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Please Consider Supporting Inspiring Inquiry

Did you know that the Inspiring Inquiry website is my passion project, dedicated to giving back to the educational community? It operates without generating any revenue. If you find value in Inspiring Inquiry, I invite you to support me by Buying Me a Coffee or Tea for just $5 CDN (just use your credit card from anywhere in the World). Your contribution will not only fuel my creative efforts but also help to keep the site thriving. So, why not indulge in a small act of generosity and treat me to a cup today?

Social and Emotional Skills: Latest Evidence on Teachability and Impact on Life Outcomes

Research [OECD]: 3 Dec 2023

Explore the newest research on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with insights from the OECD. Across the globe, education systems increasingly acknowledge the critical importance of social and emotional skills (SES) for both students and societies. The OECD has actively advanced SES understanding through the OECD Survey on Social and Emotional Skills (SSES). This working paper tackles conceptual and empirical challenges within the broader initiative to reassess the evaluation of social and emotional skills, providing clarity on the SSES framework and delving into the teachability and comparative aspects of SES. Additionally, it compiles evidence linking SES to life outcomes and seeks to bridge conceptual gaps in the existing literature. Don't miss this opportunity to stay informed.

Room to Grow: Math Podcast

Podcast: 2 Dec 2023

Room to Grow is the math podcast that brings you informative discussions on trending topics in math education in short segments. They’re not there to talk at people. They’re there to think and learn with others — because when it comes to mathematics there’s always room to grow! Check these two podcasts out:

How to Use Universal Design for Learning to Create Assessments

Article: 2 Dec 2023

When employing UDL in assessments, the focus is on maintaining rigor while ensuring accessible, grade-level instruction. Integrating frequent feedback opportunities supports UDL principles, enabling personalized steps for students and teachers. In effective instruction, assessment, feedback, and reflection should be integral, fostering growth, shaping identities, and building a sense of community through consistent, actionable input on strategies and learning behaviours.

Also See: Universal Design for Learning

Active Observation for Early Years - A toolkit

Resource: 26 Nov 2023

As early years educators, we adeptly juggle roles like plate spinners, staying ahead with vigilant eyes. Imagine deliberately slowing down and embracing the power of observation—an invaluable tool that transforms us from teachers to responders, facilitators, inquirers, and researchers. 

Utilize this toolkit from Toddle to: reflect on observation's significance, collaborate with your team to establish a shared vision, employ new strategies to enhance observational skills, and actively use observations to elevate learning and development in your educational space.

Activate

Resource: 26 Nov 2023

Looking for a professional learning resource to help teachers and leaders promote self-regulated learning. Then, you should have a look at 'Activate' (e-book) which is a card-based professional learning resource which supports teachers, leaders and support staff to promote self-regulated learning. Activate enables teachers and leaders to ‘activate’ pupils to become the drivers of their own learning - an especially crucial skill in the post-COVID era.

The Ultimate Guide to UDL

Website: 22 Nov 2023

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is not just a framework for curriculum design. It is a belief that all students are capable of learning and that instructional methods, when implemented intentionally, can help all students succeed. So, what does this look like? Check out the website created by Novak Education that includes many articles and resources.

Also listen to the Podcast by Katie Novak where she discusses UDL and explore other UDL resources.

A Culture of Agency: Fostering Engagement, Empowerment, Identity, and Belonging in the Early Years

Book: 21 Nov 2023

Foster a profound connection with young learners by instilling a sense of autonomy and inclusion. Kath Murdoch wholeheartedly endorses 'A Culture of Agency' for its accessibility, practicality, and thorough exploration. The book equips teachers, especially those in early education, with a wealth of ideas to reconceptualize even the most basic elements of teaching, nurturing learner agency. 

From Agency to Zest

Book: 21 Nov 2023

From Agency to Zest presents a captivating exploration of concepts integral to inquiry-based learning, skillfully penned by the esteemed educator and inquiry authority, Kath Murdoch

What Do We Do All Day: Books, Books and More Books

Books: 24 Nov 2023

The 'What We Do All Day' website provides a plethora of engaging screen-free activities for children, along with book recommendations and straightforward learning ideas readily accessible to you. Explore a wide array of topics! I recommend that you utilize the search feature to discover specific books or topics, including read-aloud books, chapter books, science, math, art, and more.

How long will I live?

PDF: 19 Nov 2023

Watch this TED Talk about why Wolfgang Fengler created a website that helps people understand their position among 8 billion people, anticipate milestones, and consider factors like shared birthdays and life expectancy. Check out the website for free to find out your life expectancy and more.  Very Cool!!!

Anthology of Approaches to Progress Reports

PDF: 19 Nov 2023

This guide, from Toddle ,delves into the enigmatic nature of the Report Card or Progress Report, addressing key questions: What is the optimal reporting approach? Is there a singular right method? How can our teaching and learning approach be effectively communicated? And, crucially, how can we convey student growth in a parent-friendly manner?

Also see: Words, Phrases and Sentence Starters for Reporting

The Future of AI in Schools

Podcast [Toddle]: 18 Nov 2023

In this video, "The Future of AI in Schools," hosted by Cindy Blackburn [Toddle], speakers John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, and Arran Hamilton explore the potential impact of artificial intelligence on education. The evolving role of AI in reshaping learning is emphasized, requiring students to make informed choices and learn independently.

Become a Problem-Solving School

New Initiative [Nrich]: 15 Nov 2023

Nrich is introducing an exciting new initiative named 'Problem-solving Schools' designed to assist schools in elevating the significance of mathematical problem-solving and fostering the development of proficient problem-solvers. Central to the initiative is the 'Charter,' a comprehensive framework aimed at facilitating reflection on your current teaching practices and establishing agreed-upon areas for improvement. Participation in this initiative is free, and you can register to become a part of it. For additional information, please visit Nrich's website.

Also see more math programs from Nrich.

Theories of Learning in Education

Article [National University]: 15 Nov 2023

Teaching is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The better you comprehend and adjust to the diverse learning styles of students, the more empowered you will be to establish an environment that is both inclusive and conducive to learning. 

This guide offers insights into essential teaching principles. Read the article to learn more about learning theories, their significance, and ways to effectively apply them in your teaching for the benefit of your students.

Adapting Chalk Talk Protocol

Article [Edutopia]: 12 Nov 2023

This piece from Edutopia promotes the idea of diversifying chalk talks to maintain a balance between predictability and keeping learners engaged. Over time, sticking strictly to a routine can lead to disinterest. To counter this, educators can preserve some aspects of the classic chalk talk while integrating new, creative techniques. This method allows them to leverage students' current knowledge while ensuring that the learning environment stays lively and captivating.

Student Profile Document

PDF: 10 Nov 2023

Check out the Student Profile document provided by Toddle . It will help you document a comprehensive record of a child's overall growth, considering their experiences within different ecological systems.

This method of tracing a child's educational progress through their student profile guarantees that support, learning, and growth are tailored to meet each child's distinct requirements, resulting in more profound and influential learning experiences.

7 Learning Zones to Create in Your Classroom

Article: 8 Nov 2023

By creating distinct zones within a classroom, educators can address the unique needs of students throughout different parts of their day. This article provides some examples of zones that can be incorporated in your classroom, and the impact they can have on students’ learning.

ChatGPT Prompt Formula for Teachers

Video/article: 8 Nov 2023

The full potential of chatbots is typically realized when they are engaged with using carefully constructed prompts. This article and accompanying video guide you through a six-element prompt strategy designed to achieve the desired outcomes. To begin, watch the video that introduces the "Mega-prompt" formula, which is aimed at optimizing chatbot interactions. 

Following that, dive into the article, which offers an in-depth exploration of this innovative formula and provides tailored insights for educators and teachers eager to harness ChatGPT's capabilities for enhancing their teaching methods and engaging students more effectively.

Ron Berger on 20 years of 'An Ethic of Excellence'

Webinar: 5 Nov 2023

In this must watch, informative and inspiring video hosted by James Mannion, Ron Berger author of "An Ethic of Excellence," and founder of Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education,  underscores the significance of quality work and critical thinking in education, transcending the traditional vs. progressive teaching debate. His teaching journey champions apprenticeships for educators and evolving teacher training methods. The video would make for a provocative provocation for staff about what makes a great school.

60-Second Strategies 

Short Videos: 5 Nov 2023

Edutopia has compiled a series of 60-second videos that promote effective classroom strategies applicable to all grade levels. While some of these practices may already be familiar to you, there might be a handful that are new and worth exploring. For instance, consider the "Ask 3 Before Me" strategy, which encourages a student to seek assistance from three peers before approaching the teacher for help. I propose extending this strategy as a gauge of the class's overall comprehension. If a student approaches me for assistance after consulting three classmates, it raises questions about why the peers couldn't address the issue. Consequently, my inclination would be to involve those three students in a discussion to pinpoint the source of the challenge. Such an exploration might necessitate a brief interruption of the lesson to provide a targeted reiteration of a concept or procedure.

Google’s Read Along Website 

Website: 4 Nov 2023

Last year (2022) Google launched a useful website called Read Along, which helps children learn to read using speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. The app's virtual assistant, Diya, helps children pronounce words and can be used to speak unknown words. Teachers can use the website to support struggling readers; to differentiate instruction; to support English language learners by providing pronunciation assistance; and to support independent reading and practice by providing a fun and engaging platform for students to read and learn on their own.

Leadership Videos 

Various Videos and Podcasts: Fall 2023

World Economic Forum’s Education 4.0 Taxonomy & IB ATL 

Document: 1 Nov 2023

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently published a 21st century Education 4.0: A Taxonomy for the Future of Learning document. The document presents a comprehensive set of skills, attitudes, and values to prepare young learners for well-being in the economies of the future. Also, you can view a one-page document by Christine Orkisz Lang that demonstrates how the World Economic Forum 4.0 Taxonomy and ATL skills align – almost perfectly.  

New AI Apps That Are Worth Checking Out

AI Applications: 28 Oct 2023

*** Also you might be interested in viewing the video by Dr. Lynne McKnight Herr entitled: AI Essentials for Teachers. The video provides an overview of how to use AI and various AI tools in the classroom.

How Students Can Use Artificial Intelligence As A Learning Partner

Article + Video [A J Juliani]: 28 Oct 2023

In this thought provoking article A J Juliani writes about how artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly impacting various aspects of our lives as educators.  He also includes a video that  discusses seven ways to leverage AI for learning. The article is a good starting off point including AI in your teaching.

Strategies for Promoting Digital Citizenship and Device Ownership

Article [TCEA]: 28 Oct 2023

Explore six strategies for promoting digital citizenship and device ownership among students in the classroom.  Digital citizenship refers to the responsible and ethical use of technology and the internet. It encompasses the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that individuals need to navigate the digital world safely, responsibly, and respectfully. The purpose of promoting digital citizenship is to empower students to become responsible digital citizens who can make informed decisions, engage in positive online behaviour, understand how to protect their privacy and security, and contribute positively to the digital community.

AI Guidelines and Toolkits for Creating Responsible Use Policies

AI Toolkits and Guidelins: 28 Oct 2023

These guidelines and toolkits will help education system leaders, school administrators, and teachers develop a vision statement, set of principles and beliefs, or a responsible use policy for AI in schools.  This is extremely important because teaching students and teachers about the ethical use of AI is critical if AI is to be used in schools.

New!! Learn All About How to Write AI Prompts

Webpage: 20 Oct 2023

If you are using AI apps such as ChatGPT, Claude 2, Magic School, etc. you should check out Inspiring Inquiry's  new "AI Prompts" webpage. There you can view a variety of resources that will help you in writing AI Prompts for developing learning experiences, unit planning, brainstorming, summarizing, analyzing, and much more. 

Ways Classroom Design Impacts Executive Functioning

Article [Edutopia]: 20 Oct 2023

Effective classroom design can help elementary students develop skills like organization and task initiation. Designing a space is not decorating. Instead, it should impact learning and have a purpose. In planning for next school year, this would be a good article to read from Edutopia.

Moving From Maths Anxiety

Video & Website: 28 Oct 2023

Watch this 5 minute classroom video from YouCubed showing a 4th grade teacher using a big ideas approach to see what a low anxiety maths classroom looks like. This would be a great video to share with math colleagues and/or at during PD focussed on developing an anxiety free math classroom.  Also, you can connect to YouCubed OECD Guidance Archive and the OECD Learning Compass.

Zearn Math

Website: 18 Oct 2023

Zearn is the top-rated math learning platform that helps students explore concepts, discover meaning, and make sense of math. It is free for classroom teachers and there is a pay option for schools. Zearn is striving for a large cultural change in student attitude, hoping to move toward a new normal where math isn’t perceived as uniquely scary. Zearn can be used for differentiating instruction, discovering prior knowledge, review, personal inquiry and learning math content. To use you will need to create a free account. It is quite good and worth a try.

Please Consider Supporting Inspiring Inquiry

Did you know that the Inspiring Inquiry website is my passion project, dedicated to giving back to the educational community? It operates without generating any revenue. If you find value in Inspiring Inquiry, I invite you to support me by Buying Me a Coffee or Tea for just $5 CDN (just use your credit card from anywhere in the World). Your contribution will not only fuel my creative efforts but also help to keep the site thriving. So, why not indulge in a small act of generosity and treat me to a cup today?