Student Driven Inquiry Circles

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” —Albert Einstein

Why would I tell you everything? That would be BORING. Who wants to sit back and have facts and thoughts poured into their heads? You should be saying, “Not me!” So, rather than me being the all intelligent leader, I’m going to give you an essential question and ask you to come up with the questions that will guide our adventures in learning.

Let’s face it, I have to guide a little, otherwise why would you be here? You would probably be at home sharing EarPod memes on Instagram all day. So, here is a little structure for our inquiries to help move your investigations along.

Secret Steps to Circles of Inquiry

  1. Brainstorm questions around our topic by filing in the Padlet link that I provide in your Google Classroom assignment. Use the power of crowd sourcing to to get your ideas flowing.
  2. When you decide on a question fill out the Google Form provided in the Google Classroom assignment.
  3. I will assign you to a group based on your interests and an ancient formula known only to the Guru Cult of Sagacious Teachers, to which I belong.
  4. Next, your group will collaborate to fill out a planning form attached to your Google Classroom Assignment (Google Doc). You will ALL be responsible for researching, preparing, designing, and presenting your wealth of new knowledge not only to our class but to a larger audience…more about that later.
  5. Once your project plan has been approved by the Project Coordinator Extraordinaire, you will begin to work on it.
  6. Following your own self-imposed timeline, your team will complete your work and present to the class, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Part of your assignment will be to create a short quiz on the information you present. Your peers and any other people who view your presentations will be asked to answer a few multiple choice questions and to  give you critical feedback.
  7. After the presentation, you will fill out the Reflection Form found in your Google Classroom Assignment. In this form, you will reflect on what you learned from each of the classroom presentations. We will be looking for commonalities across the presentations and for differences or new understandings.
  8. Finally, you will write a reflection based on your critical feedback. This gives us the opportunity to reflect on our process of learning and determine how we can improve next time.

Watch this video if you want to know more about why this is a cool, innovative way to teach you.

Ways to Get our Inquiry Questions Answered:

  • Read, Read, Read…
    • Texts from the library
    • Go on the internet and search key words
    • Find primary sources
  • Engage Experts (Skype, Letters, email*, Google Docs)
  • R