Tame Chaos of Classroom Research!

Using IIM to Guide Inquiry & PBL

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IIM Overview

  • What are the steps in the IIM process?
  • How is it used for differentiation and to meet required standards?
  • What does it look like in K-5 classrooms? -- > Slides

Essential & Guiding Questions

  • Choose a unit of study that is connected to grade-level curriculum.
  • Convert standard unit you are required to teach into research unit with already defined learning outcomes to develop essential and guiding questions around major concepts to be learned.
  • Use unit planning form to set stage, identify resource materials, lessons & activities, and target key content and skills
  • Guiding questions are standards-based and frame study to ensure unit avoids becoming a series of activities

Essential Questions

* Structure Learning with Essential Questions (via Teachingchannel.org)

* Essential Questions (via Scholastic.com)

* What is an essential question? (via Grant Wiggins)

Entry Events & Immersion [Pre-Research]

Spark curiosity & build engagement with immersion activities (books, videos, field trips, models or experiments)


Virtual Field Trips

Google Street View Treks (Great Barrier Reef Ex.) & Google Earth Showcase

Developing Student Questions

Enthusiasm and personal interests are a big part of learning!


Brainstorm Questions:

teaching inquiry learning

Topics & Goal-Setting

There are many sticky-note and mind-mapping tools available online that provide a platform for individual or collaborative brainstorming, color-coding, connecting and categorizing ideas, and making revisions over time.


Post a questions or new facts & knowledge about IIM on session Padlet (link).

(password protected--letmein)

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Note-Taking & Organizing

Try Kid-friendly Search Tools & Read-Write-Think: Research Interactives


Note-taking Tools:

Quicklyst Organize, save and search notes with just a username and password—no account registration.

Titanpad: Online document notepads for shared and collaborative writing with each author typing in a different color. No logins and will autosave.

Scrumblr - A simple easy to use site for brainstorming or organizing color coded notes.

Goal Setting & Evaluation

Add an outward dimension to reflection and evaluation by using a variety of digital formats…

  • Googleforms: Students can submit reflections and research goal evaluations electronically. Students can also self-assess and quick-share their progress at designated points (What did you learn today? What new questions might you explore?) Forms can also be embedded or linked to a wiki or website.


  • Use Blogs as a learning log for reflection on process and product. [kidblog.org or weebly.com] Weebly is also a user-friendly drag & drop website creator for building a research launch point for students.

Writing (R.A.F.T)

RAFT helps students focus on the audience they will address, the varied formats for writing, and the topic they'll be writing about. By using this strategy, teachers encourage students to write creatively, to consider a topic from multiple perspectives, and to gain the ability to write for different audiences


Product & Presentation

Technology tools provide opportunities for differentiation, personalization, and flexibility in product creation and presentation. Students can choose from a range of presentation and storytelling platforms to represent their research and share online with diverse audiences. Expression styles may combine text, hyperlinks, images, video, and audio together. With teacher guidance, can choose from a menu of options that connect to identified standards and written expression.


A few more possibilities...

A few more possibilities to consider...