The beginnings of our inquiry process - Building relationships!

I am beyond excited to blog about my upcoming TransformEd Inquiry Program for Kindergarten and Grade One children.  Even though it officially begins this Sunday afternoon (details here), I already invited families in for orientation sessions to allow us time for building relationships.

In my opinion, you won't really have any kind of program if you do not know our learners and their families.  Remember every child has a story, and their unique gifts are known best by their parent(s)/guardian(s).  So why aren't we including them in inquiry planning?

That's something that I decided to change!  I formed a small group in my creative studio space, and plan to have family input and communication all throughout our eight week inquiry process.

During the orientation sessions, I encouraged the families to attend, siblings included, and asked the child/children to bring some of their favourite things to talk about.  I welcomed their toys, photographs, books, art work, etc. After discussing what they brought with them (so that I could get to know them better), I gave them a tour of the studio and the chance to explore a variety of materials within it.  I wanted the children to begin to build a relationship with me and our learning environment.  In addition, I wanted the families to see how much I value their children's ideas and to trust me with their care.

Here are some photos of our time together with two families:

One child (age 4.3) even started the simple inquiry of wondering how to make her own flower potion. As she created it she said, "we are being mean to the flowers (referring to the ones that she cut up), but it's like we gave them a haircut!" 

Here is what the experience was like:

I look forward to this program, and am not sure why it took me so many years to offer it!  Please stay tuned as I share with you what we are learning week to week!

Thank you to the families for signing up and for agreeing to share our moments together on social media, that might have the potential to inspire others!

We life in worlds

our questions create.

-David L. Cooperrider

Share your thoughts :

  1. Dear Joanne,
    I find this inquiry process to be quite creative and powerful in helping children discover and understand the intricate details of their surroundings. For example, having your students make flower potions allows them to use their senses and utilize natural components into imaginative thought. I am a junior Early Childhood Major, and my professor asked us to find an activity or display that we would like to have in our classroom. Coincidentally, I found an activity very similar to your flower potion making activity! I find that having the children implement beautiful items that exist in the outside environment is rather important in developing their understanding and appreciate for their surroundings. I wonder, is there a nearby garden or farm that you could travel to with the students, in order to have them pick their own potion components? I am glad that you understand the value in having young children raise and answer questions about their surrounding environment. They are able to learn about research strategies that will help them answer the originally posed, and important question. I love this inquiry process idea, and can tell that is both enjoyable and beneficial to the children!