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tant. There is not enough mustard to cover teachers hamming it up. We exaggerated such roles as the “Sally Social, Sam Slacker, Rambo the Rebellious,” etc.

Teacher idea: a “bad kid” model circle with a mini-lesson for a future class activity.

In groups we were assigned to read and jigsaw chapters of Copeland’s book; we created poster visuals, taped them upon walls, and walked “the gallery,” learning from each other.

Teacher idea: remember these as future activity follow ups.

We considered the logistics of a circle consisting of half the class’s children observing behav- iors while the “inner circle” discusses ideas for a set limit of 10 minutes. We chewed over the social skills needed, and we analyzed the skills needed to truthfully evaluate a “good dia-

logue” versus “debate.” Teacher consideration: what does “polite listening” look like? What is a considerate response? How does one disagree tactfully? How do we include all members, even those who are trying not to be included?

By day’s end, we had learned how to create “initiating questions,” those universal questions seeking a generalized meaning for education, for the quest itself. For example: “How do au- thors convey a sense of sorrow? How do we recognize it in ourselves? In others? and Do first impressions count?”

We discovered how to “map conversations” by copying the inner-circle’s names and trac- ing a line between speakers. We “tracked comments” through our own shorthand. I quickly learned that speed was needed, and the best way for me to track was to place punctuation marks to indicate the types of comments or epiphanies made during group dialogue. (See

Figure 1)

Teacher idea: How do I teach students how to do this? Would they be interested?

However, to our amusement, most of us were so smitten by the excitement of genuine con- versation that we forgot to map or track, to our surprise. By workshop’s end, we left on the lookout for possible “deep readings,” ones that were worthy of discussion; ones that showed repeating patterns; unusual ideas for thought; or interesting song lyrics, poems, texts to be used for our own classroom Socratic Circles.

I was in hog heaven. This was a perfect step; it would add to our listening- speaking- read- ing-writing based Balanced Literacy Model. (See Figure 2 - following page.) Visually, verbal- ly, physically, this would wrap it all in purposeful student study and then activity. I left with great vision.

During our teachers’ opening workweek, our school’s principal, Mr. Gary Anderson, asked another

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