Sorting Out

Learning is a process of constructing, testing and reconstructing theories, constantly creating new knowledge.

Teachers as well as children are constantly learning.”

Carla Rinaldi & Peter Moss

Sorting Out:

  • Organise, analyse and communicate the information gathered in the ‘Finding Out’ stage.
  • Begin to make connections and look for patterns
  • Review thinking
  • Make meaning and express new understandings


What are the big ideas? How will I guide my students? How has their thinking changed? How best can I support students to make connections to what they already know in order to further develop their understanding?

Kath Murdoch suggests:

It’s not just about the what – it’s about the how.  Many inquiry-based educators argue that it is in fact the inquiry skill-set that constitutes the most valuable learning for students.   When students discover how to learn, their capacity to learn continues to grow… The skills and dispositions needed for effective inquiry are indisputable… I have taken to describing these as learning ‘assets’ and they include being able to manage ourselves, communicate effectively, collaborate with others, research in a range of ways and of course to think – creatively, critically and reflectively.  The inquirer also needs to BE courageous, focused, curious and confident amongst other things.

Split Screen Thinking….

The classroom should be a place where talk about the process of learning, the nature of oneself as a learner, and one’s improvements and intentions for oneself as a learner, is continual and natural. The focus of discussion is on the ‘how’ of learning, more than the ‘what’ or the ‘how much’. The teacher challenges students to think and talk about their own learning process with questions such as:

  • How did you do that?
  • How else could you have done that?
  • Who did that a different way?
  • What was hard about doing that?
  • What could you do when you are stuck on that?
  • How could you help someone else do that?
  • What would have made that easier for you?
  • How could I have taught that better?

Where are we now?

The Headlines ‘understanding routine’ helps students to think about and discuss  their learning with peers and encourages them to come up with a ‘collaborative statement’ that reflects their current thinking. This may be a statement or a question……

 And Finally, What is Successful Inquiry?

Successful inquiry is the finding of new understandings.
Understanding is temporary and can be
changed over time….


(Source: Kathy Short, Learning Together Through Inquiry)







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