Read the Summer 2023 Inspiring Inquiry Newsletter and be Inspired!
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Inspiring Inquiry Newsletter


“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” 
— Albert Einstein
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Giving Constructive Feedback

Feedback is essential for improvement, regardless of age, profession, or skill level. But many in leadership avoid giving constructive feedback or simply focus on the positive. Why is that? Learn how to provide constructive feedback here.

Leadership Biases for Decisive Leadership

Learn about 12 cognitive biases to become a decisive leader. Humans like to twist the reality in a way that goes along with their own beliefs. Consequently, we often tend to speak with confidence about things we don’t fully understand. As much as we want to be right, rational and logical, we are constantly under the influence of cognitive biases. Almost everything in our lives is a bias. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to be aware of these biases and try to mitigate them as much as possible to be in the known.

Aligning Values and Beliefs for Student Success

Leaders often feel tension around assessment. “How do we balance meeting external metrics and requirements while staying aligned to our schools’ values and beliefs about how students learn best?” In this Toddle School Leaders podcast, Trevor Mackenzie shares stories and strategies for keeping students and learning at the center of our assessment practices. It focuses on your role as a leader to model and cultivate a culture of assessment.

A School Leader's/Teacher’s Primer on Artificial Intelligence

If you are a school leader/teacher and feeling overwhelmed about understanding everything that is going on with Artificial Intelligence right now, here's what you can do to catch up and stay up to date. This will have a HUGE impact on your teaching/school and is primed to be the main conversation around learning this summer and beyond.
More AI Resources

Amazing AI Super Tutor for Students and Teachers

Do you want a glimpse of the future of education, one where every student has access to an AI-powered personal tutor and every teacher has an AI teaching assistant? Then, watch this video where Sal Khan of Kahn Academy demonstrates Khanmigo: A Comprehensive AI Tutor. Khanmigo is a new addition to Khan Academy that not only detects students’ mistakes, but it also identifies misconceptions in their understanding and provides effective feedback in math and computer programming exercises. You can join the Khanmigo waitlist to see Khanmigo in action? (Only in the USA for now and a donation of $20 monthly, but is it worth it? Only time will tell).

How to Differentiate Texts with ChatGPT

Learn how to create prompts that will enable ChatGPT to rewrite a text so that it is at a lower or higher lexile than the original text. You can even have ChatGPT translate text. Differentiating a text for your students couldn’t be easier.

Use ChatGPT in Google Workspace

If you use Google Workspace, then you may be interested in installing the GPT Workspace AI add-on. It is a tool that allows users to access ChatGPT's AI capabilities directly within Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, and Gmail. Free plan available.

New AI Tools

✅   Diffit
Diffit is a free tool that teachers can use to instantly get levelled resources for any lesson, saving tons of time and helping all students access grade level content.Teachers can search for a topic, term, or question and generate short informational or narrative texts on any topic, for any reading level. 
✅  ChatPDF
Upload a PDF and use the chat interface to explore the contents. This is a great way to explore those longer educational research papers and reports.
✅  'Would You Rather' Question Generator
This AI program is free to use and is designed to add a high-energy activity to any warm-up or lesson plan for any grade level or content area. By simply selecting your grade level and topic/content, our AI-powered generator will produce 10 unique and custom-crafted ‘Would You Rather’ style questions.

✅  Monica
Monica is a free  ChatGPT Powered AI Assistant which can be used as an extension on all web browsers. It can be used by teachers and students to inspire inquiry and learner agency by providing a platform for open-ended questions and exploration.

✅  Colossal Chat
Colossal Chat  is the first open-source AI free chatbot in the vein of ChatGPT. This AI chatbot is much the same as ChatGPT, but does not need an account to use. It could be a good alternative to ChatGTP.

Guide to Assessments in the PYP

In case you have not already seen this, Toddle has created an informative guide, with accompanying resources, that deep dives into 5 key assessment questions
Part 1. Why do we assess?
Part 2. What to assess?
Part 3. How to assess?
Part 4. What do we mean by assessment capable students?
Part 5. What are some ways of reporting on learning?

Approaches to Teaching (ATT) Goal Setting

Are you a leader looking to support your team with goal setting? Are you a teacher looking to grow your practice? Then, this is the template for you! To make the goal-setting process easier and more effective, Toddle have developed a simplified teacher goal-setting template grounded in the Approaches to Teaching (ATT). Their 4-step goal-setting process will familiarize teachers with the ATT and lead them through an entire year of goal setting. What’s inside?
➡ An editable goal-setting template with an overview of all 5 Approaches to  Teaching with example goal areas.
➡ A year long process for feedback and reflection.
➡ Guidance for leaders on observations and providing feedback.

Toddle PYP Resources

Toddle has created several PYP resources to support the implementation of the PYP that are worth checking out. There are also resources for MYP and DP.

Fine Motor Skills Checklist

These Fine Motor Skills Checklists (Ages 0-6) created by Toddle come in two styles - Milestones and My Self Evaluation. Also view: Build Your Fine Motor Skills Toolkit - a video by Stacey Band.

Reporting Sentence Starters

Toddle has created a four-page document of words, phrases and sentence starters to support your report card writing. You may also find it helpful to read their article that outlines the “Dos and don’ts for comment-writing; Structuring a comment; and Sample Comments.”

Transformative Power of Oracy

This interesting article by James Mannion proposes that the development of knowledge and skills relating to spoken language and communication should be considered the beating heart of the curriculum, and everything else should revolve around that. This viewpoint is worth considering.

Bringing Stories to Life: 10 Techniques for Storytelling

Don’t miss these engaging storytelling techniques compiled by Toddle that feature storytelling experts; each showcasing a technique that will bring sparkle to your shared reading sessions. They have been thoughtfully selected and coupled with a list of what you will need – to get started in weaving your own tales of wonder! The intention is to inspire – showing the children that words can be expressed in many ways.

Doorways to Our Childhood Selves

This is a stunning essay is recommended by Kath Murdoch. She says it is a "long read but such a powerful one. If you and your team/staff need something to help re-invigorate your thinking about the nature of childhood, then I suggest this essay as an excellent provocation for conversations about our ways of seeing and being with the children in our care each day."

What's in a Name: Our Identity & Culture

This short award-winning video “Daniel 'Jun Ho' Lee” that portrays the experience of a 1.5-generation Korean-Canadian boy as his name changes from his birth-given name "Jun Ho" to "Daniel" after immigrating to Canada could be used as an inquiry into the relationship we have with our names. 

Early Childhood Fine Motor Activities

f you teach young children, you may find these fine motor activities (Ages 1-6) created by Toddle useful. Also, explore videos about woodwork, sound art provocations, treasure baskets, playful math ideas, loose parts play, and outdoor learning through these guided experiences led by experts.
Podcasts, Websites, Blogs, Videos etc.

Let Grow Website – Replacing Traditional “Homework”

The Let Grow Website hosts wonderful Ideas for replacing Traditional "Homework" with activities that promote independence, resilience, responsibility and agency. Let Grow makes it easy, normal and legal to give children the independence they need to grow into capable, confident, and happy adults. Check it out. Also see Home Learning (aka Homework)

Ruby Tuesday (Blog)

The focus of the Ruby Tuesday Blog site by Sean Walker is the relationship between play and Inquiry. A few posts that you may find interesting are: Playing with Play and Thinking; Socio-dramatic Play; Cultivating Curiosity; and Play and Inquiry which is recommended by Kath Murdoch.

Reinvent Inquiry with Kath Murdoch (Podcast)

In this podcast, Kath Murdoch explores how digital tools can enhance the learning cycle. Learn the secrets to successful inquiry & how it can revolutionize teaching & learning.
PD Opportunities

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Check out the Inspiring Inquiry PD page to find workshops provided by Kath Murdoch, Chapters International, Toddle, Professional Learning International, Innovative Global Education, and many more. Check them out here.

Inquiry Learning: The What, The Why and the How

Planning ahead....In-Person workshop with Kath Murdoch - Dubai - November 18 2030. Many of us like the idea of an inquiry approach but feel less confident with how to use it effectively in the classroom. This workshop is designed to help build educators’ pre-build a practical repertoire of strategies and approaches to lesson and unit design to foster inquiry.

TIES 2023 Event

Register for Toddle's free TIES 2023 virtual event held on September 30th and October 1st to connect, learn, and grow alongside 50,000+ educators from around the world. Registration is now open.

Elements of AI free online course!

Are you wondering how AI might affect your job or your life? Do you want to learn more about what AI really means — and how it’s created? Do you want to understand how AI will develop and affect us in the coming years? If you answered yes to one or all of the questions then this free online self-paced course from the University of Helsinki and Google may be for you. Might be a good summer project!

EC Premium PD

If you are looking for a comprehensive school-wide, on-line PD option for your school, then you should check out EC Premium. With a school or organization subscription to EC Premium your entire staff can access online professional learning content and courses from the best K-12 providers and thought-leaders, including Kath Murdoch, from their comfort of their own device. It’s a way to differentiate PD throughout your school. 
Recommended Reading

The Art of Awareness: How Observation Can Transform Your Teaching, (Third Edition)

By: Deb Curtis and Margie Carter
How do we see children? How do we observe what they are doing? The art of observing children is more than merely the act of watching them—it is also using what you see and hear to craft new opportunities in your classroom. The book provides a wealth of inspiration and practice and will help early childhood educators learn to observe in new ways, witness children's remarkable competencies as they experience childhood, and find new joy in their work with children. Definitely a book for your bookshelf!

How Music Primes the Brain for Learning

To reap the benefits of music on learning, children need consistent and abundant musical practice, according to the latest cognitive research. In ways that are unmatched by other pursuits, like athletics for instance, learning music powerfully reinforces language skills, builds and improves reading ability, and strengthens memory and attention, according to the latest research on the cognitive neuroscience of music.
A Few Provocations
Below are a few provocations you can share with your students. Most come from Ian Byrd's Daily Puzzlements and Provocations to Get Your Students Thinking. Enjoy!

Make a "Better" Calendar

Sometimes the most interesting explorations are staring us right in the face. This math calendar project by Ian Byrd challenges students to first examine why the calendar is as it is and then asks them to try to create a "better" calendar. It's an exploration that will get students to deeply think about something they use every day - the calendar. Another idea - "Make a Better Clock" - What would a metric clock look like?

✅ Amazing T-Rex Illusion

Why does this paper dinosaur keep turning its head to look at us! I like to pause between each section to let students wonder. The answer is revealed after 1:10. Bonus! Print and cut your own!

✅ Back Flip Mania

How many back flips can a human do in one minute? There are three contestants. Let your students predict how many back flips each did. First contestant stop at 58 seconds and predict, second contestant stop at 2:18 and third contestant stop at 3:30.

How Food Commercials Are Made

Have you ever wondered how food looks so mouthwatering in advertisements? It is more complicated and includes more technology than you might think

✅ Stuntman in Action

This is a jump stunt jump scene from the The Bourne Ultimatum behind-the-scenes featurette. You get several angles of this stunt. I think the camera operator has the most difficult job. Here's the trailer where you can see how the stunt looks in the movie.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
SDG student-friendly resources can be found on the Inspiring Inquiry website HERE 

Latest Daily CO2 Rating

February 2023 422.07 ppm.  February 2022 420.16 ppm. 
1 Year Change +1.91 ppm (0.45%)
Suggested sustainable level = 350 ppm  +72.07 ppm
Source: Daily CO2 ​(May, 20, 2023) 

Visualizing Global Per Capita CO2 Emissions and Global Co2 Emissions Since 1900

Check out these two articles and posters that help to visualize Global Per Capita CO2 Emissions and Global Co2 Emissions. In this case, a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

Future of Flight, Buildings, Transportation, Water, Farming, and Forests

The Climate Pledge’s documentary series about the Future of Flight, Buildings, Transportation, Water, Farming, and Forests pulls back the curtain on corporate innovations and climate action. These short films reveal how companies are changing the way they do business to create a healthy planet for generations to come. 

How do We Get the World Off Fossil Fuels Quickly and Fairly?

The science is abundantly clear: The world’s reliance on fossil fuels endangers our planet, and we need to take urgent action to safeguard our collective future. But how do we accelerate the clean-energy transition while prioritizing climate justice and energy security for all? In October 2022, a diverse group of cross-sector leaders gathered in London to explore this critical, and often divisive, question.
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