Curious Classroom, The


  • Title:The Curious Classroom: 10 Structures for Teaching with Student-Directed Inquiry
  • Author:Harvey "Smokey" Daniels
  • Publication Date:April 2017
  • Grade Level:K-6
  • ISBN:9780325089904
  • Publisher:Heinemann

Curious about inquiry? Hundreds of thousands of elementary teachers are. Smokey Daniels travels the country supporting well planned and organized inquiry teaching, and he gets these two questions most often:

  • Where do I find the time?
  • What are some simple ways I can try with my kids?

The Curious Classroom answers these questions. It shares a ladder of 10 inquiry structures. Begin with briefly modeling your own curiosity or start on a higher rung as you gradually move toward units driven by kids’ own questions.

Ever wonder how to get students genuinely engaged in your curriculum? Or wish you could let them explore those amazing questions they brim with? If so, Smokey provides research-based suggestions that help cover the curriculum by connecting what kids wonder about to the wonders you have to teach them. He shares 10 structures, 34 inspiring models from teachers nationwide, full-color photographs and examples of students work, plus specific suggestions for assessment and grading.

Just getting started with inquiry? Looking for your own next step in student-driven inquiry? Or do you just want new teaching ideas to try? Read The Curious Classroom. “By the end of this book,” writes Smokey Daniels, “I hope you will say two things:

  • I never knew my kids were capable of working at this level; and
  • This is the most fun I have ever had in my teaching life.”


Harvey "Smokey" Daniels"

Harvey "Smokey" Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. His latest bestselling books on content-area literacy are Upstanders, Subjects Matter (2/e), Texts and Lessons for Teaching Literature; Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading, andContent-Area Writing. He is also coauthor of Best Practice (4/e) and The Best Practice Video Companion as well as editor of Comprehension Going Forward.

Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers.

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by on January 18, 2018

I would have loved to have had this book when I taught in an inquiry based school! It is practical, researched based and easily implementable. In this inquiry approach, students are so engaged and come to school eager to start the day. This book is a structure built on practices of master teachers. I highly recommend it to anyone. You will learn much from your students as you take this journey. -- Sharon Guynes

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