GID @ the District Level Part 3

AASL states that school library programs should employ an inquiry-based approach to “inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge” (2007). Using GID in my district as our inquiry approach is a way to tap into student’s natural curiosity, and help students develop a foundation using an inquiry process to facilitate all their academic work. GID breaks down inquiry into manageable steps, and gives students an opportunity to Immerse and Explore to better understand a research or essential question. GID is divided to provide specific scaffolds in learning the content and how they learn. GID helps students find gaps in their research and develop plans for how they can close those gaps to produce an effective product they would want to share.

I like how Leslie and I worked with the librarians in developing their sense of understanding in how to use GID. Leslie made sure we modeled the scaffolding ideas in Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School so that they can see how to use them in their own lessons. Another key element was that you didn’t always have to be a part of all the phases in GID. Most likely they would be involved in the Immerse, Explore, Identify, and Gather phases, and that was okay. We know it is ideal for us to be involved in all phases, but time is a precious commodity in schools, and if we scaffold well in the phases we are involved in, then we built the metacognition of students to be able to move through the other phases well. Overall, the librarians in my district see the value of this process and are making changes to input these phases into their lessons to help their students understand and apply what they have learned to new situations.

Lori Donovan, Instructional Specialist, Library Services, Chesterfield County Public Schools

Using GID at District Level Part 2

One way I have been able to use GID as the Instructional Specialist for Library Services is in training new librarians in my district. In the four years since coming into this position, we have hired over 50 new librarians. All new teachers/librarians (and teachers/librarians new to the district) have an opportunity in my district to get professional development and training before teacher work week. 

I get the new librarians for a whole day on curriculum. Part of that day is to go over the instructional models and expectations of library services in CCPS. GID is part of that day. To model blended learning, I use School Library Connection’s edWeb.net community to have new librarians view two archived webinars Leslie has given in the  past: Getting Started with Guided Inquiry and Research with Rigor: Guided Inquiry Design Reaching to the Higher Expectations of the Core . They develop a “Need to Know” list of questions they have about GID that will be answered during the actual PD day.

I love Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action” (https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA) and I make sure to include the what, the how, and the why when doing training on GID (well, with all my PDs), but specifically for this training because Leslie is not there for at these trainings. After going over their “Need to Know” list, I give them some practice using a sample library lesson from AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action book and they collaborate on how  these lessons can become GID lessons using a template that Leslie designed for CCPS. Because we are using the Buck Institute for Education’s model of Project Based Learning (PBL), I incorporate PBL and Understanding by Design (UbD) to show that school library lessons need the same pedagogical look as lessons they may have done in the classroom when they were teaching.  This provides data to administrators of the instructional role librarians have in student academic achievement. As they collaborate together, they are working in the same formats as students would in their libraries, and I model the scaffolding techniques described in the GID books.

Based on feedback, the librarians have said this approach has better helped them understand the process both in theory and practice, and they are comfortable to start thinking and using GID in their library planning and instruction. I am looking forward to working on GID with my new crop of librarians when they come this August. 

Lori Donovan, Instructional Specialist, Library Services, Chesterfield County Public Schools

GID @ the District Level

In 2012, I became the Instructional Specialist for Library Services for Chesterfield County Public Schools, a school district just outside Richmond, VA. Since no one had been in this position for three years, my Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the time said to create a program that I felt would best benefits librarians and the teachers and students they served. Using the goals our district’s comprehensive plan as a guide, I looked for ways librarians/library services could enhance student learning through the use of 21st-century learning & technology skills and knowledge in all 63 of our schools.

Our district plan (http://mychesterfieldschools.com/about/design-for-excellence-2020/) puts inquiry at its forefront. Empowering Learners bases all library instruction on inquiry, so I began reviewing inquiry-based research models. We were loosely using Big6 as a model, but as I researched other inquiry-based models, I came across Guided Inquiry Design (GID) through a webinar on the edWeb.net community Library Media Connection )now School Library Connection) community. I bought the book and saw it parallels the same format and structure in Buck Institute for Education’s PBL process (bie.org), and I knew this would be the best model to use comprehensively in the district.

Mary Keeling, Supervisor for Libraries in Newport News, VA had been working with Leslie Maniotes providing PD for her district and she helped with an introduction to Leslie.  After devising a plan with Leslie, we began training the librarians in GID the fall of 2013. The 3 year plan began with a book study of both Guided Inquiry and Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework in Your School, practiced the steps in small lessons and culminated in a full-blown Guided Inquiry Unit. Leslie had come for three, all day PD focusing on theory, practice, assessment, & engagement with GID. As more librarians became trained, the more Guided Inquiry made sense to them, their collaborative teachers, and most importantly, the students.

My district is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) division, & has deployed a 1:1 Chromebook initiative with all its secondary students. We use these apps to create and share GID plans. We also use LibGuides as our instructional platform to model GID. The district page houses all our common resources/access points, & school pages drive instruction by developing online pathfinders/resource pages for students, teachers, & parents.

We are moving into our fourth year with GID, and are still refining resources and trainings around the resources provided both in print and electronic format to keep current on how we can incorporate GID into more and more collaborative lessons. I am hoping to continue to create a repository of our GID projects so that we have plenty of ideas to share and use in our district to create life-long learners of our students.

Lori Donovan, Instructional Specialist, Library Services, Chesterfield County Public Schools

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What’s Next?

So what is happening now and for the coming school year…

Impact and Next Steps

In May 2016, I presented an overview of the spring GID Institutes and unit implementation along with the survey results (I shared some of those yesterday) to our principals and central office staff. At this presentation, Norman Public Schools offered to host a 2016 GID Summer Institute in June for teacher teams. We asked principals to sign their teams up using a Google form. The response was overwhelming, more than 90 teachers.  So we have completed one institute this summer and have another one at the end of July. I can’t wait to see the units these teachers create.

At the June GID Institute, we had several unique teams including a high school Algebra team, a high school special education team, a secondary family & consumer science team, various other teams from all levels.  I am looking froward to visiting them in the fall as they implement their units.

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You saw some of the statistics we collected yesterday.  I would like to share a few more stats and comments so you understand why we think GID is important enough to invest so much time and energy in:

  • 100% of participating teachers agreed that the Guided Inquiry process was beneficial to student learning
  • 81% of teachers agreed that their collaboration with the teacher librarian increased during a Guided Inquiry unit, while 77.3% agreed that their co-teaching with the teacher librarian increased. (We all know two heads are better than one!!!)
  • Percentage of teachers who agreed that the Guided Inquiry process was beneficial for these subgroups of learners:
    • ELL learners 90.5%
    • Special Needs learners 90.3%
    • Gifted learners 98.4%
    • Regular education learners 100%

So as you see the stats are great, but what about the comments from the survey?  Let’s listen to the voices  of a few of our educators:

  • When describing evidences of how learners met the standards and expectations, one teacher said: The genuine discussions after and during the units involved making real world connections. Many of those connections were very personal to the students themselves. This led to more questions that the students wanted to investigate long after the unit was complete.
  • One teacher shared: I felt as though all of my subgroups were able to benefit from the process. For gifted students, there was no limit to what they could do. For struggling students, a natural scaffold fell into place.  I believe guided inquiry is so beneficial for all students because of the individualized nature, and the fact that the impetus is on the student for decision making.
  • As we look at the data about students creating their own questions, teacher comments are promising for the future: Students found it difficult to formulate their question, but were able to express their ideas clearly. It will be exciting to see their growth in this area as they participate in more GID units.
  • One secondary principal made this comment: Guided Inquiry has given our teachers a way to build cross-curricular and more importantly, relevant lessons for our students. Pushing students deeper and empowering them to drive their learning through research is timely and is preparing them for the world we are arming them to change for the better.

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As we look at this data and, most importantly, at our students and the products of their learning, we are excited about the future of GID and its impact on teaching and learning.  We will be offering two more GID Institutes this fall.  After these institutes, approximately 25% of our staff will be trained in the process. District leaders and those teachers, gifted resource coordinators, and librarians who have experienced GID are invested in and committed to this process. As we make GID a consistent part of our learning landscape, I look forward to seeing the transformation in teaching and student learning. Keep learning!

Kathryn Lewis

 

Visiting Schools Engaged in GID

What Fun…

Last spring I had so much fun visiting the schools as the librarians, teachers and gifted resource teachers (GRCs) implemented the GID units they created in the Spring GID Training Institutes.

I saw Kindergartners delightfully engaging in Explore during a social studies unit on recycling.  The teachers modeled the activity for the students by first showing them as a group a picture book about recycling pointing out items that could be recycled.  As they flipped the pages, the teachers introduced the concept of browsing to the young learners.  Next the students worked in pairs to travel from table to table browsing books on recycling and completing their inquiry logs. The teachers’ careful planning, modeling, and practice of the the procedures helped learners understand the concepts.

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I watched middle schoolers excitedly engaging in the Immerse phase during a 6th grade Language Arts unit on Civil Rights.  The teachers skillfully guided students as they compared the musical lyrics and poetry of the Civil Rights era to the those popular today. After the comparison, learners collaboratively produced questions that were elicited by the poetry and music.

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I’ve seen high school learners immersed in the era of To Kill a Mockingbird as they explored cultural and historical events of the 1930s, 5th graders using digital and print resources to explore and generate questions about jazz musicians, 4th grade learners taking the yearly states research project to a whole new level, 10th grade leaners investigating social justice issues by exploring articles, infographics, videos, and public service announcements while working toward a research paper proposing a solution for the issue the learner is most passionate about, 3rd grade learners sharing their learning about Oklahoma history through Chatterpix and Google Slides, and so much more.  Needless to say, my district GID tour has been so rewarding.  Seeing learners engaged in deep learning that matters to them is the best!

The survey we did those teachers and librarians who participated in the units confirmed my impressions of the impact of the GID process. Here are just a few of our stats:

  • 94% of survey participants saw an increase in student engagement in GID units as compared to other research units
  • 86% saw an increase in student outcomes in GID units as compared to other research units
  • 78% of teachers agreed that the students involved in the Guided Inquiry unit met their highest expectations for the learning, while 51.8% agreed that the students exceeded their highest expectation
  • 97% reported that the guided inquiry unit met the standards for the unit of study
  • 6% of our teachers reported that compared to other research units, the questions developed by students as a result of Guided Inquiry were more open-ended and that 61.8% were at a deeper level of learning

So what is happening now and for 2016-2017, check out my post tomorrow…

GID-Making a Difference in Teaching & Learning

My name is Kathryn Roots Lewis. I have the incredible good fortune of working in Norman Public Schools (NPS) in Norman, Oklahoma as the Director of Media Services and Instructional Technology.  I work with a forward-thinking and strongly committed staff who believe in keeping student needs at the forefront of all decision making around educational initiatives.  NPS serves approximately 16,000 learners grades PreK-12.  We have 1,100 certified educators, including 26 teacher librarians. The District consists of a diverse population of learners in 2 high schools, 4 middle schools, 17 elementary schools, and an alternative school. Fifteen of our schools are identified as Title I.

A few years ago the Norman community overwhelmingly passed a multi-million-dollar bond issue that included a large technology initiative focused on more devices for students. As the district looked at device implementation, we explored at how teaching and learning would and should change in a device and information rich environment.

As a district, we recognized that all students require unique skills to participate in our changing global society.  We agreed that we want to provide students with opportunities that nurture innovation, collaboration, exploration, and deep learning.  We wanted students to have learning opportunities anytime, anywhere. We knew this vision was dependent on educators who model and implement progressive, research-based instructional pedagogies.  So we began a journey to investigate what pedagogies worked best for our district. One such pedagogy, Guided Inquiry Design, affords students the tools to ask essential questions, make decisions, solve problems, create new knowledge, share information, and evaluate their learning and knowledge.

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After reading Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School,  I sent the book to our Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.  I will never forget her call the next day, “I loved this, it’s how I wrote my dissertation.”  To which I replied, “And probably how you should buy a car.”  We proceeded with a book study with the librarians and one with the district’s curriculum coordinators. Last summer (2015) we contracted with Dr. Leslie Maniotes, one of the authors of Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School, to do an overview with all district administrators. Dr. Maniotes returned to NPS last fall to conduct three 3-day institutes with teacher librarians, gifted resource coordinators, site instructional coaches and some teachers from every school in the district.  These institutes were so empowering and meaningful for teachers.  The units created collaboratively by the teams were each unique and innovative.

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We asked the teams who attended to implement the unit they developed in the training at their school before the end of the school year. We provided a Google website that included a lesson depository, pictures, resources, and a shared calendar.

Now it really gets fun – our 24 schools produced over 40 units last spring!  The shared calendar enabled district staff to visit different phases of the units.  Several central office staff members took hundreds of pictures, provided feedback and accolades to the incredible professionals who created and implemented the units with students grades PreK-12.  We also disseminated a survey to all teacher participants.

More about what I saw and learned later this week…

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Don’t Sit Still

 

This is where we are now.

In the coming year there will be two grades who have gone through a Guided Inquiry Design unit.  I will be working with 3rd Grade teachers to introduce the process to a new set of students.  4th grade will implement at least two units with the students who participated in the animal classification unit.  The 5th grade team does not have a unit planned at this time, but my aim is to target that grade level in August to plan a Guided Inquiry Design unit. This will allow students to stay familiar with the process they learned in the Native American unit.  I will also conduct a unit with 2nd grade because I know that teaching team will readily jump into this design process.  My advice to you is approach a grade level that you know will be willing to learn the process with you (that is what my 3rd grade team did).

When I look at this progress I realize that we will have gone from conducting our first two GID units last year, to having done no less than six in the upcoming school year.  My school wouldn’t be able to continue this growth if we had not started somewhere.  If you haven’t jumped into the GID process I encourage you to give it a try.  My favorite Oklahoman, Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”   If you are like me the right track brought you this far, now we’ve just got to keep moving through a purposeful implementation of the GID process.  We can do it!

Good Luck!

-Stacy

@StacyFord77

GID Coaches

Hi Happy GID followers!

We’re having summer here in the US and lots of professional development in GID.IMG_0366

As I mentioned in my last post, this week was the fourth GID institute in Norman Public Schools. Because of the size of this district and the way Guided Inquiry requires a collaborative team, the librarians at each school have attended one GID institute this year.  But because many have teachers who now want to join the fun, the librarians are attending the institute a second time to come with their teachers so they can participate as a collaborator.  As you all know, we believe that the school librarian has a critical role to play in the Guided Inquiry Design team.  She is the information specialist/professional as well as the information literacy teacher.  These are two cornerstones to GID a. that information literacy is valued by all team members and taught (Kuhlthau 2004) and b. when students are locating, evaluating, and using information to learn, the information specialist is a key player.

Since the librarians (and one English Language Arts teacher) had already attended the full institute, and implemented at LEAST one unit of GID this year (some, like Kelsey Barker had implemented 5) the leadership in the district and I felt like it was time that we could build capacity in the district to develop coaches for GID.  (I have to take time to acknowledge and thank these amazing leaders who have done everything to implement GID at the highest level, without them NONE of this would be possible, Kathryn Lewis, Shirley Simmons and Beth Fritch.)

In the institute teachers in collaborative teams design a unit of study.  By doing that, they engage in the inquiry process themselves as design requires you to identify the concept of the unit prior to determining the activities that would support students to arrive at their own questions around that concept.  So, teams are going through their own inquiry during the institute. We know that all people going through inquiry can use guidance, and that the strategy of conversing is a support to the process.  Maybe stemming from my background of five years as a teacher effectiveness coach in Denver, I have made coaching an integral part of the GID institute. Typically, I coach each teams during the institute on their units to help them stay on track, answer any questions and push their thinking to move beyond their known ways of doing things.  This institute included double the number of teams than I could handle coaching in the time we had. So, we decided to have the librarians who had been through the training before get some further training on how to coach teams and then give it a go in this institute.

As a result, this wonderful energetic and brilliant group of librarians who have now proved their accomplishments with the process and implementation of GID took on the role of coach in our June 2016 institute.  I want to thank them for their dedication, passion for the work and professionalism in learning with me and coaching their colleagues.  This is the beginning of something bigger and growing GID to help districts build capacity in the future.

Each district might have a different way of handling this, but for me, it is exciting because I think that the role of coach is another great role for librarians.  They are already really good listeners, and work with so many teachers, so collaboration and leading collaborations is natural to them.  Also, as they use the process over and over with different grade levels and content areas, the GID process begins to become internalized, and that is what you really need to understand well in order to coach a team in GID.  I’m excited about the prospect of GID coaching, and this stellar group was a wonderful place to start. Here’s a picture of our first GID Coaches!  There will be more trained in July.IMG_0392

 

I mean come on! Aren’t they great?!  Here we have (L->R) Kristin Lankford, Dana Phillips, Martha Pangburn, Paige Holden, Kelsey Barker, Lee Nelson, Buffy Edwards, and Stacy Ford.  Kudos team!  What a pleasure it was to work with you all!  Aaaaand…

As a result of their coaching, we had 20 excellent prototype units come out of this week’s institute.  10 at the elementary level and 10 more that the secondary level.  Typically an institute can only handle 10 units, so these educators efforts doubled the impact of this professional development for Norman Public Schools!  Kudos!

The Celebrations and presentations of the units were fantastic.  More on that in my next post!

Leslie Maniotes, PhD

Co-Author of Guided Inquiry, Trainer of Guided Inquiry Design

Norman GID Institute – Reflections from Day 2

Here are some Numbers from the GID Institute June 13-16, 2016 in Norman Public Schools

In just this institute alone GID is touching 12 Schools, 41 teachers, 7 librarians, creating 20 units that will impact thousands of students in the coming school year.  Pretty awesome capacity building workshop, I’d say!

And it’s fun too! (See the smiles on the faces in the photos below?)

But as you can read the list of words from this cohort after being in the Explore phase in their design process, it’s not all peaches and cream.  Instructional Design is hard work.  But with a collaborative team to support and coaches to guide you, everyone makes it to the finish line!

And isn’t this a beautiful location? Even with the deep cuts to the OK State budget, Norman has continued with their bond money to build new facilities and make additions onto others.  All the spaces are beautiful and a pleasure to be in. These are at Reagan Elementary.  Thanks Reagan for hosting.

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Tomorrow a little more about coaches, sharing and celebration.

Happy learning y’all.

Leslie Maniotes

The Guided Inquiry Design Institute

Gearing up for the Guided Inquiry Design Institute is always a time of exciting inspiration for me.  Each time, I think about the audience, consider the perspectives and as I go over my slides I reflect on what is to come.

This institute is such a joy for me to lead because not only does it give me a chance to share the power of the process with teams of teachers and librarians and to some who have never heard about the ISP or GID before. But not only that, the teams get to experience it.  And out of three days they learn so much.  They learn about the process as they themselves engage within it, for designing a unit of study is an inquiry of its own. They learn about themselves as a teacher, and as a learner. They learn strategies for effective instruction and have time to collaborate DEEPLY with their colleagues and teammates. It’s an intensive both ‘oh so worth it’ three days.

This school year I have had the wonderful pleasure to work with Norman Public Schools.  (Have you noticed how many from Norman have contributed to this blog?  Well this is why…) They have partnered with me to provide the full 3 day GID institute for over 100 educators district wide.  Each school has sent a team and now we are working on getting more teachers onboard with two more summer institutes and another coming up this fall. I am more than thrilled because of my passion for this work, sharing this process empowers educators to use a learning centered approach that gives them the process, and flexibility to teach “the way they’ve always wanted to teach.”  This week I have the privilege of working in this brand new school, with over 45 educators to design 20 units of study from Kindergarten to 12th grade in every content area, math, science, social studies, language arts and literature.  It’s been amazing.  We are on day 2 and tomorrow is the final day of sharing, revising and reflection.  Things are HOPPING in Norman.

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Leslie Maniotes