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Friday, November 19

Wednesday, January 20

  1. msg Discussion Question #1 message posted Discussion Question #1 I read an article that discussed the goal of inquiry-based instruction via a common vision. The art…
    Discussion Question #1
    I read an article that discussed the goal of inquiry-based instruction via a common vision. The article suggested that the most successful inquiry classrooms must be supported by the district, building administrators and teachers alike. In this way time becomes a consideration along with instructional flexibility. This allows room for working inquiry-based classrooms amid time constraints.
    10:41 am

Monday, January 18

  1. msg Discussion Question #1 message posted Discussion Question #1 The book I just reviewed gives an interesting structure that could be applied to inquiry learning. …
    Discussion Question #1
    The book I just reviewed gives an interesting structure that could be applied to inquiry learning. They emphasize using small groups of students with differentiated lessons. To me this seems like a set up for an organizational nightmare for a junior high teacher. I love the idea of working with small groups, but what do the other groups do meanwhile? The trick is in the planning activities groups can so unsupervised and creating short assessments for every step of the way. It made sense to me and seemed like a workable idea. I realized that this whole inquiry game is part art and part science, and that furthermore, I won't be extremely good at it for a while.

Tuesday, January 5

  1. msg Audra's Plan message posted Audra's Plan Audra, this is a great outline. Now that you are a few weeks into A&P, I'm wondering what the …
    Audra's Plan
    Audra, this is a great outline. Now that you are a few weeks into A&P, I'm wondering what the status of the research is? I know you have tried a few new ideas in class, but I wonder specifically what data you will collect? Exactly how are you looking to assess the effectiveness of inquiry teaching? Your results could help us all greatly.
    6:00 pm

Saturday, November 21

  1. msg Discussion Question #1 message posted Discussion Question #1 Time and inquiry. Isn't life all about time? It's our only resource. I suppose the marriage of in…
    Discussion Question #1
    Time and inquiry. Isn't life all about time? It's our only resource. I suppose the marriage of inquiry to the standards based/assessed classroom might mean you do inquiry sometimes and you don't at others. There are some parts of my curriculum that seem appropriate for studnet generated investigations, others just don't. I will teach the unit circle through direct instruction. I don't see any other way to do it. I taught the special right triangles through an investigative activity, then we are putting that togehter with the unit circle and trig ratios. I don't expect the kids to explore and figure it out on their own. Converting degress to radians--its a measurement system. I'm going to tell them about it. How to apply angular velocity and linear velocity--I might let them think up some applications and explore them.
    12:27 pm
  2. msg Discussion Question #2 message posted Discussion Question #2 Once again, I'm trying to respond. I don't know why my computer sends my responses to weird lost p…
    Discussion Question #2
    Once again, I'm trying to respond. I don't know why my computer sends my responses to weird lost places. So if this is repeated, I apologize. just don't read it...
    Anyway.
    I believe that my kids are taking responsibility for their own learnng when they publicly work problems and discuss them. For example, if I post a problem as a warm up usually some one will take responsiblity to show and tell their solution. Sometimes they work as a pair, one talker, one writer. I try not to say correct! or incorrect!. I ask the other students to comment. WHat do they think? I ask Why did you do this or that, how did this relate to whatever we were doing before. If I don't validate their work then they will reason out some meaning for what they are doing. If I don't say right or wrong the other kids engage a little bit before they copy the work. They get really mad if it is incorrect, so they think a little bit. Sometimes the discussion can get very heated. It is wierd to hear students emotionally engaged--arguing--over an algebraic process. Sometimes the kids will comment, I can't believe we are fighting over math.

    My research is trying to get the older kids to take some responsibility to help the younger ones with a project. I am enjoying the process, but I'mnot sure the kids are. It's kind of moving the responnsiblity even further out of my zone and into their own. It is painful for them to work together over time. I think that the older kids are having to really process their knowledge to communicate it to a less informed, and possibly less motivated protege.
    12:19 pm

Wednesday, November 18

  1. msg Discussion Question #2 message posted Discussion Question #2 Assessment in the Inquiry Classroom: Asking the Right Questions I really enjoyed reading the cha…
    Discussion Question #2
    Assessment in the Inquiry Classroom: Asking the Right Questions

    I really enjoyed reading the chapter on assessment because it gave me a new perspective of what an inquiry based assessment looks like in a classroom. So what I pulled from the chapter is that it is not a test per say that students need to sit in rows for. It is not a test that requires students to use a #2 pencil to fill in the bubbles, instead it seems to be a progression of increased inquiry in the classroom and as it progresses, the teacher knows that inquiry is happening and growing in the classroom. It seemed like the culminating task in the third grade classroom was that the students were able to complete a higher-order inquiry assignment at the end of the unit. The teacher was also paying close attention to the caliber of questions and answer they were receiving and then as the semester progressed she was able to see that the students were asking better questions and providing better answers. So by the end of the semester, the teacher was able to provide the students with a specific question to test how their inquiry skills had improved.
    According to the authors, “Achieving the deep conceptual learning offered by purposeful inquiry requires ongoing reflective assessment on the part of both students and teachers,” and with them I do agree! (page 172)
    5:13 am

Tuesday, November 17

  1. msg Discussion Question #2 message posted Discussion Question #2 I am experimenting with ways to involve students in creating the assessment for my race, class and …
    Discussion Question #2
    I am experimenting with ways to involve students in creating the assessment for my race, class and gender course. In fact, creating an assessment for that course is my action research project. Today I devoted the first class period to a discussion about how they think their work could be assessed. In preparation I had given them my list of sources for the course, the list of assignments for the course and a course syllabus. I asked them what had been most meaningful in the course and by far they felt that when class members shared their personal stories, thoughts and feelings about their own experiences that they learned the most. I think this goes back to what Jonathan said about making the material personally relevant to the students. They use those personal meanings to connect to the larger social and political world. It is there that the students see patterns among the stories that are shared and they realize that race, class and gender oppression are social structures and not personal problems. The difficulty arises when you attempt to measure the quantity or quality of personal disclosure. Still working on that one!
  2. msg Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page message posted Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page Yes, it's clear to me now that you have to accept the differences each student will bring. Only th…
    Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page
    Yes, it's clear to me now that you have to accept the differences each student will bring. Only through constant contact and conversation can you see the progress and gauge the progress.
    7:19 am

Monday, November 16

  1. msg Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page message posted Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page Jonathan, This is a fabulous website, and I agree that it speaks specifically to the challenges o…
    Illinois Inquiry Assessment Web Page
    Jonathan,
    This is a fabulous website, and I agree that it speaks specifically to the challenges of assessing inquiry learning. The site suggests using student demonstration (in various forms) as a way of following the individual progress of students. I liked how the site described student inquiry as something contextual and very different for each learner. This is one of the reasons I use "the conversation" piece as my way of assessing many inquiry activities in my classroom. Through student discourse I am able to see where each learner is on their personal path of discovery.
    -Kasele
    3:06 pm

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