In this EdTechTeam webinar Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt and I share some insight into inquiry with our littles and what personalized learning looks like with our youngest students. We share some ideas fro Inquiry Mindset and some of our most loved annecdotes from our classroom. Enjoy!
Thankful to Barbara Bray for sharing her excitement for Inquiry Mindset in this awesome recap and review that was published prior to the book coming to print. See below and hit the jumpy to read on:
"I was fortunate to have received a draft of Inquiry Mindset written by Trevor MacKenzie with kindergarten teacher Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt. I will be sharing more about Trevor when I get to post the conversation I had with him for my podcast series, but I wanted to get a book review out first since it will be released soon. This is a powerful book, and I’m excited for educators to be able to get their hands on a copy March 1st.
Inquiry Mindset expands on Trevor’s first book, Dive into Inquiry: Amplify Learning and Empower Student Voice, with another powerful argument for inquiry-based learning by challenging educators to stoke students’ curiosities, hear their voices, and nurture their hearts. Inquiry Mindset begins with a personal story about Trevor’s son, Ewan, to bring you right in to grab your heartstrings about why we need inquiry. This book provides practical advice, examples, strategies, and resources for teachers so they can meet those challenges for their own professional learning. Inquiry Mindset takes readers on their own personal journeys to discover how they can become inquiry teachers."
Gone are the days of a shhh, quiet and isolating learning spaces. Whether we are referring to our classrooms, our learning commons or our small group work rooms, we believe that our learning spaces need to be designed with inquiry in mind. We elaborate on this belief throughout Chapter 8 in Inquiry Mindset, Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt and I speak to the idea of shifting our traditional learning spaces towards becoming more collaborative learning environments that are designed with intention and flexibility to support our learners working in inquiry.
The design of our space is crucial to creating a culture of inquiry. We spend time demonstrating and explicitly teaching our learners the benefit and purpose of each step. We model how to use various tools and spaces in our room to be successful and feel supported in our learning environments. We are inspired by David Thornburg’s work and his book Campfires in Cyberspace. Thornburg proposes learning spaces that empower our learners with choice and flexible seating to best meet their needs and allow them to learn in a way that supports them. We feel these spaces lend well to creating an empowered inquiry space. The Cave, the Watering hole, the Campfire and Life are four spaces that resonate with us and inspired us to write about in Inquiry Mindset.
Here is a sketchnote and brief explanation of each space. For more details please see Chapter 8 of Inquiry Mindset.
Rebecca and I are eager to implement these four learning spaces with our learners this upcoming school year. We will be introducing the learning spaces using this sketchnote. In addition, we have designed individual visuals for each space. We believe that the individual visuals support the explicit teaching and modelling of how and when to appropriately choose a space. We propose using the visuals around your room and perhaps on your front board to give space choices during specific learning blocks.
If you are feeling just as excited as we are about creating an Empowered Inquiry Space, check out our Exclusive Content to download the visuals and use them in your learning environment.
We are sure you will have many more ideas and ways to use these visuals and we can’t wait to see what you do with them. Remember, in inquiry we are more powerful together, please do share to our online community how you use this resource in your classroom using our #InquiryMindset tag.
A highlight of my spring travels was a day keynoting and providing workshops at the Kamloops Thompson (BC) Teachers Association district professional learning day. Kamloops has a soft spot in my heart. Having grown up a short distance further south in the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, I have fond memories of sporting events and competitive battles against several Kamloops schools. When the opportunity arose to revisit their district and support them in their learning it was one I couldn't refuse. And it would prove to be an inspiring day with 1400+ educators - my largest keynote so far for 2018.
I am incredibly blessed to collaborate with educators from around the world who are doing amazing things in their schools, classrooms, and learning spaces each and every day. When I cross their stories in my PLN or face to face at events I try my best to amplify their voice and share a stage for their message.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have found teacher librarian Beth Lyons at Larkspur Public School in the Peel District School Board, Ontario, Canada. Find her on twitter and her online space for more of her work and ideas.
She participated in our Inquiry Mindset Flipgrid Book Club this summer and I was taken aback by her expertise and passion for personalized learning. I knew I needed to collaborate with her in some capacity and sure enough, here's a guest blog that I think anyone dabbling in personalized learning should read.
I'm going to start right off the bat and let you know that I most like the term "inquiry" for exploring new ideas and experiences with learners. I think it evokes the mindset of wondering, of questioning, of striving for new knowledge.
It doesn't lend itself to immediately thinking of a product, an end, a finish line.
The learning is the doing.
Where is all coming from? Well, back in the spring I read Inquiry Mindset by Trevor Mackenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt (and then I immediately read it again in the summer for their Flipgrid book chat) and I quite literally felt as though my kindred spirits were speaking to me through this book. But even before that I had been using the term inquiry in the Library Learning Commons with educators and students. Currently I am reading Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach and this question about terms came up as part of a book chat at Twitter.
Dictionary.com defines "inquire" as-
This to me is what learning is all about. Seeking information. Gaining knowledge. Asking questions.
It's not about a product but rather the process.
I want the learners I engage with to love the process of learning, whether they create something at the end or not.
Does that mean that I think learners don't need to create a product, or complete a project?
The sharing of our learning through the creation of a product to share to an authentic audience is a valuable experience. I am a huge believer of the maker movement, maker culture and makerspaces in education. Learning through making is an essential part of a balanced education program and a necessary component for our 21st century learners.
But I do think the term we use matters.