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Student Driven Inquiry in the Science Classroom

This presentation was created to address a roadblock I was having in the classroom. It was created for my spartanburg writing project class

Stephanie Quinn

on 17 June 2013

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Transcript of Student Driven Inquiry in the Science Classroom

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!
How do you create an environment for inquiry?

The Journey Begins.....
Food for Thought:
Imagine a classroom where all the students are engaged and excited about learning.

Imagine a classroom where students are thinking critically.

Imagine a classroom where teachers work in partnership with their students.

Imagine a classroom where students were engaged in meaningful authentic learning.

Imagine a classroom where students are curious about the world around them.

Imagine a classroom where you enjoyed coming every day without fail.

My Vision:
Students sit in nice neat rows.

Students question the importance of what they are learning.

Reading and writing take place on a regular basis solely because it is mandated by the powers above.

Student engagement happens by use of coercion and bribery.

Teachers spend time during planning, lunch, and after school for apathetic students to complete their assignments. In the end they still get a 60.

I am the only one doing any real critical thinking?

I am exhausted by lunch and wonder more days than not why?

My Recent Reality:
Student Driven Inquiry
Collaboration in the Science Classroom
Stephanie Quinn
Landrum Middle School
8th Grade Science
Think, Pair, and Share:
What is inquiry?

What does inquiry look like in various classrooms?

How will inquiry impact student engagement, learning, and test scores?

How can I rethink what I already do to fit into inquiry learning?
What does inquiry mean to you?



Scientific investigations


Critical Thinking



Inquiry through a workshop model

Students are engaged in critical thinking and the application of knowledge

Students are empowered to learn within a community of sharing and value their authentic learning

Reading and writing go hand in hand with meaningful scientific inquiry

The Ultimate Space Vacation
Inquiry always starts with a question.
How do you teach students to question the world around them?
"There are patches of sheer beauty, places where you find yourself believing that teaching kids to conduct research is not just a requirement of Common Core but is, instead, one of the most important gifts we can possible give to our children."
How do I reorganize what I already do so that it becomes student driven?
What does research say?
According to Eric Jensen in Teaching with the Brain in Mind in order for learning to occur these things must occur.
Engagement - goal oriented attention
Repetition - priming, reviewing, and revising
Input quantity- capacity, flow, chunk size
Coherence - models, relevance, prior knowledge
Timing - time of day, interval learning
Error correction - mistakes, feedback, support
Emotional State - safety, state of dependency
So when we use inquiry in the classroom how many of these are applied?

Work Cited

Fulwiler, Betsy Rupp. Writing in Science: How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2007. Print.

"Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation." Inquiry-based Learning: Explanation. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2013.

Jensen, Eric. "Preparing the Brain for School." Teaching with the Brain in Mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005. 20-59. Print.

Lehman, Christopher. Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2012. Print.

Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. Engaging Readers & Writers with Inquiry: Promoting Deep Understandings in Language Arts and the Content Areas with Guiding Questions. New York: Scholastic, 2007. Print.

A special thanks to Tasha Thomas and Dawn Mitchell for modeling inquiry with us every day.

Tell Me and I Forget

Show Me and I Remember

Involve Me and I Understand
Concept to classroom www.thirteen.org
"When you effectively integrate the teaching of these components, your students develop deep understanding of each strand. This, in turn, enhances their learning in each of the other strands. The result is that your students develop scientific writing skills, and in doing so, they also learn how to think and work like scientists."
Thoughtful integration of Science and Expository Writing
Writing in Science: How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning by Betsy Rupp Fulwiler
Look at the handout: The Ultimate Space Vacation. What do you notice about the design of this project?
By Lucy Calkins in the forward of
Energize research reading and writing
by Christopher Lehman
Problem based learning
self assessment
Full transcript