Sunday, July 27, 2014

Propelling Curiosity!

 It is important to provoke students' learning for curriculum inquiries in many exciting and innovative ways. It could be artifacts, videos, current event news, objects, interviews, wordles, pictures and even from a story book.  As teachers we always have to bring reality into the the inquiry process to connect real life experiences into everyday learning.

There are multiple ways of  propelling curriculum curiosity in class and inviting students to spark and ignite in questions that they never seem wanting to stop learning, sharing and collaborating that conversations become an ongoing vehicle of exploring and developing ownership of learning.  It is so exciting to see students push each others thinking and learning by questioning, seeking, pursuing, confirming, convincing, comparing their ongoing development of thinking and reflecting in depth on their learning.

Of course along the way students co-construct criteria not only for the purpose of reading, writing and speaking, also for the learning skills. These foci of strategies that overlap and extend thinking as well as learning skills (responsibility, self-regulation, collaboration, independence, organization and initiative) that loop and promote metacognition and reflection on learning. Reflecting (at the end and the beginning of the day) on learning, is what drives our thinking throughout the process and determines next steps and learning goals. It is explained in this post on Metacognitive Discussions.

The focus of this post, is to share some examples that created opportunities for thinking and provoking curiosity leading students in ownership of learning.  During this process, I become a mentor, a listener, an observer and an activator while students developed their curiosities. Students' questions always lead the inquiry process. Provoking focuses on students' questions, which is a very important step in letting them engage and take leadership and ownership of the process. The process is carried on with categorizing of the the questions then comparing them to the overall expectations of the curriculum.

These questions are a routine in activating conversations:

1- What do think is going on? Background knowledge
2- What makes you think this? Students support background knowledge and share the how and the why of their knowledge before searching to confirm and proceed to new learning. It is very import to give students this opportunity of building on each other's background knowledge and engage in conversations to pursue thinking and inquiries.  I love this stage as it solidifies their dependence of learning from each other then it provokes more thinking and further questioning actions and new inquiries through discussions. This is a very important step to takeby encourage listening, speaking and respecting other opinions and knowledge for further clarification of concepts.
 3- What would you wonder about? (After their discussions). What new learning are you wondering about? Throughout the year students develop searching skills, annotation for reading and choose ways to share new learning.

It takes time to immerse students in skills by providing exciting learning opportunities.We spend time building skills at the beginning of the year which become the core for our success and reflecting on these actions during the process to improve accountability.

There is so Much to share I will post some and every year I keep focusing on getting better at capturing the process through blogging. Some of the process captured on the Classroom Blog by the students  We focus on French daily that typing the process in English lags a little.

I seek the subject related examples off the news and social media.  Some examples of Science and Social Studies for provoking curriculum inquiries:


Gr 6 

Ottawa's Great Forest  Before our walk to Beaver Pond



Social Studies:
Gr 6
infographics-on-nelson-mandela  classroom Blog post about Mandela



If the-world-of-100 villages


Nestle 'to act over child labour in cocoa industry' For Gr 5 on refugee and citizenship

Indian's exploited child cotton workers For Gr 5 on refugee and citizenship

etats-unis-malala-yousafzai-inspire- Gr 6 & 5

Gr 5
-confederation-line Ottawa’s world-class light rail


Comment organiser une cérémonie de citoyenneté

An example of students contribution after deconstructing the curriculum expectations:

Provoking learning does matter for curriculum inquiries. Students become so engaged with daily issues that themselves will continue searching and sharing realistic examples in everyday life experiences. What will you do to provoke your students curiosity this coming year? 

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