This course was a really great look at what inquiry based learning can be like in the classroom. I have an assortment of new ideas and practices that would really be amazing to implement in my classroom, which is especially exciting for me in science and social studies. My school is moving toward implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, so with my curriculum changing, I will have new ideas and and a new outlook when adjusting to new planning and resources.
The underlying idea that inquiry based learning can be carried out by letting students discuss and discover from their own questions is what I really like about it. I mentioned earlier in the course that some of most memorable lessons with my students is when they were able to ask me questions and discuss and discover the answers to things they actually wanted to know. At the end of this past year, several of my students said learning about slavery was the most memorable chapter of the year, and I think it was because I let them lead. They asked questions and did research, and that experience was authentic and memorable for them.
I think that implementing the principles of inquiry based learning into lessons can be a fluid an ongoing practice that will really help my students. I really hope that the ideas from the course will be carried over into a lot of my classroom discussions. The real world/process skills we discussed throughout the course are things that students need to be able to foster and practice with. These are things we often forget students require instruction and practice with while in school. Allowing students to take more ownership of the learning process, and collaborating with my students in order to understand their thoughts and opinions is something I always tried to do. Fortunately, the course has given me some wonderful new insights and ideas that will help me revamp how my students get to lead, ask questions, and discover during the learning process.
Overall, I felt the course was one of the most interesting courses I have taken in the EDIM program, because the use and practice with the Discovery Education techbook, sharing lessons and units, and reviews of Web 2.0 tools, were all useful and memorable things I can actually use in my classroom in the future. I am looking forward to starting the school year off with a few more questions and open discussions than I have in the past!