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LocalInvestigations LCBlog02

All humans are natural investigators, yet traditional schooling tends to untrain our natural instincts for fully examining our own questions. Local investigations engage students’ natural investigatory instincts while developing their knowledge of core academic content by demonstrating true connections between academic subjects and the world around them.


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We sat down with Julie Keane, head of research at VIF, to discuss ways to effectively approach controversy in the classroom. Implementing local investigations, examining current events, studying world religions and many other topics can lead to controversial discussions - Keane offers her perspective on what to do and what not to do when addressing controversy in the classroom.


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Mark your calendars — this Thursday, September 17, is the first-annual Global Collaboration Day! VIF is thrilled to be a part of this effort, so we have been collecting responses to this question: What does it mean to be a global learner? VIF and its participating global schools will share stories from students and educators about their global learning experiences throughout the day.

We are happy to join schools around the world to focus on global and international themes for Global Collaboration Day, a first-of-its-kind event designed to “demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world, and to introduce others to the tools, resources and projects that are available to educators today.”


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Where is my family from? Why don’t we throw trash on the ground? Where does our tap water come from? Where do you live compared to where I live?

If questions such as these regularly peak the curiosity of your students and drive inquiry-based learning, then you are already connecting the local to the global in your classroom. As teachers embrace global education initiatives, the focus often goes beyond their own communities, states and countries. Students learn about cultures and climates around the globe, they explore and find solutions for global issues, and connect with organizations and other classrooms in far off countries. But what about local topics, issues and events? How do they connect to the global and how do they have implications that go well beyond the local?


LocalInvestigations LCBlog01

This month, VIF is exploring how local investigations drive democratic and global learning. Download the guidebook to see why local investigations are important to student learning!

Educators are positioned to empower students to trust their curiosities about the world and to be leaders in investigating their own questions so that no information is ever out of reach. Reinvigorating educational approaches that better develop informed and active students is not impossible and it does not require deviation from standards-based instruction. 


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Virtual Seminar 2: Culture in the Classroom for English Language Learners

VIF curriculum designers Anamaria Knight and Meriwynn Mansori partnered with TESOL International Association for a webinar discussing practical ideas for setting up a global classroom or learning space that supports the needs of ELLs. practical ideas for setting up a global classroom or learning space that supports the needs of ELLs. This virtual seminar covers how to use hands-on and inquiry ­based approaches to create a classroom environment that supports globalizing strategies and best practices in ESL teaching. These approaches offer students create-to-learn opportunities, and they help you build a classroom that taps into your ELLs’ cultures while supporting their language development and content knowledge.


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It may seem tough to incorporate and manage guided reading practices in a dual language classroom. We’ve created a downloadable brochure that highlights tips for guided reading in any dual language classroom, but here’s the lowdown:

What’s in it? The guided reading brochure provides easy steps, from how to pick the right book, to how to plan and what to do before, during and after reading books with students. It also includes a summary of higher order thinking questions necessary to promote comprehension.  


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VIF International Education, a global education partner of K-12 schools and districts, announced Thursday that the organization has partnered with A+ Schools to provide globally themed arts-integrated professional development to teachers through the VIF Learning Center.

The A+ Schools Program was established in 1995 by the Kenan Institute for the Arts and now is administered by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The program’s goal is to help schools build enhanced, arts-integrated learning opportunities for all students. By doing so, students in A+ Schools develop innovative ways of thinking, learning and presenting information they’ve acquired.


Gray's Creek Elementary students, parents, teachers and administrators offer their perspectives on global learning.

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Summer can be a rich time for students to independently explore their interests, and dive deeper into global topics. These summer challenges will help students and families continue learning about cultures around the world.

K-5: Students will complete research about their region of focus in the coming year, and these summer activities can help them go back to school with background knowledge of a region, as well as curiosity to learn more.

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