Inquiry at the Window, by Phyllis Whitin and David J. Whitin, is largely the story of one fourth grade classroom where children's sense of wonder is both developed and supported. The window of this classroom is where a great deal of observation of birds takes place and this becomes the topic of the students' long term inquiry. The Whitins use examples from the classroom to elaborate on inquiry learning in very helpful and clear ways. The book includes children's work, classroom dialogues and explanations of links to many members of the local community.
Inquiry at the Window ($21.00). Available from Heinemann.
Inquiry: Thoughts, Views, and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom, is part of the Foundations series now being published by the National Science Foundation. This book contains thirteen diverse articles, including several by authors on the staff of the Exploratorium. Also featured is an excellent chapter by Hubert Dyasi, who has worked extensively with New York City schools, and two useful chapters on assessment, one by Wynne Harlen and another by George Hein and Sabra Lee.
Inquiry: Thoughts, Views, and Strategies for the K-5 Classroom, is free of charge. An electronic version is available on the NSF webpage,www.nsf.gov under "Public/Media Information", document NSF99-148. Or write Div. of Elementary, Secondary & Informal Education, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Rm#885, Arlington, VA 22230. Call (703)306-1620
Collaborative Inquiry in Science, Math and Technology, by Dennis Adams and Mary Hamm, argues that scientific inquiry and mathematical problem solving skills can best be encouraged in an atmosphere of cooperative learning. Field tested activities and assessment strategies appear throughout the book. They illustrate specific points, but they are also well explained and usable in classrooms. Examples include investigations of light, sound, patterns and the use of manipulatives to promote inquiry in math.
Collaborative Inquiry in Science, Math and Technology ($19.50). Available from Heinemann.
Talking Their Way Into Science, by Karen Gallas has been reviewed previously in Connect. We list it here because it is such a remarkable approach to supporting inquiry with young children. Children raise central issues in "science talks" which form the basis for longer investigations. The book reports on the technique in Gallas's own classroom and beyond.
Talking Their Way Into Science ($16.95 plus $3.50 shipping for first book and .75 for each additional book) is available from Teachers College Press, PO Box 20, Williston, VT 05495-0020. Call 800-575-6566, fax 802-864-7626.
The Science Detective, opens possibilities for inquiry through problems posed in a fictional video about an astronaut searching for extra-terrestrial life. Developed by the SETI Institute, the book and video represent a high level of confidence in the existence of life on other planets. To encourage inquiry, you would have to adapt some of the activities in the teacher's guide. The material is listed as appropriate for grades 3 and 4. Some of the activities about the solar system could easily be used with older students.
The Science Detective ($54.00 includes book, video and full-color poster) is available from Teacher Ideas Press, PO Box 6633, Englewood, CO 80155-6633. Call 800-237-6124, fax 303-220-8843. Web site address is www.lu.com/tip/
For any of the titles published by Heinemann, contact them directly at: PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881. Call 800-793-2154, fax 800-847-0938. They offer 10% discounts on web orders through their site: www.heinemann.com
These Resource Reviews focus on books which can help with discussion and planning of inquiry investigations, but inquiry in the classroom demands good materials and equipment. Synergy Learning is developing a basic materials list for science and math inquiry. To receive a copy of the draft, or to submit ideas, please call us at 800-769-6199 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The annotated list will be published in Connect in the fall of 2000.