Strategies and resources

Creating Performance Levels Descriptors to Support Inquiry in the Post-COVID Classroom

In 2019, I wrote about how I began my year pre-assessing student performance on the skills central to the IDM: (1) making evidence-based arguments. As we approach the second half of the school year, I want to share new insights for preparing students to engage with inquiry. After 2019, and in response to the impact […]

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 […]

Teachers Do You Need Better Resources? You’re Not Alone: Native Knowledge 360° Is Here to Help

Teachers often struggle, with good reason, to locate culturally appropriate and historically accurate teaching materials about American Indians. Textbooks, popular media, and prepackaged curricular materials typically offer minimal coverage and a single perspective on complex American Indian histories and cultures. These resources often relegate American Indians to the distant past and fail to illustrate the […]

When Inquiry Hits a Nerve

When Inquiry Hits a Nerve I recently read Isabel Wilkerson’s bestselling book, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents. I found Wilkerson’s argument intellectually stimulating and began to think about how I could incorporate her book into social studies curriculum in central Kentucky. There are many challenges to incorporating modern scholarship into secondary social studies. Will […]

Getting in Touch with your Emotions: Social Emotional Learning and Source Reliability

“Are you in touch with your emotions?”  Can we create a much deeper understanding for middle schoolers on the Rules of Reliability by making sourcing and contextualizing more of a social-emotional learning experience? The C3 Framework has done an exceptional job in creating a blueprint for teachers to follow that emphasizes sourcing and contextualizing, while […]

Hacking the Middle School Social Studies Code

“EVERY single thing you have on flies in the face of rule #22 … Are you telling me you haven’t read our Code of Conduct?” the ruthless Principal Dwight tells middle schooler Rafe Khatchadorian in the hilarious comedy Middle School the Worst Years of My Life, based on James Patterson’s best selling book. There is […]

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 […]

How Can You Infuse Technology into History?

Through deep inquiry! Inquiry learning empowers students to ask deep questions and do historical research that matters to them. No one debates the value of inquiry design in education, but teachers are busy and are often focused on designing inquiry lessons that are specifically geared toward their district’s standards. Teachers often lack the time to […]

Swimming in Sources: Selecting Sources to Propel an Inquiry

The face of an inquiry may be the compelling question, but the strength of an inquiry and its questions is grounded in sources. The most compelling of compelling questions can’t go anywhere if sources do not support it. Just like scholars’ research, student argumentation must be grounded in evidence. Without sources providing evidence, arguments are […]

inquirED: The C3 Framework Guides Our Curriculum Design

Looking for a Roadmap inquirED was looking for roadmap for our Elementary Social Studies curriculum. We wanted something that showed us the destination, but allowed us to select the path. Whatever we chose, it had to align with our definition of inquiry-based learning. Inquiries must start with a complex, engaging question that drives student interest […]