Re: inquiry based learning

From: Ginny Dexter <>
Subject: Re: inquiry based learning
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 15:42:32 -0600 (CST)

Very good question Janet!  I do the exact king of project with my kids 
and the timing of your question is perfect for me. Each of my kids select 
a topic to investigate and become an "Expert" on. The way I ensure 
somewhAt accurate reporting is that the written/text version is due a 
week before the art and orals are due. That way I can evaluate and 
comment on the "content" of their report.  I give three grades to this 
assignment: written, art/visual, oral.  I then sit back and say little 
until the "question-answer" section or "ask the expert"...I then ask 
questions or guide the discussion so that there is correct clarification. 
Last week I noted from one oral that we need to discuss the colors of 
stars and temperature further and have noted that we will read that 
"section" of our text. I like the fact that you were really listening to 
the orals:  that's REALLY important! I am amazed at how much that my kids 
are teaching each other and am enjoying sitting back taking more of a 
"listening and clarifying" role..It is SO much fun!
	I am dying to have a camera to be able to share my kids work with 
all of you!  Will have to think of a way!  gin

On Thu, 12 Dec 1996 wrote:
> Dear Everyone,   Just got back from my daughter's school where they did their presentations after a quarter 
> studying different aspects of space.  It was cool.  Each child had chosen a topic to do alone or with others.  
> They ranged from Jupiter to aliens to the Big Bang (my daughter's).  This is a K-7 school, so 
> presentations varied greatly in their depth and polish.  The kids do all their own work, with the teachers 
> acting as guides in helping them figure out what they want to do, find material, and work up their 
> presentation.  They also had group-wide field trips, speakers, etc., and some experiments along the way.  
> "Countdown" was, of course, included, both at school and at home (with all the copies I've made, my kids 
> have it memorized!).  
> 	My question is, I know it's good to have the kids do the work and learn themselves, but when do 
> you step in and say, no, that's wrong.  Some of the presentations had basic errors in science, like: the 
> moon causes the tides on both sides of the world; the shuttle stays up because there's no gravitity in 
> space; black holes don't release light, but no knowledge of why; a presentation on white holes, when you 
> pressed them, they admitted they were just theoretical, but made them look factual.  I'm glad the kids were 
> motivated enuf to do all the work, but it bothers me to think other kids will listen and think somethings's 
> right because they learned it al school.
> 	When do we step in and correct them?  How much telling do we do to ensure that what they learn 
> and present is actual fact as we now know it?  Let's discuss this please, jkc
> Janet K. Cook, Science Instructor, Night Program
> Colorado's Finest Alternative High School
> 2323 W. Baker Ave., Englewood, CO 80110
> Phone (303) 934-5786 (2:00 pm-10:30 pm)
> Fax (303) 934-9183
> Voice Mail (303)806-2000 x 1904
> Cook Enterprises  Voice Mail  (303)692-3872

Ginny Dexter