There are some great webcast found on CSC ”Kindergarten Matters- Intentional Play-Based learning ” about Inquiry and documenting the learning. There are 5 videos in total. http://resources.curriculum.org/secretariat/kindergarten/
Within the webcasts they discuss moving away from themes because it is not current with the curriculum expectation, and does not promote the high order thinking. As educators, our role is to provoke the learning by placing out new materials, asking open-ended questions and extending the learning. Each webcast has samples of ‘inquiry ideas, how to extend the learning, and how a teacher begins the inquiry process. Webcast #2 called Types of Inquiry and #4 The Teacher’s Role in play-based discussed the Inquiry Process; Explore, Investigate, Communicate. In one of the webcasts they show an example of a classroom wall which displays this information.
I have a bulletin board that displays these headings and under each I have pictures, documented learning (the oral conversations typed), and of course the student work to show their thought process and new learning. It is a great discussion piece for parents and the students are deeply involved in what they are learning.
Since we are in the fall season some things that may be of interest to students are; pumpkins (shapes, types, and how they rot!), outdoor changes-animals, leaves, weather, and growth and change.