Deeper Inquiry in PBL, ISTE 2013, Suzie Boss and Mike Gwaltney


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  • Signposts: Cause you to stop and think (and there’s often a good story behind them—someone went from not knowing to knowing about longhorns)
  • Inquiry is at heart of PBL; opportunities through a project to take inquiry deeper—if you are deliberate, think about when/how to push inquiry further. It’s not a straight line. Not enough to say, I have a DQ—isn’t that inquiry?
  • Flags herald start of a new project atBirkdale Intermediate School, NZ. Principal: Richard Coote. This is pre-launch (before an entry event). So that even before project begins, they’re creating anticipation—not just among students, but outside school (parents, others). Similar to Jesse using Twitter to send project clues to hs students weekend before project launch
  • Google campus, Mt. View, CA—a physical space that invites creative thinking, collaboration, curiosity. What do you wonder about when you look at this? What’s novel ?
  • High Tech High, San Diego—curated student work in public spaces. (Also designed for collaborative work) Conveys feeling that important work is underway here—and here’s evidence of that. Glass walls: metaphor of learning in public; walls open to outside world
  • MIKE: kick off culture piece? Building a collaborative culture—why that’s necessary for sharing/challenging ideas, arguing to deeper understanding. When talk about George Mayo’s Transition project, remember that he starts building safe/respectful culture from day one. Kids write their own norms, create signs as reminders. p. 36
  • Students setting up agreements for communication and collaboration – Dan: “here’s what I need from you guys, and how I can contribute to the group.”
  • Students learn to listen and lead full-class brainstorms without Mike.
  • Getting feedback when there’s still time to make modifications/iterations (shoe of clay—nice reminder that it’s still malleable). Build in time for iterative cycles or you won’t get benefit of feedback.
  • MIKE: What kind of thinking would help you make sense of this sign? (inductive/deductive? compare/contrast?) What kinds of thinking do students need to be able to use to think through projects?
  • Examples: “think time” instead of wait time (gather thoughts, make a sketch)—encourage during collaborative time, not just when teacher’s leading discussion. “Meddler in the middle” strategies: Justifying , provoking, extending (yes, and?)…p.48
  • Meaningful and Interdisciplinary Essential Questions drive deep thinking.
  • How do teacher help students put on expert “goggles”? (If they haven’t been in those roles themselves?) We talked with historian, scientist, mathematician, etc., to find out how they learned to think the way they do. Chemist Katie Hunt describes coming into classroom: Do I look like a scientist? Then dons gear of expert—lab coat, goggles. THEN—’gets her mind in that space’ where she’s really focusing as a scientist; get other distractions out of way so she can go deep. Illustrates why it helps to connect kids w/experts. Connect them w/role models of expert thinkers.
  • Inquiring as writers and illustrators do. George Mayo example: published book of students’ stories about coping w/transitions. Wrote for younger audience but drew on their own experiences (expertise). Learned from professional illustrator about how pictures and words have to work together. High-quality product, sold on Amazon.
  • Project Spiral: term we coined to describe projects that spiral in unexpected (wonderful) directions. Can mean going bigger, connecting with others, but can also mean going deeper. Can happen in big and small ways. Example from Jaime McGrath of Team Lost & Found. He kept asking students, “So what are you thinking?” They get into systems thinking—system of lost and found. Cause and effect: what causes jackets to be lost? Solutions: what can we do about it? (PSA of Ghost Jacket).Malala Project by Heidi Hutchison—4th graders, turned into global ed project, connected w/children around world who were moved by Malala’s story and wanted to think deeply about barriers to girls’ education. Compare/contrast: What happens in your country/culture? Why?
  • Deeper Inquiry in PBL, ISTE 2013, Suzie Boss and Mike Gwaltney

    1. 1. Bellringer!Go post your response
    2. 2. Signposts to Better ProjectsHow to Take Thinking Deeper in Digital Age PBLSuzie Boss & Mike GwaltneySuzie Boss & Mike GwaltneyISTE 2013 ~ June 24, 8:30 a.m.
    3. 3. 2003
    4. 4. “Inquiry is the personal path ofquestioning, investigating, andreasoning that takes us fromnot knowing to knowing.”
    5. 5. Set the Stage for Inquiry1
    6. 6. Make the World Safe for Thinking2
    7. 7. Invite Feedback3
    8. 8. Formative Assessment
    9. 9. Think About Thinking4
    10. 10. Think/Pair/ShareWhich thinking routines do youuse with your students? How doyou help them think aboutthinking?
    11. 11. 9th grade 10th grade 11th gradeIdentity Systems ChangeWho Am I?How do I interact with myenvironment?How does theenvironment affect me?How are systems createdand defined?How do systems shapethe world?What is the role ofindividual systems?What causes change?What is the role of theindividual in creating andsustaining change?What is the relationshipbetween the self and achanging world?
    12. 12. Resources for Thinking RoutinesProject Zero: Thinking Center for Teaching Thinking: ThinkingToolswww.nctt.netCritical Thinking Consortium: Tools for Thought
    13. 13. Think As Experts Do5
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Watch for Spirals6
    16. 16.
    17. 17.
    18. 18. 37
    19. 19. Let’s Cross Writing Project: Summer Book Chats Birds of a FeatherTuesday at ISTE—Meet other PBL thinkers!#pblchat Tuesdays, 5-6 p.m. Pacific