voicEd.ca has invited Canadian bloggers writing about education to post their “best” entry of 2012. This may a piece of writing to which they feel particularly attached, something that received some good response, or an entry that got others thinking in a different way. We’ll be featuring these pieces in this space over the next couple of weeks with the hopes that readers might find them to be a good review of where our thinking has taken us over the past year. Feel free to join in the conversation, or submit your own entry for posting!
The following blog entry is from Louise Robitaille who blogs at Inquiry-based Learning.
Step 1: Teachers gather and collect as much information as possible on the subject, to help students with research, investigations and inquiries. Our grade one teacher gives each group, small clip boards to take notes, a basket to organize material and sticky notes to post information on charts.
|Finding great websites for research|
Step 2: Teachers help to develop background knowledge for students. Creating a graphic organizer such as a Know-What-Learn-Find (KWLF) chart can help build knowledge. This process helps a student develop questions and helps to develop a curiosity for the subject.
|Gr. 1 What I know & Questions I have|
|Grade 5/6 KWLF|
Step 3: Teachers share mentor texts and model lessons. Pete and Danielle spend a good deal of time building background knowledge, asking questions and demonstrating the inquiry process through mini-lessons.
|Using Mentor Text|
Step 4: Teachers give students a choice of what they would like to learn more about. In the grade one class students were learning about animals. They brainstormed a list, then each student selected the animal they wanted to investigate.
|Student selects an animal for inquiry project|
Step 5: Students explore and track their thinking around their understanding and learning of a subject. During the grade one animal study, these boys are focused, engaged and very excited about working on their inquiry project. It’s interesting to note that even though the text was beyond their reading level, they were able to use charts and graphics to learn about their animal of study.
Step 6: Students collaborate and work together to gather and share information.
|Engaged and Motivated|
Step 7: Students present and share their learning. As peers listen to presentation, they take notes and list their questions on post-it notes and prepare to give positive feedback.
|Listing questions for presenters|
Step 8: Public sharing!
|Sharing our learning!|
Check out the movie clip I made about the grade 1 inquiry using the Animoto app – http://animoto.com/play/dh39oAbzuCsVdtpZZfrwnA
Inquiring minds want to know! Please share your steps to inquiry!