Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inquiry Workshop

I got to miss school today to go to an Inquiry Workshop. The forward thinking of my Superintendent provided funds for a group of teachers from my school to attend a workshop all about implementing the Inquiry process at our school.

I was not expecting a terrific day. I was surprised. It was really good. The presenters knew their stuff, the staff was receptive and I think we have something here. I even got to go out and test the Flip video camera and do some inquiry about water. Check out the wild life I photoed!!
As I was talking to the group and mentioning K12online I was thinking about Chris Lehmann and the SLA. Here is a school based upon the whole inquiry process. Wouldn't of been great if I was able to show his keynote to the group. Well I am emailing them now and sending the link to Chris's inspirational talk. It makes me want to dabble a bit more in this process.

As a team this year we are doing a project ala Tim Tyson where we will make groups of kids and they will make a 2 minute video that has global implications. The video can not be just about something about them but has to help the world in some way. All questions and work will be done by the students for the students. I hope it is a success. My team members know that this is coming and I am slowly explaining to them the work that is ahead of us.

This leads me back to my teaching and how I can make it more..... inquiry based. I teach math not the easiest topic to teach in the world. But I manage to teach it in ways that make some people scratch their heads. I need to make the kids ask questions. I need them to take ownership of their learning. Doing the blog and other assignments is a start but I need more. Tomorrow they will figure out the lesson in math. I am just going to put the question on the white board and they will have to figure out how to solve it. They have the knowledge already but they will create the "rule"or rules we will use. It is a start.

One of the things we did at the workshop was to look at some quotes about inquiry. Here are some great ones that I wrote down today (In my hand made book by the way!!).
  • The real sustaining force of inquiry is the window where learners meet face to face.
  • We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.
  • The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
  • What really motivates learning is students really having a question to which they really want an answer.
Chris's keynote and the preconference keynote both were on this idea of the death of education and the dawn of learning. Viva learning. Long live the facilitator teacher.
I am looking forward to this new journey. Hope to have some success along the way.

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