HB's English Links--Classical Magnet School

What Should Happen During a Seminar

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Things That Should Happen During a Seminar


Preparation for Seminar

  1. Text chosen was appropriate for a seminar AND the age of the students.
  2. The room was set up so that participants could make eye contact with each other.
  3. Facilitator had clearly stated expectations for behavior as evidenced by the students’ actions.



  1. Facilitator was seated on the same level as the students during the seminar.
  2. Facilitator was knowledgeable about the text being discussed AND could locate references in the text quickly.
  3. Facilitator refrained from giving his/her own opinion during the seminar.
  4. Facilitator encouraged student interaction by keeping track of those who spoke, providing opportunities for shy students, asking follow0up questions, AND asking students to respond to what had been said.
  5. Facilitator guided students if they made factual errors when necessary.
  6. Facilitator asked for clarification AND connections between ideas.
  7. Facilitator brought students back to the text when digressing.
  8. Facilitator kept one or two students from dominating or monopolizing the conversation.
  9. Facilitator kept the seminar participants from arguing out of control.
  10. Facilitator occasionally paraphrased students’ remarks when necessary.
  11. Facilitator accepted, encouraged, AND supported divergent views and opinions.
  12. Facilitator included the whole group in the discussion AND did not focus on only a few members.
  13. Facilitator’s body language AND facial expressions were accepting of all students
  14. Facilitator refrained from summarizing at the end of the seminar


Questioning Strategies:

  1.  Opening question was broad AND each participant was given an opportunity to respond.
  2. Facilitator was a good listener AND framed follow-up questions from student comments.
  3. Facilitator asked questions that generated higher-order thinking responses from the students.
  4. Facilitator asked questions that encouraged students to explore relevance of text to their present lives.
  5. Facilitator allowed sufficient wait-time for student to think before the students responded or another question was asked.
  6. Questions posed did not lead the students to a preconceived “right” answer.
  7. Facilitator made smooth transitions between questions asked.
  8. Facilitator questioned students, not telling or teaching factual knowledge about the text.


Student Participation

  1.  Students had a copy of the text in front of them.
  2. Students observed the rules of seminar participation.
  3. Students talked more than the facilitator.
  4. Students did not require permission to speak during the seminar.
  5. Students directed their comments to each other rather than the facilitator.
  6. Students showed respect for others’ views and opinions by listening AND by not criticizing other students for different responses.
  7. Students supported their statements with references to the text.
  8. Students used each others’ names when agreeing or disagreeing with other students.
  9. Students asked questions during the seminar.
  10. Students were comfortable sharing opinions based on text, evidenced by a conversation-like atmosphere.