Sunday, August 19, 2012

The First Week of Inquiry

We finished our first week at the School of Inquiry with some amazing momentum.  I am so proud of the time, effort, and embrace of change that my staff has shown this week.  I am also impressed by the way students have jumped in to a new environment and way of learning.  Embracing the idea, though they are uncertain in many cases how it will all work out, of changing how they will learn.  Some highlights from the week:

Monday's Amazing Race was awesome.  You can see how it went in this video by Tom Felke.  I know I had a great time watching students take on challenges and then hearing them process what they learned in our group discussion.  On Monday night we had a packed house for our first ever Back to School Night for parents with the first session on the School of Inquiry at overflow capacity.

Thursday brought a visit from Theresa Shafer, Online Community Manager for the New Tech Network, and a day of students learning about themselves and helping to create the culture of the school.  In Global Perspectives students had an intense discussion about what Trust, Respect, and Responsibility meant to them, and how they wanted to see them utilized in Inquiry.  In their math courses students learned about their personalities in the What's Your Color activity and how to utilize what they learned about these personalities in their group work.  In Leadership Seminar students began their journey to discover more about who they are as people and what strengths they posses.

Friday, brought my two favorite moments of the week. One was student based, one teacher based.  The student based moment came watching students in their math courses build towers out of spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow as facilitator Michael Delp encouraged them..  Pictures of the winning entries are below.

The teacher moment came in the afternoon.  After having a rough morning in which they felt they had lost their students, my Global Perspectives facilitators (Lisa Mercer and Grant Masson) went to lunch and prep and completely reworked their lesson plan for the afternoon to be a more engaging activity.  It was an amazing moment to see and hear about.

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