Back to School: Getting to know your classmates at Wolflin Elementary

Education

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As our team first reported on August 12, 2021, Wolflin Elementary School has become the first school in Texas to become a Certified Paideia School.

In order to obtain the certification, school staff had to complete training and conduct creative thinking seminars with faculty, students and parents. According to school officials, Paideia aims to teach students core skills of reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

On August 17, 2021, Amarillo ISD students returned to the classroom to kick off the 2021-2022 academic school year.

On the first day of school, especially for younger students, many are eager to meet and get to know their new classmates and teacher. Keeping this in mind, Wolflin Elementary decided to help their students do just that with the help of one of their newest certifications.

The school district explained, “Wolflin 5th graders are continuing their learning journey through Paideia seminars. As the new school year begins students will start off where they left off last school year in the seminar process.”

The Paideia seminars involve students being prompted to, “read a text, reflect and discuss the text together based on select questions the teacher sets as he or she serves as the facilitator to keep the students’ ideas and discussions flowing.”

Perfectly demonstrating a Paideia Seminar Tuesday morning was 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, Kristie Logan. In a statement, Logan described the ongoing seminar as, “An opportunity for students to learn how to carry-on conversations and have discussions. We teach them to speak politely, to look at one another in the eye, to refer to the text, to have a conversation.”

However, as mentioned, Logan decided to assist her students in getting to better know their classmates and peers. “Many of these students know each other from previous years, but we have five in there who’ve never been here before. Just starting out with the name plates and letting them know each other’s names, having to repeat each other’s names, it’s creating that camaraderie and that feeling, that ‘I’m a part of this,'” stated Logan.

As for demonstrating the Paideia Seminar with actual school content, Tuesday morning Logan guided her class through a poem, where students were allowed and encouraged to ask questions about misunderstood words, phrases, and express their thoughts on the text.

“In the poem, it talks about how people make you feel and so by having the discussions with the students about what the poet said- about the way that people make her feel, it helps them connect with their feelings and what their expectations are for themselves and other people in their lives,” said Logan.

For more information on a Paideia Socratic Seminar, click here.

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