Sunday, January 29, 2012

Primary Inquiry

Excitement is building in this primary class around inquiry learning. The students are learning, studying, researching and asking questions about animals. They are working in small groups, building their understanding and learning deeply about their topic of interest. Talking and thinking together is helping them to make new and better meaning. This actually leads me to bullet number 4 from the list Inquiry Approach VS Coverage Approach posted on our website (Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels 2009)...
Strategic Thinking VS Memorization
Students in this classroom are developing their critical thinking skills by working on projects that are authentic and kid-driven.  Ms. Parent fosters curiosity and encourages students to think, talk and collaborate. 
Teacher models, models, models!
She began this process by teaching the students how to talk and turn. She explicitly taught them how to read non-fiction text and gather information with a variety of lessons, read alouds and teaching small group with guided inquiries. One lesson taught students how to track their thinking.

Creating guidelines
Tracking our thinking
This process took time but once Ms. Parent felt they had the skills, strategies and understanding for learning and working in small groups, the inquiry began!
Students picked an animal to research and groups were created. The first step into the inquiry was to work on a question chart –
What I Know/ Questions I have
More to follow…

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