Why Inquiry-Based Lessons?

Why Inquiry-Based Lessons?

You’ll notice quickly that I do not create lessons or activities that do not require some sort of inquiry or critical thinking process.  Throughout my years of teaching students have always said things like, “Ms. Moody, why don’t you just give me the answer?”  It makes me laugh because I realize that no I don’t make it easy by giving them the answer. I don’t mind because I know that the strategies that I teach students will help them in the long run. In this world of instant information, our teaching and learning methods MUST change.  Students, when they want to find out information, can get the knowledge immediately.  The way we gather information has changed so must our teaching methods. 2 Things to Realize about Inquiry-Based Lessons 1.In order for a student to desire knowledge they must first realize that they are lacking something: it could be a skill or a piece of knowledge that is required to complete a task.  When students realize that they NEED information for a task the higher the probability of knowledge retention.  Think: a teenager can memorize every detail of a video game but refuses to memorize science facts for their test.  This student has realized that they must know certain facts in order to complete a task that they are interested in, so they are much more motivated to find and remember the information. Don’t we want students to retain the information that we give them? Don’t we want them to be able to build skills in order for them to survive without us? 2. The second benefit to an inquiry-based lesson...
My Mission Statement

My Mission Statement

“Anything that You Can Place into Your Imagination Can Harden into a Reality.” by Dr. Wayne Dyer  Successful people have a mission statement.  They “know in [their] heart what [they] are here for, what [they] came to do.” Listen more on the Quote of the Day Show. I have finally defined what it is I’m on earth for.  You can read about it here.  This is an ongoing process, but I can state confidently that: I am here to support people in achieving their dreams. I’m here to teach and streamline curriculum and teaching processes, and I am here to show other people God’s love through Christ.   If you haven’t created a Mission statement for your life, I suggest that you do that.  Dan Miller has a process that you can go through here.  If you don’t know who you are and what you are doing here, you won’t go anywhere that you want to go.   As a high school English teacher, I have heard many students claim that they are going to be millionaires.  When I ask them how, most of the time they have no clue.  They may rap, sing, or do some other creative venture, but they generally are lacking follow-through and purpose.  Now I don’t blame them.  It is understandable that teenagers think this way, but it is way worse when I hear adults either being completely defeated by the world OR still imagining success without taking any steps to achieve it. How to Achieve Success In Dr. Dryer’s clip, he describes Maslow’s Self-Actualization.  He says that “there are certain people who come into this world that...
Narrowing My Focus

Narrowing My Focus

As I have mentioned many times, I have gone through this process over the past year of realizing that I am capable of doing and achieving so much more than I am right now.  I feel like I am Indiana Jones right before he takes the first step across the Leap of Faith. I don’t know what is going to be there when I take that step, but I trust that it is what I must do. I have all the abilities (mostly because I have convinced myself of it, and I have proven it to myself), but I just need to take that first step and do what I haven’t done in the past: follow through. So now I have realized the value that I can bring to the world. Now I realize that I have so many more skills than I even know what to do with and that could fit into one job category.  Here I go to list them: I am a helper, a teacher, a coach, an encourager, a writer, and an editor.  My passion is writing curriculum. I love breaking down large pieces of complicated information into easy to follow steps that anyone can follow: from the people who think they can’t to the people who already think they know how.  I love creating activities and lessons that teach these concepts in a fun and creative way.  I can create the whole picture and the small activities. I love coaching people through this process and helping them to make them a better presenter and teacher. I also love teaching.  I realize after each...
Accomplishing My Dreams

Accomplishing My Dreams

I was honestly not planning on doing any sort of Year in Review, but here it goes.  Last school year, my 5th year teaching, I began to question my profession of choice, and I realized that maybe I am not that person who would be a high school English teacher forever.  On the surface, I wanted to be.  I wanted to be content with having the same job and profession forever, but as I began to do more and learn more about myself, about teaching, and more importantly about how the skills that I began to develop could not be contained or satisfied in a high school English class, I became discontent and honestly, worse as a teacher.  I became angry that this would be my life forever and took it out on the kids. I love teaching, don’t get me wrong.  It is a core part of my being.  I’ve always known that I would be a teacher, but even in my college teaching education program I never could fit myself into the box of a literature-loving, grammar-focused teacher.  I could honestly count the times that I taught grammar or vocab on one hand, and I only taught it then because I felt like that is what real English teachers are supposed to do.  I was that teacher who would die before I gave students questions from a book or a pre-made handout.  I always decided that if I did not have fun planning or creating a lesson, then I would not want to teach it.  So as soon as I learned how, I created everything from scratch....
How to Ask Questions That Elicit a Response From Your Audience

How to Ask Questions That Elicit a Response From Your Audience

like Tony Robbins does Tony Robbins is not paid for being a motivational speaker only because he was born to speak, he has natural talent, or he is saying something new.  He may have a natural talent for speaking but without practicing the techniques used to appeal his audience, he would not be successful.  He could have all the natural talent in the world but without good preparation before he speaks, his events would fall flat.  Most of the time, he tells his audience things they already know, but overall, his delivery and the way that he makes the audience feel is what makes him so popular.  He makes them feel like they are having a conversation.  This is not just a natural talent that he has, but a skill that he has learned: how to effectively interact with his audience.  This skill has helped him refine his craft of speaking through building a connection to his audience.   Many speakers might marvel at the way he can ask a question and get a useful and audible response from his audience.  Today while listening one of his clips on The Quote of the Day Show, Tony talked about what it means to be wealthy, and I was very impressed with how much his audience verbally responded to his questions.  Eliciting audience response is not easy nor does it happen randomly.  It is a skill that Tony has learned, and we can, too.   Has there been any time when you have asked a question to an audience that you desired a response from and the person or audience assumed...
3 Rules to Follow While Writing & Editing a Paper

3 Rules to Follow While Writing & Editing a Paper

x There are no good writers, only good editors!! Write with your voice One piece of advice that I hear many, many English teachers tell students that I completely disagree with is, “Don’t write like you talk!”  WHAT?!?! What are you talking about?  How can you not write like you talk?  If you can’t write how you talk, how in the world can you write anything? On the other hand, the compliment that you should hear as a writer is, “It sounds like you are talking to me.”  When you do that, it is this amazing device that we English teachers call “Your voice!”  So why would they tell you not to write like you talk but at the same time tell you to find your voice in writing?  It doesn’t make any sense. I know their fear.  They don’t want you to add cuss words or informal language, but I have heard gang members use that informal language, very inappropriate for school I might add, while talking about the rhetorical appeals.  You know what?  I am not going to correct a student’s verbal grammar if they can have a discussion applying the appeals to an academic text that we have read.  If you are thinking deeply about a subject then write it the way you’d like and edit later. In the Montessori schools, they do not begin to grade on grammar or spelling in stories, journals, or essays until much later in students’ education.  They believe that thinking about the structure and spelling actually hinders the writing process and the student’s creativity; I agree.  This is because we...