How are Inquiry Based Lessons structured?

Inquiry based lessons focus on a mathematical concept and lead students through a multi-day learning experience, each day building on the next. All of Front Row's inquiry based lessons span between 3 and 5 days. Inquiry based lessons are easy and engaging to use in a whole-class setting. Each day of a lesson follows a similar structure:

Each day begins with a review of the concepts introduced the day before. Day 1 of every inquiry based lesson begins with a grade-level appropriate Number Talk (or a Dot Talk for 1st grade lessons). For more information on leading a Number Talk or a Dot talk, click here.

After a brief review, the inquiry is introduced in a short 1-3 minute video. Our videos are designed to be engaging for students and use grade-level appropriate language. It’s important to play the inquiry video two times so that students hear all the relevant information and understand the context of the lesson. Students don’t need to do anything but watch; all key information introduced in the video is available on the student inquiry sheets that correspond to that day’s lesson.

A key component of the inquiry based lessons is that students actually come up with the question(s) to answer on their own, engaging in active problem-solving and building conceptual understanding. In all presentations for grades 1 through 5, guiding questions help students decide together on the question(s) to answer.For middle school lessons, we give students more independence in determining the question(s). This part makes inquiry based lessons empowering for students.

After developing the question(s) they will answer, students spend time working in groups to solve the inquiry. Most lessons are best completed in groups of 3-4 students. During this time, students collaborate with one another and show their work on their inquiry sheets. Group work is integral to completing the inquiry based lessons, giving students an opportunity to communicate their own ideas as well as validate and question what their classmates have to say.

To close out, students present their solutions to their classmates, explaining their thinking and problem-solving strategies. Every day finishes with a reflection that asks students to consider both the concepts covered as well as their thinking process.

 

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