New content is added to Inspiring Inquiry on a regular basis.  Check the list below to see "What's New!"

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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?

CBC Kids News

Website - 14 April 2024 [Student Resources

CBC Kids News is a Canadian daily news service for children, focusing on topics that matter to them. It aims to provide real news in a way that resonates with young audiences and includes their perspectives. The content is well-researched, balanced, and adheres to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Journalistic Standards and Practices. The service is created for and with children, providing trustworthy information that gives children a voice in the news.

Let Go, to Let Grow

Video - 12 April 2024 [Play

In this inspiring TED talk, Gwen Coffey raises concerns about excessive rules and restrictions in schools that limit children's independence and learning. She believes overprotective parenting and micromanaging can increase anxiety and hinder academic performance. Gwen encourages adults to let children take on tasks independently and experience consequences to foster growth. Drawing from personal experience, she emphasizes the importance of teaching responsibility and safety through supervised use of tools. This talk would be a great provocation for your students or parents.

The Circles All Around Us – Picture Book

Read-a-Loud Book - 7 April 2024 [Literacy/Read-a-Loud Books

"The Circles All Around Us" picture book beautifully shows how our circles of connection grow through kindness and inclusivity. It would be a wonderful book to use as a resource for a unit about Community or Relationships. Expanding from family to community, it invites students to reflect on their own circles while learning empathy. An ideal classroom read-a-Loud book, it sparks inquiry into relationship-building, embracing differences, and making the world bigger through compassionate actions. 

The Downside of Helicopter Parenting

Video - 6 April 2024 [Play

When I taught in Japan, young children often walked to school alone or took public transit independently, contrasting with the 'helicopter' parent culture in places like North America. Research highlights a decline in unsupervised activities crucial for fostering self-reliance and confidence. Despite parental acknowledgment, safety concerns and societal norms often constrain children's autonomy, as depicted in this video.

A Step-by-Step Process for Replacing Tests With Meaningful Performance Tasks

Blog Post - 5 April 2024 [Assessment/How To Assess

In his enlightening blog, A.J. Juliani discusses the shortcomings of traditional tests in accurately measuring student understanding and retention. He advocates for performance tasks and project-based assessments, emphasizing their ability to promote greater inquiry and learner agency resulting in improved understanding and retention. Even though implementing these methods requires meticulous planning, collaboration, and a shift towards valuing diverse assessment approaches and empowering students in their learning journey, it is well worth the effort.

10 Minute Teacher Podcast

Podcast - 3 April 2024 [Webinars & Podcasts

Jam-packed with innovative classrooms and inventive teaching concepts, the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast, hosted by full-time teacher and edtech influencer Vicki Davis, interviews educators worldwide. Aimed at showcasing insights from numerous practitioners, it offers practical tips for immediate implementation. Listen to the latest podcast with A.J. Juliani: Essential Ingredients to Engage Students in the AI Age.

Making Sense of Universal Design for Learning

video - 31 March 2024 [Universal Design Learning

Watch this short, insightful video "Making Sense of Universal Design for Learning" to explore how UDL fosters inclusivity by addressing diverse learning needs. This educational approach, supported by technology and principles of representation, action, and engagement, benefits all students. Plus, check out the accompanying resource document for UDL principles, strategies, and examples to enhance engagement and support in your inclusive classroom. 

Revised PYP Transdisciplinary Theme Descriptors

Document - 27 March 2024 [POI/UOI

Have you heard about the revised PYP Transdisciplinary theme descriptors? You can view them here. While the themes remain unchanged, there's a notable shift in the descriptors, moving from focusing solely on human experiences to balancing human and natural worlds. Schools can adopt these new descriptors immediately, with a mandate for all PYP schools to implement them by September 2027.  Ask your PYP coordinator for more info about the revised descriptors.

How to Build Credibility as a Leader?

Video - 27 March 2024 [Leadership Videos

If you are an educational leader, this video by Toddle is for you. In the video, Doug Fisher highlights trust and effective communication as essential for educational leaders. He emphasizes reliability, honesty, and consistency in actions, advocating for open-door policies and regular check-ins. He also stresses continuous learning, urging leaders to model commitment to growth. By prioritizing trust, communication, and learning, educational leaders can foster credibility and drive positive change within their schools and districts.

Embracing Rough and Tumble Play

Resource - 27 March 2024 [Play

Discover the essence of rough and tumble play through this empowering guide from Toddle. It offers insights and strategies beyond traditional cautionary approaches, encouraging phrases that foster exploration. Central to the guide is the concept of "Essential Agreements," promoting mutual expectations and conflict resolution. Through stories, it illustrates consent and reflection. Embracing rough and tumble play as a learning opportunity, it transforms approaches to facilitate children's exuberant moments and developmental journey.

7 Steps To Plan Project Based Learning 

Website - 23 March 2024 [Project-Based Learning

Discover valuable strategies for crafting a Project-Based Learning journey. Explore the seven essential steps to orchestrate a PBL adventure and master the art of formulating a compelling driving question. Additionally, access a complimentary PBL Project Planner Starter. These invaluable resources are generously provided by Thought Stretchers Education.

Demonstrating Self-Regulation With Tone of Voice

Video - 22 March 2024 [Classroom Community

This Edutopia video emphasizes teachers' need for a calm, neutral, assertive tone to aid self-regulation in students, fostering a safe learning setting. Overly aggressive tones can deter students, diminishing motivation. Balancing calm assertiveness yields optimal student responses, crucial for effective teaching. It's a short video but well worth the watch.

What Happens When We Put Kids in Control of Their Learning?

Article - 22 March 2024 [Inquiry-based Learning

Unlock the power of inquiry-based learning to inspire hope and agency in your students. Dive into this article from CASEL to discover how this approach seamlessly integrates academic and social-emotional skills, fostering collaborative problem-solving and empowering students to make a real impact in their world. Don't miss out on the transformative benefits of inquiry-based learning – read the article today!

New Section: EAL/Translanguaging

Webpage - 20 March 2024 [EAL/Translanguaging

In this newly sprouting Inspiring Inquiry section, learn what Translanguaging is and what it looks like in the classroom. You will find the beginnings of EAL and Translanguaging teaching and learning resources. Enjoy!

How the Science of Learning and Development Can Transform Education

Research - 15 March 2024 [Educational Research

Good news! The Science of Learning and Development Alliance's new research reveals all children can thrive when supported along their unique learning pathways. By understanding key findings like the malleability of the brain, the power of relationships, and the integration of cognitive/social/emotional development, educators can transform practices to unlock every student's full potential. This summary of research provides a roadmap for creating equitable, developmentally-aligned learning environments that is well worth the read.

Fix The News

News - 15 March 2024 [Blogs & Websites P2

Are you exhausted from constantly encountering negative news stories? If so, why not sign up for Fix The News, a vibrant community committed to reshaping the narrative of the 21st century? Their newsletter operates on a fundamental principle: to reshape our collective story, we need to rewrite the tales we share. Every week, Fix The News delivers inspiring stories from around the world, offering a refreshing antidote to the overwhelming negativity pervasive in traditional and social media. Take a look and subscribe to the movement towards positivity by subscribing today – it's free!

PYP Infographics

Infographics - 10 March 2024 

Here are some creative Infographics and Posters crafted by Chris Gadbury

Sustainable Development Goals - Student Resources

Webpage- 6 March 2024 [Sustainable Goals

Attention educators: It's essential for students to grasp the principles of sustainable development early on. This UN website offers resources designed for both adults and young learners, presenting an engaging and interactive method to comprehend the Sustainable Development Goals and empower everyone to play a part in achieving them.

What's New - March 2024 Newsletter published

Universal Design for Learning - (New Web Page)

Webpage- 4 March 2024 [Tools/Strategies>Universal Design Learning

🌟 Exciting News! Explore the new Universal Design for Learning (UDL) page on the Inspiring Inquiry website! UDL champions inclusivity and differentiation, catering to diverse learning styles. Uncover a host of resources backing UDL strategies that support inquiry-based teaching, and learner agency. Elevate your classroom dynamics with innovative methods tailored to each student's distinct requirements

Four Must-Ask Questions to Spark a Love for Learning

Video - 24 Feb 2024 [Leadership Videos P2

Discover how to ignite a love for learning in your school! In the YouTube video "Four Must-Ask Questions to Spark a Love for Learning," hosted by Toddle, Tom Murray, Director of Innovation at Future Ready Schools, champions personalized, real-world learning over rote methods. He showcases innovative practices like vocational training and technology integration, emphasizing leaders' role in fostering inclusive environments. Watch to energize yourself as an advocate in transforming education into a lifelong passion!

The Importance of Dance

Dance - 20 Feb 2024 [Single Subjects >Dance

Discover why dance deserves equal importance in schools as math and science. The late Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica's compelling article from 2018 explores the intrinsic value of dance, its social benefits, and its positive impact on academic achievement. This should be no surprise to inquiry-based educators! Gain valuable perspectives on nurturing well-rounded students and promoting inclusivity in arts education.

Google's New Gemini AI App

AI - 20 Feb 2024 [AI Tools

Discover the innovative features of Google's Gemini app! Teachers can engage students effectively with interactive lessons and real-time feedback. Much like Chat GPT and Claude 2 Gemini has a user-friendly interface which can support with lesson planning and supporting diverse student needs. It is worth a look!

Provocations to Spark Your Students to Think, Wonder and Question

Resource - 19 Feb 2024 [Inquiry Resources

Discover an array of engaging resources designed to ignite your students' curiosity and foster meaningful discussions. From thought-provoking prompts to captivating content, these platforms spark curiosity and encourage active participation. Explore how these conversation starters can enhance critical thinking, listening, and oracy skills, complementing your units of inquiry. Dive in and enrich your classroom experience today!

Beating Plastic Pollution

Video + Report - 18 Feb 2024 [Plastic in Our World

Teachers, empower your students by discussing the UN's report: Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy.  The report calls for systemic changes to combat plastic pollution. You can enhance learner agency by inspiring them to reduce plastic use, redesign products, and embrace a circular plastics economy. Together, explore the three crucial shifts: reorienting consumption, promoting reuse, and enhancing recycling. By sharing these solutions with your students, you ignite their passion for environmental stewardship and empower them to make a difference. Let's spark discussions and take action for a healthier planet!

How Children Learn

Book - 17 Feb 2024 [Professional Reading

Unlock timeless wisdom with "How Children Learn" by John Holt! This classic book has been enriching educators for years, and its relevance has only deepened with time. Explore the enduring principles of curiosity-driven learning, individualized instruction, and the pivotal role of play. Discover why Holt's insights remain essential for today's teachers as they embrace autonomy, foster resilience, and inspire lifelong learners in their classrooms. ** Also, here's a Must read: Review of How Children Learn by Peter Gray.

Right Kind of Wrong

Book - 14 Feb 2024 [Professional Reading

Attention Teachers! Dive into Amy Edmondson's transformative book, "Right Kind of Wrong," and revolutionize your approach to failure in the classroom. Edmondson challenges traditional views, offering practical strategies to navigate failure wisely. Learn to embrace fallibility, cultivate growth environments, and redefine your relationship with mistakes. Gain invaluable insights to inspire your students and foster a culture of resilience and progress. Equip yourself with the tools to turn failure into a catalyst for learning and growth. Don't miss out on this essential read! **View a short video clip of Amy discussing her book.

The Voices of Children

Blog - 12 Feb 2024 [Blogs/Websites

Don't miss the amazing early childhood blog! During a 1997 visit to the Diana School in Reggio Emilia, Pam Oken-Wright encountered a revealing triptych outside a classroom. Hand-written notes and drawings captured children's daily experiences for parents. Recognizing its potential, she began keeping a daily log of her classroom's group process, essential for teacher research. The documented moments of brilliance were too valuable to hoard. Thus, she welcomes you to a world of hundreds of lessons from children's voices.

The NRICH Project

Resource - 11 Feb 2024 [Math Resources

Seeking math strategies, resources, or professional development? Look no further than the NRICH website. NRICH provides a wide range of math problems and solutions designed for teachers and students alike. The Features section is especially captivating, prompting students with problems and encouraging the use of varied strategies and vocabulary. Explore the Primary Curriculum Mapping and Supporting Student to Work Collaboratively sections for more insights.

Creating Cultures Of Thinking Podcast

Podcast - 7 Feb 2024 [Visible Thinking

Want to build cultures of thinking in your classroom? Don't miss this Thought Stretchers Education podcast with Harvard researcher Ron Ritchhart on the teacher mindsets that transform learning. Discover why facilitative questioning and productive struggle are so key. Plus, get Ritchhart’s tips on planning units for deeper understanding and how we can advocate these methods for broader societal purposes beyond academics. This is an insightful listen for any teacher aiming to take their practice to the next level.

Healthy Childhood Development Through Outdoor Risky Play

Position Paper - 4 Feb 2024 [Play

I think we all knew that risky play was beneficial for children, so it is heartwarming to read how the Canadian Paediatric Society's groundbreaking report on "Healthy Childhood Development Through Outdoor Risky Play" is reshaping perspectives on children's play. By reading this report and the LetGrow article you will discover why risky play is deemed preventive medicine, reducing anxiety and fostering courage. Gain insights from psychologists and educators about the value of unstructured, child-led play in developing vital life skills. Uncover the transformative impact of outdoor play on overcoming childhood challenges.

How do Public and Private Schools Differ in OECD Countries?

Research Paper - 30 Jan 2024 [Community of Learners

Ever wondered about what are the educational benefits/deficits of attending a private vs public school?  Read the latest OECD report to find may be surprised at what you discover, especially about the country you teach in.  In 2021, 18% of students in OECD countries attended private schools, predominantly in pre-primary and upper secondary levels. Private schools exhibit autonomy, better COVID-19 adaptability, and fewer resource shortages. However, they often contribute to social segregation by enrolling more advantaged students. Academic performance advantages in private schools diminish when socio-economic factors and school profiles are considered.

Become a SDG Fact-ivist!

Lesson - 29 Jan 2024 [Sustainable Development Goals

Here's an opportunity to promote learner agency! Have you class participate in Fact-ivism, a dynamic collaboration by World’s Largest Lesson and NetApp! Empower your students to create impactful SDG posters using data they care about that will help to drive action for UN SDGs. By teaching data literacy, we equip students to become 'fact-ivists' who use information for change. To get started, download the lesson plan which integrates math, art, research, learner agency, and action. Together, your students can participate in shaping a world where data fuels progress and helps to achieve the Sustainable Global Goals!

Making Learning More Playful

Videos - 28 Jan 2024 [Play

Despite play's importance in early education, its presence wanes as students progress. Yet, research confirms its effectiveness in fostering diverse learning. So, how do schools infuse joy and child-centric approaches, integrating play across grades? Explore these short but informative videos, hosted by Edutopia, to understand the transformative potential of play-based pedagogy that can enhance your classroom.

The Myth of the Quick Learner

Research Paper - 27 Jan 2024 [Educational Research

A Carnegie Mellon University study surprisingly found no evidence of faster learners among 7,000 individuals using instructional software. Despite varied starting points, all progressed similarly through practice exercises, challenging the notion of innate talent. The research suggests that teachers should take into account a child's prior knowledge and emphasizes effort and effective practice over innate ability. Well-designed practice and feedback facilitated learning, especially in math and science. The study suggests rethinking attitudes toward low achievers, emphasizing practice, feedback, and effort for mastery. **Recommended by Cath Murdoch.

What is a Montessori School?

Video - 26 Jan 2024 [Leadership Videos P2

In this inspiring video from the Toddle Leadership Project, Gavin McCormack shares his journey from Montessori teacher to founder of Upschool, a free online global learning platform. Emphasizing learner agency, he underscores Montessori's focus on student choice, engagement, and a prepared environment. 

***The Upschool website mentioned in the video offers free resources and courses, aligning with its mission to empower students to find their voice and create positive change. Well worth checking out.

SDG Book Club

Resource - 25 Jan 2024 [Sustainable Development Goals

Looking for a list books related to the Sustainable Development Goals? Look no the SDG Book Club's curated list of books that engage children aged 6 to 12 with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The club offers selections in all six UN languages, inviting students, educators and parents to explore diverse perspectives and foster an understanding of global issues. Through literature, the club encourages interaction with the principles of each of the 17 SDGs, promoting awareness and education on sustainable development.

Student Agency for 2030

Article - 24 Jan 2024 [Leaner Agency

This informative article explores the important and timely concept of “student agency” - students' capacity to shape their own futures. It explains how agency motivates learning and defines key nuances like “co-agency”. Though interpretations vary globally, actively empowering student voice emerges as a priority everywhere. The proposed “Sun Model” visualizes degrees of participation for enabling student potential. Go to this must read document to learn more.

Enrol You Class into the Sustainable Goals Project

Activity - 19 Jan 2024 [Sustainable Goals

ACT SOON! The Sustainable Goals Project is a free global collaboration project for all PreK-college classrooms around the world. Once registered, on January 22nd, you will receive an email that shares your assigned classroom Global Goal. Classrooms will be teamed with similarly aged students and will work for six weeks through guided inquiry and exploration. All learning experiences are designed for flexibility for online, face-to-face, and hybrid learning environments. 

Click HERE. Registration open now through January 2024.

How to Differentiate Learning in Your Schools

Video - 16 Jan 2024 [Differentiation

In the video "How to Differentiate Learning in Your Schools?" from Toddle's School Leadership Project, Carol Ann Tomlinson shares transformative insights on creating inclusive classrooms through differentiation. Discover the power of personalized teaching, interest-based learning, and continuous educator growth. Don't miss this opportunity to revolutionize your approach—watch the video for a dynamic educational shift!

Proof Point: The Myth of the Quick Learner

Article - 14 Jan 2024 [Designing Learning

Discover the vital role of understanding students' prior knowledge and the impact of guided practice and feedback in effective learning. The Carnegie Mellon study challenges assumptions about learning speeds, highlighting the benefits of tailored approaches for all students and their profound impact on effective learning.

Wall Documentation in an Inquiry Classroom

Blog - 14 Jan 2024 [Learning Environment

Explore Kath Murdoch's 2023 post on the transformative shift to uncomplicated wall use. Social media's role revitalizes visual sharing, transitioning from 'Pinterest'-inspired to collaborative, authentic learning-focused walls. Explore the tangible, accessible nature of displays, shaping values and community dynamics.

Why are Maths and Reading Scores Dropping Globally? Analysis of the PISA 2022 Results

Podcast - 13 Jan 2024 [Reimagining Education]

Addressing the 2022 PISA findings, this podcast discusses a global decline in math and reading scores among 15-year-olds, attributing it to the pandemic, decreased parental engagement, and increased technology distractions. The podcast stresses the need for responsible technology use and understanding that school is not just a place where students learn, but where everyone learns.

Free STEM Resources Provided By Public Libraries

STEM Resource [Technology/Digital Learning Resources] 12 Jan 2024

When in search of STEM resources, why not check out your local public library. The website "Free STEM Resources Provided By Public Libraries," explores the definition of STEM and provides a range of complimentary STEM resources specifically tailored for K-12 students.

Putting Student Questioning at the Heart of Inquiry

video [Inquiry Resources] 9 Jan 2024

View this short video that demonstrates how utilizing questions generated by students can spark engagement, motivation, inquiry and a deep understanding of the investigated topic.

Chapter International Online Workshops

Professional Development - 7Jan 2024

Here is a list of Chapter International Online Workshops - January - April 2024.

"Just Because" by Matthew McConaughey

Read-a-loud Book [Learning Experiences/Literacy] 7Jan 2024

🌈 Spark curiosity and student agency with "Just Because" – a captivating picture book perfect for primary school read-alouds. Through whimsical storytelling and engaging illustrations, this book inspires active participation, fostering a love for exploration and learning. A must-have for your classroom library!

Psychological Safety

New Webpage [Tools/Strategies] 5 Jan 2024

Whether you're an educator aiming to enhance learning through group activities or a leader guiding adults within your school or team, the common question prevails: How can I establish an environment that ensures success and fosters growth? Research consistently points to a key factor in promoting effective teamwork and creativity: Psychological Safety. Learn more about Psychological Safety here.

Keys to Success For Student Group Work

Article [Designing Learning] 27 Dec 2023

Embarking on a group project can be both exciting and challenging for students, offering opportunities for shared learning and diverse perspectives. Effective management is crucial for a positive and productive experience. This article provides some helpful 'dos and don'ts' to guide successful group work and student grouping.

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?