OC for SS After Party // Crafting Inquiry Live Discussion // 08-03-2022

What a rich conversation on the impact of inquiry on student performance and teacher instruction!

What will you take from this discussion to share with your colleagues as you prepare or the upcoming school year? Post your comments below and let’s keep put that inquiry into practice! 

Top Replies

  • I keep coming back to this idea about building community. Inquiry creates a natural environment in which students are curious and want to learn. As they work together in deliberate groups to solve problems…

  • Hi Joshua, that is a GREAT question. I have found (in teaching adults) that NOT allowing them to choose their team provides a better opportunity for growth because otherwise they'd choose someone they…

  • I asked this in the chat and got some really good advice from Abby and Meaghan but if anyone else wanted to contribute:

    It sounds like thoughtful groups and group work are a foundation of Inquiry based…

  • It's a pleasure, Abby. I responded to Matt's post above about Restorative Practice community circles that might also help.

    On another note to connect: my husband and I are overseas teachers too. We've returned to the US temporarily to get specific support for our autistic daughter, but plan to return in the next year or so.

  • Hi Joshua, that is a GREAT question. I have found (in teaching adults) that NOT allowing them to choose their team provides a better opportunity for growth because otherwise they'd choose someone they get along with (and where is the growth in that).  I do, however, tell them that if they have significant issues to let me know and I will modify the teams. *One student (who had taken one of my classes before) said "Dr. Craft, I don't like this group ... I want my old group." Fast forward 10 weeks later ... and her self-reflection journal highlighted her individual growth and her realization that her new group required her to assume a followership role vice a leadership role. ;-). 

  • Hi Tamaria, that is a great question and something I struggled with initially. For me, it depends on how I can connect questions (posed to the students) about the material and whether I think it can dovetail into an inquiry-based exercise or into a well-developed open-ended questions the students can explore. *I often write in the margins of the material that I'm assigning (noting good opportunities for questions). 

  • We hope this session kept you all engaged! Here are the links shared in the chat during the Crafting Inquiry Live Discussion. If you missed the conversation, recordings will be available tomorrow so you can watch at your leisure. We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

    Connecting Social Studies & ELA Shifts in the Elementary Classroom | Social Studies

    Inquiries Archive - C3 Teachers

    Making Inquiry Possible

    DOK Chart (pdesas.org)

    National Council for the Social Studies Releases Statement on Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom | Social Studies

    Group Discussion Roles - Poole - Google Docs

  • Thank you Linda! Here's a resource that explains the difference between debate and dialogue. It also provides a list of behaviors that support dialogue -- these could be "rules of engagement" within the classroom to facilitate dialogue: https://capstone.unst.pdx.edu/sites/default/files/Dialogue%20and%20Debate_0.pdf 

  • I find myself thinking of activities to build community! So important.

  • Hey   I've been thinking more about this since the conference as I gear up to begin the school year. I have a couple of other ideas that I thought I would send your way as food for thought.

    First, although it's an SEL strategy that I used at the elementary level (4th and 5th) as the start of the year, given the challenges of COVID, I don't think it hurts to have a simple conversation or reminder at the start of the year about "size of problem/size of reaction". I attached a sample of a poster that was created during a conversation with my fourth graders, but I think this is totally a relatable concept no matter the grade level. Establishing that concrete language makes redirecting behavior easier. It's also a good reminder before revealing partnerships or groups to calibrate expectations. (ie - remember these are partnerships for this class period OR keep in mind that this trio will be working together for three class sessions OR remember that when you are working in a team/group, you are all working towards a common goal.) In other words, is it actually a level 5 problem if you are not partnered with your BFF for a project? Nope. So, let's just be sure that when you find out who your partner/groupmates are that you monitor the size of your reaction.

    The other thing I thought about is the fact that my school is very intentional with the message that groups, seats in the classroom, and partnerships are not self-selected. Sometimes, it feels wild to think that all pairings and groupings are intentional and mindful (even bus seats for retreats?! cue brain explosion) but I think that one advantage is that we have created a culture where getting out of your comfort zone is expected. It also means that some level of an affective filter is removed for students who might be concerned that they would otherwise be left out. I think you could begin the year by telling students that you will be making groups and partnerships. You are happy to hear feedback, privately and respectfully. I also think using the notebooks for reflection is a powerful tool for metacognition and tracking students' ability to think about the goals of collaboration and teamwork. Hope this helps, and let me know if you want to pick my brain further on this!  

  • To add on,  when we do shares like this during advisory in middle school, I like to follow up with "Who remembers the person that said..." to emphasize the importance of active listening. It's wonderful to create a space where everyone had the opportunity to share, but I think it's even better when students realize that people are actually listening to them, not sitting passive and quiet.

  • Thank you,  for the handout. I've downloaded it as a reference for myself and I will share it with others.

    In the past few years, I have moved away from debate-like talks in the classroom and more toward structures like "philosophical chairs". Would this be more in line with the idea of "dialogue" rather than debate?

  •  , This is a GREAT poster! I agree that it could be a super resource even with older folks. At the very least it helps people realize that certain reactions are considered "normal" in ratio to life events. Some people tend to overreact, while others tend to underreact. Further, this is a great example not only of human behavior, but of scale too.

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