10 Steps to Bring Inquiry into Your Classroom
Just getting started with inquiry? Looking for your own next step in student-driven inquiry? Ever wonder how to get students genuinely engaged in your curriculum, or wish you could let them explore those amazing questions they brim with?
Begin with briefly modeling your own curiosity or start on a higher rung as you gradually move toward units driven by kids’ own questions.
- Demonstrate your own curiosity. Today’s students urgently need to see thoughtfulness, curiosity, and resourcefulness in adults.
- Investigate ourselves and our classmates. If you want a curious, collaborative classroom, then you are in the friendship-creating business.
- Capture and honor kids’ questions. To create a culture of questioning and investigation, we record students’ wondering and track their pursuit of them.
- Begin the day with soft starts. If kids begin the morning by exercising their own curiosity, they are more responsible and curious all day long.
- Check your news feed. The news stimulates inquiry projects of all sorts and sets children on a path to active, critical citizenship.
- Hang out with an expert. Kids learn authentic, reliable information from experts and witness what passionate, sustained curiosity looks like.
- Pursue kids’ own questions with mini-inquiries. With student-driven inquiry, kids see the exciting process of “finding out’ — and they will fall in love with it.
- Address curricular units with mini-inquiries. Curiosity empowers kids to build knowledge on topics they wouldn’t choose on their on.
- Lean into crisis. When a crises happen in our classroom, inquiry strategies can help kids cope, understand, carry on.
- Learn with partners and pioneers. We can reach out to colleagues, principals, and parents about inquiry and get practical advice from pioneering inquiry schools.
By the end of this book I hope you will say two things:
* I never knew my kids were capable of working at this level; and
* This is the most fun I have ever had in my teaching life.
— Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, author of The Curious Classroom.