Today I enjoyed day 1 of the AMLE conference in Minnesota. Learning is essential for all in the public school system, teachers included. I feel so blessed to be among a group of amazing educators from Langley attending this conference.
I began the day motivated by Kim Campbell and her ideas about motivating middle schoolers. I ended the day with Jeffery Wilhmer, who helped further validate and clarify what Bonny and I have set out to do with Inquiry Buddies.
One of my favorite parts of his presentation was when he said "inquiry is the rigorous apprenticeship into disciplinary expertise." I was inspired and reassured by these words. Bonny and I began our inquiry buddy journey last year with Barry for this very purpose. We saw the results of this and were inspired to continue this year!
In addition Jeffery Wilhmer talked about how "inquiry allows us to teach kids in their zones of proximal development."
I believe that inquiry buddies allows students enter at a point where they are ready to engage with their topic and go as deep as they are capable. With the help of their buddy or buddies, they are pushed a little beyond their comfort zone and excel to a place they may have not thought initially possible!
In addition, Jeffery Wilhmer talked about the need of the project to help drive and sustain the motivation of students and the need to celebrate at the end of their projects. With inquiry buddies, we do this through the inquiry fair at the end!
Finally, throughout he stressed the fact that we, teachers, "control the motivation level in our classrooms." Inquiry and inquiry buddies are both positive, amazing ways to help with motivation in my classroom! the implementation of them has increased student engagement! Students who engage in inquiry are more motivated to learn, produce, and engage in their personal learning journeys than those who have worksheets placed in front of them daily!