It’s hard to believe how quickly a year goes by. Every January 1st we make our plans, write down our goals, and hope for the best before striking out toward success – both in and out of the classroom. Then the months begin to flow together like water in a stream. Sometimes we fail to meet our objectives. Failure is a part of life after all, but always an opportunity for growth. Sometimes we succeed, or better, exceed our wildest aspirations. And sometimes the year surprises us with something we never saw coming.

All of us at VAI hope our readers had a 2022 filled with curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Before we launch our way into 2023 however, we thought it might be helpful to take a moment and reflect on the past year and the many lessons learned. So, to celebrate the beginning of another exciting year at VAI and bring a little luck to 2023, here are Inquiry Insider’s Top 5 Blogs of 2022:

Engaging Authentically with Math

By Jamie MacPherson

It’s important to change our students’ mindset around math in order to make them feel successful in their math endeavors. Let’s look at three assumptions students make and identify ways to address each of these with your students.”

SEL Your Way to the Finish Line

By Terra Tarango

When we create opportunities for our students to exercise their social-emotional skills, we don’t just foster their knowledge, we also foster their character. So, as we prepare to close out this challenging school year, give some thought to how you can promote SEL in your future lessons. After all, these will be the skills your students carry with them into adult life.”

Celebrating African Americans in STEM

By Ryan Duncan

It’s no exaggeration to say these amazing thinkers literally changed our world for the better. In fact, their work has become an invaluable part of our everyday life. So, to help your students celebrate Black History Month, here are just a few extraordinary individuals who shaped our knowledge of STEM:


Thinking Outside the Walls

By Ben Talsma

When you get excited about an idea — when your students get excited about an idea — there’s a tendency to let it fall by the wayside because of all of the pressing minutiae of a typical school day. But it is 100%, completely worth it to invest the time, at least one time each school year, to help your students take their learning outside the walls of the classroom. You’ll be glad you did.

Celebrate Veterans Day with Students

Celebrating Veterans Day with Students

By Ryan Duncan

Veterans have played a significant role in the development of our country since the Revolutionary War. They have much to teach us about courage, dedication, and selflessness. Students, meanwhile, have the potential to help veterans with real-world problems both at home and abroad.

*Today’s image courtesy of Ondrejk via Wikimedia commons.

The Van Andel Institute for Education wishes you all a Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you all in 2023 as we continue strive toward learning that’s memorable, meaningful, and fun!