Category: Authentic Tasks


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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The Power of Resilience

By Laurie Thurston

“No fake work” is the cornerstone of Inquiry by Design. And it’s within this mindset that I approach all learning with my students. The work needs to be authentic, relevant, and meaningful. There needs to be an end product: something the students can create that is evidence of the effort and commitment they made to learning. Not all of this needs to come from the texts and lessons crafted by Inquiry By Design, however. Teachers can take projects […]

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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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Authentic Literacy and Crow Pose

 

Several years ago I started practicing yoga. I’m not as dedicated as I’d like to be and therefore it has taken me three years to achieve crow pose, and I can still only hold it for less than ten seconds. I spent a long, long time attempting crow while it seemed like nothing was changing—no progress. But there must have been some microshifts and tiny strengthenings, because one day—boom! I hit it and held it.

There are things you do to […]

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Classroom Environment Part 4: No “Right” Answer

When Inquiry By Design works with schools and districts for the first time, we take teachers through a series of “as learner” curriculum institutes where they work through the texts and materials as their students will in the classroom. We find it to be not only the most effective, but also the most enjoyable way, for teachers to gain a solid understanding of the content and instructional moves.

Teachers experience close reading strategies with rich, complex texts. They cycle through several […]

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