The Power of Why: Inquiring Minds Collaborate!

Follow us as we launch our Science & Literacy Collaborative Inquiries in our classrooms ...

Earlier this year we began to observe our students in action in the classroom looking for events or situations that made us curious.
  • What just happened?
  • Why did that happen? I certainly wasn't expecting it to go that way!
  • Have I seen a similiar situation before?

Thinking like scientists we looked and listened for moments that made us wonder why. It was these observations and wonderings that would become the basis for forming a "theory of action" we would inquiry about as the year progresses.

We are using the Ministry of Education's "Professional Learning Cycle" as a guide for our collaborative inquiries.

Integrating and using the scientific "habits of mind" of observing and wondering as the starting point for our inquiries is allowing us to be rooted in student needs in our classrooms and provides us with the opportunity to recheck and ensure we have the right inquiry question/theory of action.

Check out our inquiry organizer that merges the Professional Learning Cycle with scientific thinking and inquiry:

What we are exploring, both in terms of teacher action and student outcomes is captured in this wordle:
ci wordle 4.JPG

We've spent some time looking at research and strategies in both science and literacy to determine some starting points for our inquiries. These photographs capture connections teachers have made to the 5 components of an effective literacy program as outlined in the Ministry of Education's Adolescent Literacy Guide:
inquiry guiding question inq quest lit connects.jpgtechnology inquiry q lit connects.jpg
Considering which literacy component(s) connect to our inquiry questions has been helping us plan the literacy connections and supports that need to be made during the inquiry itself.

Our science literacy network newsletters have been capturing each stage of the inquiries so far and some of the supports we have experienced through the process.

Newsletter 1: writing clear, measurable inquiry questions/theories of action

Newsletter 2: What will you measure?

Newsletter 3: Planning your procedure & capturing educator learnings and reflection

Newsletter 4: Analyzing Student Data & Reflecting on Educator & Student learning

May 31st - Sharing and Celebrating our Inquiries

Many thanks to everyone for all their hardwork throughout the collaborative inquiry process! We were excited and proud to have been part of the sharing of all your learning in the classroom! What a day! We played with a number of different dry ice activities which can be used as a teacher demo in the classroom. We took a closer look at the metacognitive component of the Adolescent Literacy Guide and realized that we've been on a tremendous metacognitive journey all year long! We shared a wealth of experiences, knowledge and learning science fair style! Here are some pictures of different highlights of the day:

2013-05-31 10.36.52.jpg2013-05-31 10.38.58.jpg
2013-05-31 13.43.54.jpg2013-05-31 13.44.16.jpg
And of course, we circled back to where we started and reflected on 2 years together exploring connections between the teaching of science and literacy but like any good scientist we identified a few new questions we could explore in the future...

Check out our exit card tweets in the following powerpoint: