Category: Curriculum


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 […]

Continue Reading

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.
_______________________________________________________________________

1. Choice. 

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

Continue Reading

Camping in the First Round of Comprehension

“Hold on a second, though – what do you think he means by that?”

Twenty pairs of eyes in the room began to shift. A few students squint back down at their books; others squint at some point on the wall just to the side of my head.

“I just don’t think we’ve quite gotten there yet – I think there’s something more going on here. Maybe look back at the closing section.”

A student or two absently leaf through the reader, looking […]

Continue Reading

Grounding in the Body Before Grounding in the Text

One of our most popular posts last year was Mindfulness and Interpretive Discussions, by IBD Professional Developer John Nolan. Along those same lines, we bring you this week’s post from another of our amazing Professional Developers, Bridget Evans.

I was recently in a fourth grade class co-facilitating a whole-group discussion about the main message in the book Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. Some students immediately began flipping through sticky notes where they had marked important quotes in the book. […]

Continue Reading

TOP FIVE: Tips for First-Time Implementers

Perhaps you, your school, or district is new to Inquiry By Design. You’re teaching the curriculum for the fist time (There are a lot of you out there.) These are our Top Five Tips for new partners, and also great reminders for the rest of us.  

1. Try the recipe before you alter it. 

You’re teaching a new curriculum for the first time. Our advice is to play it straight. Don’t adjust, add, subtract, cut-n-paste, or second-guess. Just teach it from […]

Continue Reading