Category: About Inquiry by Design


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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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.

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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 […]

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Independent Reading

With everything else we need to “cover” in a class period, it’s easy to let independent reading time slide from the agenda.  However, volumes of research shows that if we make time for reading then there will likely be less instruction and “coverage” needed. Here’s one small snippet from those those volumes.

Beers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read: What teachers can do. Henemann. (Original work published 1999)

“The Commission on Reading, the group that prepared the report Becoming a Nation of […]

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