Discovering Inquiry as a Teacher

Discovering Inquiry as a Teacher

How can we change our whole understanding of how to teach if we don't feel that we are actually teaching? Click to join in discovering inquiry as teachers. projects | group work | ideas | learning

Inquiry is a popular word in Education today.  For me it is new approach to teaching that completely shifts the way you teach in your classroom.  Right now in Ontario we are thrust into a situation where new curriculum has taken effect with the focus being very inquiry based.  But how do we as a group of self confessed obsessive compulsive and control focused teachers change our whole understanding of how to teach if we don’t feel that we are actually teaching.  Over the last two years I have attempted to implements the beginnings of inquiry based learning, flipping my classroom, and allowing student directed learning.  However I can’t help but feel at these moments that I am cheating because I didn’t teach all day long.  Through inquiry my whole understanding of teaching is being turned upside down.

Therefore whenever I encounter a new pedagogy I try to slowing morph my teaching practices  to fit the new standards.  I wouldn’t say that I am an early adopter, but I am comfortable of change when I do the work to truly understand it.

So this is what I want to do.  Explore the internet and other resources to figure out what inquiry based learning will look like in my classroom.

I will start with the information I found on the Galileo Education Network from Calgary Alberta.

The have a rubric that you can use to help you understand as a teacher to understand where you are in your ability to implement inquiry in your classroom.

So I ‘marked’ myself using this rubric and here is how I see myself stack up in my use of inquiry skills.

Authenticity: Developing
Academic Rigor: Developing
Assessment: Developing/Emerging
Beyond School Value: Developing/Emerging
Digital Technologies: Emerging
Active Exploration: Developing
Connecting with Expertise: Beginning

Clearly my goal areas in inquiry are getting my students more access to experts in the field.  Using this will help to get students a variety of perspectives.  Being that there is a great university down the road from my school perhaps this might be easier than I think.

Here is one of their teachers explaining how she uses inquiry in her classroom.

Stay tuned and learn along with me as I attempt to improve my practice in Inquiry Based Instruction.

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Why I love Long Range Plans (and you can too!!)

Why I love Long Range Plans (and you can too!!)

Feeling overwhelmed? Check out this 4/5 split long range plan! (Plus you can grab one for your split class, too!) | long range plan ontario | long range plans |

Its done!!!  My 4/5 Long range plans are finally completed.  Having such detailed plans this past fall was a life saver.  Being very pregnant with a toddler at home I didn’t have lots of time to plan these long range plans were a great tool that sat on my desk as a reference.  It helped to stay focused and on task and make sure that I had taught what I needed to before I left for my leave.  Even my LTO appreciated knowing what I had already covered and what she needed to still teach.  As I watched my colleagues without plans struggle to stay on task I was relieved that I spent the time last summer to have these complete and ready to go.

As you can see from my Term #1 plans I include details about literacy planning, Read Alouds, big ideas, Writing Forms, and Comprehension Strategies.  As well as the math units for both grades that can easily be taught together.  New I have included more detail for the social studies and science curriculum including Inquiry Questions, Big Ideas, and Culminating Tasks for both of the grades.  However I have removed Physical Education as I will no longer be teaching this subject.  OPHEA is a great resource and made up the bulk of my physical education program

Complete Long Range PlansIf you are interested in the units in my long range plans you can see them here
Balanced Literacy 
Social Studies
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What a Blogging Community!

What a Blogging Community!

There are so may great teacher blogs out there.  Over the last few months I have been stalking enjoying the wonderful teacher blogs all over the Internet.  I am surprised at how many of us teachers are using this format to communicate our ideas and resources with others.

I was so honoured the week when I received my first blog award from Embellish at .  This award is a great way to honour and connect to other bloggers.

Here are the award Rules:
1) Follow the person that gave you the award
2) Link back to the person that gave you the award.
3) Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers

Please checkout these 15 bloggers that I am passing this award to…,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thanks to the above bloggers for their ideas and inspiration!!

The next great way to collaborate with other bloggers on line is through linky parties.  I have linked my Parent Communication Translated Cards to this new linky party at  If you have a great idea about communicating with parents please join the linky party and share your ideas.  Also check out the other great ideas from other posters.

Happy Collaborating!!!