Sunday 14 September 2014

The Start of Inquiry

Education in Ontario has been moving toward inquiry based learning. What does this mean? Basically, it means we as teachers need to teach to the interests of our children. Of course, we have a curriculum to teach but we must bring in topics that our students are interested in, in order to increase overall learning engagement. In Kindergarten, this is no different. One of my previous teaching jobs was as a literacy coach, and I have a great deal of knowledge in building an essential question around student interest and then pulling resources to make learning happen in the classroom. This week in Kindergarten we have discovered what our first inquiry of the school year will be. Early in the week a cricket was brought into the school. Our principal of course brought it to our Kindergarten room, the students were fascinated by this small creature. They observed it, named it, and asked questions about it. Then the the next day, a student brought in a snail, and the same thing happened. This quickly got me thinking.....
I asked my partner if she thought we had enough interest in insects to go farther and immerse the class in an insect inquiry. She thought we did, so I got planning!! I had three options for our essential question.
1. Why is nature important?
2.How can we protect nature?
3. Should we protect nature?
I am leaning towards #2, although I know #3 is the best one. I want to streamline our young students a little bit with the inquiry, and this question gives them enough freedom, to explore whatever part of nature they would like. This week we will reading the book, "If Rocks Could Sing", and looking at rocks for shapes, sizes, colours etc. We may make a pet rock, and have students bring in rocks. It should be so engaging for our little minds! 

Here is our cricket friend and some observations.

We got grass for our cricket friend to feel more comfortable. At the end of the day we let the cricket go.

Wish us luck this week!

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