One of my goals for our PKP unit is to provide time for students to ponder and express their curiosities. As primary students, many are still discovering themselves and the community/world around them. The journal provides the opportunity for students to self-reflect, consider empathy, and consider their future in a safe environment.
Take a look at some of their entries . . .
At this point in the Inquiry Process (map here), students have their essential question, have created their proposal, and have at least two trustworthy sources. Students are now ready to start collecting evidence. In the past, I would have provided a specific structure for students to follow. I’ve been on a journey for a couple of years now to have a student-led classroom. Part of the inquiry process is to redesign the role of the teacher and the student. As the teacher, I am trusting my students to be mature and responsible with their time, talents, and academic endeavors. Students understand the structure and are provided tools to tap into student agency. (“Dive into Inquiry” page 10)
As students started gathering evidence of their research, we brainstormed collection tools. To be honest, I was met with blank stares. The shift of being “told” what to do to having “choice” was confounding. Student’s initial list was spiral notebooks, Google docs and slides, index cards, and writing in the margins of printed articles. I had students create a Google folder to collect their evidence. Google tools are easily stored in the folder while other collection methods involve taking pictures. As research sessions continued, their collection methods being more varied.
Let’s take a look at some collection methods . . .
Currently, we are creating thesis statements and writing multi-paragraph article reviews. Ooooh, and some students have been creating Google form surveys for their peers to respond to. It’s been a fun side-quest.