My visits to
The Inquiry HUB School in Coquitlam,
the Inquiry 8 Class @ Fraser Heights Secondary in Surrey,
We (I was visiting with Jesse McLean who organized the trip and was kind enough to invite me along) started the morning with a student-led tour of the school. The 3 girls were great! They clearly explained the school's culture and Jesse and I were very impressed with the vocabulary they used to describe their learning. The students went on to explain that they were in the middle of an Inquiry project on Urban Gardening. These amazing 9th graders were planning a school garden, as well as a program that would teach primary students how to garden as well. It was so inspiring to hear them talk about their learning.
Inquiry needs to be introduced, modeled and scaffolded for the students. It pays to take the time to do it right!
Jess and Parm, thank you so much for opening up your classroom to us!
Cross-curricular works! But that doesn't mean you should feel guilty about teaching some stand-alone math lessons, because that is important too.
I was also really eager to hear about the gardening project that Chris' students were starting. His class is trying to figure out how to start an urban garden of their own! These young 5th and 6th graders were sawing wood, taking measurements and building their own garden out of old pallets. Reminded me a little of the wikiseat project we are doing at my school. I just love these hands on activities that make math (measurement, angles, etc) come alive, and are also just perfect examples of authentic learning!
Community and relationship-building is key.
Other types of building (with a saw, hammer and nails) are also awesome!
Next up was a quick visit to Robyn Thiessen's class at Green Timbers. Robyn is the Queen of making global connections! I was so impressed with how her grade 3/4 students conducted themselves during a Mystery Skype call. Her students were engaged and on task as they tried to guess where in the world the other class was.
Have you tried Mystery Skype with your class yet? If not, you definitely want to consider it! Students learn about world geography in the most exciting way! Check out 6th chat and 4th chat for details!
Below, is a video that Hugh made of our students during a recent mystery skype call.
I need to allow my students to make more global connections. Check out Robyn's mystery skype map below! Her students are learning so much about the world by skyping with people from all over!