What does it take to accomplish a goal?
With the question in mind, I put my lesson design hat on and implemented a three part inquiry.
Let’s see what we did.
We started the inquiry off using the Question Formulation Technique modeled after The Right Question Institute (here). My sixth graders used this slide deck to guide the process.
This is our fourth time implementing QFT this year. The level of familiarity and confidence with the process was evident. Students dove right into the provocation.
- What are goals?
- How do goals lead to action?
- How do goals prepare us for the future?
- Are goals and accomplishments the same?
- Is a goal always accomplished?
As you can see, their questions are a combination of opened and closed. We’ve come to realize that both types of questions are important.
At the end of each session, students write a reflection on index cards. The following questions are used to spark their reflections:
- What did you learn?
- How will you use the questions?
- How did you improve as a learner?
This particular session was special because, as an AVID elementary school, we’re working on collaboration and supporting teacher leaders. Part of our plan this year is for teachers to share best practices and learn from each other. My dear colleague and I shared our passions with each other, along with our principal and instructional coach.
The next part to our inquiry was using the student generated questions from the QFT in a socratic seminar. During the peer lesson study, I observed my colleague implement a socratic seminar with her fourth graders. They did great! Since many of my students were her former students, I wanted to be consistent with the process.
For our goals socratic seminar, I split the class into four groups. We had two seminars running at the same time. Each seminar had an inside circle and an outside circle. The inside circle held the discussion and the outside circle were the observers. The students discussing were given questions generated from the QFT on index cards. The discussions were 5 minutes long. Each observer was assigned one student. Observations were recorded on index cards. After the discussions, the observers orally shared their observations. Once one round was complete, the inside circle and the outside circle swapped positions and the process was repeated.
The students did great with the socratic seminar. Because we run a student-led classroom and they were previously exposed to socratic seminar, the discussions were on point and observers took their role seriously. In this case, pictures speak louder than words. Take a peek.
The culmination to our inquiry was creating vision bottles. One of the essential questions for the unit was “What can people accomplish when working together?”. I decided to use this as an opportunity to have our instructional coach come in and co-teach a lesson.
The vision bottle lesson included several parts: strips with self-reflective questions, friendship, SMART goals, and tactile items to inspire. Click here for the lesson.
A real quick to be honest. I thought the activity would take one class period. It actually took two. But I recommend three in order to honor each part.
The component that tied into our inquiry was the SMART goals. For this part, we shared and discussed this image. Using the structure, I modeled several personal goals for myself. We discussed and shared math, language arts, and personal goals orally. Then, students wrote their own goals. For this lesson, I didn’t insist that all the components of SMART goals was in their sentence. Another to be honest. It is REALLY hard for students to write SMART goals. Take a look at some of their goals.
Are you using inquiry or QFT in your classroom or school? I’d love to see what you’re doing.
I hope all of your goals and dreams come true in 2019!
#MuchLove . . . Marilyn ❤️