Think the days of allowing students to research topics of passion and interest are gone? No way! In fact, the high level skills of the Common Core State Standards make student-driven research more relevant than ever.
This book offers a practical guide for structuring and managing complex and high level choice–work where students of all ability levels can thrive. You’ll learn how to…
- structure and manage the physical environment needed for great research
- set students up for independence in a research-ready classroom
- help students ask meaningful questions, create projects with purpose, and share their work in active and interactive presentations
- how to assess student work–a challenge when student learning is varied and diverse!
Mike Anderson and Andy Dousis have nailed inquiry-based learning with this book. Whether you are comfortable with the idea of differentiating and allowing student choice in their learning or you are just dipping your toes into this water, this book has much to offer. Written with both expertise and pragmatism, this book outlines the theory behind student-selected research and why it’s so powerful , as well as how the essential details of classroom environment, planning, and teacher language serve to empower and engage students. Perhaps what makes this book so accessible to teachers is the tone of vulnerability and risk taking the authors share, as they share their own journey along side their students and allow the reader to shadow their professional growth.
The Research-Ready Classroom not only provides a framework for research, but also the resources and guidance to set up, foster and engage students in authentic learning that piques their interests while building build academic and social skills. The authors combine reflective narratives with research summaries that give credence to differentiation, as well as what it takes to manage a large number of independent student projects. What’s more, the work samples, suggested materials and topics lists, photos and sample organizers provide both context and concrete examples of how research evolves.
This concisely written book makes for an ideal summer-read for both veteran and new teachers looking for ways to invigorate and deepen their teaching in the year ahead. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself highlighting key points and jotting notes in the margin about curriculum, classroom design and ways to ignite your classroom with this type of research focus… and mostly likely it will ignite your own learning, too!
Lisa Dewey Wells
Here are a couple of blog posts that give an idea of the power and potential of independent research in the classroom.
Bring Independent Research to Your School
Student-led research is a powerful way to boost both student and teacher motivation. In one district where all K-12 teachers were working on choice/differentiation, 29 teachers signed up for a voluntary extra body of work on independent research. Here’s just one example of what came out of that work:
Contact Mike to bring this kind of work to your school.