Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Thoughts On My Guided Inquiry Lesson

Reflection on Guided Inquiry Lesson

Introduction Engage/Exploratory
•              Was the introduction and assessment of prior knowledge using a “think-pair-share” effective enough to engage students and motivate them to solve the problem?
Due to time constraints and because the inquiry lesson began immediately following the direct instruction lesson, we did not use the “think-pair-share” to assess prior knowledge.
•              Was using the fictional character Dr. Merriweather an effective and engaging strategy to introduce students to the problem?
Yes!  The students seemed to enjoy being presented with the problem by Dr. Merriweather and were all listening intently to the task.
•              Was using a tellagami an engaging approach to involve students in inquiry?
Yes I think it was.  It was more interesting for the students than one of us teacher candidates just giving them instruction.  I think the tellagami got them more engaged in the task.
Development - Explore and Explain
•              Was using one image and a ThinkLink the best way to model the process students would need to undergo for this lesson?
Although we had to do a quick model due to time constraints, the students did seem understand what they were supposed to do once they were able to start the webquest.
•              Were the images and ThingLink selected to model the process to students engaging and informative?
Yes.  The images and ThinkLink selected showed the students what was expected of them and how they could use the ThingLink to find information.
Monitoring Inquiry - Expand
•              Did I provide enough evidence for students to make conclusions?
I do not think that initial image was enough for students to make a question from.  Most, if not all, students did not even write a question down which eludes me to believe that either my instructions were not clear enough, or students were unable to make a question based on one abstract image alone.  Students were able to make conclusions based upon the artifacts given to them and the information they found on the ThinkLinks.
•              Were the pictures of artifacts I provided enough for students to make a hypothesis?
This question is hard for me to answer.  One group immediately concluded the craft of a colonist before even researching their artifacts and made their hypothesis off their conclusion.  However, other groups were able to make adequate hypotheses based on the artifact images and initial image provided to them. 
•              Did I create an activity in which students could engage with technology and one another?
Yes.  I observed students working together in groups to discuss the artifacts and what they were finding.  The ThinkLinks provided an easy and accessible way for the students to use the internet to find information about their artifact.
•              Were the artifacts students given clear enough for students to understand what their objective was?
Yes.  The way the artifacts were presented to the students they were able to find information about each artifact because the images of the artifacts were the exact images used in the ThingLinks.
•              Was enough information provided to students to allow them to finish the task?
Most, if not all students, skipped the initial part of the inquiry process which was to ask a question based upon their initial image.  I am not sure if the reason for this was due to the short amount of time I had to model the process due to our lack of time, or if the students were unable to formulate a question based upon one abstract image on the front of their team folder without seeing the pictures of the artifacts as well.
•              Was twenty minutes enough time to complete the task?
Twenty minutes was definitely not enough time to complete the task.  Initially, I had planned for the students to rotate among station to see the different ThingLinks.  However, there was not enough time to allow the students transition time.  So I instead accessed the three different ThingLinks of the computer where each group was sitting.  This way they could see all three ThingLinks and gather all of the information without having to rotate.  In the future, I would allot more time for this portion of the lesson, make the lesson encompass more than one class period, or put the information about all three artifacts on one ThingLink for the students to access only one ThinkLink to obtain their information.
•              Did I provide enough images and information from the pictures and website links for students to grasp the “big ideas?
I believe that I did.  Even though we were short on time, all of the groups were able to make conclusions about their artifacts based on the “big ideas” we were learning about.
•              Did the rubric help me to evaluate the student’s inquiry process?
If we had enough time for students to complete the task as intended, I believe that the rubrics would have helped me to evaluate students on the inquiry process.  However, given that we were short on time, many students were unable to finish the task or were rushing to complete it. 
•              Was using an oral presentation of students finding the best way to allow students to present their conclusions?
Yes.  This gave students an opportunity to orally present their findings to the class.  Everyone was supposed to follow a set of presentation guidelines—such as facing the audience, speaking loudly, having everyone in the group participate—however, due to the time constraint, we were not able to go over the presentation guidelines or activate prior knowledge about presenting with the students.
Independent Practice - Elaborate
•              Was using a letter the best way for students to translate the information they learned and the conclusions they came to?
I think using the letter format was the best way for students to translate the information that they learned.  This allowed them to create a letter based on their artifacts and present their conclusions in a way that make them think how to write their conclusions in letter form.
•              Did the rubrics criteria help me evaluate the student’s ability to write in a clear and concise manner to share information and conclusions?
Yes the rubrics did.  This was a task that many students completed at home or during regular class time because we ran out of time during fieldwork.  The rubrics helped me to subjectively evaluate each student’s letter.
•              Was the choice of a letter activity engaging to students?
The letter activity was engaging to students most students.  Even though students were not able to complete this activity during fieldwork time, many students completed the letter at home or in regular class time and returned the letter at the next fieldwork session. 
•              Was ten minutes enough time for students to complete the task?
Even though the students did not have enough time to begin the letter task during fieldwork, I do not think that ten minutes would have been enough time for the students to complete the letter activity. 
Overall, I think the students were actively engaged in this lesson.  They were excited to work together as a team of detectives and worked hard at completing the task.  I wish that there was enough time for me to completely model the process for the students.  In the future, I think I would break this lesson into a two day activity.  

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