“ If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” - Ignacio Estrada "The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist." - Maria Montessori I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Chinese Proverb
The Inquiry Process Student Directed Learning Projects Sources: Independant Together, Strategies that Make a Difference
To locate, manage, process, and share information within a multi-level class
To develop an understanding of a unit or subject through multi-disciplinary learning
To develop habits and attitudes of independent research
To foster student independence and collaboration
To differentiate for students at different levels
To foster learning out of students’ natural inclination to question the world!
What is it?
A learning process / way of teaching in which students take ownership in their learning. It teaches students how to manage information from a wide array of sources and seek out answers they genuinely want to find!
What it looks like:
Posing questions and exploring ways to answer them
Locating and managing information from various sources
Processing and synthesizing findings
Sharing findings on an ongoing basis, supporting each other for research
Reflecting on and celebrating findings with a community audience.
Develop their own questions to guide their learning
Survey their knowledge and others’
Research sources of information
Synthesize new ideas
Share their learning
Assess their learning
Direct the focus to a curriculum-based outcome or main idea
Assist in finding sources / evaluating sources (websites, books, etc.)
Observe learning styles and strengths
Conference with students
Assess independent research skills in students, as well as outcomes
Step #1: Define the task:
Students and teacher choose a project that is relevant to the questions kids have, or to the unit of study
Activate and survey prior knowledge. Find gaps that need to be filled
Focus the inquiry – find the questions that are the most meaningful to them.
Step #2: Planning
Students (with the help of teacher) make their initial written proposal that includes guiding questions and possible sources.
Students also decide how their information would be best shared. Teachers can assist by helping them choose a medium.
Step #3: Retrieving Information:
Students need time to access the resources, assess their relevance, read and make judgments about the usefulness
Students can also take notes.
Teachers can help guide students or assess their ability to evaluate sources
Step #4: Processing Information:
Students need to compare information, synthesize ideas, and look for connections.
Students will compile their information and revise and edit their notes.
Step #5: Sharing Information:
Students choose the appropriate form and audience for their information with the teacher’s help.
Students will actually present what they learned to the class.
If need be, the teacher can assess the class following the presentations for each outcome covered.
Reflecting throughout should occur.
Should include how well the did on process, content, and possible new goals
May be done through checklists, learning logs, or journals.
What went well? What should I change next time? How does this change my world view?
Gather data along the way using:
Teacher can formally assess their understanding of the outcome
Conference with the student to discuss self-reflection and next goal.
Completely student-directed, cross-subject connected, and meaningful
Teacher-directed outcome but question is up to the student
Whole-class inquiry pursuing the same questions
Whole-class inquiry with each group assuming different responsibilities
Individual inquiry with group sharing
Model for planning and operating guided inquiry and independent inquiry.
Preparing for learning, choosing a theme, asking questions, recording prior knowledge, selecting sources
Gathering, processing, and recording information
Focusing the Inquiry
Planning to express learning
Celebrating and Reflecting
Four Column Planner
Teacher decides on the goal, curricular connections and outcomes.
Decide which activities in the 3 steps should be Student Led, Teacher Led, or Shared.
Allows the teacher to manipulate focus, assess particular outcomes, and see the big picture.
Four Column Planner
Another model to follow when completing whole-class inquiry projects
More teacher-directed, but allows students to create questions branching off from the teacher
Good way to model inquiry off the start
Allows the student to choose how to report their information
Could be done as a class before splitting off and doing the Big Six, as well as after.
A systemic approach to information problem-solving that can be easily applied to any information situation.
Easy to follow and students like it!
Common procedure followed in inquiry
Developed to enhance a students’ information literacy
The big six
Simplified model used with younger students or modified students.
What is my job?
What do I need to find out to do my job?
Where do I look for the information?
Research information with graphic organizer for notes