Tag Archive: units of inquiry


I find it really exciting to walk into a room – even when the students and teachers are not there – and be able to get a real sense of what the students of that class are thinking about, and how they are thinking. Recently, when walking around NIST, I was really impressed by the amount of visible thinking I found, and the variety of ways that teachers are “extracting” that thinking from their students and then displaying it so that the walls do actually speak.

How wonderful for students to be immersed in their own thoughts, interacting with displays and surrounded by relevance at all times!

What visible thinking strategies have worked well for you?

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I have been contacted by a teacher called Layla Sacker from Mt. Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne. She is in the process of developing a new unit of inquiry and would like it to have a strong literature focus. She contacted me because of the work my Y6 students did with her school in the build up to their PYP Exhibition and because she knows that I am interested in planning processes and, more particularly, planning units that are quite focused.

Layla will put a planning document onto GoogleDocs and then a number of us will feed into the document when we can. GoogleDocs is a very powerful tool that I would like to learn more about, perhaps you would too?

Would you be interested in joining in this experiment? Here are the positives:

  • Good experience planning a unit of inquiry from scratch
  • Good experience to plan with no personal attachment
  • Good to plan a unit of inquiry that has a focus
  • Good to learn about how to use GoogleDocs
  • Good to establish connections with other teachers and schools

Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll inform Layla.

Image from http://www.openpages.com/blog/index.php/2010-grc-wish-list-collaborate

Making it Clear

I really like the way that Year 4 produce this document:

At first, I thought this was just for teachers! It makes the transdisciplinary links clear and, from the perspective of language, shows the natural way that language arts connects with units of inquiry. I also really like how it shows the way that the same key concepts will be used to inquire into language.