Category: About Inquiry by Design


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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But What If No One Talks? | Part 1 of 2

The great thing about a light bulb that isn’t working is that there’s just about only one possible thing that could have gone wrong: The light has burned out. Barring an unusual wiring problem, power outage, or blown breaker, you always know how to fix it right away.

Classroom discussions are…not at all like a light bulb. There may be 20 to 30 people in the room, all at various reading levels, all with different interests and motivation, and each of […]

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TOP FIVE: Tips for First-Time Implementers

Perhaps you, your school, or district is new to Inquiry By Design. You’re teaching the curriculum for the fist time (There are a lot of you out there.) These are our Top Five Tips for new partners, and also great reminders for the rest of us.  

1. Try the recipe before you alter it. 

You’re teaching a new curriculum for the first time. Our advice is to play it straight. Don’t adjust, add, subtract, cut-n-paste, or second-guess. Just teach it from […]

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Take a Leap Into Inquiry

Bertrand Russell said,

“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark
on the things you have long taken for granted.”

This is the very spirit of inquiry, but as teachers we sometimes have a hard time assuming this stance. It’s because we grow weary of continually being handed something new and shiny and then just when we’ve figured out how to work the shiny new curriculum/strategy/grading system/initiative/technology/etc, it’s being replaced by something newer and […]

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