Monthly Archives: October 2014
Cannot agree more…the planning for inquiry is much different than what I was taught more than ten years ago coming out of teachers college. It certainly focuses on the process rather than curricular expectations as those tend to fall in place as the inquiry develops. Documentation of inquiry is paramount at the younger grades, I feel that this is the role of the teachers while as the kids get older, this is a responsibility that the students themselves can take on as a part of the process. And point #7 the collaboration aspect, as the teacher this helps you to see how the students are approaching their inquiries, their questions the seek answer too.
When I first became fascinated in inquiry-based approaches (too many years ago to say!), the focus for many of my conversations and indeed, my early research, was on how to plan. Back then, learning about inquiry helped me shift my thinking from planning thematically – or even in a more genuinely integrated way, to planning with a learning process in mind. Understanding inquiry helped me think more carefully about learning. Planning was no longer focused on making clever curriculum connections – it was about designing a process that would scaffold thinking from the known to the unknown, from shallow to deep and that would place the learner at the heart of all we did. My planning got better – much better. That approach to planning is now deeply embedded in my way of being as a teacher. It is organic and fluid. I don’t need to have it all…
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Today I was honest with my grade 3 students and I think it surprised them. In fact, I don’t think they believed me at first.
I shared how when I was a student I did poorly. I had mostly C’s and D’s on my report cards. I wasn’t motivated to complete my tasks and would often scribble sloppily to get it done rather than taking my time and effort. My spelling was awful, I overused comma’s, my basic math number sense skills shocking and my cursive was a disaster at best. I can vividly remember learning cursive in the fourth grade. When we became “neat enough” we were given a blue ball point pen to do our school work with. I was the last person in my class to get one. My teacher said with a scowl when she handed it to me “Your cursive is still awful but you…
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