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This meeting we decided on our inquiry question, “How doing inquiry based experience create independent learners in our discipline?

We then talked about and discussed how we were going to measure independence. We decided to survey our students and post the findings on our wiki page for the Independents.

After we working with inquiry and independence in our classroom over the course of the next couple of months we will then again pole our students to see if there was any growth within our student body.

We will also be taking pictures/videos and use physical work to show how our students are working and thinking creatively, criticially, and independently.

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This morning we are primarly working on getting everyone… including myself up to date with all blog posts. We are also struggling and fighting with technology. So mainly we are all pounding on our computers getting things that need to be done, done. We have also spent this morning talking about what are classes are doing and how we are documenting our students. We are mostly using pictures and videos to document this.

This afternoon we will begin talking about our sandbox what we may want to present. What we may want to use technology wise. What physical projects or samples that we may want to bring in.

Today we have been very productive.

My 8th grade students are learning about artists. They needed to break up into groups of 4. They needed to build a cube to start the project our of matt board or cardboard. I assigned them an artist. I gave them the requirement guide sheet. Side: 1. They had to draw/write/paint/color their artist name in the style that, that artist was identified with. 2. Short info page about the artist.  The other 4 sides of the cube they need to reflect on different times in the artist life. Examples: birth, death, family, or struggles.

After that the students are quite on their own. They are provided with computers to look up information and a printer to print of pictures if needed. Students are allowed to use crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, glitter, or any other media.

This lesson/project makes my students think independently as individuals and as a group. The students have to work togwther, in some groups students have elected a leader to keep everything moving and everyone stays on task and is completed by the given due date.

I am only there for tech. needs. Students had to learn how to make mistakes and fix them as a group. How to bounce ideas off each other to come up with the best solution.

I started this Caterpillar lesson with Grades 1 and K. I gave each student a half of a cardboard egg carton. We reviewed our primary and secondary colors. I gave the students paint and they started with yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, then green. Once completed and dried we added eyes and antenias.

Then their independents comes alive. Students are to write a short story, and illustrate their story. Students first needed to name their caterpillar then decide what their title was going to be, and decide what their main idea of their story is.

I gave the students a template of what each page should look like. How many sentences need to be on each page and how many pictues and what size picture should be on the page.

The students are thinking independently and creatively as they write their stories.

“Why is critical thinking essential?” Nov. 2005, by The Critical Thinking Co- Staff.

After reading this article I realized that teaching students how to critical think is more important than teaching them how to take tests. As Americans we are more focused on sports or social events instead of education.

“Aside from food, water, and shelter the one thing that a person will most need in life is education. Of the four neccessities, education is the only one that can belp ensure a persons consistent ability to provide himself/herself with the other three.” This statement is so true, we still have many students that feel that education is a waste of their time. These are the studnets that we will be paying for them to live on government money. Most of the time it is generation after generation  that does this. Children learn how to work the system rather then make something of themselves.

Others such as politicians talk about the importance of education, but the US is not where it should be compared to countries such as Japan, France, and China. The problem is the philosophy of education in the United States. Students are provided with information that they basicly memorize, take the test, and quite frankly forget what they have learned afterwards. Critical thinking is building upon what they already know and what they will continue to learn. It is important to keep gaining knowledge and not always learn and need to take a test. Educators should not be forced to grade students by standardized testing. They should be allowed to grade in many different ways.

I like to start prepareing my elementary students for the middle school. Elementary school students basicky get pass or fail for their grade where as my middle school students get actual grades.

I start the critique by hanging everyones art work up on the front board. We then begin by me prompting them, “which work followt he most?” or ” Which art work catches you eye the quickest?” or “Which art work do you like the best?”.  Then students will start speaking out and having a discussion about what ever the question is that I prompt them with. I will then go the opposite way and ask ” Which art do you dislike the most?” or “Which art work does not catch your eye?”

This was a new process for them because I do not over talk and they do not talk about their art work until fourth and fifth grades mainly because I’m time limited. I see students once a week for 45 min. Most of the time students just want to do art work and be creative.

I have found letting the students discuss during a critque lets them be more independent thinkers because they all have their own opinions and that their own opinion isn’t wrong. Its also interesting because they are creating their own experiences during this process to think and choose independently.

Before we started today, we all decided to have questions for surveys for our students. We want to measure how independent our students are. Today during our meeting, the Independents discussed our questions, made sure that our questions were fitted for the age group and was truely asking what we needed to measure. Each of us typed our questions either for paper form print out or on google docs or poll daddy. Before the next meeting each of us will give our students a survey. We will collect data and edit the data on our groups wiki page.

What “problems” do you encounter with your students that could stimulate a share inquiry as an active quest?

My students complain when they recieve a project that they don’t like, because I tell them exactly what to do and what they need to have on their project. Then when I give them a very broad project where they have to come up with their own picture. They complain because they have to think independently and creatively. This year I’m try to balance my directions with inquiry teaching. I’ve been interducing technology. Students have been exited and want to help each other.

December 2017
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