Category: Curriculum


Metacognition and Self-Apprenticeship

“All apprenticeship begins with the instructor’s capacity
to describe the performance and/or product of the novice.”

I’ve used this quote often in talking about an apprenticeship approach to teaching, and somewhere along the line I’ve lost track of the source. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

In order to move any novice along a continuum, the expert must be able to describe to the novice exactly what she is doing, where her performance places her in relation to the […]

Continue Reading

Diving In: Why We Don’t “Pre-Teach” Our Texts

The recent increase in text complexity recommendations would seem to require an increase in pre-teaching and front loading of background information to help students tackle the increased difficulty.  Find out why inquiry and close reading affirm the opposite.

Continue Reading

Support for English Learners

By Sarah Noble

I am in the midst of grading my 8th graders’ first interpretive paper of the school year. I am pleasantly surprised by what I see in the first few papers. My students are thinking deeply and engaging in the text based on the evidence they pull from the story. I breathe a sigh of relief, and keep slogging through the remaining 63 essays. The next essay is by “Johnny,” a low-intermediate English learner. He just moved here from […]

Continue Reading

TOP FIVE: Productive Student Discussion Strategies

If you read our recent two-part blog series about classroom discussions (What If No One Talks – Part 1 and Part 2) you might be in search of more strategies for apprenticing students to productive discussions in your classroom. We polled our fabulous team of master Inquiry By Design teachers and here are some of their favorites.

 

1. THINK-PAIR-SHARE

Asking students to write and discuss ideas with a partner before sharing with the larger group gives students more time to compose their […]

Continue Reading

English Learners and Dependent Readers: An Unexpected Advantage (Part 2)

We are always concerned for our struggling learners. Of course we are. So when a teacher first encounters the crazy-complex texts in an Inquiry By Design unit, that teacher may be a little skeptical, or hesitant, or even terrified.

Well, take a deep breath because there are several research-based reasons why those might be the very students to excel with challenging texts and an inquiry based pedagogy. (If you missed reasons 1-3, go here.)

I went through school a long time ago, […]

Continue Reading