Making Sense of Inquiry

Dr. Shelley Robinson, Assistant Principal I still grapple with making sense of inquiry-based learning, and have discovered that thinking about inquiry in the following ways, helps me to better understand it as an educator and a parent. Inquiry is the process of seeking information through questioning. The levels of questioning can vary depending on the type of knowledge being sought after and the degree to which a student must understand. We seek to learn by asking “Why?” and this question lingers in the background of all essential understanding. From there we build in the “Where? What? When? How?” which stems … Continue reading Making Sense of Inquiry

CSS Library: “Little Blurts of Info”

Ian Brown just won the coveted Charles Taylor Prize for literary nonfiction, and before that, for this same book, the National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. During his acceptance speech, Mr. Brown was quoted in The Globe and Mail Feb. 09/10, A(2) referring to online reading as “little blurts of information”. Do we approach online research differently than print research? Technology does offer fast food information. Do we go deeper when needed? More importantly, do we structure our teaching and inquiry projects to lead students to search deeply, question sources and relevancy of information offered, or do these little blurts of … Continue reading CSS Library: “Little Blurts of Info”

Historical Ditigal Storytelling Presentation

One of our Humanities Teachers, Chris Dittmann, recently gave a presentation at the South Western Alberta Teachers Conference (SWATCA) on a grade 5 digital storytelling project. The project has previously been explained on this post. Here’s a copy of the presentation given by Chris, with one of the full examples of grade 5 student work: Canada Our Stories Conference Presentation View more presentations from Calgary Science School Continue reading Historical Ditigal Storytelling Presentation

CSS Library: Digital Immigrants teaching Natives

Donna Alden, Teacher-Librarian What assumptions do we as educators (digital immigrants) make, while planning for inquiry-based projects for students who are digital natives? As an educator, library professional and digital immigrant, what do I need to consider in a school with a one-to-one laptop project underway, with students who are indisputably digital natives? As a constructivist, I approach teaching as a “facilitator/scaffolder”. With Wiggins and McTigue’s ‘“understanding by design” format engrained in my thinking, I consider what students need to learn, and develop activities for students, working from what they know and understand, to what has been identified as needing … Continue reading CSS Library: Digital Immigrants teaching Natives

CSS Library: Changes So Far…

Donna Alden, Teacher-Librarian What changes in the school library program and collection have I already made in response to the 24/7-technology access our students have at this school? For sure, over the past two years, when planning learning activities with teachers, I’m putting much less emphasis into instructional strategies for accessing information in print resources, and more on introducing and providing opportunities for students develop knowledge and skills associated with online information sources, including online databases and Internet sites. What stays the same is that these learning activities remain embedded in project activities, and are not separate or isolated “library … Continue reading CSS Library: Changes So Far…

Google Docs versus Wikis

Here at the Science School, I would say that Google Docs has become one of the tech tools that has had the greatest uptake across our classrooms. Over the last couple years, students and teachers have begun using this tool to take collaborative notes and study guides, peer edit across classes and grades, make group presentations and have shared planning sessions with other teachers. A couple of our classrooms have also begun to design work using wikis as the tool for collaboration, rather than Google Docs. Wikis are a type of webpage that are easily created and edited by anyone … Continue reading Google Docs versus Wikis