As I walk down my hallways, I gaze at my students’ Black History Month posters that cover the walls and I realize how I’ve changed since my early years. This month my school’s hallways are decorated with beautiful images that celebrate singers from Cab Calloway to Summer Walker, athletes like Gabby Douglas and Doug Williams, […]
I Fell into Inquiry at a PD Session
The first time I encountered inquiry I was immediately hooked. As a novice teacher, I knew that I wanted my curriculum to be relevant, responsive, and sustaining, and I knew I wanted to attend to those resource pedagogies through asking questions. I knew that I needed to plan my course backwards, starting with big ideas, […]
I Fell into Inquiry at the Airport
I learned about the Inquiry Design Model and C3 Framework as a first-year teacher. At that time, I was working with MaryBeth Yerdon and she brought up the IDM, C3 Teachers, and the C3 Framework at a department meeting. MaryBeth learned about inquiry the previous year at a district-wide professional development. Her enthusiasm about inquiry […]
I Fell into Inquiry While Reading
“We inherit our history.” It was a phrase I often used to begin my year in the hopes of sparking student agency and making history relevant. But as an early teacher in social studies and ELA, misconceptions about the importance of authentically investigating history filled my brain. I knew I wanted my students to engage […]
Hope for Elementary Inquiry
As a social studies educator I have heard all the excuses as to why social studies is not a priority within our elementary school classrooms. “There isn’t enough time.” “We need to focus on reading and math skills.” “Social Studies isn’t tested so it really doesn’t matter.” These excuses are gut wrenching and disheartening, because […]
Inquiry: How do I approach a new year?
As I opened this school year, I decided to take stock of old procedures I follow, as well as my long term plans for the year around inquiry. After spending 5 days this past summer working on inquiry design in both a C3 summer institute and at the district level, it occurred to me it […]
Everyday Inquiry: Using Questions, Tasks, and Sources to Structure Lessons
Where’s the time for inquiry? You may have your students do Inquiry Design Model inquiries throughout the year or you may do one a semester. If you are just entering the inquiry world, you may not have done any before! In Kentucky, my home state, new social studies standards have been adopted that support inquiry […]
Creating a Compelling Question: What is a vote worth?
One of the more difficult parts of writing inquiries is often crafting a compelling question. As teachers, we ask questions every day. We ask essential questions to help students address “essential” content. We ask supporting questions to help break up complex tasks and check for understanding. A compelling question’s role is different. In inquiry learning, […]
Is my teaching too WEIRD?
Recently, I read social science researchers are way too weird. WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Between 2003-2007, 96% of behavioral science research used WEIRD subjects. Accordingly, conclusions about the human mind are based on this very specific demographic group. However, WEIRD subjects are, well, weird themselves – scholars suggest that this […]
Out of Inquiry Comes Action: An Update on the Fishkill Supply Depot
In December of 2016, I submitted a blog about the community effort to save the Fishkill Supply Depot. Two year later and we are still fighting to keep this historic site from being commercially developed. I became a trustee for the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot and became actively involved in Taking Informed Action. […]