How To Get Into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 1 – First Steps to Inquiry

How To Get Into Inquiry-Based Learning: Part 1 – First Steps to Inquiry

November 22, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


incorporating inquiry-based learning
into your classroom can seem like many things: expensive Alright everyone now that we’re done
playing with liquid nitrogen we’re gonna build a vacuum cannon! Too open-ended: I made a ball of tape! Intimidating: Can a black hole exist without an event horizon? Or perhaps even simply time-consuming: I’m sorry we don’t have time to go over
that right now. He’s actually a famous St.Bernard named Barry and Barry has been found to have rescued about 70 people Inquiry-based learning doesn’t have to
be any of these things in fact inquiry-based learning is a very good thing research has shown that it has positive
effects on learning leading to increased motivation and deeper understanding And students love it But if a teacher has never done inquiry-based learning before, or is something that is only occasionally performed in the classroom what steps can be taken to fully integrate inquiry into classes’ normal routine Let’s see how Andrea does it: Andrea here is an elementary school teacher this week Andrea is going to teach her grade 2
class about simple machines We are going to talk about the simple machine Andrea’s background however is not in science and she isn’t an expert in simple
machines Before she can teach your classabout simple machines she herself has to
become familiar with the topic The best place for Andrea to start is by looking at the curriculum This will help her learn exactly what the students need to learn and perhaps more importantly what is not part of the Grade 2 curriculum As a teacher Andrea has limited time and
so doing this will help her filter out what is extraneous Now that Andrea knows what her Grade 2 class needs to learn about simple machines where can she go
to learn to brush up on the content? Textbooks are of course good for this
but in this day and age some simple online searches can get you some good
results fast Trusted youtube channels, museum websites and yes even wikipedia
can all be useful Andrea has to be careful though some
sites like Wikipedia can often bogged down topics with very high level content
that might not be relevant to the situation at hand Andrea shouldn’t forget about work
colleagues and PD day contacts she’s made as good sources of info Hi Andrea! Hi Melanie, I was wondering if you had some materials I could use for activity today? For sure I have lots of things for you. Once Andrea feels like she’s got a good grasp of the content to teach she now has to find some sort of inquiry activity for her
class again lots of activities and things to build can be found online as
well as through colleagues soon what and refines online will spark your
imagination and give her ideas of how to link the content to society and the
environment which is a big component of the curricula whatever she ends up finding though
Andrew might have to make her own activity modifications to fit her
classes specific needs as and researching there are few things that
she can keep in mind to help you find an activity that is appropriate for one in
order to save time it’s a good idea for her to search for something that
students can assemble rather than for Andrea to have to assemble everything
herself also because teachers typically don’t
have big budgets one thing and you can do is to find activities that don’t
require many materials and that can be reused from supplies Andrea already has
are available at school or through her school border that you can buy at a
dollar store with inquiry something Andrew will be doing is spending her
class into smaller groups of no more than six Andrew will have to take that
into consideration when getting her supply also andrea should make sure to
design an activity that she’s comfortable doing in class safety should
be a priority in the next segment Andrew will introduce a series of activities
that will push her student stores open inquiry