Collaborative Inquiry Session

Reflecting on Inquiry 2 and Planning Inquiry 3

Grade Two Team, Fairlawn Public School

Goals for Today's Session

As a grade level team;
  • Discuss the impact of your teaching strategies on student success. What did you do? Was it effective? How did you know?
  • Discuss your success criteria. How did you co-create it with students? Was it effective for students? How did you know?
  • Share your process of moderation and its effectiveness. Did the process change from your last inquiry?
  • Share your students strengths during your last collaborative inquiry and reveal your next steps for student learning. Look at your data on the School Success website.
  • Share your process for delivering feedback with your students. How did you use the feedback to inform your practice?
  • Plan your final collaborative inquiry.

Teaching Strategies and Effectiveness

  • Teachers used graphic organizers to support students in organizing their ideas
  • Graphic organizers were modified for different learners
  • The students found that the graphic organizers were effective for organizing their ideas, and making sure that they included all of the details needed to make an inference.
  • Teachers explicitly taught how to answer a question - for example, a good answer looks like a hamburger - it includes answering the question, give proof and a concluding sentence
  • This framework worked well for all learners. The answers in the pre-assessment were limited, but with the framework in place, the answers were more complete.
  • Teachers ensured that they followed the gradual release of responsibility model by including modeled, shared and guided instruction on using the frameworks and graphic organizers

Success Criteria

  • Using the answers generated from the pre assessment, the teacher and students broke down a level 3 answer and identified what was effective in a level 3 answer.
  • The look fors were having part of the question in the answer, an inference, proof from the text and their own ideas / schema, cause and effect
  • Each teacher created their own success criteria with their students
  • Learning goals and success criteria were anchored in the classroom and were visible for the students to refer to when completing other inferring activities

Teacher Moderation

  • Intensive moderation took place with the librarian ~ Met / Not Met to begin, then breaking down student work into piles that differentiated the levels 1-4
  • Teachers spent time identifying "look fors" at each level
  • Teachers were very confident that the rubric they co created was very effective.
  • When it came time to moderate the post assessment, teachers found that it was easier to assess.
  • Teachers identified next steps to consider in the moderation process;

  1. Is there a way to simplify the process so that you still walk away with a good rubric without having to invest so much time and energy over a period of a few days.
  2. One possibility may be to mark your students work first and then exchange with another teacher to see if they would grade it the same ~ this would allow you to find discrepancies and still be able to dialogue about student work.


  • Students were referred to the anchor chart and success criteria as part of their feedback
  • Mostly oral feedback provided by conferencing with students and having them apply the success criteria to their own work
  • Students were engaged in self-assessment by looking at their pre assessment and their post assessment ~ students commented on their work and what they thought was different / better / missing

Student Strengths and Next Steps for Learning

Theory of Action - If we focus on explicitly teaching inferencing and making reasonable predictions, through small group and guided instruction, in order to develop students comprehension, then students will be able to make meaning of a variety of texts

Student Strengths

  • Baseline data indicated that 29% of students were achieving level 3 or higher
  • Assessment of learning data indicated that 77% of students achieving level 3 or higher

  • Students developed more proficient skills at answering questions
  • Many students started to write more to reflect their thinking
  • Students became more aware of adding details and owning their own thoughts
  • The level of explanation improved

Next Steps - Using peer and self assessment, along with descriptive feedback during the writing process (use symbols, pictures, words, checklists, sticky notes)

Planning Time - See Collaborative Inquiry Planning Template

Incorporating Technology

I encourage you to incorporate technology into your next Collaborative Inquiry. Some Web 2.0 samples are listed below to get your started.