Month: July 2015

Getting to know John McMillan, Inquiry By Design’s Founder and President

Click here to learn more about John’s background.

How did Inquiry By Design come about?

I saw a real need for an organization with a concern for something other than, or more than, product dissemination. We wanted to combine the power of smart, well-designed curriculum with intensive professional development experiences, in ways that dignified students, teachers, and the profession.

There was a sense that a lot of curriculum out there wasn’t cutting it, generic feel-good professional development wasn’t cutting it, and we wanted to create an […]

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Part 2 – The Classroom Library — If You Build It, They Will Come

Part II of The Independent Reading Series
The Classroom Library — If You Build It, They Will Come

Recently, flipping through the TV channels, I came across the movie Field of Dreams. Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) listened to the voices in his head and built a baseball field in the middle of a cornfield. And the players came. In this same vein, I’d like to become the voice in your head: If you build it they will come.

I’m referring to a […]

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Writing the Wave — Surfing and Literacy

It turns out that teaching reading and writing and teaching surfing aren’t so different.

A few months ago when I took my first surfing lesson, I couldn’t help but notice some of the parallels to the teaching as apprenticeship approach we advocate at Inquiry By Design.

The first thing that struck me about my instructor, Juan, was how immersed he was in the surfing world. This wasn’t just a job. Juan lived and breathed surfing. In fact, he had already […]

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Collaboration and Environment: The Importance of Productive Struggle, Part 2

Last week we wrestled with our own discomfort in allowing students to struggle with complex texts and difficult tasks and concepts. There is a fine line between providing support without rescuing. This week we will look closer at what that “support without rescue” looks like.

In the Inquiry By Design curriculum, teachers will notice that student collaboration is the main component of support when students are struggling to comprehend a text. When working together, students act as models for each other. […]

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