Implementing Inquiry

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ali Kessler, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Ali Kessler

    Ali Kessler New Member

    Feb 16, 2019
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    Feb 16, 2019

    Hello all! I'm a first year teacher and am pushing myself to bring as much inquiry into the classroom as possible. I teach 5th grade. We do a "Wonder Wednesday" each week where I pull a student question about their surrounding world from a designated bucket (where students can write down questions that will eventually be pulled). I pull a question each Wednesday and we talk about responses to this weekly question on Friday during our snack time / read aloud in the morning. Though at the beginning there were quite a few students answering these questions, interest has dwindled and I'm hoping to foster curiosity about their surrounding world. I have attached a $25 classroom money incentive to looking up the answer and writing it down to be shared out on Fridays and this still hasn't worked as I thought it might.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? How do you foster inquiry in your classroom? Do you have a similar weekly routine that you follow with your students?

    Thank you in advance! :)
  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    May 29, 2007
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    Feb 16, 2019

    Have you read The Curious Classroom by Harvey Daniels? It's an excellent guide for fostering curiosity and wonder in classrooms.

    I think a really crucial part of inquiry is modeling your own learning. I wonder alongside my students and if I don't know the answer to questions, I ask my students where we can find out. I plan my units with inquiry in mind. We begin each unit recording our wonders about the topic and also our schema. Then we brainstorm ways to answer our questions and I help my students work with different resources. I try to follow their lead and interests as much as possible. Thankfully we have pretty flexible student learning outcomes, with no prescribed teaching materials, so I have a lot of freedom in my planning.

    Right now we're doing an inquiry on being superheroes. We've read picture books about superheroes, brainstormed ways we can be superheroes, and are currently writing our own spin on graphic novels. This is in grade 1, so it's pretty heavily guided by me, but the students' interest is guiding my teaching. I had no plans of writing comics or graphic novels, but that's where the students took it, so away we go!

    I guess all that to say, I don't have set inquiry times in my classroom. It's more a philosophy I use in my teaching to increase engagement and student skills.

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