What makes Inq-ITS different?
In the summer of 2014, I was pregnant with my daughter and attempting to write the first Teacher’s Guide for Inq-ITS. If you have a mental image of an Ikea manual combined with a science teacher lesson planner then you are right on target. When friends and family would ask what I was doing with my summer, I’m embarrassed to say, there was a whole lot of um's and ah's. I really struggled to explain what Inq-ITS is. It wasn’t until a friend asked me how I used it in my classroom that I was able to communicate how much I enjoyed it. In retrospect, I struggled to give an “elevator pitch” for Inq-ITS precisely because there are so many different facets of the program that make it unique.
Instead of multiple-choice questions or passively watching a simulation before clicking a few buttons, students are engaged in authentic investigations where they get to choose which variables they want to test.
Every investigation is created by starting with the standards. We look at the Performance Expectation(s) and decide how we will tackle this content in an authentic and engaging way.
After we tackle the standards, we delve into common misconceptions. This means that we dig into the research and speak with as many educators as possible so we can get at and help students overcome their misconceptions.
I always said that it was my goal to let the “sage on the stage” vision of a teacher die off. I want to be the “coach on the side” and Inq-ITS has that coach with Rex who helps students precisely when and how they need it.
How is it that I started off by saying I couldn’t explain Inq-ITS and here I am half-way through my explanation of why I enjoyed using it in my classroom? Next week, I will continue with the aspects of Inq-ITS that made a huge difference for me as a teacher.