My research group is aptly name The Weavers, as we are interested in weaving together the standards we need to teach with an inquiry approach to teaching. My specific interest is in finding appropriate teaching moments inside each workshop where I can do some sort of mini-inquiry. Up to this point I have always put inquiry into the "research" part of teaching. This inquiry group has started opening my eyes to all the little bits of inquiry that can fall throughout each day!
Unknowingly, I brought an intangible artifact to our meeting on Friday. I had presented my kids with an unfamiliar topic (parentheses in math equations) and asked them to struggle with some problems before I gave them any instruction. I told them to ask questions, monitor for meaning, active schema etc. in order to make sense of the problems. They could collaborate with each other, and I went around to answer any clarifying questions. After ten minutes, we came together for the lesson part of our workshop which I started by letting them share their thinking on the problems. At this point I hadn't even labeled it an "inquiry", but upon reflection with my group on Friday, I realized that it really was a super mini-inquiry.
If I were to place this activity in the inquiry process, I was putting them in the immerse stage without really being intentional about it. Now that I know this, I will place these kinds of inquiries throughout my math workshop!
What I THINK I know... that my kids have the critical thinking skills to access my curriculum through inquiry.
What QUESTIONS I have... How do I choose the standards that will set the kids up for successful inquiry in math, vs.those that might need some specific teaching of a skill previous to the inquiry?
How might I be more intentional in my planning so that I plan with inquiry in MIND, instead of it just ending up there?
What I want to EXPLORE next... I want to explore my questions!