Monday, November 21, 2011

Inquiry Buddies...Part Two and Three!

My inquiry buddy journey began with a conversation between two teachers who wanted to find a way to not just wonder in our classrooms, but to act on our curiosity.  We moved to Part One...reading the questions that our first grade partners had and researching the answer.  The next step???  It was the day the fourth and first graders met in the library to celebrate their wonders.  It began with the first graders reading their questions and talking with the fourth grader about everything that they thought they knew about their topic (building background knowledge :).  Then the fourth grader read the text that had the answer to their question, looked at photographs, read captions, and talked...talked...talked!  Together the buddies wrote down the answer to the question in one sentence, glued a picture of their topic in their Questions Notebook, and illustrated a picture that went along with their new learning.  After that...the buddies selected any book that they wanted and just read together.  Here are some photographs of their work...

(coming soon...)

Then, came part three!  My fourth graders have an Inquiry Workshop three times a week.  During one of the workshop times we bring in the laptops in to extend our learning to reading on a computer.  Many students had voiced concerns with reading and finding information on the Internet during their beginning of the year reading interviews.  This provided a great opportunity to guide students through the process.  The fourth graders reread the answer to their first graders' questions and then thought about the question we sometimes never ask...what do I want to know now?  My students generated new questions based on their curiosity and used the Internet to find the answers (great time to talk about credible websites:)!!!  Here were some examples...

The first grader wondered... /The fourth grader wondered...

What do people need to grow?/ What are the healthiest foods?
Why is gold shiny?/Why do we not use gold for daily money?
Why are snails slow? /What is the fastest and slowest type of turtle on land?
How long ago did dinosaurs live?/How did dinosaurs become extinct?
Do sharks have scales?/How many teeth do sharks have?

The students then wrote their new learning in their Questions Notebook and shared it with the whole class.  And...of course...I had their new first grade wonderings waiting to be read! Time to start the process all over again!  It is amazing when you see students filled with purpose, wonder, and choice.  Their excitement for learning becomes contagious!

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is very inspiring!