Tag Archive: inquiry

This is a wonderful posting by Cristina Milos on a collaborative blog put together by Edna Sackson, both regular visitors and commentors on Art of Language.

The reason I have put it on here is because, although it is primarily about inquiry and taking students beyond the facts, it is also very rich in language and in the use of language to unlock and deepen student-thinking. It encapsulates the sentiments that all of our teaching teams expressed about language as a “vehicle for inquiry”.

Click on the image to get to the posting. Please feel free to comment either on here or on the posting itself.


Technology is great. But, there’s only a few technology innovations that really do open up a myriad of possibilities that cannot be done easily on a bit of paper or with other, more traditional methods!\

Voicethread is one of them.

Click on the image above to read an outstanding article about Voicethread and to get loads of ideas for how Voicethread could be used in your teaching.



Year 4 shared the work they have done for the presentations by using Glogster. This is a very visual, online tool that is designed for reading on the screen, so it was difficult for the Year 4 team to present it formally.I think it’s probably best, when presenting in the form of a website, blog or Glogster, if the audience view it on their own laptops. I don’t think the team wanted it to be a formal presentation and had more of a chat in mind. But, the audience all sat so far away from them it became much more formal!!!

Year 4 clearly place a heavy emphasis on constructivism and believe that exploratory talk, collaborative inquiry and metacognition really underpin that philosophy. They base much of their thinking on the First Steps Oral Language Developmental Curriculum and the work of Vygotsky.

This quote from David Bohm, in particular, seems to sum up their shared beliefs:

“For our classrooms to become true language labs, we must immerse all children in motivating , meaning -based experiences that will engage them at the edge of their linguistic competence.”

How do you use “purposeful talk” in your classroom?

The Viewing & Presenting Team is a group of teachers who are interested in viewing & presenting as a key part of the language curriculum. They are conducting a two-year inquiry into viewing & presenting at NIST, and will be using an adapted Gradual Release of Responsibility model to do this:

They will begin their inquiry by looking at how teachers and other adults in the school are modeling and demonstrating how they view and present information. They will do this by going around the school and taking photos, interviewing and noting their observations. They are not making value judgments – they are just looking at what is happening in the school!

If you have something that you think the team should see, please make a comment to tell us about it.

Here’s a small slideshow of examples of ways that teachers are modeling the presentation of information that I have seen so far:

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Conceptual understandings from IB Language Arts Scope and Sequence Document