Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inquiry Groups - Ocean Creature Style

Collaboration is the name of the game in Room 222. We have based most of our year around making sure that we truly understand good collaboration, what it means and how to improve it if we don't see/hear it happening. 

So when ocean research time rolled around, I couldn't wait to try this out with Inquiry Groups. My model for this process is a professional book by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels:
We have two major goals to accomplish during our Inquiry Journey. 
1. Truly understand the research process and how to synthesize information from multiple sources. 
2. Work collaboratively in our small groups as leaders, active participants and positive, engaged, energetic learners.

Here is a great example of goal #2 in action during the coding process:

Here is how we began:

Each student started his/her Inquiry Journey by choosing an ocean creature (from a pre-determined list) that he or she was curious about and had little background knowledge on. 

Once our collaborative groups were formed, we got right to work gathering our Background Knowledge and Questions about our new creatures. 

Once we had our thoughts jotted down, we talked about coding our thoughts to help with better understanding. 
We used this guide when coding with our groups:

Then we began the research process.
Each one of these steps is modeled first with our class creature, the Killer Whale. 
We started our research process with our old and trusted friend,
Each Inquiry Group used a laptop to travel to as their first information source. 

Then we charted our new information on our learning posters.

Our last step this week was to start searching for our next resource. is always helpful when searching for kid-appropriate sources. 

The learning will continue this week, as we use books, videos and articles to help us research and find more possible answers to our questions and wonders. 


  1. Wow!!! There's a lot of fun-learning going on in Room 222!! Outstanding job, kiddos!

  2. I am glad to learn about kidrex, its so great for the kids to search on. Paul has been very excited learning about ocean life. Wish everyone another great week of learning.

  3. Looks like learning about the ocean is lots of fun! Good job room 222!

  4. Very impressive Room 222. We are currently in the midst of learning about the ocean through the journey of a sea turtle. We will send you our audiotour of our room when it's completed so we can compare and contrast our findings!

    Also, we just finished an inquiry unit on weather. We loved it!

    Keep up the great work!