Cate Elshaug from Elwood Primary School in Melbourne gets my vote the best presentation on Day 1 at ACEL 2012 Inquiry Mindset conference.
Here's a few of the things she said that stuck with me:
1. Using the Inquiry Process in Mathematics
This was her topic And really focused in on using the PYP framework as a planner for the organization of Maths across her school. She made the great point than it is rare, almost unheard of, to find a school that can articulate it's plan for Maths and has consistent documentation that supports the plan from K to 6. So many schools have teachers doing their own thing regardless of the official school policies. And no - a textbook series is NOT a curriculum plan. Hmm, think there's work to do here when I get home.
2. Use immersion activities at the start of the Tuning In phase is critical to engaged student attention and developing inquiry questions. Cate quoted Lane Clarke saying, "Children don't know what they don't know." The importance of tuning in is that it gives children focused experience in the area to be explored.
3. Some inquiry questions are "through line" - that is, they will be explored and revisited as the inquiry progresses. Other inquiry questions are taught explicitly, or at least the required skills are taught so give the children what they need to answer the question.
4. Cate also recommended using "Wonder" or "Discovery" books as part of the tuning in, where children record what they know and what they want to find out.
So much to think about.
Thanks Cate - it was provocative and gave me lots to think about.