Reading, Writing, Math and More in New Orleans, Louisiana!

If you are attending the Reading, Writing, Math and More Conference in New Orleans and have been directed to my blog... Welcome! On my blog, I share tips and ideas about technology and other information about elementary education. I collaborate with other bloggers where you can learn more from other fantastic educators through bloghops and giveaways.

I hope you take time to read at some of the posts on my site. I recently presented with a fellow blogger , Nancy Alvarez,  at the Tots and Technology Conference in Galveston, Texas. Our session was about QR Codes and all the ways you can use them in your classroom. We also had a booth at the conference where we sold our most popular products from our stores.

As a curriculum designer, I'm working hard in getting the word out about my online resources that will transform your classroom. A group of TPT sellers and bloggers sent samples of our work, business cards, portfolios and freebies to share at the conference.

Click here to visit my TPT store. And, I'm having a sale! Enjoy 20% off during the conference. If you follow my store, you'll receive updates, upcoming sales, free products and new product information. I hope you enjoy New Orleans and the conference.


Digging Deeper With Inquiry

As we prepare our students to be 21st Century learners, they are learning through many types of resources and media available at their fingertips. With hand-held devices, accessing information is instantaneous. These tools are part of students' everyday life with benefits and disadvantages. As educators, it is important for us to guide students as they collaborate with others and gain new information. We need to teach our students to use the technology tools in a meaningful way and help them understand that the information they read can be untrue and misinterpreted.

Guiding students through the inquiry process is an excellent way in helping students deepen their understanding of new information. Through guided inquiry, teachers and librarians can join together in teaching information literacy.

Student's World
There's more to inquiry than just collecting and presenting information. Students can investigate the new knowledge and how it relates to their world. (What questions do they have, what do they already know about the subject or problem and how they can reflect on their classmates' contributions.)

Asking Meaningful Questions
To begin the inquiry process, I present students with different types of media so they can learn to ask meaningful questions. These begin as Big Questions and can eventually be narrowed down to researchable questions.
- Present photographs and ask students to write down questions they have about the picture.
- Show YouTube videos or TedTalks that present thought-provoking questions.
- Students can journal each day about questions they have (something they saw on TV, saw in their neighborhood or read)
- Have objects in a bag that they may not be familiar with. Students can write down questions and then discuss these with classmates in small groups.

I was amazed at how few of my students could ask or write meaningful questions about subjects and problems in our society. We had to practice as a whole group so the students could understand the type of questions I was looking for.

A book I would recommend in teaching guided inquiry is Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century by Carol Collier Kuhlthau. She says, "Guided Inquiry equips students with abilities and competencies to address the changes of an uncertain, changing world."

In my product, Look, Think, Question, students are given different thought-provoking photographs. What questions would you ask about this photograph?

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