Monday, May 4, 2015

April Reflection

As I reflect on the entire inquiry process that I experienced this year, I am proud of myself for jumping in and trying it.  I am happy to say that it was not a complete failure, rather pretty successful in my opinion.  Could it be better?  Of course, but I gave it a try and I will continue to work at it!  Refining the unit I created this year and developing new ones.  I also feel that inquiry can and does look very different depending on: the age of the students, the content, the learning objective, and the time.  Lastly, I  feel that we use inquiry all the time in teaching, but we do not always call it "inquiry".  I often find myself encouraging students to "research" that.  For example, we are studying the human body, which as you can imagine,  sparks a lot of questions.  I have had several questions arise during discussions that I do not know the answer to.  I explain that I am not a doctor and therefore do not know everything about the human body and I encourage those students to dig into their questions through research.

1. What are the ways that inquiry has had a positive impact on your teaching and / or student learning?

  • I have a clear end in sight when I use backwards design, I know what I want students to understand and learn
  • Students are very engaged
  • I am able to give students individualized feedback
  • I am able to differentiate student learning through my feedback
  • students are motivated
  • students collaborate with one another
  • students have choice in their learning
  • students find purpose in their learning: through presenting their learning to an audience

2. What are the drawbacks? What are the ways that inquiry still feels uncomfortable? What are you still unsure about?
  • I'm still unsure of what inquiry looks in other content areas, such as Math
  • Students need to have strong skills in paraphrasing 
  • students need have strong skills in identifying the: important and relevant information
  • When students skills in the area of paraphrasing, identifying important information, organizing a final project are lacking, you may need to have further mini-lessons
  • I am still unsure of how we balance inquiry with standards

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