When I planned this unit, I pictured the students receiving the assignment with smiles and excitement, then hurriedly signing out books from the library, reading them silently from bell to bell, and maybe even breaking out into a coreographed song and dance about overcoming challenges.

That did not happen. Students begrudgingly came to the library and found a book, some of them after a significant amount of whining. The past few days in class have been a mixture of them reading, daydreaming, whining, and chatting. Perhaps it’s the rainy weather, perhaps it’s the time of year; whatever it is, the students have not quite bought in with excitement yet.

I decided after a day or two of their vacant stares at their books that they needed some more guidance. So I made the following handout:

Step Two Supplement

The hope of this handout is to give the students more structure and guidance. The difficulty of an inquiry unit is akin to teaching a child to ride a bike: you need to let go at just the right time. Too soon, and they’ll fall, too late, and they won’t have learned to do it without you. That being said, I’ve never taught a child to ride a bike, so I don’t have the timing of it or of inquiry units quite right yet. I figured this handout would be like training wheels – hopefully, with it they will be able to use their time in class effectively. 

I did two things this past weekend: I read my book and I ran. This is the book I’m reading for my challenge:

I’m on page 165, and so far I have come to the conclusion that Dean is not human. He ran this…

…and this…

The only morsel of motivation I have to run that far would be to be able to eat a whole cheesecake. I ran 8k this weekend. That merits at least a slice.


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