Friday, August 28, 2015

Educators Learning Together About the Inquiry Process

The 8 videos that we created for the OESSTA website, are intended for groups of educators who wish to learn more about the inquiry-based approach to learning and teaching. You can find suggested discussion questions about the content for all of the videos here.

The following is a video titled "How Can I Start to Plan for Inquiry?" Also, included in this post is a sample of the discussion questions that are posted on the OESSTA website. This website is a great resource to use with educators wanting to learn together about how to implement the Social Studies, History & Geography curriculum, about the inquiry approach to teaching and much more!

The following text was copied from the OESSTA website - please check the link to find all 8 videos along with suggested discussion questions about the inquiry process. (This is a cross-post with our inquiry-based website).

This video explains techniques for creating good inquiry questions to guide student exploration and depicts one teacher's approach to organizing the school day to facilitate independent learning.
Questions for Viewing:
  • What do you see as the advantages of a two week inquiry as a starting point?
  • What drawbacks do you imagine? How could those be overcome?
  • How do you see the potential for the quality of the products evolving over the two weeks? How might this relate to establishing success criteria and assessment AS learning?
Task: Determine a topic, central question, and related questions based on the curriculum overview
  • What is a curriculum topic you might explore in a two week inquiry?
  • How might you introduce the topic to students in a way that stimulates wondering, questions, and pondering of ideas and solutions? It might begin with immersion in an experience, with primary artifacts, or an issue that relates to their lives to provoke thinking.
  • Using Social Studies as an example, what might be a central or overarching inquiry question for that topic that takes into account Big Ideas, Social Studies Thinking Concepts, Overall Expectations and Spatial Skills? This would be a rich, divergent question with diverse response possibilities worthy of investigating over time. It should be something that frames the explorations at each station and is summarized in the final stage of the inquiry. Ideally these come from the students in the background portion of the two-week exploration. NOTE: Use the framing questions in the grade overview as a guide.
  • Brainstorm some related questions and mini-inquiries that spill out from the topic. These act as sub-topics that will contribute to investigating the central question. Again, ideally these are initiated by students. 
  • List resources and supports you might need. 
  •  Please share your experience with us! We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Setting up your Classroom Space

Are you starting to think about your classroom space? Take a look at this video that was produced by "Ontario Elementary Social Studies Teachers Association (OESSTA) in association with "Ontario Association of Junior Educators" (OAJE). You can view the video series on the OESSTA website.

What does your classroom look like?

Please share your questions, thoughts and comments!