Inquiry Banks: Wondering in Action
A Fountain of Knowledge
“So what is an inquiry bank?”, I hear you say. Well, fundamentally, it is a place to store your questions that arise. Intrinsically, it is a fountain of knowledge, spewing forth the answers to our desires; at least our desired inquiries.
The Inquiry Bank, given the prestige of capitalisation, is a simple resource that I use successfully within my PYP classroom. It is in a central area, positioned at kid friendly height , so that the kids can have free and easy access to it. I usually use a whiteboard easel or just a white poster paper.
The current central idea is always written in the centre, along with the theme of our unit.As I introduce the new unit of inquiry, I invite the questions to be added to our bank. The children are then free to independently find and record their answers. We use markers and brightly coloured sticky notes to record our questions and answers.
Enthusiasm is often catching and I coach the children to take care that their question isn’t already on there. This forces them to actually read through the questions and answers. This action in itself often provokes further questions to arise. Questions growing out of questions is EXACTLY what a teacher wants to see.! Thus the inquirer and thinker is developed.
Awarding the Learner
I am THAT teacher! I am the teacher who scrambles an hour before assembly to create a certificate for my award winners and furtively sneaking them into the hands of our Principal two minutes before the fact! So, in an effort to become more organised ( I do try) , I created the whole darn packet! No more excuses! I am sharing these with you since I am not convinced that I am the only crazed teacher out there. And for those of you who are so much more organized than I, you’ll love that they are at your fingertips! Just click here ( There is also an African American clip art version available too.)