Month: May 2016

Summer Blog Schedule

With the school year winding down we will be moving to our summer blog schedule of posting twice a month.  There will will not be a post this week, but check back next week to read the first in our series about “Classroom Environment.”

Have a great summer!

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Close Reading in the Primary Grades


We’re often asked how the increased text complexity and close reading strategies from Common Core impact primary students. While Inquiry By Design doesn’t currently provide curriculum or professional development below the third grade (although developing K-2 is certainly in our plan), there are some great organizations and projects providing resources and information for our youngest students.

This Education Week article by Catherine Gewertz, “New Read Aloud Strategies to Transform Story Time,” focuses on how some of the very same close reading […]

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Teachers are Like Gardeners

Maslow Versus NCLB

When my son was in seventh grade I learned that his teacher would be looping up with him to eighth grade. I was distressed, because to say that his seventh-grade year had been less than academically rigorous would be a flagrant understatement. I considered moving him to a different school for his eighth-grade year, to prevent the brutal wake-up call he was headed for as a High School freshman. But my son’s teacher was doing a few things […]

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An Administrator’s Experience Piloting Inquiry By Design

When teachers, administrators and district leaders first encounter Inquiry By Design through a colleague, a workshop, or online, they often want to know what our district partners and regular clients have to say about their experience. Occasionally on our blog we like to share feedback we receive.

Michael McDonald is an assistant principal at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon. He is a former ELA teacher and has supported and supervised the ELA department over the past year to pilot Inquiry […]

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Using Student Exemplars: A Caution

Using student exemplars can be a highly effective method for writing instruction when used strategically, when employed with a specific lens, and when a cross section of work is provided. A common practice, however, is to use mostly, or only, exceptional papers as models. This can rebound in unexpected ways.

In a recent Education Week article, Todd Rogers of Harvard University notes that students are often not inspired by the exceptional work of their peers.

“One of the surprising, negative […]

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