How do I use “I Teach Inquiry” as a technology resource in my classroom?

2nd June, 2010 - Posted by Sammie Gann - 11 Comments

At Carolina Curriculum, we value collaboration between students and teachers.  Join the NEW I Teach Inquiry® Network to unite with other classrooms committed to teaching inquiry today. This FREE website provides a forum for teachers and students to share ideas and develop techniques to improve student learning.  In addition to its purpose as a meeting place, the site features updates on cutting-edge educational resources and grant opportunities, and allows opportunities for you and your students to publish and share fresh ideas with one another in a safe and monitored environment by a National Board Certified Teacher and a company specializing in science and math curriculum.  For once, you don’t have to worry about objects popping up on your student’s screen or inappropriate content!

 What are some ways to use I Teach Inquiry in your classroom?

1. Collaborate:  Use the site to collaborate with your peers about what works in their classrooms.  It is as simple as clicking on the Contribute tab at the top of the page.  Upload and share your great ideas (video interviews with your students, photos or videos of experiments, work samples, lesson ideas, etc. and provide feedback on ideas that are already posted.  This is a wonderful chance to see creative lessons that might spark an idea that you could implement in your classroom to build student understanding on a particular concept.  It’s like a virtual field trip! All network members are able to learn from one another, and for every video or lesson submission published, you will receive FREE MATERIALS for your classroom or school!

2. Assess student learning:  We all know that assessment is the key to driving your instruction.  Assess your students’ learning through an interactive blog, and connect with students and teachers around the world.  Upload videos, class snapshots, science notebook entries, students interviewing students, or inquiry prompts, and open the site as a technology learning station in your room.  Your students can create a class science notebook documenting what they have learned throughout a lesson, or from lessons that were published in other classrooms around the world.  Encourage parents to log on to the site to see what is going on in your classroom.  Print out your students blog page as a quick assessment tool to see who needs help clarifying ideas, building vocabulary, or peer discussions to understand science and math ideas and concepts.

3. See blogging in action to integrate writing in your science and math instruction:

·         Type Organisms into the search bar at the top of the page.  These amazing first graders share their wonderful inquiry lesson, and continue to blog about what they learned as an extension to their science notebooks.  Just imagine how in one glance you can assess your students’ learning using 21st-century skills.  No more hauling papers to grade home.  With one click, everything you need is at your fingertips!

·         Type Geometry into the search bar at the top of the page to view students developing a working vocabulary of geometric terms!

·         Type Student Contest into the search bar at the top of the page for a FREE lesson using UV beads and light.  Submit your students’ lab sheets for a chance to win FREE materials from Carolina Biological Supply Company!

Free materials, collaboration, assessment, and more!  Your technology station is ready to implement tomorrow!  To get started, go to and become a contributor.  Start new discussions today! Let me know if you are looking for a specific topic for your class or any ideas of how I can help you in your classroom. Remember this is ALL FREE!

Posted on: June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized


Sammie Lotz

June 2nd, 2010 at 2:59 pm    

What are some of your creative ideas to incorporate some of the inquiry activities and resources on this site into your classroom? Please share your creative ideas below!

Kim Berkley

June 28th, 2010 at 11:01 pm    

After an introduction of the different types of simple machines, and before beginning a FOSS unit on levers and pulleys, I searched our school, taking pictures of specific examples of simple machines. EX: pulleys: flag pole, window blind, stage curtains pulley. Incline plane: steps, ramps. Wheel and axle: door knobs, spinning chairs. Wedge: door wedges, picture tacks. You get the idea. The pictures were then placed in a booklet and students were placed in groups, along with a parent leader, to go on a scavengar hunt throughout the school to find the items, taking the exact picture using digital cameras. They had a blast, and it’s surprising how well they actually did in finding all of the objects. This all had to be completed in a specified amount of time. They had to be back in the room at a particular time, or they lost points.

Sammie Lotz

June 29th, 2010 at 8:32 am    

What a great idea to cover the topic of simple machines! I love your hook idea to engage the students in making real life connections.

What grade to you teach and where? They are lucky to have such a creative teacher to lead them. How have the items on this site helped you in your classroom? Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can help you in any way. :)

Kim Berkley

June 29th, 2010 at 9:10 am    

I teach grades 4 and 5 science. Our district just started a new program over the past 2 years. We use all STC and FOSS kits. We are also involved in the SIE grant which is awesome. Now we have kits for K-5. They’ve been so successful that we are now purchasing middle school kits as well. I’ve been teaching for 19 years, but only doing this program for the past 2 years. I love it. Thanks for your response. I’ll definitely be in touch.

Sammie Lotz

June 29th, 2010 at 9:23 am    

Wow what a lucky system to be so involved in inquiry based science. I taught elementary science for 10 years and LOVE it! What state and school system are you in?

Kim Berkley

July 9th, 2010 at 9:14 pm    

I’m from Pa. I work in a small rural district, (Meyersdale), mostly famous for it’s annual maple festival. We have around 70-80 students in each grade level.

Sammie Lotz

July 12th, 2010 at 11:30 am    

When I taught fourth and fifth grade, we rotated classrooms for instruction. With 70-80 students, how many classrooms do you have per grade level? I am just curious on how you implement science kits on your grade level.

What kits are you using right now? From a development perspective, are you looking for anything specific to fill your curriclum needs that I can keep in mind? I can’t wait till school starts back up there and I can share some of your wonderful lessons, pictures, or videos on the site with other teachers. Keep in mind that the site is a wonderful way for the students to collaborate with one another after an inquiry experiment and it is FREE! I print off their comments and it gives me a great and easy way to assess what they understand about the experiment. What a great way to use 21st century technology! Talk to you soon.

Kim Berkley

July 13th, 2010 at 12:59 pm    

I have 8 classes total (4 classes of 4th and 4 classes of 5th). We are completely departmentalized in 3-5. It’s something new that was initiated 2 years ago. I really enjoy it because it allows you to become more familiar with one subject and focus your time on one area. My 4th grade kits are: STC electric circuits, STC land and water, STC animal studies, and I will be teaching a FOSS kit (human body) for the first time this year. My kids do some really interesting culminating activities with electric circuits and land and water. For electric circuits, they work in groups of 4 to create a house with 4 rooms. Each student is responsible for one room, the type of circuit they use, and wiring it correctly. When they are finished, we invite the faculty, administration,school board members,and community members to come watch them give a presentation of their houses. They wear lab coats, and must first show a representation of the type of circuit they made by a poster of circuit diagram. They also talk about the advantages and disadvantages that they learned about each type of circuit, series or parallel. After showing their houses, they answer question from the audience and set up small stations around the room with electrical demonstrations like, making a filament, building circuits, insulators and conductors, smart board demonstrations with interactive website, and builing circuits by looking at circuit diagrams. For land and water, they work in small groups to build a dam and the final investigation requires them to pour 2 liters of water in their stream table to see if thier dame will withstand 2 liters. Before presenting their dams, we again invite people to see their presentaions. The presentations include, some public speaking which includs their group name, a poster demonstration of their dam, how they built it, why they chose a particular location, why they chose to place their homes at certain locations, and a question and answer session from the guests. Finally, they pour the water and hope for the best. I always video them and take lots of pictures, so I’ll have to send them your way some how. As far as 5th grade goes, my kits are: STC microworlds, (we just got 5 digital microscopes too)!, STC ecosystems, STC floating and sinking, and FOSS lever and pulleys.

Sammie Lotz

July 13th, 2010 at 2:25 pm    

I love the fact that you encourage your students to present their experiments to their peers while using their observations and data to explain their findings.

Specific lesson examples like those that you just gave are perfect to submit to the network with photos or even just explain what unit they came from if they are one of our products. All you have to do to make your own section is submit your lesson or idea to the following link…

For photos or videos just email me at I can’t wait to see your students in action.

That is amazing that you have digital microscopes in your classroom! WOW those kids are lucky!

Sharyl B

January 24th, 2011 at 6:44 am    

I am new to your blog and just spent about 1 hour and 30 minutes reading. I think I will frequently visit your blog from now on. I will definitely learn a lot from them.


March 15th, 2011 at 7:28 pm    

You are a very creative blogger, and I absolutely love reading your posts.

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