Inquiry: Engaging students in deeper learning

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Inquiry: Engaging students in deeper learning. Laurie Stowell San Marcos Writing Project. Quickwrite :. Why are you teaching? What got you into teaching? What are you passionate about? What do you look forward to everyday when you head out to your classroom?. Rank the discussions:. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Inquiry: Engaging students in deeper learning

Inquiry: Engaging students in deeper learningLaurie StowellSan Marcos Writing Project

Quickwrite:Why are you teaching? What got you into teaching? What are you passionate about? What do you look forward to everyday when you head out to your classroom?Rank the discussions:Read the four short transcripts (assuming they are representative of much longer discussions): A, B, C, D and rank them: 1) best example of a class discussion to 4) worst . Be prepared to explain your reasoning.Transcript B trying to discover the final digit of 7 to the fifth power by extrapolating patterns with out actually doing the mulitplication.

Out of 3000 teachers less than 40% usually choose A or D as the best examples of classroom discourseAll teachers choose B or C as the best example almost 60% chose B as the best example and slightly more than 40% chose C many who choose C admit to being confused by the math in BResearch shows that actual classroom discussion rarely if ever approaches what we see in B and C. When choosing B or C teachers summarize the most important findings of the research on effective classroom questioning and discussions as well as models of inquiry of teaching. This means that teachers have an intuitive if not explicit understanding of the inquiry method. We know what good teaching is, can identify it, yet this kind of teaching rarely takes place in schools.Teachers can identify effective teaching and intuit the principles behind it but dont incorporate these principles in their own classrooms.What are effective discussions and how can we get that in their writing? P. 36-37 in Wilhelm book

3What are good discussions?What are the standards for good classroom discussion?What are the most powerful purposes and outcomes of good classroom discussion?What are the qualities that mark good classroom discussions?What should be the students role and the teachers role in a good classroom discussion?What moves should a teacher make to facilitate good classroom discussion? What moves should the students be making?What does a good discussion look, sound and feel like to participants? To observers?What are effective discussions and how can we help students get that into their writing?Writing floats on a sea of talk.-James BritonInquiry oriented discussions:Build off a big, initial question that provides a clear purpose: the big question declares the problem or task to be tackled.Generate new, compelling open-ended questions that are posed and pursued by both teachers and studentsInvite exploration: students play around and take risks as they pursue answers to the big ideaEncourage students to feel free to put forth tentative theoriesAllow students to do the work and do it together. Many students talk.Focus on compelling ideas and significant processes- not just on getting a single correct answer.Entertain various perspectives and cultivate students appreciation of- and ability to handle complexity.Involve applications that have a place in the real world.Cast the teacher in role of facilitator and guide not answer giverStudents enter school as question marks and graduate as periods.-Neil PostmanWhat is inquiry?The process of addressing problems expressed by guiding questions. (Wilhelm)

Inquiry based learning

Piaget: Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it.

We need to slow down and make room for deeper, slower learning.

13Hillocks meta-analysis:What are the most effective modes of instruction in the teaching of composition?He analyzed all the studies on teaching composition and categorized the modes into: Grammar instructionFree writeSentence combiningModelsScalesInquiry

Hillocks research

Inquiry:Inquiry focuses the attention of students on strategies for dealing with sets of data, strategies that will be used in writing. For example, treatments categorized as inquiry might involve students in finding and stating specific details that convey personal experience vividly, in examining sets of data to develop and support explanatory generalizations or that present ethical problems and in developing arguments about those situations.-Hillocks, 1986the teacher plans and uses activities that result in high levels of student interaction concerning particular problems parallel to those they encounter in certain kinds of writing, such as generating criteria and examples to develop extended definitions of concepts or generating arguable assertions from appropriate data and predicting and countering opposing argumentsThis mode places a priority on high levels of students involvement This mode places priority on structured problem solving activities with clear objectives, planned to enable students to deal with similar problems in composing. - HillocksWhy inquiry?Most effective mode of composition instruction (Hillocks research)And Engages learners(engagement research)Go back to your first quickwrite. Students respond to our passion. Smith and Wilhelm found that students will forgive a lot if a teacher cares or is passionate.18What keeps teachers teaching?Teaching as evolutionTeaching as autobiographyTeaching as loveTeaching as hope and possibilityTeaching as anger and desperationTeaching as intellectual workTeaching as democratic practiceTeaching as shaping the future (article #74)Sonia Nietos research article 7419Quickwrite:Think about some aspect of your curriculum you are really passionate about teaching and/or learning. What is it? What content do you get really excited about teaching and learning with your students? Why? What excites you about it? What do you look forward to learning? To doing?Topical Inquiry:Engages with a disciplinary questionExplores what is already knownExplains and interprets the established data, articulates connections seen in the data

Setting up inquiry:1. Identify an essential question and associated enduring understandings2. Identify a final project: what can students do at the end of the unit that will demonstrate their knowledge. 3. Create a backwards plan: a carefully ordered set of activities that support students progress, text by text and activity by activity.

2. You have to know where you want your students to go and how youll know theyve arrived.22Getting started with a question: Reframe standards as essential questionsGo through your standards and circle all the verbs. The higher level thinking skills the standards call for, the easier they can be met by inquiry:* identify, discuss, use are low level thinking* identify and define and discuss craft are mid level* evaluate, relate, connect, question, analyze are higher level thinking.

What are the questions worth pursuing?

What would you do for love? What makes good relationships?Civil rights movement: What are our civil rights and how can we protect and promote them?Is war ever necessary?What is courage?What happened to the dinosaurs?Is Holden Caulfield a typical teenager or pathological adolescent?Whats wrong with our school and how can we improve it?In what ways do present cultures relate to their past and future?

Can liberty and security be balanced?What makes an influential historical figure?What are the costs and benefits of cloning stem cell research?What is our proper relationship to nature?What are the effects of genetically altered organisms?Is progress always good?What is a good leader?What makes a good home for us, for lobsters, bears?

An essential question: Honors students reality principle. It addresses their point of view and need for inquiry to be interesting and relevant in their terms.Addresses the heart of the discipline being studied. Essential disciplinary knowledge is required to answer it.Possesses emotive force, intellectual bite or edginess. It invites students into ongoing conversation and debates about real world disciplinary issues.Is open-ended, possible to contend, arguable. It must be complex enough to house multiple perspectives and possible answers.Is concise and clearly statedIs linked to data. There are available resources to use in the pursuit of answers.May lead to new questions asked by students.What could be questions worth pursuing in your class?(related to your curriculum)

Take some time to look at CA CC standards and look at the verbs and/or think about your curriculum. How could you reframe your curriculum as a big question?Discuss in grade alike groups28Identify a final project:Identify your absolute bottom-line goals for student achievement during the unit. The goals should be enduring understandings conceptual and procedural tools that can serve students future work in the disciplines, their future thinking and living.After identifying goals, brainstorm what kinds of projects/writing would demonstrate student attainment, understanding, mastery or use of concepts and procedures.Examples:If the question is: Why did the Union win the Civil War? The final project might be a written argument, multimedia display or living-history museum.If the question is: What makes a good home? The final project might be to create a living history museum of different habitats with students playing roles as animals and wildlife biologists. Or students could create Big Book stories about finding the right habitat from the point of view of the animal or sea creature.If our students goal is to share their fascination with a topic and their ideas about it, then instead of writing like encyclopedias theyll be writing in the literacy nonfiction tradition of John McPhee and E.B. White. -Lucy CalkinsCreate a backwards planWhat do students know and need to know?What can we do as a whole group/ small groups/individually?What kind of frontloading do we need to do?What resources do I need? Resources available for students?What print and nonprint resources are available?What kind of time do students need?How will I support them as they pursue individual projects?What kinds of checkpoints can I build in to support students independent work?How will students demonstrate their learning?

Youtube Resources:Jeff Wilhelm on Inquiry based learning: based learning in an 8th grade science class: grade inquiry: Designing a school:

Teaching inquiry learning: with inquiry circles in the elementary classroom: steps of inquiry learning demonstrated through HSIE: writingAnother way to pursue inquiry and demonstrate understandingsMultigenre and Common CoreUsing multiple sources of information, analyzing and synthesizing then producing multiple genres to demonstrate learning.Multi-genre writingGenres can be combined in one format:MagazinesZinesNewspapersInformational picture booksAnthologyAt doc camera show examples of forms of writing in a zine EJ article. Amy Hrin had her 8th graders create a magazine about a topic of interest: skateboarding, snowboarding, fashion, soccer, pro sports figures They could do a book many did Outsiders. The point was to explore a topic through many kinds of writing.38Multi-genre writingOr students and teachers can enter into a kind of contract identifying a particular number of different genres to answer their question.Getting started:Identify question(s)Identify sourcesIdentify formsCohesion and flowThe project should be arranged in some logical order. The writer needs to create a cohesion or flow to the project.Handout from Multigenre book41How do spiders spin webs?Two voice poemDiary of a spider6 word memoirSong (using old Spiderman tune)Comic stripObituaryRecipe for a webAlexs 6th grade report he wrote a research paper I decided to see if I could do a multigenre project with the information I learned from his research.42

Student Samples: Ellis Island

Salem Witch Trials

Walt Disney


Ben and Jerrys:

Digital Multigenre projects: Aretha Franklin: Dylan: first year teachers multi-genre paper: Disney: genre resources:Ms. Hogues online resources: curriculum web for students writing multi-genre papers: multigenre projects:

Resources from Tom RomanoToms website with sample multigenre assignments, rubrics and papers: man: Tom Romano:

Print Resources:Burke, J. (2010) Whats the big idea? Question driven units to motivate reading, writing and thinking. Portsmouth: Heinemann.Harvey, S. (1998) Nonfiction matters: Reading, writing and research in grades 3-8. York, Maine: Stenhouse.Nieto, S. (2003) What keeps teachers teaching? New York: Teachers College Press.Putz, M. (2006) A teachers guide to multigenre research project. Portsmouth: Heinemann.Romano, T. (2000) Blending genre, altering style: Writing multigenre papers.Smith, M. & J. Wilhelm. (2002) Reading dont fix no Chevys. Portsmouth: HeinemannSmith, M. & J. Wilhelm. (2006) Going with the flow: (How to engage boys (and girls) in their literacy learning. Portsmouth: HeinemannWilhelm, J. (2007) Engaging readers and writers with inquiry. New York: Scholastic.