Episode 15 – Small Wonder

Jenn P

In this episode, Jim interviews Jennifer Pagniello who is a grade 3 teacher at Ray Lawson Public School. She shares how she is using the guided inquiry framework as a way to help empower her students. She also talks about the changes she has made to her assessment practices with the help of her Instructional Coach Mary Neely and Peel’s Instructional Coordinator for Assessment Kristen Clarke who we interviewed in Episode 11 – The Wonder Years.

What’s New in the World of EML?

Jim shared some of the key ideas and messages from Jennifer’s interview. Specifically:

  • provocations are intentionally tied back to big ideas in the curriculum
  • Jim loved the way Jennifer worded this: “Instead of me telling them the expectations, the students are unfolding them on their own.”
  • assessing students all focusing on different questions – gathering evidence of learning COP – teacher’s role facilitating conversations – the conversations move the learning forward
  • uses Flipgrid, students can create a short video, talk about some key wonderings from the session, reflection, can serve as check-in
  • key learning environment innovation – Interactive bulletin board – provides focus, student planning, exploration + co constructed criteria – always come back to the expectations for CONTENT and SKILLS
  • Below bulletin board – interactive word wall, provocations, materials-students can grab resources

Amit shared the work that he is doing at Mount Royal Public School around making one small tweak to their assessment practices to bring them more in line with Growing Success as well as Empowering Modern Learners. He discussed how some of the teachers faced some pushback from students, but that they were all willing to co-learn in the process and not allow students to be passive recipients of learning during the process.


Links from the Interview with Jennifer Pagniello

Shares for the Week

Jim shared an excellent resource for teachers looking to explore inquiry-based learning. The book is called Dive into Inquiry by Trevor MacKenzie. In his book, he describes a scaffolded approach to student inquiry by defining several types:


Amit shared an article entitled “Students LEAD to Learn” by Jessica Slusser who discusses how The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in the College of Education at NC State University announced last week a new program where they are trying to create opportunities for personalized learning that adapts to how students learn best. The free experience, called Students LEAD (Learn, Explore, & Advocate Differently), “guides students to explore key areas such as attention, memory, idea expression and time management” and connects to the concept of Learning to Learn as found in the 21st Century Competencies Innovative Element. 

Once the course is complete, students and teachers receive an Advocacy Plan (sample pictured below) that shows their strengths, challenges and makes recommendations to consider.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 12.10.02 PM

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