Teaching Engineering in Social Studies with Inquiry – IEEE REACH

What are we – English teachers? It’s a common complaint in many social studies departments. Teachers wonder how they can possibly teach the literacy skills expected of them in the Common Core while also having to teach massive amount of content in most social studies curricula. And as if this were not challenging enough, now […]

Should We Keep the Electoral College? Writing and Implementing Inquiry

As a pre-service teacher, creating your first inquiry can be quite intimidating. However, getting the opportunity to implement it makes it all worth it. After months of writing and refining the inquiry, using the Inquiry Design Model Blueprint, I was one of two students from my graduate program, who was able to implement it in […]

Inquiry Design: From the Darkness into the Light

By Amanda Buchalski With night comes darkness, unknowing where each foot step will lead. Eventually however, as night continues, the sun will begin to shine again, bringing with it light, clarity and a sense of comfort.  One might say it also represents the teaching experience, growing from a beginning teacher to that of a veteran. […]

Trust, But Verify: Student Responsibility in Inquiry

As much as I love all my students, when I became a teacher, I quickly learned some of the necessary boundaries of that trust. It’s a “trust, but verify” approach. I want to see evidence that they mean what they say. Once a dog ate a student’s assignment and she brought in the remnants as […]

Designing C3 Inquiries that Make Thinking Visible

Recently, a department chair at one of our 25 high schools here in Fairfax County, Virginia asked me if there will be a project this summer to create additional C3 inquiries for VA standards of learning. The question made me smile as it suggested that teachers were using the 13 modules that have been created […]

Talking and Listening with “Strangers”

Lately, I’ve been grappling with how scholars, teachers, and policymakers define “citizenship” and, consequently, “citizenship education.” One thing I found was the prevalence of individualized notions of citizenship in curriculum – meaning when students think about acting as a democratic citizen, it is often in terms of the individual’s rights, freedoms, and actions, rather than […]

The best laid plans…

I am a huge planner. There’s nothing I love more than a good calendar, a clear curriculum guide, and a detailed scope and sequence. However, as an elementary school teacher I should know by now that I can plan a beautiful unit, color-coded and date-stamped with all sorts of assessments and checkpoints plugged in, but […]

Eliminating Classroom Activities

One of the joys of teaching is interacting with students who have not quite mastered particular social graces, such as politeness or tact. Early in my teaching career, I had a student tell me individually what she really thought of our class. She did not mean to be insulting – but she definitely wasn’t complementing […]

Personalized Learning in Inquiries?

In the field of education we have heard the term “personalized learning” quite often. The concept can be broken down into many different meanings and, in fact, there are whole cohorts in our district and nationwide dedicated to seeing the advancement of “PL” as they call it. In our district we have come up with […]

Reflections and the Inquiry Design Model

“Tell me and I [will] forget. Show me and I [will] remember. Involve me and I [will] understand.”—Xunzi (Chinese Philosopher) I have often heard this quote presented to me in many professional development teacher trainings to encourage me to involve my scholars in the learning process. Like any other teacher who wishes to make the […]