Read the March 2023 Inspiring Inquiry Newsletter and be Inspired!
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Inspiring Inquiry Newsletter


“An effective teacher is not someone who just teaches content. An effective teacher is someone who teaches content to distinct human beings, and the classroom must work in such a way that each individual in it has a legitimate opportunity to grow as much as possible from their starting point.”
— from Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition
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Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social Emotional Learning Video Series

PBS has put together a series of SEL videos that provide an introduction to the core competencies of SEL as well as indicators of high-quality SEL achieved through a school-wide approach. The videos focus on 10 key indicators of school-wide social emotional learning for teachers, administrators and parents.

Fostering Self-Regulation

Watch a short video to see what happens when elementary students compare the relative importance of a range of problems. The students learn to take charge of their reactions to better understand self-regulation and emotional control.

SEL is Essential to Success in PBL

​​All teachers, but PBL practitioners in particular, should take notice of one recently-published paper by Lucas Educational Research and a PBLWorks blog. The white paper and blog state that SEL is essential to success not just in school, but in PBL specifically for a number of reasons.​​

Using ChatGTP to Create/Review PYP Units of Inquiry

In case you missed last month's newsletter section about AI in the Classroom  and specifically using ChatGTP to create/review PYP units of inquiry, here it is again. I think you will find using ChatGTP to create/review PYP units of inquiry very useful to invoke critical thinking, collaboration, better brain-storming ideas, not to mention it will also save time.
Also, check out the new AI Tools page which lists a variety of free AI toolsI teachers can use in their classroom.  

Making the Case for Inquiry

Whether you are an administrator, teacher, or parent, understanding why inquiry works is an important part of advocating for the needs of your students and school. Join Kimberly Mitchell, as she makes a case for inquiry and leads a discussion around what inquiry is and why it is a leading pedagogy in this Toddle video.

ATL Playbooks

Check out these five playbooks, one for each ATL, produced by Toddle. You will find several skill-based activities to help your students become lifelong learners. The ATL skills playbooks are designed to help you target specific skill indicators in your teaching and learning processes. The playbooks collate exciting ideas for skill-based activities that can be aligned with subjects or used independently for homeroom and other learning spaces.

A Few Posters on Concepts


Just Because It Looks Nice Doesn’t Mean Learning Can Happen

The author of this article, Joshua Barr, states, "...that having an attractive [classroom] environment is not the main objective or results in high quality play/learning. The truth is a kindergarten in play is a little messy, a little disorganized and a process-based environment. Social media pictures and videos often stick to showing the before (children engage with the environment and materials) and leave out the during and after images." Read the article to learn more about the connection between classroom environment and learning.

Steps to Keep Engagement High During PBL

Taking students’ interests into account when designing project-based learning helps ensure that they stay engaged throughout the unit. This article by Edutopia looks at more efficient and effective ways to keep learners compellingly engaged with the content from the start to the end of projects. The tricky part, the article states, is twofold: (1) designing a project that allows every student in the class to see their interests reflected in the curriculum and (2) implementing a straightforward process that every student can see clearly to navigate. Learn more by reading the article. Also, see A.J. Juliani's Blog: How the Heck Do You Manage a Project-Based Class? and the Inspiring Inquiry Project Based Learning page.

Ways to Stop Thinking for Your Students

Too often math students lean on teachers to think for them, but there are some simple ways to guide them to think for themselves. Check out the five ways to get your students thinking in this Edutopia article.

Teaching Students to Have Meaningful Conversations

Conversations are incredibly important. They are a basic unit of all kinds of interactions—formal and informal, serious and frivolous, cursory and thorough—the list is almost unlimited. Whenever we engage with other people, especially one other person, the nature of the conversation we have influences whether it will accomplish what we want and strengthen our relationship. Welcoming students back from their summer break and following a year or more spent distance learning, many students may need a strong refresher in conversational skills with both peers and adults. This article from Edutopia provides strategies to support meaningful conversation.
Podcasts - Websites Blogs etc.

Barr Kinder Play

This website/blog created by Miki and Josh Barr is a growing treasure trove of resources for educators, parents and all people interested in learning more about early childhood education. The importance of play runs through the site. The blog is definitely worth a read as are the infographics you can download. I especially liked the short video based on the poem By Helen Buckley titled 'The Little Boy' which emphasizes the importance of creativity and learner agency.

A.J Juliani Blog

If you are a fan of Project-Based Learning, then A.J. Juliani’s blog is a place to explore. He is the author of 8 books about learning, including best-sellers Empower, Launch, and my newest title: Adaptable. Wonder on over to his blog to read his though-provoking blogs.

How to Change the World - Implementation Science 

In this Ted-Talk, James Manion discusses how we can fix the 'way we change', in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing humanity right now? Advocating for implementation science as a way to bring about lasting improvements to people’s lives - and a new way of doing politics? James advocates for using implementation science techniques to help school improvement initiative stick - large and small.
PD Opportunities

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Check out the updated PD page to find workshops provided by Kath Murdoch, Chapters International, Toddle, Professional Learning International, Innovative Global Education, and many more. You can check them out here.

Free Workshop on How to Authentically Integrate

Learn how to effectively integrate subjects, strategically plan lessons, and inspire critical thinking in students. The workshop is presented by Andy Vasily on March 11th Saturday at 9:00 am UAE, 10:30 am Mumbai, and 2:00 pm Korea. You can register here.
Recommended Reading

Students Taking Action Together

By: Lauren Fullmer and Laura Bond
Students Taking Action Together is built on five research-backed teaching strategies that work with existing social studies, English language arts, and history curriculum in the upper-elementary and above. The premiss of the book is: if students are to be good at taking action they have to rehearse democratic behaviors in the classroom and have good oracy skills. Developing good communication skills is the key! As a bonus, watch a webinar where two of the authors, Lauren Fullmer and Laura Bond, discuss their book.

Leading & Managing a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Ed

By: Carol Ann Tomlinson, Marcia B. Imbeau
In this newly updated second edition, Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B. Imbeau explore the central priorities and mindsets of differentiation and provide practical guidelines for making effective student-centered, academically responsive instruction a reality. Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition is a foundational guide to the how of differentiation provides the thoughtful strategies teachers need to create and maintain classrooms where each student is recognized and respected and every student thrives.

Guided Play as Good or Better Than Direct Instruction

This should not come as a surprise: that guided play is as good as or better than adult-led, direct instruction. A review of seventeen studies confirmed this. It was found that when you stop teaching young children via direct instruction and instead set up purposeful opportunities to play, they learn just as much—or more— when it comes to literacy, numeracy and executive function skills critical to early academic success.
A Few Provocations
Below are a few provocations you can share with your students. Most come from Ian Byrd's Daily Puzzlements and Provocations to Get Your Students Thinking. Enjoy!

An Aesthetic Vision of a Supernova

By only using an aquarium, ink and water, this video is an attempt to represent the last evolutionary stages of a massive star's life, whose dramatic and catastrophic death is marked by one final titanic explosion called supernova. Look at the moment at 1:43. Let students wonder how he did it, and then play the making-of video!

Math Project: Disneyland Parking Structure

This math project, created by Ian Byrd, challenges students who have demonstrated a mastery of multiplication and are ready to explore its applications. The project covers  four criteria: Authentic Data, Interesting Conflict, Think Like An Expert, An Awesome Product. Check it out!

Draw Perfect Circles By Hand

How to draw perfect circles by hand.

An Infinite Lego Domino Circle

An infinite Lego domino circle! Try starting at 4:49 to see it in action, then rewinding to see the setup if students are interested.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
SDG student-friendly resources can be found on the Inspiring Inquiry website HERE 

Latest Daily CO2 Rating

February 2023 421.62 ppm.  February 2022 419.63 ppm. 
1 Year Change +1.99 ppm (0.47%)
Suggested sustainable level = 350 ppm  +71.62 ppm
Source: Daily CO2 ​(Feb 27, 2023) 

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022

Wondering how the world is doing in meeting the SDGs? The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 provides a global overview of progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It tracks the global and regional progress towards the 17 Goals with in-depth analyses of selected indicators for each Goal.
Spread the Word!
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