Category Archives: Collaboration

PLC Series: Turn Inquiry into Action

Welcome back to the Heinemann Professional Development Professional Learning Community (PLC) series. We hope you are enjoying our new format for the 2017-2018 year! 

Each month, we share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time. 

This month, our posts will invite us to welcome curiosity, inquiry, and action for our classrooms and school communities. 

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The power of technology allows us to easily act on a connection with stories, supporting projects or organizations linked to meaningful causes. A simple scroll through social media allows you to hear a plea for help and give with a simple click of a button.

Think of any causes you supported in the past few years. Was it to grow research? Raise awareness? Crowdsource funding? Why did you make these choices? Did the story touch you? Have you or a family member found yourself in a similar position of need?


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PLC Series: Inquiry Honors Student Thinking

Welcome back to the Heinemann Professional Development Professional Learning Community (PLC) series. We are excited to present a new format for the 2017-2018 year! 

Each month, we'll share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time. 

This month, our posts will invite us to welcome curiosity, inquiry, and action for our classrooms and school communities. 

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“It's called "wayfinding"… it's not just sails and knots, it's seeing where you're going in your mind. Knowing where you are by knowing where you've been.”  —Maui in Disney’s Moana (2016)
 

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To understand how to authentically bring the cycle of inquiry to your students, we need to reflect upon how this process looks in our adult lives. What types of questions do we ask? When? Where do we go for information? How do we deal with roadblocks? What does it look like to synthesize and share what we learned?

Jot down a memory you have where you wondered something specific and pursued an answer a question—could be a two-minute Google search or a longer-term experience. Be sure to list how you investigated (alone, with others, online, print material etc), how you determined which information was relevant, important, and valid, and then what did you do with it. Did you post on social media? Write about it? Call someone? Simply exhale and move on?

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How Principals Can Help Teachers, and Entire Schools, Build Energy

How Principals Can Help Teachers, and The Entire School, Build Energy

How can principals help teachers build energy? It's an enduring question for a reason, with many possible answers. Don Graves once visited a school where each Wednesday morning the faculty met to have a breakfast of rolls, juice, and coffee and then moved into various curriculum focus groups. The faculty had one half hour together before school and then one halof hour after the children arrived on the busses. The staff ran the sessions and discussion groups. “I have but one requirement,” the principal said, “that everyone attend and no one be alone in their room. I make sure the kids are in a good situation for their half hour. Every June we reevaluate the Wednesday morning program and decide what specific interest groups will follow for the next year. In previous years we’ve produced lots of things: parent forums, a new math curriculum; we prepared a language arts presentation for parents.” This particular program had been going on for ten years. There is renewal for the staff in the middle of the week, and above all, keeps the staff in touch with each other and develops new ideas.

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Tom Newkirk on Internalizing the “We Can do This” Voice

Book_Product photoNo one escapes embarrassment. Both students and teachers face it every day in school and its influence affects our willingness to take risks. How might our fear of failure, of not living up to expectations, be holding us back?  How can our fear of embarrassment affect how we learn, how we teach, and how we live?

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Taking the Fear Out of Jumping Into Inquiry

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Let's face it, the idea of jumping into student-directed inquiry can be overwhelming. Fears over releasing control to students—and visions of students losing control—can seem like too much to handle to even consider dipping one’s toe into the waters of inquiry. But the truth is, successful student-directed inquiry is a highly structured, adaptable framework that honors kids questions about the world and fits any curriculum. There is no need for it to be scary.

In the following video, author Harvey “Smokey” Daniels talks about how doing inquiry correctly can turn that trepidation into fulfillment and fun for both teachers and students alike.

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How to Set Up Reading Partnerships to Maximize Literacy Learning in Your Classroom

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Adapted from "What Are The Rest of my Kids Doing?" Fostering Independence in the K–2 Reading Workshop, by Lindsey Moses and Meridith Ogden


Partner reading is important for many reasons. Literacy is a socially constructed activity involving reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing. Reading together and talking about books can provide partners with enriching experiences, thinking, and conversation that would not take place while reading independently. In addition to the motivation, engagement, and social aspects, Rogoff (1990) documented interactions between partners that led to each child achieving a higher level of understanding than working by themselves. This could be due to the type of talk surrounding partner reading. Brown (2006) found five major themes of talk occurred during partner reading time in second grade: organizational, disputational, word strategy, meaning making, and personal talk. All of these, except personal talk, supported partner reading.

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