Wisdom Begins with Wonder

Entries from July 2010 ↓

On bunny trails and the need to know

Sometimes my students lead me down a bunny trail.  One question leads to another and, before we know it, we’re Through the Looking Glass.  A discussion about atomic structure leads to nuclear weapons, which leads to World War 2, which leads to racism, which leads to genetics.  We meander into and out of science.  The […]

Don’t do inquiry

No, I’m not trying reverse psychology here.  I really don’t want you to do inquiry in your classroom.  Seriously. 10 Reasons NOT to do inquiry: 10. Inquiry is too loud and too messy You bet it is!  There will be times where every student is doing something different and stuff is everywhere around the room. […]

How do I DO inquiry?

The short answer: teach students to ask and answer their own questions, then let them do it. The long answer: It’s not as easy as it sounds but it’s well worth the effort.  My favorite way to initiate a new inquiry cycle is to expose the students to something new.  It could be a discrepant […]

From A to purple

Whenever I read an article or blog post, I think about it’s implications for teaching.  I can’t help it.  I’m a teacher 24-7-365.  Drives my family nuts sometimes but it’s who I am. Reading Seth Godin’s latest blog post, The art of seduction, this morning was no different.  Seth’s talking about marketing but I’m thinking […]

Socratic seminars in science class

I love socratic seminars.  I have done several in the past few years and, every time I do one, I say, “I need to do more of these!”  The students learn so much from these rich discussions, both about the topic and about civil discourse.  Socratic seminars help to set up a positive culture in […]

Fear and loathing in inquiry

Why do many teachers hesitate to allow their students to truly pursue the answers to their own questions? Fear and Loathing Fear of the unknown – it’s what causes people to be scared of the dark.  True student inquiry is “the dark.”  It’s where the whims and interests of students can lead you down a […]

Chemistry, condoms and the Colosseum

One of the most successful inquiry activities that I did this year wasn’t successful because of my careful planning or my skill.  It wasn’t successful because of expensive equipment or great lab space.  It wasn’t successful because of technology integration or guest experts. It was successful because I took a chance. It was successful because […]