Seminars: What are they?
Seminars are "mini courses". They can vary in length; some are 6 weeks, some are 9 weeks, depending on how the public school is scheduled. Seminars can also vary in how they are arranged in the week; for example, some seminars may run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while others may run on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Seminars are a way to provide students with some structure. Seminars are based around a theme and provide students with an opportunity to earn some credit in multiple courses. Interdisciplinary opportunities are the KEY to creating seminars.
Seminars: Some Examples
Double Helix -
This seminar is a little unique. In this one, high schoolers have partnered with middle schoolers to have our corporation's FIRST "cross-schoolular" book study! Our kids will get to read the novel Double Helix by Nancy Werlin. Here is a teacher's guide to the novel:
Home Economics -
This is a student-created and student-led seminar! In this seminar, advisees have an opportunity to learn home management and design, budgeting and economics, health and hygiene, sewing and textiles, and cooking. This seminar will culminate in advisees creating, planning, and executing a holiday feast for families in need this holiday season.
ICC Newsletter -
This seminar is our first offering co-taught by an advisor AND an advisee! We teach the aspects of journalism and then our kids delve into the school and pull out all the news that fit to print. Here's our first publication: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxR4mxAmhuD2Zjk3TER6UmhnNGxPM0NfMml0SlFHWG5TbW5N/view
Poisoner's Handbook -
In this seminar, students read The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum. This nonfiction book recounts the struggles that Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler went through in order to establish forensic science in the U.S. during the 1920's. Each chapter investigates a type of poison (chloroform, arsenic, methanol, etc.) and provides a fascinating backdrop to explore forensic science and the often untold history of America. In this seminar, students have an opportunity to earn English, chemistry, biology, world history, and U.S. history.
There are support materials for teachers and students on PBS:
In this seminar, we explore the American and French Revolutions and discuss how, not only are fights and wars revolutionary, but so are ideas! We start with the Enlightenment, read the Declaration of Independence, learn about the American Revolution, explore the French Revolution, and finish by watching the musical Les Miserables. Students earn English, science, and social studies from this seminar.