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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Study Party Literacy Beginnings Chapter 3: Promoting Constructive Learning: Engaging Children in Inquiry

Pre-K Pages
Here are my reflections on Chapter 3: Promoting Constructive Learning: Engaging Children in Inquiry.

This chapter was hosted by:
Brick by Brick (Click for link)
Now, I have to admit that my Control Freak tendencies make this area a bit of struggle. I have attended informaiton sessions o fa thing called Project Based Inquiry and I have worked aat a school that used the Creative Curriculum method. I just can't let go of wanting to "check that activity/standard/theme/subject off my list" to feel comfortable enough that I can be sure to cover it all by letting the kiddos guide the curriculum. So, I was afraid when I read the title of this chapter.
Check out www.MakingLearningFun.com
Phew! I had nothing to fear! This chapter lays out inquiry learning in a can-do manner. Considering the authors, I should have known not to be shaking in my boots!

One of my favorite quotes from this chapter is:
"Learning is not a simple process of transferring knowledge from one person to another."

Gremlins is still a GREAT movie!
What is Inquiry?
"Inquiry is the kind of focused play you do when pursuing a topic of interest."
Just look at the format we are using now! We form a question based on an interest we have. We type it into Google Search to seek out information about our interest. We are deluged with possible answers and explore a few. Now, if you're anything like me, your original question has multiplied like Gizmo when he was sprinkled with water and you end up having a task bar full of tabs open so that you won't lose them!
That is inquiry!

Another great statement from the book:

"We do not want children to see school as a place where they simply "take in" facts... We want them to develop very powerful ways of "learning how to learn" and to see school as a place for exploration and discovery."

Deanna Jump's Scientist Book (http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/) Soooo Great!

Creating a program that supports constructive learning is quite simple at this level. Every nook and cranny presents an opportunity for children to test and extend their knowledge. A good illustration to provide an explanation of this can be found at http://www.abcteach.com/directory/teaching_extras/classroom_signs/preschoolprimary_signs/wwad_signs/ What We Are Doing signs.

To help guage your class' ZPD (remember that from last chapter???) use a KWL chart!

Inquiry's Split Personality:

There are 2 types of inquiry, but they often exist at the same time and trade places as you go through the process of discovery and learning construction.

Bottom line: It's all about making connections!

Happy Constructing through Inquiry!

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