Today we went to George Jay Elementary School to meet with the co-author of “Inquiry Mindset” Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt to learn about incorporating inquiry based learning into our own classroom. Rebecca is a Kindergarten French Immersion teacher who has been working towards an inqury-based curriculum over the past 7 years. In her classroom she really focused on environment by using natural colours, natural materials and made it a space that the students were able to contribute to the look. She then showed us some easy ways to have inquiry-based learning in the classroom like her “Wonder wall” which is a wall in the classroom where there are pictures of each student with a thought bubble over their head with a question they were curious about. She said that this guides teachers to make lessons geared towards what students are curious about which I really liked because it aids teachers to plan properly. She also showed us parts from her book and how to build up a proper inquiry-based teaching practice by starting with structured inquiry and making your way to free inquiry which I enjoyed because I was always confused on how to start an inquiry-based teaching practice.
One thing I loved is that she had an image called her “teacher heart” which is essentially why she teaches and what she focuses on. She really emphasized that relationships are key to a positive learning experience and really spend the first few months forming relationships with each of your students. Also she said she enjoys focusing on celebrations even for something small which I agree with because as a student I loved when I was celebrated.
Overall, this was a very great learning opportunity and has made me so excited on what I can accomplish with this practice!