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.

Part 1 – The Power of Independent Reading

Part I of The Independent Reading Series
The Power of Independent Reading

I’ve committed my entire career to either teaching English or supporting English and literacy instruction in classrooms. When people find out what I do for a living, they often ask “What do we do about kids these days?” I have even been asked this in the doctor’s office during a check-up. They are asking about the problem with teen literacy skills and most often the poor writing they see in […]

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Chunking Texts for Better Understanding

While teachers sometimes chunk texts to increase accessibility and understanding, having students do the chunking work themselves brings far greater results. Take a look at the latest installment in our Tips and Tricks for Inquiry-Based Teaching video blog.

 

 

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The Spiral Curriculum: Letting Go of Mastery

Although we debate about modes and methods, educators mostly acquiesce to the need to assess student proficiency. The problems start when, in the search for appropriate measures, we toss around words like “mastery.” As ELA teachers, we of all people should be aware of the importance of word choice. “Mastery” stresses us out because in teaching literature, what is it that we are asking students to “master” exactly? How does one master a text? We’ve been interpreting, reinterpreting, and debating […]

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Must-Read Books for ELA Teachers

Not exactly a list of “beach reads,” but if you are looking for a few books to enhance your teaching craft and knowledge this summer, these are the ones we find ourselves recommending, referring to, and quoting on a regular basis as we work with teachers around the country.

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and
What You Can Do About It
Kelly Gallagher

This is the book that we all agree every teacher should read. Gallagher meticulously lays out […]

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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 […]

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