Inquiry based learning Series of articles showing how inquiry is an important aspect of education. To quote the article "Inquiry is important is the generation and transmission of knowledge." We need to change from "what we know" to "how we come to know".

I believe that I have an understanding of inquiry-based learning. To me, it is a way for students to take ownership of their learning. For me, it is a way to use questions to create learning. By reading some of the articles, I could see that inquiry is possible in primary grades since inquiry learning starts as a baby! My reservations are how can I implement this into my teaching? One article said that I can start with one lesson a week and then gradually increase.

It is the end of an amazing day. I have learned lots, both about inquiry and about computers, As far as my teaching practices - I am feeling that I need to relearn so much. It is almost overwhelming. But I am also anxious to try these new strategies. I am not serving the needs of my students by not allowing them this opportunity for life-long learning.

What classroom environment features stimulate inquiry?
I think the classroom would need to be one in which the student feels comfortable asking questions and where the students are willing to listen to each other's ideas. I also think the teacher would model the questioning approach by answering questions with another question. This would place the onus on the student to try to come up with the answer.

What are essential questions?
-must be relevant to the learner to create a passionate level of interest
-answer must fit thier own construct of the world
-Essential questions lead to deep thinking, re-thinking, discourse, analysis, debate and reflection.
3 steps of writing essential questions: 1- What is the topic?
2- What is the big idea of the topic?
3- Turn the big idea into an essential question.

What are essential questions and why are they important??? Essential questions are what guides the discovery and the learning. They are important to provide some direction and focus to the learning.

Why is inquiry a valid framework for learning??? It is valid because it promotes further learning. It is a lifelong skill and it provides opportunity to survive in the real world.

November 25 - It has been another interesting day. It has been a learning experience to walk through another lesson-planning means. It makes me wonder why we have to keep changing how we approach things. I like how this is a life-long learning process. Working together on these ideas helps to make it all seem more real. Having the time and the input of others helps to pull this together as well.

Nov. 26 - Assessment for, as, and of learning. The page from ELA 6 shows the categories of assessment and who is "responsible" for each assessment (ie, teacher-driven, student-driven with teacher guidance, and teachers' use of evidence) This helps me to see how each one attributes to learning. I also feel that there is so much to do. I find it almost impossible to do all this assessment for each child. It seems as though it is an ideal situation, but not a probable one?? But it does focus on the process rather than just the product. I feel this is important. No one is going to remember everything they have been taught, but if they remember how to find the answers, they will have a life-long skill.

Stumping me right now - I see the purpose and the need for inquiry and the different forms of assessment, but I am so concerned with where will I find the time and the energy to do all the things I need to do.

My ah-ah moment - I liked how the unit seems to be coming together. I learned alot about PhotoStory and I hope to utilize it in my class. Maybe even in Junior Computer Club!! I also liked how the one article helped to explain assessment. It makes the use of criteria,etc. a means of assessment as learning! Wow!

Jan. 24, 2009
To describe my competency as an Inquiry designer, my first response is that I am lost in the woods! However, having worked through this experience as I have, I might say that I am an Apprentice. I have enjoyed this experience and certainly appreciate having two days back to back to work at this unit. The input of others is also very good. My biggest stumbling block is that I want to plan my unit from my resources instead of planning from the objectives! I also feel apprehensive about having my students come up with the "big question". Knowing the nature of most of my students, I am afraid there will be a lot of frustration on their part and also on mine. However, I think I can make it work, I also know the reading level of my students and feel that for them to look at resources and try to get information themselves, it will be quite a stretch.

Day 6. I wonder whether we actually accomplished much today, but I do feel much more secure in what we are to be doing. The afternoons seem to bog us down a bit. I liked the visual representation that we used today - it seemed to put the process into perceptive.
Jan. 24. Wow! I think I had an AHA moment last night. It took a few hours of being away from the workshop, but then a comment that Donna made all of a sudden made sense. The idea that the process is more important than the product finally clicked! Of course, the Inquiry process - - asking, seeking, investigating, wondering! Now I think I know what I should be focusing on. I hope this "brainwave" stays with me long enough to actually put it into practice.. Thanks Donna.