The JFK teaching staff collaborated to determine which skills were important for our students to master in order to be career and college ready. As a result, the JFK staff determined that students need to:
- · Have the ability to tackle rigorous, real-world problems
- · Rationalize and justify the process used to arrive at a certain assumption/conclusion by using academic evidence
- · Write and speak intelligently about academic subject matter
The staff then identified two specific instructional strategies, Cornell Focus Notes and Socratic Seminar, that research has proven can help students master these important skills. This year teachers are implementing these two key strategies in their classrooms across all subject areas.Cornell Focus NotesCornell Focus Notes are a proven focused note-taking method. When used appropriately, students will increase their knowledge and raise their grades in any given class! Cornell Notes are taken during class lectures, class power points, class readings, or movies in which students are responsible for the information.
Socratic SeminarSocratic seminar is a method of teaching developed by Socrates. He engaged his students in intellectual discussion by responding to questions with questions, instead of answers. This method encouraged the students to think for themselves rather than being told what to think.
- The format of the notes must have all of these required parts:
- Full heading
- Specific topic
- Notes in the right side highlighted with key words or phrases
- Main ideas and high level questions in the left column
- A summary at the end of the notes
-Prior to the seminar, students are given a piece of reading in literature, history, health, philosophy, art or music to examine. After the students have read the text, open-ended questions are asked. The open-ended questions allow the students to think critically, analyze multiple meanings in text, and express ideas with clarity and confidence.
-Participants in the seminar are expected to respond to one another in a respectful manner without bias or prejudice. They are also expected to listen carefully without interrupting. They must make direct eye contact with others and must use each others names.