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Aine keaveney

by aine keaveney

Pages 2 and 3 of 7

Áine Keaveney
Student number : 22410686
Seat Number : E213
Inquiry Based Learning Journal
My Inquiry based learning journey
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My prior understanding of inquiry
To be quite honest my initial thoughts when hearing about the Inquiry Based Learning module were , 'What is the difference between inquiry and enquiry?' . I remember learning about letter of inquiry in junior cycle business studies but it is a term I would rarely ever use in my daily vocabulary and certainly does not enter my thoughts very often . But on the other side I am someone who 'wonders' , without thought I will see something and say 'I wonder how that works' or something along the lines through everyday observation on my regular endeavours.
On the first day of this Inquiry Based Learning module we sat in groups and were asked to discuss what our personal thoughts were on inquiry and examples of when we would encounter it in our own lives . I kind of sat back and listened as I was not too sure on the right answer for the questions proposed to use by our lecturer .When the other girls at my table started discussing their opinions I soon came to the realisation that there is no real 'right answer ' , everyone takes inquiry a slightly different way and that's the whole point .Everyone came up with accidental inquiries that were unique and almost displayed personality traits through their choices .
Each week I grew to become subconsciously more aware of inquiry and its presence in my own life , I found myself thinking more and more about things and majority of time my inquiry began with 'How does it work ' , 'how was it built' .Each week we worked on different inquiry challenges in class but I also felt myself bringing that knowledge outside of the classroom into my own life and thoughts
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Seaweed Investigation
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Lookind and responding to the seaweed

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On the table we were presented with a wide variety of seaweed species. We were initially given the opportunity to observe each type in groups , discussing clear opinions allowing people to share thoughts / experiences . I found this really interesting as many people in my group made valid and unique points , displaying different perspectives is essential in the inquiry process and allows individuals to see things in a new way.
We were then assigned the task of attempting to draw some of the seaweed types . I drew multiple in the end and I felt it was important to distinguish the characteristics between them all , appreciating the different textures , colours and sizes.
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My seaweed drawings
At first I began to draw the longest seaweed I could find as I thought that would be the ' best' one , once I had a minute to fully inspect all the pieces I quickly realised this was not he case and I actually found some of the smaller more alternative visuals of seaweed the most enticing to draw .
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What does this make me wonder??
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When we were working with all the different types of seaweed besides wondering what the bad smell was , this activity really made me interested on how all these various seaweeds are formed / grow so differently when they all grow in the same water .There were so many different species and appearances on the table it was unusual to see as typically on a day at the beach you would only see the 'Bladder whack seaweed ' . I went home on the bus thinking about this theory and watched a quick video on Youtube to satisfy my curiosity .I found out that the types of sea-weed growing near the hight water mark are being exposed to more oxygen and differ from those growing closer to sea lever with less light exposure and less oxygen moving freely
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Incidental inquiry
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This week on my journey back up to college from Limerick the train passed by Wind farm in county Offaly . Sometimes last year during the summer living beside a large port the wind turbine pieces would come in and be transported across the country .We would all pull in on the side of these roads as these parts are significantly bigger than you would imagine ,It got me thinking how wind turbines are made as you would rarely see a crane big enough to build the windmill . As a result of my inquiry I found out windmills are first built horizontally , being put together by welding .Once this is complete the wind turbine is 'stood up ' using a crane .
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Ice cube Investigation
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Week 2
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Thoughts prior to the investigation
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My thoughts at the end of the investigation

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At first when we sat down today I was a small bit confused when a member of my group pulled tinfoil out of his bag containing salt and string .I quickly realised we were all meant to have some but instead we worked as a group ,I wasn't too sure what we were meant to use the items on our table for but I was curious as to what we could do with them all at once .
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For this inquiry investigation we needed a small piece of string , some salt and a few ice cubes . Many of these are household items which many students in a primary school setting would possess , I feel this would be an easy and efficient way of incorporating inquiry based learning into potentially the science section of the primary school curriculum.
The resources we needed today were easy to clean up , providing little to no mess. No element of this experiment was in any way of danger to any member of our class and for that reason I think this would be a very suitable experiment for any age child.



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Investigation process
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Required equipment
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In the beginning
At the start of the investigation my group all observed one person make an attempt at using the resources in any way .Once she did dipped the piece of string into the salt we all had different ways to approach the next step in our investigation .This just shows the uniqueness of inquiry and how everyone can approach it a different way .
In the end
Luckily we had enough resources for everyone at our table to have their ow almost 'sub-investigation' and inquiry all the ways in which we can use the ice , string and salt . I attempted to use my fingers to melt the ice cube water onto the string and adding salt to the string make is stand upright .However another member of our table sprinkled the salt on top of the ice cube which had the string laid on it's surface. Once that was done and he lifted up the string everything was connected
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Words by Thom Leggett

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Apple Investigation
Week 3
Picking our apple and excpectations
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Progress after week one
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Progress after 3 weeks
After 3 weeks the apple has become a lot more frail in texture , it has soft sports with dents in them . The colour on the other hand has remained very similar to the colour when I initially received the apple.
The very small lighter spots on the apple have become more prominent and noticeable .I have never observed an apple in this great detail and I was curious as to what these dots were . Following some research I found out these spots are called lenticels and allow the apple to ' breath ' . Through these holes , the apple can absorb carbon dioxide and release oxgen.
Day 1
When we were told about this specific investigation I was quite excited .To first of all see if I would be able to mind this one apple for 63 days and wondered 'Would the apple not be completely mouldy by then?'
We began by first picking the apples for our inquiry based investigation , I lined all the options up first and chose the one which looked the most vibrant and in my eyes the most 'fresh' .
I feel having the most fresh and largest apple would yield a more favourable and slower rate of rotting in comparison to the very small , already rotting apples up for selection.
On day one our apple which I have named 'Patrick ' is a bright red colour , he also has a yellow patch .The apple is medium size but has no soft spots .

Inquiry
Thinking about 63 days is a long time , I don't eat apples myself usually but comparing to a banana , I don't know if it will have grown mould by November 21st . Leading on from this inquiry I researched the life span of an apple .From my findings I found a crucial piece of information that I didn't think about .Apples last 3-5 days when cute but last 4-6 weeks when refrigerated . So I came to the conclusion that the skin of the apple provides a barrier to prevent or at least slow down the decomposing process
Conditions
I decided to keep the chosen apple in the side pocket of the car , there were many benefits to this . First of all it is one place it would never be moved from so I would never lose it allowing me to document the entire journey .
The car also provided an ideal environment for the apple , as I said the apple would last the longest when kept in refrigerated conditions , and what is the closet to that , Dublin in November! I feel this made a big difference in preserving the apple in it's optimum condition for as long as possible . The car was also ideal as the apple may potentially have been slightly moving however the apple was not thrown anywhere or it did not fall .Therefore the chances of the apple developing any bruises , blemishes or exposed cuts were slim.
There was little change this week , a slight change in colour but nothing too drastic , I feel the apple is still in the height of freshness but this will change quickly overtime in the coming weeks


Conclusion
The photo above is of the apple on the 1st of December , 75 days later and the change is extremely noticeable . The lenticels are far more prominent at the end of this experiment and the apple has almost shrunk . Potentially losing water and becoming dehydrated ? The apple as a whole is soft , no hard patches like we saw in the middle of our investigation.
I then began to take notice of other fruits in my house and how they preserved / appeared .I noticed that avocados also have lenticels and are in theory very similar to apples , have an outer layer and possess seed(s) at the centre.
Other Inquiry Investigations!
Patterns and concepts
Concepts
According to Erikson (2011) , a concept is something that is a mental construct or organised idea . These are normally timeless , universal , abstract and represented by 1 or 2 words .

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What is a pattern?
A pattern is , by definition is a repeated decorative design . However there is many different definitions so no exact one is correct .This shows patterns come in a wide range of concepts and appearances .We see it it abundance every single day , it is only when you stop and look around for it you will notice patterns.































Photo below shows a visual of the investigation we completed in class involving the pipe pieces and ball
The pipe investigation
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Conceptual lenses
Explained
Today we conducted an investigated in groups of 8 , each person held a portion of a plastic pipe .We all stood in a line and the person at the top had a tennis ball , the aim of this activity was to get the tennis all from the first person in the line to the last and into a bucket without it falling on the ground .The one challenge was that none of the pipes were allowed to touch , this provided a significant barrier for us to deal with but provided a stimulus for us to discuss.
We had to determine a few things before each try and the only way we found these out was by using a 'trial and error' approach .Noticing something each attempt and fixing this mistake for the next time , by this we became better each time and after a few tries we succeeded . Some of the improvement we made each time were the pipe angles , the speed of the ball and the final location of the bucket .In this activity the skill of communication was for me a leading factor however the skill of observation was very important also , once this observation was done we made conclusions as to whether this was efficient or not .We used almost every basic step of IBL during this task
Representing fears
Inspired by the work of
Molly Bang
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Building a foundation
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Shape and colour
I decided to use rectangles to represent my characters of the Doctor and I , me being the red shape for the reasons discussed and the Doctor being blue , representing a overpowering stereotypical Doctor . I also used the rectangle shape to differ from the triangle shape I would later use for the injection component.
I used a white background instead of a coloured one to fit the aura of a hospital which is well lit and clean . I followed with a small pointy triangle representing the injection in the hands of the Doctor.
Inspecting example piece
Colour picking

Molly Bang piece
To provide us with an example and to also inspire us we first looked at the this wolf piece by artist Molly Bang .It represents fear and we discussed her selection of choices throughout the picture.
The purple represents nightfall a time of day in which many people would be more fearful , the black cut outs are representational trees. The red triangle depicts the character of little red riding hood , the red colour for obvious reasons and the triangle as it is a strong shape and easy to differentiate between the many components of this piece
Once we had looked and broken down the Molly Bang example we began our own representations of fear . We first picked our colours , I liked the idea of having the main character as a red shape as in my opinion red is a powerful and eye catching colour which will provide a centre point for the story.

I took a different approach to Molly and chose a lighter combination of colours for my piece I had a few initial ideas and these colours fit all of them .
As soon as we finished the class discussion in relation to our stimulus piece I had a few ideas come into my thoughts .But the one which proved the most significant and unique was my fear of needles and more specifically injections . I had my colours picked and now all that was left to decide was colour , shape and position.
Finishing touches
I put a small bit of black on the tip of the injection's needle as black is a colour commonly used to represent fear , in this piece it is coming closer and closer creating a sense of urgency and panic.
I also added a cream border at the top creating a hospital feel as a bright rooflight . These types of lights almost add to the scary feeling , providing little comfort as they are not cosy nor homely
End of module thoughts

My thoughts on inquiry now
I certainly feel after completing this module I have a greater knowledge of the world around me and am more aware of the environment in which I find myself .When I know what inquiry is in depth like I do know I am more conscious of implementing it's key features in my everyday life .That being said my curiosity has grown immensely , I know look at things wonder and then continue to explore and analyse , as a result of this module my wonder has changed into knowledge .

Each week our investigations and discussions have broadened my perspectives , enhancing my 'outside the box' way of thinking .By promoting this innovate side of me . I have learned ways in which I can implement these skills into my teaching and indeed into my daily habits and routines.

The Inquiry based learning approach is something I will incorporate into my classrooms in the future , however each child may find a different inquiry process that suits them as a learner. I would hope to be able to accommodate all these processes within the one classroom , allowing all students learn efficiently and to their optimum potential through inquiry.
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One special moment of inquiry
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One moment where I found myself leaning on the theory of inquiry was when I was working as a substitute teacher in a second class. One child asked me in front of the class why we had to change the clocks on Halloween . I repeated the question back to the class and asked them to think of their own opinion on this . When they had thought of their own possible reason we researched it as a class and saw who was right/wrong or on the right track .
This was my first time attempting to use a small bit of inquiry learning in a teaching setting and I found it very beneficial , each child was interested in the 'finding out' as they were hoping they would be right .Everyone was active in researching the result so everyone was learning without almost realising.

My favourite inquiry cycle
The inquiry process that interested me the most when we compared many of the popular inquiry based learning processes was this one above proposed by Justice et Al. in 2002
In comparison to the many processes which have a definite start and end , I liked the idea of an inquiry cycle .This way the learning is a constantly occurring action and the possibilities for learning are permanently ongoing .It also supports the idea of learning one thing and that conclusion triggering a new question . With each question you unlock the more you will learn as a whole.
The first step in the inquiry cycle being to build a basic knowledge of the topic facilitates for directed investigations that you can associate to ongoing class subjects and topics .For this reason you can really use this cycle in every aspect of your classroom .
Overall IBL is an interactive hands on way of learning , which I have learned throughout this module not only yields effective results in the classroom but beyond educational settings into the student's personal lives .
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