenting new complex topics because it fosters curiosity and develops immediate formative feedback about learning. Help students answer the dreaded, What is the main idea….., use text evidence to supports your answer?

Perceptive Inferential Reading Question Stems
Who is involved and what events are connected to them?
What is paragraph/passage…mostly/mainly about?
What is this selection mainly about?
What is the primary purpose of paragraph …?

1. Select paired text that are fun, fascinating, or funny subject: an allegorical short poem, political cartoon, letter to the editor, satirical article, newspaper article, etc.
Ais for Assessment
Current policy has given birth to the largest measurement frenzy since the three month period following the invention of the meter stick.

Definition: Assessment (n), a method for demonstrating the success of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Parents may coach offspring to increase chances of passing assessments. Projectile Vomiting Target Practice (PVTP) for instance (Check with your local PTA for availability of classes). 'Child must be able take out half of the Disney characters in a cot mobile on one stomach load. Aim for power over distance.
Bis for Blame: Blame the teachers, Blame the schools, Batteries of tests and Batteries of rules
The cause for falling standards can't be social inequality...

Why? Because if it were, wed need to address the disproportionate number of public school toffs in moleskin trousers who pass straight from boarding school to Eton College and thence to Oxford University in Daddy's Bentley (Windows tinted on the inside to avoid undergraduates catching a glimpse of any food banks or charity shops where the poor hang out instead of looking for work). Then on to a soft job with one of daddys chums in parliament making photo copies for £90k a year in preparation for a namby-pamby post in the Civil Service at £120,000 per annum.

…so, if social inequality isnt to blame, it must be the fault of teachers and schools. I mean who else is involved? QED.

Cis for Curriculum
Definition: (n), a completely arbitrary selection of subjects for teaching, considered by those who device them to be the unvarnished truth. Usually imposed with no consultation and carved on tablets of stone.
A curriculum can be constructed by starting from a Cloud Cuckoo Land vision of your favorite utopian neoliberal society, and working back from there to the skills needed to build such a monstrosity. Finally, class these skills as absolutely necessary, silence dissenting voices and push on with teaching them. Art, drama, conversational skills or anything aesthetic don't really have a place in this model but with many of our graduates destined for low-wage drudgery in the zero hours economy, has anything really been lost?

2. Place students into cooperative groups of 2-4 and distribute the first paired article and seminar materials: Each group gets, a set dry erase boards and markers, colored pencils, a piece of butcher paper, and loose leaf paper for Cornell or Lotus notes.

3. All students read independently or with a buddy and annotate the article, students rank the relevant statements from 1-4, 1 being the most important, students text code the article with “N” for new information, “Q” for unknown information. Students add their new knowledge to their Cornell or Lotus notes using colored pencils. After everyone has read and annotated their text, each student shares new  “N” information with his/her group.

4. Students have discussions about what they think the poem/article/cartoon is mainly about and record new or changed ideas they learned from the group discussions on their individual notes.

5. Teachers call the whole class back for a micro lecture, using Socratic questions to trigger student’s background knowledge. Students are encouraged to share with the whole class their prior knowledge, inferences, drawn conclusions or misconceptions. Students quietly write their new knowledge and deeper understanding of the topic in their Cornell or Lotus notes.

6. Students share their new knowledge about the topic with their cooperative groups. Students create a shared list of their collective prior knowledge/understanding of the topic on a piece of butcher paper using the colored pencils.

7. Hand out the seconded paired text, all students read the new article independently or with a buddy. Students annotate, rank and text-code the new article looking for new information and clues to the main ideas shared in both articles. After everyone has read and annotated their text, each student shares new  “N” information with his/her group.

8. Students repeat steps 4-5-6 and make a final conclusion.

9. Debrief Questions: Inference
What generalizations can be made from the paired article?
What are these two articles mainly about?
What is the importance of these two articles?
What is the primary purpose of these two articles?

What themes are shared in both articles?

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