Teaching as Inquiry"Often in our classrooms we get so busy planning for and managing the lessons we do with our students that we don’t allow ourselves time to reflect. Charles Handy makes the following observation:
"In order to find some answers, people have to draw back from life occasionally, to concentrate on the things that really matter. When people are very busy they lose themselves in their busy-ness and are unaware of anything, apart from the little bit of the world they are occupying. This is when it is necessary to use the arts of different sorts to help us step back and recover our perspective."
Taking the time to reflect critically on the things we are doing in our classrooms is perhaps the most effective thing we can do to ensure that what we are doing is having the desired outcomes, and is changing our practice in the ways we want it to." (Wenmoth, 2007)
Download full article here.

Planning and reflecting on your inquiry

View an updated version of e-Learning Teaching as Inquiry
Download a copy of e-Learning Teaching as Inquiry
(Adapted from NZC, 2007, p.36)

2008 Update

Our teacher inquiry for 2008 will follow a similar process as 2007.
Your Action Plan for 2008 should link to your school wide goals, your appraisal goals and identified student learning needs.
Your focus may also be a continuation or development of last year's teacher inquiry. Your Principal and senior management teams will support you and you are encouraged to contact the facilitators if you need to clarify or discuss your inquiry focus.
Please do this when you are setting your appraisal goals as some teachers will not be seeing the facilitator face-to-face until Term 2.

email Fiona Grant

Reporting Back

No two reports will look the same and will reflect the individual teacher their context and question.
This is your story and the way it is presented and organised is up to you. You will have the opportunity to share findings with colleagues and schools through cluster shares and our Intranet. It is also hoped that some teachers will be prepared to share at a cluster and ICT PD Network level through conferences and online forums.
  • Action Plan - Your action plan will form part of your reporting, it not only clarifies the process for you but also contextualises your inquiry, findings and reflections.
  • Reflection - Allocate regular time to reflect as you work through the process in your journal or blog etc
  • Where it is at all possible please have your feedback in an electronic format eg: photos, documents, online, video and audio recordings
  • Set up a folder on your computer to save your information including examples of student work, photos, resources as you go.
  • Download the following documents for ideas to support your reporting back and data collection.

How you report back is your choice? Here are some examples that may help you.
If you want to discuss any of these options or need support please email Fiona or Lynne or ask your Principal or Lead Teacher.
Debbie completed a PMI as part of her reflection and we uploaded it to the wiki with a copy of her student's work.
How can students participation in the creation of digital stories improve their reading comprehension and sentence structure in oral and written language?

View the PMI here

A PowerPoint uploaded to Slideshare
Philippa used PowerPoint and digital images to record her inquiry reflections and it was uploaded to SlideShare. If you decide to use PowerPoint or Keynote on the Mac we can also upload it to Slideshare.

A Written Reflection

Download and complete the Teacher Reflection document and send to Fiona or your lead teacher. We can upload this to the wiki, including any photos, video sound files or links to student work you may want to include.

Heather, Kylie and Robyn have recorded their reflections on these documents and we have uploaded them to the wiki.
How will the use of ICT support the inclusion of the L.S.C. students within the school?
external image pdf.png Heather Smyth Reflection.pdf

How can I develop the “mydesktop” space of our school Learning Management System, to encourage closer links between home and school?
external image pdf.png Kylie Hodges Reflection.pdf

How can pod casting add value to the Lexile Reading programme for our students?
external image pdf.png Robyn Keen Podcasting.pdf
A wiki
The following teachers have used a page on this wiki to record their reflections and have been able to include links to student work online plus upload images and files.

You are welcome to add a page to this wiki or use your own. Please ask Fiona or Lynne if you need help.

Helen Rennie-Younger
Inquiry Question: How can I promote and facilitate the partnership between home and school?

Gordana Stanojevic
Inquiry Question: How can I better utilize e-learning strategies to communicate with parents of my ESOL students?

Stephen has also set up a school wiki for Sunnybrae teachers to post reflections on. Either request to join the wiki or send your reflections to Stephen for uploading.
Sunnybrae wiki
A Blog
Julie and Sarah have posted their reflection using a blog.

Inquiry Question: Can a learning object improve students motivation, attitudes and ability to subtraction?

Click here to view their blog.

A Video or Voice Recording
If you have a video or voice recording we can also upload these to the wiki if you give a copy to your lead teacher. If you have already uploaded to your own space we can include a link.

We uploaded Jason's video to our cluster blog and included a link.
Click here to view.

We uploaded Bernie's student voice as a podcast.
Click here to view

VoiceThread is another option for recording both your reflections and student voice and is easy to set up:

In this example Principals and Lead Teachers have used a VoiceThread to reflect on cluster strategies for the Time 4Reflection & Review Online Seminar

ClusterShare Presentation

Many of you have shared your inquiry already at the ClusterShares throughout the year. We are able upload presentations and links to your student work on the wiki as well.

Alyce and Vaha created their feedback and reflections in PowerPoint and included digital photos. Their presentations from the ClusterShare at Northcote Intermediate have been uploaded here using SlideShare

Tina and Jillian used a similar format for the Milford ClusterShare. You can view their reflection here.

Explore all the ClusterShares from 2007 and 2008 by clicking the links in the Navigation Bar on the left.

Conference Presentation

Stephen and Leanne's reflection process formed a large part of their conference presentation. They have used Inspiration to record this and we have uploaded copies to the wiki.

View their presentation materials here
How to edit your wiki
If you are new to using wikispaces then go to this page - it shows you how to edit a wiki page. You can upload a photo, a file and learn how to make links to a webpage.

Pod Casts

Click here to go to our Intranet and listen to podcasts that support your action research
You will need to enter your username and password for our Intranet

Examples of inquiry questions

Question: How can internet resources via a data projector, be used to enhance learning within the Visual Arts curriculum areas?

Focus: To view a variety of painting styles including realism, impressionism, expressionism and abstraction.
To provide a suitable range of vocabulary to enable children to communicate their ideas about what has been observed.
To extend their learning through the physical means of painting.

Question: How can I provide an extension writing programme for a gifted group of children through the use of a wiki.

Focus: Set up a computer enhanced writing programme for children working at Level 4.
Work alongside children to create individual wikis and links.
Each child will reflect on their learning and will use teacher monitored links through their personal wiki

Question: What are effective strategies for using learning objects to enhance my numeracy programme?

Focus: Seeking out appropriate and relevant learning objects at Digistore. Building an organized list of learning objects in the eResources section of the school intranet. Developing effective management strategies to make the learning objects an integral part of learning in maths. Supporting children to locate and navigate the right learning objects.

Question: How can the data projector best be used to enrich learning experiences in my classroom?

Focus: To use the data projector to motivate and support the students in their learning – particularly with reading vocabulary

Question: How can I provide an extension Mathematics programme for a gifted group of children through with the support of ICT?

Focus: Set up a computer enhanced mathematics programme for children working at level 4.
Work alongside children to create individual Wikis and links to online resources
Each child will reflect on their learning and use teacher-monitored links though their personal Wiki.

Question: How can the digital learning objects be utilised more effectively by students for independent activities during reading time?

Focus: To organise the reading digital learning objects so that they can be easily integrated into reading times for groups to use independently and also that they are being used to support the specific learning and teaching.

Question: How can the data projector best be used to enrich learning experiences in my classroom?

Focus: To use the data projector to motivate and support the students learning during topic sessions.