Friday, April 29, 2016

Sharing our Journey into Guided Inquiry

This has been year of new beginnings- a new staff, a brand new group of students (who continue to amaze me), even a new library automation system, collection, and curriculum. All of these changes have been rewarding and exciting. In particular, I have been most excited about collaborating with many passionate, risk-taking teachers. Specifically, working alongside Literacy Coach, Peggy Rohan, I helped to implement the guided inquiry model into research units on Mesopotamia, fracking, and the Native American mascot controversy. This model emphasizes a more student-centered approach to learning as students go through stages of immersion, investigation, intensifying research, synthesizing information, and publicly sharing their learning.

Our journey into guided inquiry began with what I refer to as "The Great GID Experiment." When seventh grade Social Studies teacher, Cara Krebsbach, approached Peggy and me for new ideas on how to teach one of her first units on Mesopotamia, we jumped at the chance to introduce guided inquiry. The guided inquiry approach not only forces students to think at a higher level and work more independently, but it also allows students to make more choices, collaborate, and dive deeper into the research process- skills that are essential for all 21st century learners. While introducing guided inquiry during the Mesopotamia unit was a fantastic experience, there were many lessons learned along the way. This week Peggy and I are sharing our story with a larger community through the 52 Weeks of Guided Inquiry blog. Organized by Guided Inquiry Design author, Leslie Maniotes, each week features guest bloggers from around the world who are sharing their stories about using the guided inquiry model. Our journey into guided inquiry has been challenging, engaging, frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. It has been exciting to share our story with the world and receive feedback from others who can relate to our experience.

Please check out our story and those of many others by visiting the 52 Weeks of Guided Inquiry blog. We would love to hear your feedback about what we have done so far!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Celebrate National Library Week with Us, April 11-15

Next week the DPMS library will be hosting several activities to celebrate National Library Week. Please join us in the library to highlight this year's theme "Libraries Transform."