My latest passion project revolves around inquiry. I like the idea that students should be asking more questions than teachers do in a day. Parents at Open House hear me say instead of asking your child what they learned in school today, how about asking them what questions they asked today?
I like planning projects based on what they would like to learn more about. This year I consciously encouraged questions more than I usually do. I can see such a difference in their conversations. For example, we went on a field trip recently and they were asking each other "how tall do you think that building is?", "where do you think those people are going?" as they are looking out the bus windows.
I recently came across this post: http://www.fusionyearbooks.com/blog/encourage-students-ask-questions/ from Terri and was inspired to try some of those ideas with my students. My favorite new one is to give them the answer and then ask them to come up with questions. I tried this with my Kinder kiddos expecting it to completely bomb-that they wouldn't get it. And then I get this:
(Please ignore the handwriting-my Smartboard won't calibrate-that and being a lefty to begin with-I cringe looking at that handwriting! :)
This is one of those ideas where I think why didn't I think of that. It seems so simple. And I immediately knew that they had been paying attention to those lessons on Washington. We do this several times per week now.
So to extend it a bit further, we started Inquiry Journals. Today was our first entry. I asked them to write about any question they had. I'm going to take a few and incorporate them into some lessons on how to research the answers. Here's what they came up with:
I wonder why turtles always go slow?
I wonder if I became in the Olympics?
I wonder what tv's are made out of?
So I'm still playing around with it, trying some new things. If anyone has any ideas of how they incorporate inquiry in their classes I'd love to hear them! :)