I Wonder…Student Driven Inquiry Learning

Recently friends of mine have begun a new Twitter account called @AllinResource. They are hoping to create a network of educators who are willing to share low-prep, accessible, cross-curricular resources that students actually like!

As educators we are all looking for that. This is my first addition to their new enterprise. My students love the project. We had our entire school come to visit the projects and my class taught them about what they learned. It was some of the best learning we did all year.

Projects included: learning card tricks, building a penny board, building a fishing lure, making a bow and arrow, making a boomerang, taking apart and cleaning a carburetor just to name a few.

I hope your students enjoy this project as much as mine did.

Good luck with the new account (John and Mike)

The formatting is a problem. I have included the assignment, feedback form and rubric. If anyone wants the originals please feel free to contact me at my twitter account.

 

                                                                                                     

Name:__________________

                                                              I WONDER…

           Have you ever wondered how they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar? Me too!! Well here is your chance to explore the unknown. Your can impress family, friends and classmates with your knowledge of the world. You may wish to learn a new skill (juggling, magic tricks) or making or building a fishing lure, skateboard etc. BE CREATIVE! and HAVE FUN!  

You must:

 1)    Choose a topic, something you do not know or want to know more about

2)   Clear your topic with your teacher

3)   Develop 5 – 10 questions to help guide your research or learning

4)   Research the topic (using the organizer provided)

5)   Develop a presentation, demonstration, anything you can think of to share your findings about your topic. Be as creative as possible!

6)   Our class will share our work with the rest school.

 

 

                                     I Wonder Success Criteria

 

Knowledge of Content

£   Using correct form to share information                 (poster, PowerPoint, procedural, narrative, report, recap)

£   Provides critical information on the topic, to improve audience understanding

Understanding of Content/Form

£   Uses proper format based on form chosen

 

Thinking

£   Clearly organized information

£   Logically organized information

£   Developed with the audience in mind               (complexity and steps)

Communication

£   Use of clear language to explain ideas(especially steps involved in a process)

£   Conventions (spelling)

£   Effective use of visuals/diagrams to demonstrate steps

Application

£   Provides examples to improve personal understanding and that of the audience

£   Use of success criteria to assess and improve work

£   Reflection of what you have done to learn a new skill or develop your understanding

 

 1st Star

 

Next Step:

How to BUMP IT UP!

 

 

 

                                                    I Wonder Rubric

 

 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level

Knowledge & Content

(e.g. concepts; ideas; opinions; relationships among facts, ideas, concepts, themes)

Demonstrates

limited understanding

of content and provides little detail to support topic

Demonstrates

some understanding

of content and provides some detail to support topic

Demonstrates

considerable

understanding

of content and provides strong detail to support topic

Demonstrates

thorough understanding

of content and provides exceptional detail to support topic

 

Thinking

(e.g. planning, generating ideas, gathering information, analysis, forming conclusions etc. )

Displays little planning and organization of information.

 

Results in limited development of the topic.

 

Displays some planning and organization of information.

 

Results in a basic development of the topic.

 

Displays substantial planning and organization of information.

 

Results in extensive development of the topic.

 

Displays exceptional planning and organization of information.

 

Results in a thorough development of the topic.

 

 

Communication

(e.g. presentation techniques, conventions, organization etc.)

Organizes ideas

and uses conventions,

vocabulary with

limited

effectiveness

 

Limited use of creativity and a hook to attract audience to presentation

 

Organizes ideas

and uses conventions,

vocabulary with

some

effectiveness

 

Some evidence of creativity and a hook to attract audience to presentation

 

Organizes ideas

and uses conventions,

vocabulary with

considerable

effectiveness

 

Effective use of creativity and a hook to attract audience to presentation

 

Organizes ideas

and uses conventions,

vocabulary with

a high degree

effectiveness

 

Highly effective use of creativity and a hook to attract audience to presentation

 

 

Application

(e.g., writing process, critical/creative analysis, critical literacy, metacognition,)

Uses critical/

creative thinking

processes

with limited

effectiveness

Uses critical/

creative thinking

processes

with some

effectiveness

Uses critical/

creative thinking

processes with

considerable

effectiveness

Uses critical/

creative thinking

processes with a high degree of effectiveness

 

 

Student Name:

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

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A Second Chance…Time to Remove My Shackles

How many of you have finished a school year wishing you could have the year over again? Our job is so unlike most others. How many carpenters wish they could rebuild a house? Well, if one of them built your home, you may want to get out of there as fast as possible!

For us, there is no one strategy, no one big idea, no one framework that will ensure success. If you follow current building codes and construction plans your structure will nearly always be sound and successful. It is one exciting and ubiquitously frustrating reality of being a teacher. No one plan works all of the time.

This year (my 9th as a teacher) was both a success and failure in many ways. So much so that is has left me seriously questioning the structure, goals, organization, and future of our school system and my practice in particular. Every summer I take time to reflect on my craft and choose an area or two in which to learn more about to improve my practice. This year however I am finding that one or two areas is not enough.

I am fundamentally frustrated by the rigid nature of our bureaucratic school system and the narrow minded view of what we do as educators. I continue to follow dynamic, independent educators on Twitter and yearn to push my classroom further from the norm. The old school view is no longer good enough.

Using technology, personal learning opportunities and talking with my students, I should be able to make the educational experience much more relevant for my students and useful to their future selves.

The more I reflect, the more I realize I have allowed others in our system to limit my actions. No longer will I be talked into submission by the naysayers and fear-mongers. By limiting my own actions and suppressing my own ideas and beliefs I have shackled myself to the conformists views of the education system. This ends now!

I feel more liberated than ever before. I can’t wait for September. I am about to become the Frank Sinatra of teachers…hell I am going to do it MY WAY!

I alone have the key! Next year I will get a second chance with my class from this past year. Everyone deserves a second chance…I will not waste mine.