Classroom Inquiry Rubric for Environmental Conditions

When students are doing inquiry-based science, an observer will see an environment where:

Students Work in an Appropriate and Supportive PhysicalEnvironment

1. The room is set up to support small-group interaction and investigation.
2. Lists of student questions are prominent and available for all tosee.
3. A variety of general supplies are available, both at desks and in easily accessed cabinets.
4. A variety of materials specific to the area being explored areeasilyaccessible.
5. Student work is displayed in a variety of ways in order to reflect theirinvestigations.

Students Work in an Appropriate and Supportive EmotionalEnvironment

1. Their thinking is solicited and honored.
2. They are comfortable expressing ideas and opinions and speakingup.
3. They are comfortable interacting with one another, and with theteacher.
4. They are encouraged to share information and ideas with each other—as individuals or in groups.
5. They know what they are doing and why.

Students Work in a Variety of Configurations to Encourage Communication

1. Work may be done in student pairs, small or large groups, or in whole-class situations.
2. Students have many opportunities to respond to feedback and learn from one another.
3. Students become part of a “community of learning,” supporting andaffecting each other’s thinking.

Adapted from materials created by the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry.

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©