Generating Questions and Sorting Questions are Student Keys to Driving an Inquiry. I am always trying to find effective ways to include student voice in planning an inquiry. These two simple but effective resources help me to hand over the keys to the inquiry vehicle so students can drive their own inquiries.
Students can write the central idea in the middle, and begin formulating questions for each concept.
For students to identify their most powerful questions that could guide their inquiry and deepen their understanding, they can sort their questions. The Generative-Genuine double continuum is a great tool to sort questions. Inquiries need questions that are both generative (that take us somewhere) and genuine (that we care about) and this does the trick just nicely. I named each quadrant in order of value to inquiry as:
Although students pursue one DRIVING question, the thinking involved in generating questions and the insight it provides is valuable information about student learning.
When asked to explain inquiry, this is how I make sense of the different inquiry cycles available.
I have made a table with the cycles or processes I use and aligned them with Kath Murdoch’s model. We use the cycle that best supports the student's inquiry and leads to ACTION.
Many cycles or processes have elements that are key to a quality inquiry, such as, the traits for writing, or, the elements of music for composition. I find these equally useful.
As inquiry is an active present verb, it is also important to plan for inquiry where students are actively connecting and thinking within the discipline(s). For example, students should not only study scientists and their discoveries, but also experience BEING a scientist to make his or her own discoveries.
In addition there are skills and key questions, even attitudes, that can be used at different stages to support the inquiry. For example, you can use the questions within Problem Solving Talk and Problem Solving Steps for the Math Problem Solving Process. Alternatively, you can use the Question Frames for the Reading Comprehension Cycle.
Research is like writing, the more connected a student is to the topic at hand the more relevant information they will find and higher quality presentation they will create. This makes for better learning experience students will receive from the process. Scaffolding young students research will support their success and set productive patterns and honest approaches in their future. They time we can spend teaching young students how to research productively (and enjoy it too) will save much future time and energy regarding issues of plagiarism.
So what is the 'teaching solution' to text-copying problems?
Get your students connected to their research.
How do I get my students connected to their research?
I'm glad you asked. The UOI Research Support worksheet will help guide your students (and maybe yourself) through the process of formulating a question, reading and selecting information (FINDING OUT) and the making of and sorting notes (SORTING OUT).
Before you begin, as is true with anything new, I would provide a short period of time for students to openly explore the topic (chosen or nominated), its boundaries and possibilities. This will make the process richer, quicker.
Waves of reflection throughout the process, in an Arts Journal through drawing, writing, pasting etc, provide the opportunity for students to capture ideas and develop them. Students learn about how they are being creative eventually informing themselves of their own creative process. Reflecting on feedback from others during the three phases, formally or informally, will help students improve their ideas, expression and understanding of their own creativity.
Inspiration and Exploration
The child remains at the center and any inspiration (internal or external) he or she must feel strongly connected to. Exploration is free and open without structure and goes hand-in-hand with finding inspiration and being inspired. Towards the end of this phase, students capture their inspiration in their Arts Journal and catapult themselves to consider the Audience. Once they have done this the come back to continue into the next phase.
Student's consider what they want their Audience to feel. They describe what connections they intend to make with their audience and what connections they want the audience to make with them. Students need to understand the ideas they will convey to their audience. They need to think of the messages they want their audience to leave with.
Which of the Arts or combination will best express their ideas, feelings, experiences, messages or make connections? Which elements of Arts will help them achieve this?
Students make their expression permanent by writing their script, making their art, filming their dance, notating their music and so on.
Students perform and share. They reflect on the influence they have made on others through expressing themselves creatively.
ProDivas is a simple sharing approach, teacher to teacher, for our professional development. We collect and share bite-sized practical ideas. Once you take a bite, you may be self-motivated to eat the whole meal! We aim to find ideas supported by research to then apply for “best practice” but some ideas are too good to miss and are just simple “teacher tips”.