Category: Inquiry

Recent Posts

Inquiring Minds: Assessing Learners’ Progress

Over the past several years, I’ve collaborated with educators across CT and the United States to support the shift to inquiry as a primary form of instruction in social studies classrooms. When discussing this shift, teachers’ most common concern revolves around how to assess learners’ progress. In inquiry-focused classrooms, students are collaborating, generating inquiry questions, and developing investigations, and our assessment should reflect this instruction. This year, I have been working with a small team of educators and the CT State Department of Education Social Studies Consultant, Steve Armstrong, to develop a tool that will further support CT teachers’ shift to authentic, inquiry-based instruction and assessment.

Our team has developed a draft tool aligned with the C3 and CT Social Studies Frameworks, and we are looking for feedback from educators. Please view the draft continuum below, and share your feedback to help us improve this tool. We appreciate your support!

Strategy Share: Using Immersive Stimuli to Drive Student Inquiry

The National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship brings together educators from across North America. In order to harness and further fuel this powerful collaborative community, National Geographic Education regularly publishes “Strategy Shares” written by GTFs.

Click on the logo below to visit National Geographic’s Education blog and read my recent strategy share focused on using virtual reality to promote learner inquiry and a shift toward an explorer mindset.

Explorer Mindset: What’s Beneath Our Feet?

After working with the CT Office of State Archaeology this past summer,  I was excited to share this experience with my students. This month, our 7th grade archaeologists participated in a dig of their own! Using homemade tools consistent with our limited budget (large flower pots, curved spatulas, & colanders), each dig team expertly removed layers of soil & documented soil changes & artifact finds in collaborative field notes. This is a true example of the “ripple effect” of hands-on PD opportunities for teachers. Check out a gallery of our 7th grade social scientists in action below!

Sharing the Magic of Antarctica

It is hard to believe that it’s been more than nine months since I departed on my expedition to Antarctica. When I look at photographs or watch videos from my experience, it still seems somewhat surreal. In the months since my return, I’ve had the privilege to engage community members in hands-on inquiry activities similar to those in which my students have been participating and to share my experiences with audiences across Connecticut at libraries and universities.

As one of the deliverables required by National Geographic upon my return from Antarctica, I’ve completed the National Geographic Educator Certification process – a “free professional development program that recognizes pre-K through 12 formal and informal educators committed to inspiring the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and changemakers.”  As a culminating experience, I prepared a Capstone project video highlighting how I have communicated my experiences to students across the Portland Schools through inquiry lessons designed to challenge learners to think like explorers and social scientists. Please click on the image below to view the video and learn more about my journey from enthusiastic teacher to educator-explorer.

Click to view my 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow capstone video.