So, I am a runner.  This will make sense in just a few minutes.  I set goals, I schedule runs, I plan routes I am going to run, I decide if I want to do races, and then I go out and train for these races.  It’s all about that end result and pushing myself to do more.  I can be a little obsessive about it sometimes and I am told that I talk about running a lot! My goal this year is to run a marathon and I have signed up and will do this in November.

I have put my compelling question together, I have assigned myself tasks to complete, I know what sources I have to use to complete my task, I know what my summative task will be and then I know how I am going to take action.  So you see, the Inquiry Design Model for me, can be related to something I do in my personal life.  I know that I can use this in my classroom because it fills in all the blanks that I am used to filling in with my running.  Just as I take steps to complete my running goals, creating and completing an inquiry is a matter of setting goals, creating a plan, then taking time to train.

Being at the Institute this summer provided me with just what I needed to plan my lessons… the “blueprint”.  I don’t think we all realize how much we actually already do these things in our planning.  We all have a question or topic that we want to address in a lesson and we have different assignments that we put together to help students obtain the skills to understand the concepts in each unit.  At the end of a unit we all have summative tasks that we give students to check their overall understanding.  I know at times I have had my students do an extension exercise.  An example of this was with my Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics class.  After we studied a unit on voting and political parties the students put together a voter registration drive for students at the high school and the community.  They got the forms and presented the information in an assembly and then helped students register.  We may only do one or two parts of the total inquiry but I know I always have the tasks, Kathy’s favorite, and I want to develop more ideas to challenge and engage my students.  

I look forward to showing my students how to take action and becoming more involved in our community. I have already developed a relationship with our local Board of Elections and I want to help my students become involved in this area.  I want them to become more aware of the community and how they will become involved as citizens as they are preparing to graduate from high school.  We will have a new chapter of Rho Kappa which is the Social Studies Honor Society at school this year so I am looking forward to exploring civic options to all my students that are interested in social studies.