news iconBook Launch: October 27 - 30 AASL 15th National Conference & Exhibition in Minneapolis, MN

 

The authors all appeared at the Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. booth at AASL where they signed books for the newly released Teaching for Inquiry: Engaging the Learner Within.

 

Visit the publisher online at http://www.neal-schuman.com/

 

Authors also made other presentations at the conference.

 

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Website banner and book cover designed by Marguerite Chadwick-Juner. All other images on this Web site are licensed, in the public domain, or owned by the authors.

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"We are all something, but none of us are everything." -- Blaise Pascal

TOPIC: Considering individual differences.

Photo of Marilyn Arnone Marilyn: Our graduate students often ask us, "How can you address the needs of individuals when you are working with a group of students?" But it is essential to do this.



Photo of Pam BergerPam: I know; I hear that from our librarians, too. It is challenging to make sure that all students' needs are met, especially when they sometimes come to the library in groups or whole classes.

 

 

Photo of Barbara Stripling Barbara: That's one of the reasons we are so passionate about flexible scheduling. This allows librarians to serve individual or small groups of students at their specific point of need, whether it's to teach them inquiry skills, help them explore the answers to their questions, learn to use a new technology, or find just the right book.

 

TOPIC: Giving feedback.

Photo of Ruth SmallRuth: My graduate students tell me that my feedback on assignments, classroom activities and discussions really helps them to know how they're doing and where they need to put in more effort. I expect this type of feedback is important at any age or grade level.

 

Photo of Marilyn Arnone Marilyn: I agree; "informative feedback" is the best kind. It also helps build confidence because they know exactly what's expected of them. Research suggest this is true regardless of age levels.

 

Photo of Barbara Stripling Barbara: It's interesting that what they're asking for is feedback, not evaluation. I think that's true for me, too. I do want to know how well I'm doing on a project, but mostly I want to know what I'm doing well and what I can improve. The idea of feedback actually fits quite well with inquiry, because an inquiry project should always leave you with next questions and ideas for extending the learning, not just an evaluation and a final grade.

TOPIC: Technology for scaffolding.

Photo of Barbara Stripling Barbara: We have been talking about deciding what content to teach, but we haven't really said too much about scaffolding. When I think about ways to support students' getting the work done successfully without having to teach every needed skill for every lesson, it really relieves my mind. I never had enough time with students to teach every single skill, so I learned to give them templates and structures and tools to help them know what to do. Then I could use our class time to teach them a new skill. My experience is that students really appreciate the scaffolding that you offer, because it allows them to focus on the new skills and to be successful.

 

Photo of Ruth SmallRuth: A lot of those tools and templates are freely available electronically to librarians. I think resources like S.O.S. for Information Literacy and the LM_NET listserv are excellent examples of professional sharing for the benefit of all.

 

Photo of Pam BergerPam: Using Web 2.0 tools is a good strategy to support student thinking at the different phases of the inquiry process. When students are researching and collecting relevant information in the investigate phase, organization is very important: tools such as LiveBinders and Evernote can be very helpful. During the construct phase, SpicyNodes or Prezi help students make sense of the information. These tools are freely accessible and act as a scaffold to support student thinking.

 

Stripling Model of Inquiry