Facilitator Notes

General Suggestions for Leading a PLC about the Lesson: (These suggestions remain the same throughout all the lessons in Nonfiction Inquiry. See Specific Suggestions for this lesson below.)

  • Facilitator Preparation for the Session:
    • Read (or review) the Unit Plan and/or Lesson Plan in Supporting Documents, and the “Purpose of the Lesson” segment online, to understand how this lesson fits into the overall Inquiry Unit.
    • View the clips, decide on your own responses to the questions, and anticipate other possible responses from colleagues. Then review the suggested responses in the “Facilitator Notes.” Please note that the questions and responses given are suggestions only. Your insights and those of your teachers will shape the most meaningful discussions.
    • A Teacher Commentary video clip accompanies some of the lesson clips. In this Commentary, the teacher of the lesson provides her own insights into the segment of the lesson. We recommend viewing the Commentary after the discussion of each lesson segment.
    • You may want to download some of the Supporting Documents and copy them for use in the session. There is also a transcript available for each lesson.


  • During the Session:
    • Give teachers time to read the Unit Plan and/or Lesson Plan in Supporting Documents, and read the “Purpose of the Lesson” segment online. Discuss how this lesson contributes to the unit as a whole. Usually a “Prior to the Lesson” segment will aid you in doing this. You may want to refer to the four phases of inquiry and where this lesson falls within that process.
    • Before viewing each video clip, note the “Segment Focus” and “Questions” for the segment.
    • As you view each video clip, encourage teachers to take notes related to the focus question but also about their own questions, ideas, and thoughts.
    • After viewing each clip, have teachers turn and talk with colleagues about what they noticed, their questions and other reflections. Then lead a whole group discussion about the segment.
    • If there is a Teacher Commentary about the lesson segment, view and discuss it.


  • Concluding the Session:
    • Discuss how the session supports teachers’ current efforts or plans for their own inquiry units, what additional support is needed, and how you can facilitate that support.


Specific Suggestions for Grade 2 Weather Inquiry Unit, Lesson 5:

“Culminating Projects: Self, Peer, and Teacher Assessment” – Possible Responses to Questions
Please note that the questions and responses given are suggestions only. Your insights and those of your teachers will shape the most meaningful discussions.

Prior to the Lesson: What do you see as the value of creating the video as the culminating project for the inquiry unit?

  • Developing the videos allowed students to bring their creativity into sharing information with their peers.
  • Transferring information into a creative format is an excellent way to determine what is important to remember, as well as making it memorable for others.
  • It also challenges students to truly synthesize; to bring together what they know to make something new from it.
  • Working on the videos brought out the various talents of different children, and allowed students who might be better at drama or singing to shine, as well as those with greater reading and writing skills.
  • Children come to value each other’s contributions and recognize that their product is stronger because of their different strengths.
  • It made the learning fun!

Explaining the Rubric: What purposes does the rubric serve? (See Rubric)

  • The rubric reminds students of the expectations that have been laid out in numerous ways throughout the unit.
  • It provides a clear basis for students to recognize specific strengths and needs of their work. (You might want to discuss the comments of the child who said that participating is “an easy one” and how the teacher pointed out that participation is easier for some than for others.)
  • It helps in establishing a fair grade, with criteria understood by the students.


Peer Feedback 1 and 2: What is accomplished from the process of peer constructive criticism of the videos?

  • Children begin to understand the importance of feedback to the process of learning and growing.
  • They are learning to give feedback about improvements in a kind and helpful way.
  • They are learning to be open to the suggestions of others, while still maintaining their ownership of their work.
  • They are more likely to take the suggestions seriously when they come from their friends than just from the teacher.
  • They are more likely to listen and watch the work of others carefully when they have the responsibility of responding with “greats” and “wishes.”
  • The class develops a stronger sense of shared commitment to one another.


Final Preparations and Filming: How does this segment reflect the teacher’s views about behavior as a literacy?

It is not easy for children (or adults!) to compromise or relinquish their preferences in a group. The teacher continues to work to help children listen to each other and respect each other’s ideas as she asks questions like, “Why do you think that would be the best?”


Final Presentations: What are your thoughts about the final presentations?

(See Lesson Artifacts)
You may want to note the variety of the techniques the children employed in their presentations, the multiple intelligences on display, the way all children played an important role in each group, and how they included all the required information in an entertaining manner.

Self and Teacher Assessment: What is accomplished through the self/teacher evaluation?

  • The children have the opportunity for their own reflection on their work, teaching them to be more metacognitive and take ownership of their learning.
  • They see their opinions being valued by their teacher.
  • They come to realizations about their strengths and weaknesses, and also, with the teacher’s support, are able to see that mistakes or weaknesses can be overcome.


Unit Closure and Reflection:

What were some of the most important understandings children gained through the unit?

  • The importance of working well and sharing with others;
  • Learning means changing your mind when you recognize misconceptions or new knowledge;
  • Researchers continue to develop new questions, even when they have become experts. Curiosity and learning never end!
  • Researchers are better equipped to find answers to their questions.

What are your overall thoughts or questions about the lesson? What insights did this lesson provide into the process of an inquiry unit and how inquiry helps develop both literacy and content knowledge?