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Day 21: Jason Lewis, Teacher & Coordinator of Inquiry, (Sands Secondary School)

October 5, 2012

This year I’ve taken on the role of Inquiry coordinator here at Sands. We are in the first year of both our work on Inquiry and having designated collaboration time. Being brand new to the role, and our school being brand new to the process, I’m starting to realize there’s lots for us to figure out on our inquiry journey.

That being said, the inquiry process is really nothing new. All teachers do it, just not all in a formalized way. The issue most teachers run into is that they don’t have enough time or resources to try something new, even if they had new things to try.

This year with our collaboration time, teachers are able to come together to talk about new techniques they are wanting to try in their class, or to solve a common learning issue. The designated collaboration time is first thing in the morning, which I think is much more effective than meeting up at the end of the day when any number of things can get in the way of sitting down and actually discussing what you had planned to talk about.

Some of the topics teachers are investigating here at Sands are literacy, technology integration, inquiry learning in science, and student wellness. This is after 2 collaboration days, so it feels like we are off to a good start.

As for being the inquiry coordinator, my role is to assist these groups get as much as possible out of their investigations. That might be covering classes so teachers can team teach or have more time to collaborate, or just using the coordinator time that I have to find resources for them on their inquiry topics. The advantage for me is that many of the ideas brought to me are an opportunity for me to learn something new and try in my classes.

For example, one class at our school wants to try out the use of QR codes (the smart phone scanner codes) as a learning tool. They will be making videos about different topics, posting these online, and then creating QR codes to post around the school. Students can then scan the QR codes and get a short video on their smart phones. For this, we have to look into video production, posting videos online, and linking them to QR codes. This can apply to any class or topic, so will be a great project to try out.

We are so early on in our journey – I’m looking forward to writing again with an update on our progress.

Jason teaches chemistry, biology, and computer sciences at Sands and has been with the district for 9 years.  He is also a former Sands student.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeanette Beaulieu permalink
    October 5, 2012 3:44 am

    Great post Jason!

  2. October 5, 2012 7:22 pm

    Jason – thanks for being willing to share both your and your school’s journey into Inquiry. This process requires a new way of thinking for all of us, and one that requires some risk-taking and trust. Thanks for stepping forward and telling your story!

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