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The inquiry process
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The inquiry process


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  • 1. “ 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
  • 2. The Inquiry Process Student Directed Learning Projects Sources: Independant Together, Strategies that Make a Difference
  • 3. Why?
    • 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!
  • 4. 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!
  • 5. 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.
  • 6.
    • Students will:
      • 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
    Inquiry Process
  • 7.
    • Teachers can:
      • 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
    Inquiry Process
  • 8.
    • 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.
    Inquiry Process
  • 9.
    • 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.
    Inquiry Process
  • 10.
    • 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
    Inquiry Process
  • 11.
    • 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.
    Inquiry Process
  • 12.
    • 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.
    Inquiry Process
  • 13.
    • Self-assessment:
    • 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?
  • 14.
    • Teacher assessment:
    • Gather data along the way using:
      • Checklists
      • Anecdotal notes
      • Journals
      • Discussions
      • Conferences
    • Teacher can formally assess their understanding of the outcome
    • Conference with the student to discuss self-reflection and next goal.
  • 15.  
  • 16.  
  • 17.
    • 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
  • 18.
    • Model for planning and operating guided inquiry and independent inquiry.
    • Before (Activating)
        • Preparing for learning, choosing a theme, asking questions, recording prior knowledge, selecting sources
      • During (Acquiring)
        • Gathering, processing, and recording information
        • Focusing the Inquiry
      • After (Applying)
        • Planning to express learning
        • Creating product
        • Celebrating and Reflecting
    Four Column Planner
  • 19.
    • 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
  • 20.  
  • 21.
    • 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.
    Inquiry chart
  • 22.  
  • 23.
    • 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
  • 24.  
  • 25.  
  • 26.
    • Simplified model used with younger students or modified students.
    • Beginning:
      • What is my job?
      • What do I need to find out to do my job?
      • Where do I look for the information?
    • Middle:
      • Research information with graphic organizer for notes
    • End:
      • Final showcase and reflection
    The Super-Three
  • 27. Mesopotamia and Early Egypt Sample Inquiry