Happy August! I hope you are enjoying your summer. I cannot believe there is one month left before we return to school. I must admit that I have already begun planning for the school year and look forward to working with you all this year. I hope you have been reading this summer and working on your summer slide packet. As a reminder, if you are traveling or super busy this summer and do not get the opportunity to work on the summer slide packet, you have until September 28, 2018 to complete it while still earning the extra credit. Now for the Inquiry-based learning questions…
So… What is Inquiry-based Learning? Have you done it before? What is its purpose? How will this help me with my academic career? Sounds like some essential questions, right? They actually are but like most essential questions, once you break them down they are really not as difficult as they may seem at first. So let’s break them down and get started with our first challenge.
What is Inquiry-Based Learning? Breaking down the question we can see that learning is familiar to us all and we know what that is. Inquiry has to do with questioning and wondering and “based” added to it simply means having to do with. So we have learning that has to do with questioning. So simple right?! A question is posed whether given to you or you have come up with it yourself because you inquired about something you thought of in your daily life. It can be as simple as you are at a BBQ and you try a hot dog. You start thinking to yourself what an interesting food. Who invented this? How did they come up with the process? Why in the world did they call it a hot dog??? Have these types of thoughts come into your mind before about anything? I think like this all the time. Certain things might spark my interest and I begin to think deeper about it so I can gain a better understanding. That brings us to the next question.
Have you done Inquiry-Based Learning before? YES!!! Look at the highlight sentence above. Don’t we do this all the time in school? I know that much of our curriculum is what educators have deemed important for you to learn and master by the end of that grade level but often times you are given the opportunity to think deeper so you can gain a better understanding to certain things that might spark your interest.
What is the purpose of Inquiry-Based Learning? The purpose is to create an opportunity for active learning where you are in control of your learning and need to use skills that you have learned to solve a question or problem. I could simply lecture you or create a power point on the hot dog and explain it all to you but you would then lose so much. First of all, if it was your thought/wonder/question wouldn’t you want to find out the answer or at least try?
How will Inquiry-Based learning help with my academic career? With Inquiry-based learning you apply your knowledge of problem solving skills which is an important life skill. You utilize research and reasoning skills while you are focusing on finding the answer to the inquiry you began with. You are many times given the choice on what topic you want to inquire about which allows you to be completely invested and interested in following through with the challenge and finding the answer! You can also teach or share with others what you have found out through the process which is something you will need to do all throughout life. The presentation piece of your inquiry is also important because the way you present your findings will show if you truly applied the skills needed to successfully answer the question and if you fully understood the process and purpose.
You all have done this before!! Your teachers, parents, coaches might not have used the words inquiry-based learning but trust me you have done this. Now is your opportunity to show me how well you can read my explanation, work on the inquiry-based questions and present your findings in a way that tells me you clearly understood the process and can problem solve to find solutions. All of these skills you will utilize this year in class so this is a perfect time to practice.
Below is the first posed question. You will read the question, research and problem solve through it to find an answer. You will then reply back to me your findings in a short written explanation. I know it is summer but remember that I expect quality writing as you are all above a 5th grade level. That means you are writing in complete sentences while remembering punctuation and capitalization. Try not to start more than one sentence with pronouns and capitalize I!! (Two pet peeves of mine) If you don’t know what a pet peeve is then inquire!! Look it up and research and gain the knowledge of something new today! Sounds like Inquiry-Based Learning!!!
The first question will stay posted until August 13th and then I will post the 2nd question. At that point I will not accept additional responses to the first question. So you have about 1 week to respond to me for each question. On August 28th, I will post the final question and this will be due on September 10th. The last question will be the only requirement that must be met but I encourage you all to do all of the questions. I look forward to seeing your responses and interacting with you virtually. To respond to the question, you will need to email me or a share with me a google doc. To use the google doc method you will need to remember your login to your drive, create a new doc, type your response to me and share the google doc with me using my email address below. Many of you will need to ask your parents if you can use their email to respond to me. I will respond back to you within the one-week period and I will give you feedback and may ask you questions in return. The email and google doc is the best way to secure your research findings and allow you to get individualized attention. email@example.com
Start the Inquiry…
I absolutely love English-Language Arts! It was always my favorite subject since I enjoy reading so much. I feel like reading transports me into another world filled with adventure and excitement. This summer I have already read 8 books and I have recently started reading the Harry Potter Series. I know it has been out there for some time but I wanted to read each book and then watch the movie right after. I love to compare and contrast the book and movie version identifying the similarities and differences and seeing how they put the words from a page into so many moving parts to create a film. I had read a few Harry Potter books about twenty years ago when they first came out but decided to reread them. I really appreciate the extraordinary way the writer (J.K Rowling) draws the reader into the plots of her stories making us want to read more. This leads us to the first question.
What makes one writer more powerful or successful than the other? What characteristics in their writing creates a powerful and successful writing piece?
* Notice that one question creates a domino effect where more follow so easily. This is common and encouraged with inquiry-based learning. Remember to research to gain more knowledge, then apply what you learned into your answer.
Question 1 is due by August 13 at 8am. I will then post the next question.