- Name: Angel Buchanan
- District: Lake Dallas ISD
- Role: Campus Instructional Coach and Testing Coordinator, Lake Dallas Elementary
- Twitter Handle: @angel3may
Q: How and when did you learn about ADI?
One of our 8th-grade teachers was using Argument-Driven Inquiry and loved the model so our curriculum department head sent some of us to the ADI train the trainer. This allowed us to start introducing it to 3-5th grade teachers. We have been using it this year with all of our grade 3-5 science teachers, so 7 teachers on our campus. All the grade 3-5 in our district have been trained.
Q: How are teachers on your campus using ADI this year?
This year they are doing 2 labs. Next year we hope to familiarize our math and reading teachers so they can help with some of the ADI stages such as the argument and writing stages, we want to strengthen the cross-curricular connections. This will also help the science teachers so they don’t feel the entire weight is on their shoulders and so they have more time to do additional investigations. My goal is to do about one ADI a month, but I want teachers to feel comfortable with the model and see the value before we ask that of everyone.
Q: How has the ADI implementation been going?
It’s been going great. For example, the first time one teacher did an ADI she was nervous because of the shift to facilitating their learning instead of just telling them what to do. By the end of that lab, she was amazed at how well the kids did. I saw their boards, I was really impressed by their arguments, especially since it was their first one. That was very encouraging for her. I share that with the teachers I train. Her teaching and the whole set up of her classroom changed because of ADI. She was already a good solid teacher, but after that, her kids were more independent. She got more comfortable facilitating small group and stepping back a bit. The kids were more engaged and behaved better after that, the whole vibe of her classroom changed. That teacher, unfortunately, left the district to work closer to home, but when she interviewed for her position her new principal was very interested in ADI. I am seeing similar changes in other classrooms.
Q: How did the idea for writing the grant come about?
When I did the training, the teachers were really interested and some of the ones who I trained dipped their big toe in. Teachers loved ADI and the loved the model really covers a lot of what our students are to be doing in math and ELA in addition to science, but we needed materials to get it up and running, we needed to purchase equipment and materials that we didn’t already have in our closets so we could really do science. My principal suggested I write a grant to enable us to purchase additional materials. The grant was through the Lake Cities Education Foundation which supports Lake Dallas ISD.
Q: What will the grant funds be utilized for?
We are purchasing the 3rd and 4th-grade ADI books this year and then the 5th-grade ADI book when it is out next year. We are also getting all the materials such as whiteboards, the lanyard sets, the posters, and kits for the labs that we don’t have materials for such as Inheritance of Traits, Fossils, and Life Cycles. We have $5,000 to spend, so whatever I can buy with that amount.