Insights By Inquiry

Read regular posts by Inquiry By Design team members.  In addition to exploring Inquiry By Design’s unique perspective on literacy, teaching, standards, and assessment, you’ll find insights into the use of our curriculum, professional development, workshops, and company culture.

Independent Reading

With everything else we need to “cover” in a class period, it’s easy to let independent reading time slide from the agenda.  However, volumes of research shows that if we make time for reading then there will likely be less instruction and “coverage” needed. Here’s one small snippet from those those volumes.

Beers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read: What teachers can do. Henemann. (Original work published 1999)

“The Commission on Reading, the group that prepared the report Becoming a Nation of […]

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But What If No One Talks? | Part 2 of 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

“It’s all in the wrist,” golfers say. Or is it pitchers? Maybe I’m thinking of ping pong. At any rate, there comes a point when working out how to improve discussion in your classroom means fine-tuning some intricate details.

Since there’s a bit of personal preference involved, maybe a better analogy is when you go to the eye doctor and have to look through all of the different lenses. Which looks better to […]

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Literacy Notebooks

Inquiry By Design is creating an ongoing series of brief and pithy instructional videos in vlog form in order to guide teachers through the key “moves” and philosophies of inquiry-based work. Some episodes will focus on specific strategies and units of study and others will be broader, addressing overarching theories and practices. Check out our very first IBD Vlog post here, and help us spread the word by sharing on Facebook. Also, be sure to “like” our Facebook page if […]

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But What If No One Talks? | Part 1 of 2

The great thing about a light bulb that isn’t working is that there’s just about only one possible thing that could have gone wrong: The light has burned out. Barring an unusual wiring problem, power outage, or blown breaker, you always know how to fix it right away.

Classroom discussions are…not at all like a light bulb. There may be 20 to 30 people in the room, all at various reading levels, all with different interests and motivation, and each of […]

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TOP FIVE: Tips for Turning Kids into Readers

If we want students to actually read the books we assign, we need to start by first turning them into readers. This is why, at every grade level, Inquiry By Design’s suggested scope and sequence starts with building a strong independent reading program — Setting Up the Literacy Studio (elementary school), Creating a Text-Based Culture (middle school), and Foundations for Inquiry (high school). Here are just a few of our favorite tips from those units.
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1. Choice. 

The hands-down, number-one factor in helping students become readers is giving […]

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