Tuesday, April 7, 2015

March Post-where am I now

After the students created their "wondering" sticky notes that easily fell into various categories and we created the Weather Systems Inquiry Menu, each student highlighted the area of inquiry that they were interested in.  Students then began to research their area of interest.  In order to help guide their research, I gave them several student friendly websites to visit Weather websites. Since the students had been through the research process previously with Ms. Cramer, they had some great organizational skills and most used google documents to organize their information.  The students were given three weeks to do their research.

I used to think. . .

  • that students would naturally push themselves to dig deep into the topic that they were researching
  • that students would reach out to various sources besides the internet to do their research
  • that students had all of the skills needed to put their research into their own words
  • that students understood how to format a presentation
  • that students were more skilled in presenting in front of a large group
Now I know . . .
  • even though students have the freedom to pick their own inquiry topic within the menu, they need to be guided through deeper thinking
  • students love to use the internet and not books (go figure), but they need guidance to appropriate sites
  • students need mini lessons in how to put their thinking into their own language instead of copying and pasting the words of others
  • students need mini-lessons in how to format a presentation.  For example, understanding appropriate font size, background color, how and when to include visuals, graphs, pictures, etc
  • students need mini-lessons in how to present in front of a large group.  For example, how to use a google presentation as a guide for their presentation versus just reading off each slide, appropriate projection of their voice, body language, etc.
In reflecting on this inquiry process, I would use all of the above mentioned to adjust my instruction within this inquiry project.

1 comment:

  1. Through our many conversations, I think we have both decided that kids are very capable of taking ownership of their own learning. At the same time, parameters need to be in place and a process must be followed. Most important, we as teachers must expect high quality and deeper level thinking of all of our students. This only occurs when learning and inquiry are scaffolded by the teacher. It is all a balancing act.