A Productive Summer Institute with Collaborating Teachers!

Our lab held a productive summer institute with our collaborating teachers from Guilderland Elementary School and Slingerlands Elementary School on June 28 and 30. The theme of this year is Building Deep Connections for Deep Inquiry across Classrooms. Our collaborating teachers shared their classroom advances achieved in the past year to ¬†implement student-driven collaborative knowledge building over a whole school year in a set of eight Grade 5 classrooms. ¬†Students took on high-level responsibility for structuring the inquiry goals and processes as they pursued deepening questions and ideas in core scientific areas (e.g. human body systems, ecology). They further shared idea progress through writing “Super Notes” that presented their journeys of inquiry. Their knowledge building practices have spread to their ELA and social studies. Two teachers from the knowledge building network of Singapore headed by Dr. Chew Lee Teo presented their innovative classroom work through videoconferencing. Building on the research advances and classroom inventions of the previous years, our collaborative team will further refine and integrate our two key design elements with the support of Idea Thread Mapper in the coming year: (a) co-structuring of deepening inquiry goals and processes for sustained advancement of understanding in each classroom and (b) cross-classroom interaction through “Super Notes” and “Super Talks.” A network of classrooms from multiple nations will work together to investigate core scientific challenges facing the world today.