Sunday, March 1, 2015

Letting Go

My group, The Weavers, has been nothing but inspirational.  Our monthly meetings provide me with a much needed place to work through ideas and thoughts that seem somewhat muddled in my own brain.  One thing I realized is that I have been scaffolding my student's ability to be capable of inquiry since day one.  Our belief in the explicit teaching of the thinking strategies has provided our student's with the cognitive abilities to blossom when given an inquiry situation.  So I began my dive into math inquiry by reminding them of the knowledge they already possess!

 I used to think that math inquiry was going to lead me on this great, amazing, inspiring teaching journey!  Then I realized how HARD it was going to be.  With all the pressure of testing etc., it was terrifying to think of letting my students come to understanding through their own inquiry process.  Through the support of my amazing friends and colleagues, now I think that this inquiry journey is exactly what I need as a teacher and specifically what my students need as learners.  Each time I provide them with a "mini" inquiry into a math topic, I am in awe of what they come away with learning.  And not because I told them it is true, or the right way to do it, because they came to that conclusion on their own.  This is the type of learning they will remember!


  1. Caitlin,

    I agree, this is the learning they will remember. (I going to need you to remind me of this every day between now and the end of the year so that I don't succumb to testing fever! Thanks...)

    I also struggle with inquiry in math and I think I struggle because I think that 'inquiry' has to follow some sort of set process. I am slowly coming to the realization through conversations with colleagues that it can be a way of thinking, it can be ONE day inquiry or just a shift in the way that I approach teaching a concept, like fractions. It is terrifying, but when I really think about it, this alternative-reality of teaching to a test that I really know nothing about, that is going to give me no information about my kids' achievement and my ability to teach? That's pretty terrifying...

  2. Cait,
    It's inspiring to hear that you're feeling successful using inquiry in math. I'm interested in how you set the inquiry up in order for students to be successful. Did you provide them with resources to find information, provide them with a group of problems, and/ or pose a big question? I Always like to hear about the planning you put into the work.