EdCampDelta Response

Ed Camp Delta Session: How do we align assessment with the new curriculum? A packed library full of Educators interested in and wanting to find the answers to this question?? YES! I was excited, thrilled even, to be in this … Continue reading

As LiD comes to a close this year, I look forward to the “depth” of next year!

As Learning in Depth comes to a close in many schools in Delta this year, I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next year. I’m so excited to see these students finally start to get into the “depth” part of Learning in Depth.

We’ve seen these kids just start to scratch the surface of what learning in depth intends. Students have been answering the Who, What, Where, and When type questions with posters and power points of facts that relate to their topic’s main idea. But now, with this foundation just starting, I’m hoping to see students start asking the How and Why questions that I feel is the basis of all inquiry. Here’s where I’m hoping to see some interesting stuff!

This is why I would urge those schools that are choosing to change topics – not to! It defeats the purpose of depth! A year may seem like a long time and there are worries that students are going to hit walls and become stuck but please, let them! They need to hit bottom and work their way out of it. The struggle will be good for them. And you’ll be so happy to have let them struggle because the development of their knowledge tools, their thinking and questioning will benefit!

We’re just at the beginning stages of the LiD process and we should really see where this type of learning could lead. I’m still excited and I’m even excited to talk to students about what it means to be stumped on something you’re an ‘expert’ on. I’m also excited to hear from those who have been working on this project for an entire year but still don’t know a whole lot about their topic.

Maybe this will jumpstart those students into trying harder and taking it more seriously. Maybe it will be a little overwhelming feeling like you don’t know anything about something you’ve spent a whole year learning. But theres an awesome quote I love about this “I don’t know much about it.. I only started learning about it decades ago” 

So please! Keep the same topics and encourage deeper learning, deeper questioning, and something a little deeper than poster making! Have I mentioned depth and deep learning enough in this post?

“Celebration of Inquiry” a Showcase of Delta’s Inquiry Progress

Delta School District had their “Celebration of Inquiry” Day today where Schools could set up examples of how their inquiry questions/projects worked in their schools. This was a way to share ideas, examples, some good food and great conversations. As … Continue reading

A Metacognitive Approach to Science & Inquiry

A students hilarious but true commentary on how to use the Scientific Method - please note the lack of thinking!

A students hilarious but true commentary on how to use the Scientific Method/ how to “do” Science! *Please note the inherent lack of thinking

In reflecting on the Science Fairs that I’ve attended I can’t help but ask: Whatever happened to inquiry in Science? It’s part of our standard PLOs in BC but this is one thing I found to be missing in all of these projects that test a hypothesis. I usually ask “Why did you do your experiment? How did you come to your question?” And what I usually get back is either a blank stare or  “it was in the package/online.”

The emphasis of science then, ends up on the doing but not the thinking, which I feel is the biggest shame. The essence of science and of learning is the thinking! Experiments (the doing) are done because of questions – the how and why – inquiry! Yet can be ignored in some science classrooms.  The process of thinking and questioning is being overlooked or underemphasized.

So often students are asked to use the scientific method. Which they do quite effortlessly once they’ve found an experiment from a quick google search. But how can we have our students try doing the first step on their own when they haven’t been given instruction on how?  Asking questions is a skill to be taught and explored before we ask students to even start using the scientific method in a deeper way.

An activity I would like to try is taking a metacognitive approach to science. A student would take a scientist, inventor, creator (whoever who has used the scientific method to test a hypothesis) – and instead of replicating how they came to their conclusion, dig around and discover how they got their essential question/ hypothesis and what the process of thinking is like.

This way, whoever the student chooses will act as a model for how to think. The student will have to research the life of that person, what affected their scientist enough to form that question, what connections, observations and reasonings their scientist would have made. By examining the process of thinking and question making, students may begin to understand what they must do when forming a question of their own and how this process creates the meaning behind the experiment. Why does it really matter if an egg floats or sinks in salt water? Why was answering that question important in the first place? It all comes down to the scientist and how they thought about it. Their thinking made that question an important one to answer.

Having students think about their thinking while their reading is a skill we teach day in and day out of our literacy programs (especially with the use of Adrianne Gear’s Reading/Writing Power kits). Metacognitive readers are good readers! But.. good thinkers make good scientists! 

 

My Digital “Portfolio of Learning” Experience

Task: Show your learning any way you want in a digital portfolio of your choice. Reaction: Okay, but how many words should it be? What do you mean “show your learning” – do you need it to be visual? What’s … Continue reading