Our cohort had the opportunity on Tuesday to visit Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s class at George Jay Elementary. Rebecca is co-author of the book Inquiry Mindset, a guide to “harnessing the power of curiosity to foster students learning from their youngest years”. Since our visit to PSII I have been wondering what inquiry would look like in an elementary classroom so not only did I find this visit inspiring, it allowed me to gain a better understanding of how I might use inquiry in my classroom .
Rebecca gave a great presentation on #Inquirymindset , we learned about moving from guided to independent inquiry and the importance of curiosity in learning. Curiosity leads to questions which leads to discovery and learning. There are so many ways to inspire curiosity, what Rebecca calls a “provocation”. Her resources are jam packed with tools for guiding inquiry for all ages.
Rebecca gave us some provocations that may inspire questions in our students…..
There are many other provocations that may stimulate students curiosity, rekindle prior knowledge or tap into what they are passionate about. Rebecca suggested pairing these provocations with the questions below.
Rebecca was full of great advice, one thing she mentioned a couple of times that really stuck with me is that it may take a couple of years to fully embrace inquiry into our classroom and that is OK! Many thanks to Rebecca for not only having me in her class but providing me with some simple ways to support inquiry based learning in the elementary classroom.
Tuesdays class was my first experience with a video conference call, we met with Ian Landy, Principal at Edgehill Elementary in Powell River. Next time I will make sure that I get there early so that I am not in the front row, I was a bit uncomfortable with being on the big screen and the camera moving to wherever the sound was coming from seemed to have a mind of its own.
Ian talked to us about technology as assessment in the form of e-portfolios, fresh grade , just one example of a digital portfolio/ assessment platform (currently being used in SD61) provides educators with a way to report student learning rather than reporting student achievement (what the old fashioned report cards did). It allows teachers to document, capture and communicate learning to parents and students in a secure way, student data is stored in Canada but does spend a few seconds in the US. Through this platform teachers can also share resources and provide their students with formative descriptive feedback. All this capturing and documenting sounds like teachers would spend a lot of time using devices to upload student content, Ian suggested adding archivist as a class job which I think is a great idea that teaches students how to upload to their own e-portfolios. One thing that is great about e-portfolios is that it gives the students the opportunity to document and share their own learning, providing a sense of responsibility. Ian suggested scaffolding independent use of e-portfolios starting at around grade 5 or 6.
Each student comes to class with their own experiences and worldview, no two students are exactly the same so why would we assess them in the same way? As Ian pointed out ” we can’t compare students… E-portfolios allow for personalized achievement”.