Category: About Inquiry by Design


Apprenticeship and No Fake Work

At a recent professional development session, one of the participants asked about the concept of apprenticeship in our curriculum. What did we mean by that, and where could that “apprenticeship” be found? Taking an inquiry-based approach, I could say that there are many possible answers to that question, some better supported than others. Instead, though, it had me thinking about the Inquiry By Design slogan, “No fake work.” One of the highlights of Inquiry By Design is that students are […]

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Texts as Tools for Thinking: The Topic is Not the Message

The study of literature presents interesting difficulties for teachers and students. More than most subjects, literature invites interpretation and introspection on the part of the reader—it raises questions, offers ideas for consideration, and challenges assumptions—and a text can be “difficult” for different reasons. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of dated language, but other times, the difficulty lies in the shape of the stories and characters themselves.

Inquiry By Design is not a “one-note” curriculum. Our texts contain selections that tend […]

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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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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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