I am in full summer reading mode and spent the weekend reading 2 great new books for the book studies I am a part of this summer. Teaching with Intention with our very own Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasbord and Learn Like a Pirate with Amanda from The Primary Gal. I am loving both books, and will be sharing all about them on my blog over the next 2 months. But for now I wanted to share a book that I read a few years ago and has really changed the way I think about student collaboration in the classroom, "Comprehension & Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action" by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels.
Here is just a quick run down of what you will learn in this book:
- Why should we shift from teacher led classrooms to more student led small group inquiry projects? Students need to be involved in their learning! We need to move past the outdated passive, coverage approach to education and help prepare students to think, collaborate, and drive their own learning.
- How to create an effective learning environment for active learning, including how to effectively use technology.
- explanations of 4 different types of inquiry models: mini-inquiries, curricular inquiries, literature circle inquiries, and open inquiries. There are great real classroom examples of each that span K-12 with great ideas to get you going.
- Tips for assessing, evaluating and managing inquiry circles. I'm not going to lie it is rough getting started when you are used to having so much teacher control, but the results are so amazing and totally worth it when you see the deep thinking, understanding and motivation in your students.
- And last but not least 27 lessons in comprehension, collaboration, and inquiry (AKA pretty much the best part of this book ever!) Seriously, these lessons are a fantastic starting point if you are new to teaching collaboration, comprehension and inquiry.
Do you use inquiry circles or project based learning? Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments. Happy summer reading :)