Ever wonder how to get students genuinely engaged in your curriculum? Or wish you could let them explore those amazing questions they brim with? In his new book, The Curious Classroom, Harvey "Smokey" Daniels provides research-based suggestions that help cover the curriculum by connecting what kids wonder about to the wonders you have to teach them.
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So what is student-directed inquiry approach, and how is it different from other project-based and inquiry-oriented teaching models? Here’s a quick sketch of what student-directed inquiry looks like:
What happens when we put our students in the driver’s seat? Harvey “Smokey” Daniels says; when we let kids be curious, they dive deep. They persist longer when they’re curious. Smokey says if we can activate a student’s curiosity, they no longer need to be forced into action. So where do elementary teachers fit inquiry and curiosity into their day. How do teachers harness the power of curiosity? And how do we hand over the reins to students in a well-structured environment?
Smokey Daniels covers all of this and more in his newest book, The Curious Classroom: 10 Structures for Teaching with Student-Directed Inquiry.
We talked about this and more on today's podcast. We started out our conversation talking about why Smokey is so excited about this new book?
Because inquiry sometimes seems so hard to define, Steph Harvey and Smokey Daniels created the chart below to highlight the contrasts (2015) between it and a "coverage" approach. Notice that they do not label old-school teaching as “traditional.” That’s because progressive, student-centered, and inquiry-based learning is just as strong a strand in the American tradition (think John Dewey, Jerome Bruner, Francis Parker) as the skill-and-drill paradigm that has dominated the last three decades.
Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series! This month, we learn how to open discussions about sensitive topics, and hopefully help bend our world toward social justice.
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“As educators, we are on the front lines the morning after a tragedy shakes the world. It ripples into our classrooms from homes, the hallways, and handheld devices." -Sara Ahmed
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Far too often, educators walk through school doors with not only the weight of recent tragedy but the pressure of decision making regarding class conversations around the event. What do we say? How should we say it? What will the kids say?
Perhaps, suggests Sara Ahmed, we enter with a different plan. Listening.
What really matters to your students? They might say the issues in front of them at school and in life. When students inquire into those issues and they’re given an opportunity for their arguments to be read by the city council or published in the local newspaper, they’re eager to research and find relevant information in nonfiction texts to bolster their claims. They become committed to writing, revising, editing and correcting their grammar. They want to think broadly about what reasoning will be effective with their audience. Whether you teach English, social studies, science, or math. From Inquiry to Action by Steve Zemelman’s helps students become, not only college and career ready, but citizen ready. From Inquiry to Action offers practical guidance that leads students to grow as engaged, thoughtful citizens in our communities. We started our conversation on what civic action in schools looks like?