We discussed the tasks we had completed to prepare for today's shared inquiry discussion. We selected our interpretive question at our previous lesson: "Catalog Cats/ Our Garden Day 1. Our chosen interpretive question is: "Why does the father tell the boy that catalog cats are invisible ?"
Today, we focus on the Shared Inquiry Promethean Shared Inquiry Flipchart that presents the rules of shared inquiry discussion as well as a Shared Inquiry Rubric of expected performance tasks during the discussions. Student contributions during discussions will be rated via this rubric. I find that when students are held accountable for their performance, they are cognizant of their actions and become more engaged in the activity.
I explain to students that we will answer the chosen interpretive questions and defend our answers from text. We role play each of the behaviors observed on the rubric in areas of conduct, speaking/ reasoning, listening, and knowledge of text/ preparation. We review the expectations by reviewing the goal, which is the rubric score of 5 in each category. Students discuss what each looks like in their performance. We discuss and role play examples and non-examples so students clearly understand performance expectations during Shared Inquiry Discussions.
This lesson addressed the shift to cite evidence from text and not solely from prior experience. I teach my students how to substantiate claims through valid reasoning and relevant evidence.
The interpretive question is introduced to students as they sit in a circle on the floor with their books accessible on their laps. I facilitate as needed, but my role is only to ask questions, not answer any of them. I guide the discussion in terms of pacing and occasionally ask students to focus on the topic. I ask students if they are prepared to use their notes to cite textual evidence when they defend their claim. I also ask students to actively listen to others and demonstrate it by addressing their remarks as students respond with their own ideas. Active listening, preparation of materials, organization of information, and focus on text evidence are key elements in the Shared Inquiry process.
Students need to look back into the text for answers. This is clearly stated in the rules for shared inquiry discussion. Encouraging students to respond to others and gain knowledge from other students' insights is the crux of shared inquiry. Through discourse and discussion, students gain multiple perspectives and ideas from their peers that may persuade them to change their own opinions.
Also, using the Shared Inquiry Discussion Rubric to communicate performance expectations give focus to the tasks at hand. This discussion is termed "Friendly Debate" because our claims are based on text evidence or facts, not by opinions alone. Students learn to respect one another and value differing opinions supported by text. The objectivity of the discussion keeps it focused on answering the question.
Our final activity is to learn from our mistakes and challenge our strengths to develop expertise. This is done by students evaluating themselves through self-assessment. The Student Self-Assesment Rubric is completed by each student as they rate their performance during the shared inquiry discussion. Student discussions revolve around next steps on improving their expertise in identified areas. Feed back is given from their peers as well as supports.