Tag Archives: Inquiry

Grade 6 Science: Biodiversity

11 Nov

Okay, so we’re beyond exhausted. One of us is still coming down from the report card marathon and the other from job related travelling (why do conferences have to be so far away and, end right at the start of rush hour traffic?). Our tired brains were trying to think of something we had that might help lighten the tired overload of other teachers. When we were looking around, we realized we hadn’t posted anything science related. After the “huh” moment we went with it and decided to share our Biodiversity Tab Book and our At-Risk Species foldable book. One of us must have been digging the idea of creating books during the planning phase!

Hopefully our tired brains stumbled across a resource that will help you out. Happy biodiversity-ing … wait, that’s not right, happy bio … whatever. Enjoy!

 

The tab book was used with the book “Tree of Life”. During a read aloud, students created jot notes on each kingdom and then used those notes to write a summary for each kingdom. We found sites they could use to find examples from each kingdom and set them up with a QR to find a picture and the classification.

The at-risk species foldable book is based on an OERB lesson on “The Importance of At-Risk” Species. We used their categories for each section of the book. We added in the title, scientific classification, how to help and other important information. If you don’t know how to create a foldable book we have found https://hammermill.com/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/make-a-foldable-book.pdf offers a pdf with step by step directions.

booklet

 

We were so tired we forgot to post the pdfs!

Biodiversity 5 Kingdoms Tab Book brownlee and belanger

at risk foldable book brownlee and belanger

 

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Genius Project Inquiry

23 Aug

The topic of inquiry is still very much on our minds. Maybe it’s because it’s so pervasive in our curriculum. Maybe it’s because we are looking at our back to school long range planning. Maybe it’s because we are in line to read the follow up to IQ called THINQ for grades 4 to 6. Most likely it’s the last one as we hate waiting!!

We often utilize Genius Projects in our classroom to help students explore areas of personal interest. We are also thinking of adding a Makerspace this year for some STEAM activities as a further source of personal inquiry. Wait – back to the original inquiry topic!  We also need that THINQ book because one of us, in particular, has a short attention span. Anyway, as Genius Projects are personal inquiry projects we decided it would be beneficial to add in a more formal inquiry organizer. This is also for us, as when we reflected on the process, we realized we didn’t really have our students adequately make connections and reflect on their own learning. To this end, we utilized the format in OPHEA’s inquiry process to help shape our organizer. (Check out their full resource here: http://teachingtools.ophea.net/supplements/inquiry-based-learning) We have seen these same questions/format in other documents but wanted it in our genius project docs. Since no one else would make that for us we ended up making our own.

As per usual, we decided that we might as well share.

To download the file:

Genius Project Organizer Brownlee and Belanger

Inquiry Process – Thick and Thin Questions

8 Aug

This year we are excited to partner up with another class to strengthen our inquiry skills. Inquiry is integral in our curriculum yet it seems like our students struggle with key components. We always worry that maybe we take away the scaffolding a little too quickly – such as the time we realized our students didn’t really get that Google was search engine instead of a website. That’s a whole other discussion! Anyway, we ended up reading the book IQ: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning – based on a Facebook recommendation, of course

Image result for IQ inquiry book

Yea FB friends, as it is an excellent source of ideas and we are looking forward to trying many of the activities!!

While we recognize the inquiry process isn’t really a linear procedure we decided to segment it into smaller steps as our class will be responsible for supporting the younger students. Our hope is that breaking it down into “steps” will make them more mindful of their own part in the process. (Can you tell we’ve been talking about metacognition too?).

We want to start with a look at our focus and then move into a discussion on thin and thick questions (this will also tie in nicely with Language Arts). To help out we want them to keep the definition and examples of thick and thin questions in their notebooks. We have seen sandwiches, burgers and mustaches all used as a visual for thick and thin but we ended up using the mustache example. Would have been perfect for last year’s mustache theme – too bad we’re using superheroes this year Going to admit we’re still trying to think of a way to make a superhero visual on this one!

 

 

We tend to have ones already completed for students who may have some fine motor concerns

We think we will also discuss how to use a Q-Chart at the same time. We have found thin questions are popular because they are quick and easy. Hopefully, by the end of the year, we will have them more comfortable with creating thick questions and recognizing not every question has a “right” answer.

For anyone looking for a thick and thin questions template, you can use the one here. A small Q-chart is also in the document.

Reading and Inquiry INB Thick and Thin Questions BLM Brownlee and Belanger