In inquiry-based classrooms, researcher's workshop happens each and every day. Just as with reader's and writer's workshops, researcher's workshop is carefully structured and includes explicit instruction in research strategies and the inquiry process. In addition, researcher's workshop
- provides an authentic, practical context for reading, writing, drawing, talking, listening, and creating.
- fosters personal engagement and ownership for every kid
- encourages kids to build knowledge as they use reading, writing, and thinking strategies in the service of learning.
During researcher’s workshop, we sometimes focus our inquiries on topics that are part of a district-mandated curriculum unit. At other times we might explore a common topic, driven by kids, that’s of particular local or current interest. The inquiries shared in this book are primarily curricular in nature but with plenty of room for kids to investigate on their own.
When it comes to curricular inquiries, some may extend over several weeks. To make sure kids have enough time to explore their topics in depth, often teachers alternate science and social studies. They may spend two or three weeks on a science unit and the next few weeks on social studies. Others may integrate teaching science and social studies together. But either way, kids need plenty of time to read, write, and think about content to build knowledge and actively use it.
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Anne Goudvis has taught students in grades K-6 over the years, beginning her teaching career in urban schools on the south side of Chicago. She spent many years as a staff developer in the Denver area, working in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. Currently, Anne works with schools and districts around the country to implement progressive literacy practices and comprehension across the curriculum.
She is the coauthor with Stephanie Harvey of Strategies That Work and The Comprehension Toolkit series, along with resources including Scaffolding the Comprehension Toolkits for English Language Learners. A history buff, she and Stephanie also coauthored the Short Nonfiction for Teaching American History series, which includes strategies for teaching historical literacy and student articles about often overlooked voices and people in history. With Inquiry Illuminated, Anne, Steph, and Brad Burhow show how curiosity and student agency thrive as kids engage in Researcher's Workshop across the curriculum.
Follow Anne on Twitter @annegoudvis
Stephanie Harvey has spent her career teaching and learning about reading and writing. After fifteen years of public school teaching, both in regular education and special education classrooms, Stephanie worked for twelve years as a staff developer for the Denver based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), a partnership of leaders from education and business, who support innovation in public schools.
Insatiably curious about student thinking, she is a teacher first and foremost and currently serves as a private literacy consultant to schools and school districts. In that role, she conducts keynote speeches, presentations, workshops, demonstration lessons, coaching sessions and ongoing consultation to teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, principals and district administrators. With a focus on K-12 literacy, her specialties include comprehension instruction, inquiry-based learning, content area reading and writing, nonfiction literacy, and the role of passion, wonder and engagement in teaching and learning.
Stephanie has written many articles, books and resources; her Heinemann publications include the title Comprehension and Collaboration which she co-authored with Smokey Daniels, and The Comprehension Toolkit series which is an in-depth Curricular Resource for comprehension instruction co-authored with Anne Goudvis.
Connect with Steph at @StephHarvey49
Brad Buhrow is coauthor of the Heinemann title Comprehension Going Forward.
For the past twelve years he has worked with culturally and linguistically diverse learners teaching fourth, second, and first grade. He believes that “to be a teacher it takes thinking, imagination, creativity, curiosity and a lot of energy. That's why I became a teacher—I love that challenge. I've learned from critical theory that establishing a solid knowledge base and being conscious of my practices is the first step toward action and positive change.”
Brad is also coauthor of Ladybugs, Tornadoes and Swirling Galaxies and was a teacher participant in the professional development videos included in Reading The World and The Primary Toolkit.
Follow Brad on Twitter @bradbuhrow