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Explozone Series: Inquiry-Based/Project/Based Learning

Target Level:  All (K - 12)

Length of Series:   3 - 4 half-day teacher training sessions (TOC provided)
                                One Explozone session for students (TOC and bus provided)
                                Access to afterschool Support Series Sessions throughout the year

Time of Day:  During school hours for teacher training sessions

Description of the Series:
The new BC Curriculum has a strong emphasis on inquiry as a vehicle to learning.  Inquiry projects guide students through an inquiry that is real, relevant, and makes an impact in some way while learning curriculum content and practicing skills and competencies.

This series, modeled after the Buck Institute of Education's PBL training series and providing sustained support to teachers over time, leads teachers through the IBL/PBL framework while developing an inquiry-based project that will be launched in their classes during the school year.  Participants gain insights into, and gain practice using, different strategies for both guiding projects, teaching inquiry skills, and assessing the inquiry process.  Students will be given an opportunity to explore parts of their inquiry at the Explozone in a co-planned and co-taught lesson.

Format:  This workshop series will include:

Teacher 1/2 day workshops:

Workshop 1:

  • What are inquiry?PBL projects?
  • How do you start a project?  Where do ideas come from?
  • What is a Driving Question?
  • How are inquiry/PBL projects different from traditional projects?
  • What are Authentic Demonstrations of Learning in relation to inquiry projects?
  • Teachers start to develop an idea into a project

    (2 weeks to work on project on their own)

Workshop 2:

  • Assessment in inquiry/PBL - what does it look like?  How do you assess?
  • Assessment mapping for an inquiry project:  individual, group, formative and summative
  • What skills and competencies will be nurtured through the project?
  • Critical Friends - share ideas and gain insights, using the protocol with your class

          (2 weeks to work on project on their own)

Workshop 3

  • Mapping the project - breaking it down
  • Launching the project:  Entry events and the first day including grouping and contracts
  • Protocols that support the process
  • Creating the calendar

     (2 weeks to work on project on their own)

Workshop 4:  (optional 1/2 day)

  • Development day
  • Finalize project plan

Classroom-based support:

  • Explozone day with students (co-planned and co-taught with classroom teacher)
  • Class visits to help with critical friends protocols, acting as an advisor (where appropriate)
  • On-going teacher support as needed