Make time for … observation!

As teachers, we are inclined to make the classroom look like a busy place at all times. Sometimes we feel the need to be involved and engaged with the learners in our classes. But what about sitting back and… just observing?

You might be wondering what this has to do with inquiry, but I want to encourage you to try just this… sitting back, listening in, looking. We express understandings and wonderings at all times, and more so when we are comfortable. Our students are the same.

I have found out that a student of mine is curious about how to build a house with Lego without running into the problem of running out of the right blocks. Because, as he was playing, he got so frustrated. It helped me to help him inquire into what can be done about this. And he is still working on it, with passion!

Other students were working on a model, using cubes to make houses. And without prompts, these 7 year-olds created nets. Nets for cubes, which helped them with their houses, and nets from square pyramids. Amazing, no?
During this student-initiated activity, I also found out that they had developed a great understanding of humans adapting to natural change, by changing their building structure! Without a prompt.

So, next time you feel brave, step out of the picture, and allow yourself to observe. You might be surprised what your students are curious about. And how you can get them to inquire!

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