Category: Curriculum


An Administrator’s Experience Piloting Inquiry By Design

When teachers, administrators and district leaders first encounter Inquiry By Design through a colleague, a workshop, or online, they often want to know what our district partners and regular clients have to say about their experience. Occasionally on our blog we like to share feedback we receive.

Michael McDonald is an assistant principal at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon. He is a former ELA teacher and has supported and supervised the ELA department over the past year to pilot Inquiry […]

Continue Reading

Reality YouTube*

“A Real Live Teacher Describes Her Students Reactions to Inquiry By Design”

We spend a lot of time here at Inquiry By Design reassuring teachers that their students really can handle the challenge of the texts and tasks in our inquiry-based curriculum. When we tell teachers that their struggling learners will probably surprise them the most with what they produce, we often encounter unveiled skepticism. Of course, we’re saying what we’re supposed to say because we work here—right?

So we were thrilled […]

Continue Reading

Stop Teaching to the Test!

Last week we ended our post with an encouragement for teachers to stop teaching to the test. We realize this is a frightening proposal to teachers and administrators whose evaluations and even paychecks are reliant on test scores. That’s why we want to continue the case this week with Kelly Gallagher’s 201 Education Week commentary, Why I Will Not Teach to the Test wherein he addresses this riddle:

“…while many states have raised their test scores over the past […]

Continue Reading

Transferring Great Ideas to Writing – Part 2

You may recall from last week’s post that I shared my thoughts in response to a comment I overheard from a teacher. The teacher said, “My students have great thoughts and ideas in discussions but then they don’t successfully transfer that to their writing. It just ends up being a summary.”

Along with the thoughts I shared last week, I also had a question.

My question:

Have these students been given the freedom and tools allowing them to discover and develop […]

Continue Reading

IBD-ize: Inquiry By Design Becomes a Verb

I was working with a group of teachers in Alameda Unified School District in California a few weeks ago. A district leader got up to welcome teachers and make a few announcements before we launched into our work for the day. Among the announcements she made was this item.

“… and on such-and-such a date we will have our IBD-izing planning day, so bring whatever texts and materials you’ll need for that.”

The teachers in the room all nodded and […]

Continue Reading