What do you wonder? Is there something you really want to learn about? Be curious, be creative....school is a place to find answers to your questions!
School is a place to learn about things you care about and new things you are just hearing about for the first time!
The above is the message that I want enrichment students to receive. One of my professional goals this year is to increase student inquiry and exploration of their curiosity in the enrichment classroom. In an effort to support this goal I will be working with second graders to support student driven inquiry projects.
We began these projects with a quick survey. I asked students to think about whether they felt choice was important in their learning. I asked them to think generally about the idea and then also to come up with some examples of times they have received full choice in their learning or no choice in their learning. This survey gave us a starting point for our inquiry work together. In general, students felt choice was important and had many reasons for enjoying choice in learning. A few students mentioned that they preferred when the teacher selected their subjects, because sometimes they had a hard time choosing themselves and that they liked what teachers selected! Students were very reflective in this process and it helped me to make sure that as we move forward we consider those students that desire additional structure as well as those that are ready to jump in! This survey also supported my original thinking that students could benefit from inquiry projects and that many students are frustrated with learning things they already know, or that are in their words 'boring'.
As we close out February, we have begun using our resources to find answers to our questions. Students are reading, listening, watching and then taking notes. When we return to school in March we will begin thinking about how to share our new knowledge!
Notes for educators:
This process requires quite a bit of management and I have found several things to be helpful so far:
-A folder for each inquiry group to keep all of their information together
-Resources that can be listened to ( in particular when topics are not typical second grade reading material). My current online resources include: Pebble Go ( funded by our school library), World Book Online, Wonderopolis (free website), You tube videos (curated and reviewed by me first), online articles from Scholastic and Highlights that include a text read aloud feature.
-Lots of books from the school library to spark questions and ideas AND to help find answers.
-Writing notes from the teacher to each group about what they should consider doing for their next task. This allows me to meet with small groups, and limits the number of students who have trouble self starting at the beginning of each class.